Misinterpreting Intentions – Hanlon’s Razor

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity ~ Hanlon’s Razor

How often do you think you jump to the wrong conclusions about people?

I know I do it all the time.

We all do.

We attribute meaning to people’s every action – that is how we make sense of the world and the things going on around us.

But we tend to forget one thing ——-

The conclusions that we are making are just OUR version of the person or events

They are not facts.

Far too often we act as if our opinions and stories are in fact the truth.

And too often we jump to the conclusion that people are out to get us

– that they are trying to annoy us, that they are trying to harm us or upset us.

But you know what, most of the time other people’s behaviour has very little, if anything, to do with us. (that is just our ego talking)

Think of a person cutting in front of you in a line, or bumping into you as you walk, or arguing with you about something.

What is usually your first reaction?

Now, have a look at Hanlon’s razor above and swap out the word stupidity for – tiredness, stress, unhappiness, shyness, laziness, unawareness,……

What do you think?

I think it is a great reminder to us that we should always take another look at how we interpret negative experiences.

Take a more empathic point of view.

And not jump to split second conclusions.

Haven’t you snapped at someone because you are having a bad day?

Haven’t you ever sent an abrupt text or email because you were in a rush?

That doesn’t make you a bad person, right?

It just makes you human.

Shouldn’t we then be willing to make the same allowances for others?

Imagine if you chose to believe that most people are genuinely good natured, just like yourself?

What if you chose to believe that, on the whole, people always have good intentions?

How much more positive would your day be?How much nicer would the world look?

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