Why Are People So Annoying?

It’s human nature to want other people to think well of us. And indeed we are often called upon to put our best foot forward–highlighting our accomplishments and character traits in job interviews and on first dates. So we get a lot of practice in effective self-presentation.

Then why are so many people annoying?

The simple answer is that, despite all our natural inclination and practice, much of our self-presentation backfires. And it backfires because we too often misunderstand the tradeoff between self-promotion–blowing our own horn–and humility. The fact is that modesty, or even self-effacement, can be more effective than bragging in creating a good first impression. Most of us know this from being on the receiving end, yet we still err on the side of self-aggrandizement.

But why do we get it wrong so much of the time? Here’s where some new research may be illuminating. Psychological scientist Irene Scopelliti of City University London and her colleagues believe that this common but harmful behavior is really a failure of emotional perspective taking. Emotional perspective taking requires predicting how somebody else will respond to your situation–putting yourself in their shoes and adjusting for what you see.

But bridging this so-called “empathy gap” is very —> Read More Here


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *