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Perceptions and human behaviour #ramble

It is Sunday morning and so once again, I’ll share my thoughts with you. Perceptions are the way we see things but we aren’t always right. We see some guy we know coming out of a strip club early one morning and we assume he had a good night. We don’t wait to hear a plausible explanation before mentioning the encounter to someone who will, in turn, mention it to someone else. The truth might be that he visited the establishment of ill-repute to read the gas meter but we don’t let the truth get in the way of a bit of gossip. Human behaviour is something I think a lot about, we rarely seem to get things right.

It is human behaviour to try to get to the front

Competition

People are competitive which is why there is usually a queue of tail-gaters in the outside lane of the motorway. My picture  illustrates that race to get ahead of everyone else, even if it kills you. We aspire to be first and we will trample others underfoot in the scramble to outdo one another. I am a little bit ambitious but I will pull over and let the moron in the BMW past. Someone recently said I try to punch above my weight, like that is a bad thing. I do try to make life a bit of a challenge but not too much. I am aware of other people’s perceptions of me. Some people like me and some people despise me. I try not to care. I’ve never hacked someone to death and hid their body in the garden, so what is there to despise? I don’t think people should despise me for thinking about it. We all have our fantasies…

Human behaviour

Human behaviour is difficult to understand and we devote a whole field of study to it. Psychology is the study of the human psyche and tries to understand human behaviour in all its forms. Why do we do things? Why are some people aggressive and controlling? Why do some people have a caring nature? It is difficult to understand and we all tend to be suspicious of strangers. Strangers in our community aren’t always made welcome especially if we have been bitten before. Once bitten, twice shy, as they say. I must admit I am more cautious of people than most because I have been bitten more times than I can remember. I try not to be stand-offish but I’ve known a few people who do a good impersonation of a rabid pit bull that is hungry for blood.

Be nice

There is a psychological theory about reciprocation that suggests people will reciprocate when we dish out the milk of human kindness.  I found a quote:

Wherever I go, and whomever I encounter, I will bring them a gift. The gift may be a compliment, a flower, or a prayer. Today, I will give something to everyone I come into contact with, and so I will begin the process of circulating joy, wealth, and affluence in my life and in the lives of others.

It sounds good in theory and if we all followed this edict the world would be a better place but it isn’t so easy in practice because human behaviour can be driven by greed and a desire to get to the front in the fast lane. I tend to follow the golden rule, if you can’t say something nice, say nothing at all. That’s why I can be a bit stand-offish. I’m doing nothing at all. I don’t argue, I don’t hug people. I don’t flatter people and I don’t harangue people. I do say thank you when people are nice to me. I do help people and be polite when I can. I try to be positive in a negative world.

That’s all for this week. Try to remember that stuff about reciprocation, some behaviour in life has a boomerang effect. Things have a habit of coming back at you especially when you’re angry.

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