What makes people reckless
Again and again we see people whose behavior makes us extremely angry.
We all know such people and situations:
- Yesterday on the train. Two gentlemen are sitting across from me. One of the gentlemen - my immediate counterpart - suffers from difficulty in moving. In any case, he knocks around on the windowsill, turns around, turns around, leans on the table, loudly spreads the newspaper and then collapses again ten seconds later, knocking the elbow in the face of the person next to him more than once (who does again with a "Hello? I'm still sitting here" and every time I get a "Schulligung") and so on.
- Or a few years ago. A friend of mine who practically always grinded apples with an open mouth full of delight. By that I don't mean “ate” but actually peeled off slice by slice with your teeth. So loud that I sometimes even had to leave the room so as not to hit it rather harshly.
- Another example that not everyone wants to read. Children of completely overwhelmed or incompetent parents. Bouncing screaming on the trampoline all day - from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Without a noticeable pause and at a volume where practically none of the immediate neighbors can understand a word of their own. Even repeated responses do not lead to any improvement.
- Actually, I wanted to leave the prime example of the Autobahn aside, but there is obviously no way around it. All drivers know the daily battle between hormones, opinionated genes, amateur teachers and sociopaths. Even if you don't play this game, after a few kilometers at the latest you have become a victim in some way. Even if only because, according to a self-proclaimed rule post, you are staying in the middle fast lane for what feels like 5 seconds too long and, of course, with a well-intentioned educational intention, you are cut at a distance of 50cm.
Incidentally, just a few weeks ago a senior retiree ran into me so much that I could see the white knuckles of my hands on the steering wheel. Including the brand of his sunglasses. Unfortunately, our official law enforcement officers always sleep the sleep of the righteous ... but so be it 🙂
What all these people have in common is that they only keep an eye on themselves. All others are irrelevant or at least are not considered any further. Even if the others remind themselves, the point of view does not change.
I don't want to do an extensive study of why these people are like this. The bottom line is that I don't really care for two reasons:
- Other people are beyond my sphere of influence and I have no meaningful opportunity to change or explain their behavior.
- I'm primarily interested in how I can deal with it and how I suffer less from these people.
Solution or trick 17
The only thing that we can always control in any situation is how we ourselves see, judge and experience a situation. And that is also very gratifying, because with this knowledge we can improve many situations for ourselves a lot.
- For example, the gentleman with the elbow in his face could have simply changed his place (which in this case would even have been possible). As you read, you might think “why then, he also has rights”. Of course he has - but what price does he pay if he wants to enforce his rights? 20min discussion with a stupid person? Letters of complaint to the railway? Quote from the conductor who can also do nothing? Calling the police? Long hours of complaining about this situation and possibly even frustration during the evening?
- In fact, I avoided my acquaintances when they ate. If it got too colorful and I couldn't avoid it, I kindly asked him to eat a little quieter (which he didn't take with me, he didn't even notice it).
- We could simply reinterpret the inconsiderate clamor into lively children's play and be happy that the little ones are having so much fun with their game. Or we could put ourselves in the position of the parents, who can endure (and allow) the roaring during the day but maybe spend a quiet evening because the little ones are totally exhausted (would we perhaps act similarly ourselves?).
- Maybe we'll change the mode of transport. Or less radically: We try to ignore the behavior of the others or to explain them with thoughts like “he must have had a stressful day”, “she probably just wants to go to her appointment quickly” or “that was definitely not on purpose”. Let's assume positive motives first: He / she draws our attention to a driving error and we should be grateful. Or he doesn't realize he's opening up so tightly, maybe he forgot his glasses (ok, ok, that was a joke).
The principle behind this is that we call up explanations, thought and behavioral patterns in potentially stressful, negative and extremely annoying situations that relax a situation. And the trick is: without the other having to play along.
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