Something I have noticed, particularly amongst men, is the tendency for when they accidentally hurt themselves on inanimate lifeless objects (like pots), to then blame the object instead of just taking responsibility for their own mistake and soothing their pain.   Some may go as far as to hit the object again to place more blame onto it.  Many men may laugh when they read this and think it is funny.  It is not funny to me, and I have a reason why it is not.

Some years ago, I accidentally caused some physical pain to the back of someone who had this tendency with inanimate objects, and one of their first reactions was to almost hit me despite knowing I would not intentionally cause such pain.  This was not a situation where I scared them and he did not get a chance to see who was coming.  He was aware of my presence.  While his conscience and huge heart had him immediately retract his arm after it slightly swung my way (because he is not the type to hurt others for unwarranted reasons that are not associated with obvious danger), I was significantly emotionally affected.

I had to talk to other men in my life to figure some things out.  The first two concepts below came from those conversations, and the third one from me.

  1. If you have ever been in martial arts or something else combative for an extended period of time, you will likely have to put in the effort overtime to pull back on some of that to be able to operate amicably within the rest of your life, especially amongst people who mean you no harm.  These quick reflexes have likely become instant reactions due to previous experiences in such environments, but that doesn’t mean you should sit comfortably the rest of your life with that excuse, especially if you have been removed from it for many years.
  2. The longer you take to put in the work to change, the less easy it may become.  Illness and other tough times can make it more difficult to bring about change, because a lot of behaviors/interpretations/reactions/etc. that are in your autopilot can be harder to restrain during such phases.
  3. Getting back to the inanimate objects: it is an issue of excess pride to not take blame for your own accidents.  Similarly to the Pavlov’s dog experiment, if you keep doing this, new pains may translate to blaming something or someone else in an irrational way.  It is not fair…you may say ‘life is not fair’…but that is not an excuse either when you CAN implement change.

Pavlov’s dog experiment: a dog was given food at the same time a bell was rung.  The dog began to salivate when food was given and the bell was rung simultaneously.  Overtime, the bell alone (without food) would make the dog salivate.

So even though this happened years ago, why say it now?  1) Because I recently noticed some people still think this perceivably small behavior is funny. 2) Because I want this story to provide a stimulus for you to pay attention to whatever other not-okay ‘behavior’ or ‘habit’ you may have that is small but that you have perhaps seen start to grow, throw out your excess pride and acknowledge the issue, and start to work on it today.