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"Why do people do what they do? Because they want to and they are allowed to."

  • Broadcast in Business
Courtney Elizabeth Anderson

Courtney Elizabeth Anderson


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This episode is part of our JOYFUL ART OF BUSINESS™ series wherein we explore how to combine the positive benefits of our professional endeavors (“business”) with the overall positive emotional return on our efforts (“joy”). Our episode topic is,  “Why do people do what they do? Because they want to and they are allowed to.”
Why..was my team member late to work every day last month? Why did my friend ignore my phone calls? Why did the person I was dating call me ugly? Why did my boss tell me I was a disappointment? Why did the person behind me in line at the store step on my foot? Why did my friend not invite me to their birthday party? Why is my supervisor mean to me? Why does my child refuse to clean up their room? Why does my cousin borrow money from me and never pay me back? Why does the dry cleaner continue to lose my clothes? 

We could on forever asking why about specific situations. The universal core issue is why do people do what they do? The “answer” is, “Because they want to and they are allowed to.” 

We are not able to control what other people want. We are only going to focus on allowing people to behave the way that they do. 

At work, at home, with friendships, with romantic relationships, etc., we have to make decisions about what we will allow from other people. Then, we have to use techniques and tools to teach people how to treat us (reinforce desired behavior and deter undesirable behavior). The “why” people do what they do is fascinating but beyond our control. We instead will work with the “how” (what people are allowed to do to us). 

Let’s discuss!