How often do you find yourself thinking: That’s not fair? Without even knowing it, you could be holding a false belief in a fair and just world. Thinking this way can be a real burden to carry through life. It can increase your stress level, decrease your tolerance of other people, affect your relationships, and lower your ability to cope with tough times.
Take this quick quiz to see if you have what we call a Just World Belief:
- Do you get overly irritated if you see people doing the wrong thing eg driving badly or illegally parking?
- Are you always the first neighbour to complain if the noise from a party down the street continues past a certain hour?
- Are you often complaining about things being unfair?
- Do you get annoyed when good things happen to bad people?
- Do you find it hard to cope when your children are falsely accused of something, no matter how small?
- Do you contact the school every time something happens to your child, no matter how minor it is?
- Are you a stickler for the rules?
- Have you been accused of being a black and white thinker?
- Does your partner often tell you to calm down or chill out about things?
- Did your parents always insist on making everything fair?
Obviously it would be wonderful if everything that happened in life were fair and just. But it’s just not realistic to think that way. You only have to look at the evening news to see the terrible misfortune that befalls some good and honest people. It’s time to drop the protest banner and lower your expectations of society. Try to accept that people make mistakes and not everything is black and white. It might sound strange, but accepting the fact that life is not fair will actually make you happier.
Finally, try to teach your children that life isn’t always fair. It will certainly make their life a lot easier.