Have you ever heard someone describing an ongoing problem they’ve been having with a friend or colleague and thought to yourself, “The problem is you, not them!”
Why is it that if a man’s own behaviour is the major cause of his own problem he can rarely see that it so – while it may be painfully obvious to others?
The problem lies with perspective. We all look at the world through our particular unique filters that make up our perspective of our world. Different people usually have slightly different biases: One woman assumes everyone she meets is trustworthy; one man believes that children don’t like him. There are also a number of biases that are nearly universal: for example, the confirmation bias which involves favouring information that supports our existing beliefs (e.g., choosing to read more articles by climate change skeptics than proponents because you are skeptical of climate change and, what’s more, being highly critical of proponent’s arguments but accepting skeptic’s arguments without cross-checking their supporting data).
These biases and the narrowness of our perspective make us vulnerable to errors of judgment – including the failure to realise when we are the source of our own problems.