Or at least they start out that way. The little child’s misbehaving nature is not its own fault, but your own (or otherwise, their parents) since he or she was not taught to act another way. True, some ages tent to be more stubborn and daring, but all in all, its weather you view the unacceptable behavior as dispositional attribution (the person in questions fault) or situational attribution (the situation, not the persons, fault).
What I’m trying to say is that life would be so much easier if we didn’t view each other as the enemy. For example, if our driving down the road and the person in front of you is swerving or going exceptionally slow, dispositional attribution would be to blame the stupid son of a driver and get angry that people like that are YOUR road. However, situational attribution would be to consider that something might be wrong as if the driver is lost or sick and feel empathy, not anger.
The reason I believe in this sometimes hard-to-live-with standard of thinking is because I have to. I work as a checker at a grocery store. It’s not like working at the mall, where people are glad to be shopping. Grocery shopping is a chore. No one wants to be doing it. Especially with the kids and a time limit and a spending limit with a seemingly limitless list of needs. By the time they get to me, no one is as pleasant as we would have hoped.
If I used dispositional attribution to decide about even HALF of the customers that happen into my line, then I would no longer be working there. I have to believe that all the angry, annoyed, rude, demanding, in a rush people are not just bad people all around. Who wants to live life thinking that in the first place? No one can be all bad. It is unreasonable, in my mind, to think that there is even one person that lived their whole entire life not making one person happy. And that one person made happy makes them worth it.
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