Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Smile at Someone Today

Have you ever been either a victim or perpetrator of the
fundamental attribution error ? I can say yes to both. I guess it's just the way the world is. Or rather, how people are and the shortcuts we use to navigate people and situations. Unfair but true. more here on FAE.

An example is the child who paints entirely in black paint and it is assumed that he must be disturbed and depressed, when in actual fact it's just that he is polite and allows the other kids to beat him to the red, green and yellow paint and all that remains is black.

Or we think little of a person who does not perform well at work and assume that they are just not trying, when in actual fact they spent the night awake caring for a baby and are dog tired the next day. In actual fact they were doing their best.

The person with the dark mood on their face may not be an unpleasant person, but have just lost someone they loved. Or maybe it's the other way round and the happy go lucky person is actually depressed and lonely.

Smile at the people you meet today however they may seem, and cut them a little slack. They might be struggling too.

'A Still Life' luscious acrylic colour on canvas!


  1. Interesting post Patti. Isn't this similar to jumping to conclusions based on small evidence? I admit I have sometimes "judged" someone from a brief sighting or interaction but always find when I get to know that person these judgements were skewed by my own biases. There was a radio psychologist here who used to say never assume you make an ass of u and me. And now that I am white haired, I have noticed people assuming I am either addle pated, slow, prejudiced, ignorant and so forth. Just small things but based on a glance rather than on knowing me.

    Kim at has published an interview with me today, Wednesday.

    Here is a big smile sent across the waters to you. :)

  2. Beautiful, beautiful.

    Yes, I can say yes to both too. I try on my part to make up charitable explanations for people's behavior so I feel less angry or "wronged" in a difficult situation; even if it's untrue, it makes me feel better!




  3. I love your analogy of the child using the black paint. Wow. Makes you stop and think.


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