Who’s at Fault?
One psychological explanation for why you might let others take advantage of you is attribution. This theory holds that people attribute their life circumstances and problems to either external factors (bosses, financial markets) or internal ones (prejudices, moods). The more external your perspective, the more you feel like a victim of your life’s circumstances. The more internal your perspective, the more you feel like a master of your life’s circumstances. So which type of individual is the most susceptible to others’ influence and persuasion? You’ve got it—the externalizer. The key to applying attribution theory to regain control of your life is to reattribute personal problems to internal rather than external causes.