When it comes to other people, we tend to attribute causes to internal factors such as personality characteristics and ignore or minimize external variables. Psychologists refer to this tendency as the fundamental attribution error; even though situational variables are very likely present, we automatically attribute the cause to internal characteristics.

To whom it concerns:

When I gave up my job,
it was because I wanted to be a lady of leisure,
spend all my savings
and then beg for hand outs to keep a roof over my head
to malinger and scrounge to my hearts content.

When I stopped going on holiday,
it was because I lost my sense of adventure and
preferred the comfort and safety of my own back garden.
Wrong again!

When the lure of listening to live music, shouting ‘more’,
giggling at the worst plays ever,
or meandering through art galleries
with tea and cake to follow,
couldn’t drag me from the sofa,
it was because my joy of life had expired.
Oh dear. So wrong!

When I stopped chasing balls on the tennis court,
throwing balls down an alley,
launching a dart through space,
being a whizz at table football, bar billiards and
frankly rubbish at snooker,
it was because I preferred to sit quietly at home
playing Solo. Alone.
Are you mad? Wrong again!

When I failed to show my face at weddings and funerals alike,
it was because I had taken against ceremonies and rituals
and had no desire to share others’ happiness and sorrow
to celebrate love or mourn a passing life.
Wrong, wrong, wrong! Do you know me at all?

When high days and holidays came and went,
meals out with friends passed me by,
Auld Lang Syne was sung without me,
just dropping by for a chat and cuppa stopped,
it was because I had become socially phobic, or anti-social,
at the very least I must have been depressed,
for year and year after year….

Or maybe, I got so ill that these things were beyond me?
But no one could be that ill could they?
Not for so many years?
Could they?………………..

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13 Responses to Misattribution

  1. Chris Brown says:

    “But no one could be that ill could they?
    Not for so many years?
    Could they?…”

    Oh yes they can.
    And so many people can completely fail to grasp it, too
    Well Said.

  2. Greg Foster says:

    The space in the brain marked “I don’t know anything about that illness” is immediately filled with perceived knowledge of a different illness it thinks it knows something about, by most people.
    It seems that a lot of people see more importance in appearing to have knowledge rather than the importance of the knowledge itself.

    • tanteros says:

      Exactly so Greg or in my case, without a formal diagnostic label, it adds even more confusion for people trying to work out exactly what is wrong with me, and so the false attributions & ‘remedies’ come thick and fast and are well off the mark :-/

  3. Jocelyn says:

    Fantastic. Just fantastic. I see this is your only post – I very much hope there will be more to come.

  4. Sharon says:

    Yes, “have another go” as you said.

  5. Reblogged this on liebjabberings and commented:
    And when I gave up my dream job just as I was finally settling in to it, it was on purpose?

  6. I reblogged – nicely worded, and so true.


  7. Fantastic, Alicia. I really like this a lot. You have a talent for poetry.

  8. Natalie says:

    Love it!

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