Updated: Apr 15, 2019
Before you get mad at someone for what they said or did, judge a person for the clothes they wear, or call a person weird for their actions, stop and remind yourself everyone has a story.
According to Psychology Today, humans judge as an act of our brains attempting to understand the causes of social behavior. Throughout this process, there are two types of attributions we make about others’ behavior: situational and personality.
Situational is behavior caused by a situation. For instance, I was attitudinal or "fresh" to my mom due to being upset about losing a basketball game (sorry mom).
Personality attributions are based off a person's character. Using the same example, someone could assume I'm a mean or bad person because I acted rude to my mom.
It's often we find ourselves over utilizing the personality attributions, rather giving someone the benefit of doubt. We tend to use the situational attribution with people we're close with because we can more easily presume possible explanations for their behavior.
However, is it really fair to judge anyone at all without knowing their motivations? Even then, who's to say one motivation is more proper or appropriate than another?
Instead, practice conscious communication and judge less frequently. Don't let this turn into an excuse for someone to walk all over you, but use it as a technique to become more understanding.
Brains are programmed to quickly create judgements about others’ behaviors in order to go about our day and life without spending too much time or energy on comprehending everything we see. However, those speedy assumptions don't illustrate the whole picture, which is why it's important to remember everyone has a story!
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