Attitudes Create Behaviors


Attitudes create behaviors. Think about it. Pick one behavior, any one, and examine the attitude behind it. You might see a clearer connection than you expect.

It’s not always about me

I’m watching my cat, Puffs, right now, so I’ll pick on her. Puffs hates the dog (Eloise, if you haven’t met her in one of my posts before). Like, with a passion. In other words, she has a very negative attitude towards Eloise. Right now, Puffs can hear Eloise sniffing through the cat door in the bottom of my office door. Puffs’ attitude is one of fear and loathing, so she’s frozen in place. She’s watching and waiting to see if Eloise will be able to somehow fit her 54-pound body through the cat door (she can’t).

Eloise just touched the door with her paw, making a loud sound. Puffs has just bolted away. Her attitude of fear has created her behaviors.

But it applies to me, too

I’ve been dealing with a very sticky and uncomfortable situation with a supplier recently. We are in a dispute. My attitude toward my contact is one of skepticism. I don’t really trust what she says. I’m normally a trusting person. I routinely engage with others, confident in my ability to communicate openly and honestly. Holding back, waiting for the next move from my “opponent” is hugely uncomfortable for me. The fact that I’m mired in this situation at all is only worsening my attitude. My actions are being ruled by that discomfort, skepticism, and now anger.

Oh, and they can change. Quickly.

Only weeks before all of this began, my attitude was much more positive. This same supplier contact thanked me for my compassion, empathy, and kindness in our dealings. We operated with trust, integrity, and ease. My contact’s behavior in the weeks since has caused a change in my attitude, and thus my behavior.

The more I think about it, the more inseparable these two things seem. What have you experienced? Is it something you’ve stopped to consider? And maybe most importantly, what can you do to alter your behavior when your attitude makes you want to choose something less than productive? (This is where emotional intelligence comes in, my friends. More on that another time.) In the meantime, keep noticing the connections.

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