Why do people behave the way they do?

Have you ever wondered why people behave badly? Every behavior whether good or bad serves the person in some way. People may behave badly because it serves them. How, you might ask? Just to name a few reasons, maybe they get more attention, they feel more powerful or in control, or they get a reaction.

This shows up in many areas of life. Let’s take with children, if they don’t behave properly, they may receive a scolding from their parents. Perhaps they don’t normally get any attention from their parents, so a scolding is an attention. It might not be the attention they like, nonetheless, it is still attention.

In the corporate world, it’s very common for those that are loud and demanding to be promoted over those that don’t speak up. Another area is in the world of publicity. You may have heard of phrases, “Any publicity is good publicity” or “There’s no such thing as bad publicity”. Companies would rather get noticed in the press even if it is for the wrong reasons.

It makes me think we have to be careful of what type of behavior we are reinforcing, consciously, or not. When someone’s needs are met, even as a result of bad behavior, there’s a higher chance of it being repeated.

So if there is someone around you behaving badly, ask yourself how is it serving them?