The Actor Observer Effect
Recently I read an amazing little book by Dr. Suzanne L. Davis, this book is entitled Ten Interesting Things About Human Behavior.
There is a section that I would like to share and dive a bit deeper into. Chapter 8 is called
-We Use Double-Standards When We Judge Ourselves Relative To Others-
Dr. Davis goes on to use an example of dropping off some wedding invitations and says “ I didn’t mail the wedding invitations because my boss made me stay late again.” Dr. Davis goes on to explain that we make excuses for ourselves and usually
-Give ourselves a break –
Then Dr. Davis says “However, we don’t give others a break. When we judge someone else’s actions, as a general rule we attribute their behavior to internal factors (“but you drive right past the post office on the way home. You didn’t mail the invitations because you are having second thoughts about the marriage aren’t you?)
Does this sound like something you can do or have done in the past. Now obviously not with wedding invitations but I am sure you can think of other things or situations where you have not given others a break. When I was reading that chapter, a smile just came over my face and I had to shake my head.
Why is it that we do that? Why do we give ourselves so many breaks and let ourselves except all these personal excuses but when other people look for the same thing, we jump all over them with other possible scenarios except the real one that maybe they just created their own excuse and stuck to it, as we ALL have done right?
So lets try to give others a break too shall we? How do we do that, well I am in the same boat here. As I said, I just learnt the same thing you did… Wild isn’t it?
Here is what I am going to do. Not try, do! They are two completely different things remember?
Stop and really think about what the other person’s excuse is and think…”Would I have used that one?” look at it from their point not yours.
Not give myself so many breaks, I really don’t deserve them…….
And lastly, I am going to judge myself just as I would others
(This one is going to be tough!!!)