Why People Do What They Do
I’m not at all purporting to have an answer to why anyone does anything. That, when getting into specifics, is one of the unknowable things of the world. Unless you are someone else, you won’t know exactly why they do what they do- just as they won’t have an acute understanding of your actions.
This phrase, why people do what they do, is more of a thought than an answer. It’s one that we should take when listening to others. Too often we spend our time reacting to the world around us. Your vehicle at the meter is being ticketed, we react. A coworker says something unsavory- we react. You see someone spouting nonsense on the television- and again, react.
Reacting in and of itself isn’t bad. But just reacting, without really understanding, can be. It implies that the world around you is dictating your actions. It does something, and without thinking, without a say in the matter, you are forced into a particular type of action. What I’m proposing is that you take control of yourself. First, think “Why is so-and-so doing this?” Or “Why is that oaf saying those words?”
You can, of course, put those questions into your words. But the act of pausing and asking this question can save a lot of headaches. How so? It’s all too easy to become frustrated in today’s world. New issues are springing up every day of injustices and tactless comments. Even everyday annoyances at home or in the workplace are cause for daily irritation.
Often it’s the lack of understanding that brings conflict.
By taking the time to consider what your aggravator may be thinking or where they’re coming from, you can, at the very least, ease a bit of your stress. That’s not to say that by thinking from their shoes that you’ll then agree with their viewpoint. Merely, you will understand where they come from, and thereby control how you choose to react. You are no longer a creature of instinct, but one of critical thought.