When People’s Behavior Drives You Crazy

WaveIf you’re a creative professional, or going through a transition, consider this: How do you interpret people’s behavior?

If it’s your behavior, you say it’s due to your circumstances. If it’s someone else’s behavior, do you say it’s their character? Here’s an example:

You’re getting ready for work, spill jam on your shirt, and take a moment to wipe it off. Then the phone rings and it’s that kid you just shipped off to college. It’s pretty early for him to be calling (Must be important…), and you feel compelled to pick up, even though you really don’t have time to take the call. Then your shoe lace breaks and you need to switch shoes. 

Sheesh! What a morning! Barely time to make it now! You’re dashing out the door (just like Dagwood in the comic strip Blondie). You look at your watch and you’re stressed. It’s getting late! You think: If everything goes just right, I’ll make it. As you drive, you’re gripping the steering wheel and driving faster than usual.

Now imagine another scenario: It’s a leisurely morning. Everything falls nicely into place and you’ve got plenty of time for your morning commute. As you pull into the office parking lot, someone cuts you off. You watch as the guy drives like a nut. You think: Wow, what a knucklehead! That guy’s going to kill someone! 

What you don’t know is that guy is driving to the emergency room because he got an early morning call from that college age kid, and it was very bad news.

See what I mean? When it’s us, we attribute our behavior to our set of circumstances. When it’s someone else, we attribute it to their character. 

Keep this in mind as you navigate the uncertain waters of your creative life, and make that next transition. You won’t get as frustrated with the world around you.

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