The Critical Role of Beliefs

Siting in a quiet cafe today, a thought occurred that beliefs play a critical role in the way we handle conflict. Think for a moment about the way that our beliefs shape the way we behave.

A woman walked into the almost deserted cafe, and asked the cafe owner if she could use the loo. The cafe owner who was on the phone to a supplier at the time, interrupted his call and asked the woman if she wanted anything to eat or drink, or did she just need the toilet. Exasperated, the woman immediately turned and walked out of the cafe uttering a sarcastic “Thanks a lot!” as she went on her way.

The perplexed owner exchanged a puzzled expression with the girl making the bacon sandwiches, and the only other person in the cafe, and then went back to chasing his supplier on the phone.

Watching this play out, we can only wonder how many establishments the woman had visited before she formed the opinion that she would only be allowed access to the toilet if she purchased something. Five? Three? Or none?

Where else in life do we jump to an erroneous conclusion and then act upon our beliefs or assumptions without challenging them? Or even doing a bit of negotiation?