We tend to play victim and point to external circumstances to justify how we feel, react and behave.
Twin boys with identical DNA and upbringing are forced to deal with their poorly behaved alcoholic father growing up. One brother becomes a poorly behaved alcoholic adult, and the other a valuable, respected man. Both point to the same reason for why they turned out the way they did: “I watched my father.”
Perspective is everything.
The pygmalion effect describes the tendency for us to act the way people treat us. If employees or colleagues are treated as trustworthy, they’re much more likely to act accordingly.
Humans are humans, so this of course doesn’t apply all the time. But often enough, I’m amazed to watch people’s IQ increase by treating them like intelligent, trusted resources.
Science shows that when you say “He’s awful” or “She’s mean”, people can’t help but associate those negative traits not only with the person you’re talking about, but with you as well. Remarkably, this is true even when they don’t know the person you’re talking about.
As if we needed a scientific reason not to gossip and talk trash about others…
As much as our culture values courage and hard work, it takes just as much of both to know when to walk away from something that isn’t right for you.
If you’re mindful enough to know that despite your best efforts, this book, movie, relationship, job, or life path isn’t serving you, the most courageous and productive path is to abandon as soon as possible.