I really dislike Range Rover drivers. They think they’re the dogs bollocks don’t they?
Sat up high in their big, posh, overbearing, gas guzzling trucks. Looking down on the rest of us. It infuriates me. No more so than a few weeks ago.
It was a typical Friday night. I was racing home to collect the kids from nursery. Grumpy and tired (and that was just me), I bundled them into the back of the car, piss wet through from the rain. I needed wine. So I headed for the supermarket. Now I don’t know about you, but Friday nights at the supermarket are always hell. It’s busy. Every man and his dog has the same idea. Grab a pizza and a few cans on the way home. I’m no exception. As I swung into the car park I headed straight for the parent and child spaces, not expecting one to be free. But there it was. An empty parent and child space. Get in! My mood suddenly lifted. This might not be the chore I had expected. I moved forward, focusing on the space. It was mine. Until that is, out of nowhere a white Range Rover swung in front of me, pulling into my space. WTF!??
I was livid. My kids had a very short lesson in how Mummy really thinks and speaks when she’s angry and wine deprived. It wasn’t pretty. But worse was yet to come. The door opened, and out jumped a tiny woman in high heels. She closed the door behind her and walked, nay trotted, towards the trolleys. She must be getting a trolley to put her ever so small child into, I thought. Was she buggery! She collected her trolley and off she popped into Tesco without a backward glance.
I won’t tell you exactly what happened next. Only to say we had a brief conversation in which I apologised for parking in her car park space. You know, the one for people without children. I hoped she can forgive the fact that I inconvenienced her by making her take a 5 metre walk into Tesco while I, selfishly, dragged 2 kids, under 5, through the busy car park in the pissing down rain. She looked at me like I was having a breakdown.
I realised a short time afterwards that this incident had created a bias in my mind. A bias that, from that point on, labelled all Range Rover drivers as arrogant, selfish pigs. And this started to grow legs. I started to look for evidence to support my theory. And I found it! Bad driving behaviour all round. I knew it! I had proved myself right.
Now when this happens, the rational part of my brain tries to pull me back. But it aint easy. It says to me, surely they can’t all be like that, can they? Stop making massive assumptions about thousands of people based on their car choice, Chloe. But I can’t help it.
We all do it. All of the time.
We have an experience and it informs and creates an opinion which we then go out and find evidence to support. What this stops us from doing is seeing all the evidence to the contrary. We filter it. At no point do I ever see, or acknowledge, when a Range Rover driver lets me out of a junction or gives way. My bias prevents me from considering all of the evidence, or options.
Now, will my bias lead me to making bad decisions in the future? Potentially. But when our bias translates to or is based on people we know, and have to work with, this can become a problem. Especially when trying to look at situations objectively or making important decisions.
So how do we overcome our bias? Firstly, we need to acknowledge and accept that we all have them. Even the most open-minded of us. When we accept this we can recognise when it happens. It helps us to then look at it from another perspective. If we choose to. Try asking yourself, how is this bias or belief I hold serving me? Who would I be without it? If I chose to believe the opposite, how could that impact the relationship or the situation?
Food for thought indeed.
So in the meantime I shall attempt to look out for the evidence that challenges my bias. I shall look to make a mental note of every time a Range Rover driver gives way to me. Or waves me into a parking space.
Failing that, I think I’ll be avoiding supermarkets on Friday nights from now on.
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Range rover drivers welcome 😉