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by Lucy McCarraher & Annabel Shaw


Why we always blame other people

Talking of irritation (well I was yesterday), it never fails to amaze me just how annoying other people are. Sartre called other people hell. I call other people stupid, lazy, inconsiderate, pretentious, angry, useless, and arrogant. Everything I am not.

This isn’t a good start from a writer of self help books.

Bear with me.

I am also other people.

In social psychological terms this kind of labelling is called the Fundamental Attribution Error. This states that when we look at the behaviour of other people we tend to blame their behaviour on personality shortcomings. When we explain our own similar behaviour it’s always the fault of things outside of our control - the situation in which we find ourselves.

For example, if we see someone shouting angrily at a train that just departed we tend to assume they are ‘a very angry person’. But when we ourselves shout angrily at a train we just missed, it’s because the train left earlier than scheduled, the bus to the train was late, the timetable was wrong - typical British Rail incompetence - the station clock was fast - ditto - and I hate my boss because she just passed me over for promotion. Nothing to do with me at all. Anyone, after the day I just had would get upset when the last train home just left.

Whilst I am clearly a victim of circumstances, everyone else has some kind of personality disorder.

I like the fundamental attribution error.

But I also think we should give other people a little more slack when it comes to making judgements about their behaviour. 

"Our anger and annoyance are more detrimental to us than the things themselves which anger or annoy us."
Marcus Aurelius (121 - 180)
Even if none of it's your fault, but you're still feeling stressed and angry, take 15 minutes to relax with our free Relaxation Audio. Conscious physical relaxation has very good effects on physical and mental health, sleep, stress levels - and even the annoyance caused entirely by other people.

We all get overly stressed and angry at other people when we are less than happy ourselves - but it's often hard to know how to make changes for yourself. By following the Steps of The Real Secret, or identifying those which relate to your situation, you can raise your personal happiness levels, which will impact on those around you at work and at home as well as the anonymous people you come into contact with daily. You can also learn how to listen better (empathic listening), improve relationships at work and at home, as well as build confidence and deal with difficult people. It is available in paperback and kindle on and Amazon. com

Posted by Annabel

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