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Attribution Theory and Relationship Trouble

attribution theory says rude behavior may be circumstantialWhen someone acts badly, it’s tempting to see them as simply a rude, selfish, or inconsiderate person. But it might not be quite so simple.

Attribution Theory says that when others behave badly, we tend to attribute their bad behavior to personality. But when we behave in similar ways, we think of our behavior in terms of an exception to a general rule (i.e., good behavior).

We’re always the hero in our own minds, doing the best we can under the circumstances. Read More

Read This ONLY If You’re Easily Embarrassed

Would you be embarrassed to be seen like this?Embarrassing moments can strike at any time.

For example, many years ago, my brother and his girlfriend were enjoying lunch at one of those sushi places where the dishes come around on a conveyor belt. Whenever you’re ready for your next bite, boom! there’s fresh food floating by right in front of you. You just reach out to the conveyor belt and scoop a plate off it.

Personally, I love a good sushi train. But on that fateful day, something unexpected happened. Read More

Forgiveness is Not a Menu Option

Man alone in restaurantEvery time I talk about forgiveness, I run into disagreement.

When I make the statement, “Forgiveness is not a choice,” I always get pushback from people who think I’m saying something else.

What they think I’m saying is, “Hey, you know what would be fun? Why don’t you hang on to your hurt on purpose and refuse to forgive the person who hurt you, even though you so totally could forgive them if you wanted to? Read More

Why You DON’T Need to Stay Positive

Young boy select between positive and negative expressionsMy old doctor’s office handed out a brochure called 7 Tips for Healthy Living. One of those tips was “Keep a positive mental outlook.”

I like that they linked physical and emotional health, but I’m not sure they got the details quite right.

We’ve all heard of people who bring joy to everyone around them with their sunny outlook, yet succumb to cancer in the prime of their lives.

And there’s also the cliche about mean old people who are “too ornery to die.” They’re not positive at all, but they’re healthy as horses. Read More