‘That Smell’ – Attribution Error in Daily Life

Our tendency to see others and our environment as the source of our difficulties (yet seeing ourselves as the source of our triumphs) is illustrated.

That Smell. OMG!

It had to be the dog.

The new salmon treats.

Awful dog farts.

But the smell lingered for days and the salmon treats were long gone.

Maybe she ate something dead?

The smell got worse and worse.

It had to be something in the fridge.

I emptied and scoured the insides.

Still no luck.

The smell was as strong as ever. Stronger. OMG!

So, I moved the fridge.

I cleaned underneath.

Maybe something died under the house.

I crawled through dirt.

No dead animals.

I left rodent bait.

I ordered a sonic pest controller.

I researched a new fridge.

Defeated, I slid the old fridge back

first wiping dust off the top,

I knocked something over the back.

Last year’s missing bratwurst.

The dog must have put it there.


James Melamed, J.D.

Jim Melamed co-founded Mediate.com in 1996 along with John Helie and served as CEO of Mediate.com through June 2020 (25 years).  Jim is currently Board Chair and General Counsel for Resourceful Internet Solutions, Inc. (RIS), home to Mediate.com, Arbitrate.com, ODR.com and other leading dispute resolution sites. During Jim's 25-year tenure,… MORE >

Featured Mediators

View all

Read these next


Bernard Mayer: Staying With Conflict

From John Folk-Williams's blog Cross Collaborate Some Rights Reserved by Nicholas_T In his latest book, Bernard Mayer has challenged our thinking about mediation by singling out a dimension of conflict...

By John Folk-Williams

Conflict Management Through Coaching

Originally published (in part) in the Canadian HR Reporter on September 24, 2001. Reprinted with permission.David has been a senior manager of a large furniture manufacturing company for eight years....

By Cinnie Noble

Multidisciplinarity in Mediation: The Dilemma

Few people enter the field of Mediation without having some other professional background and experience. As a matter of fact, the average mediator could starve to death trying to make...

By Barbara Sowell

Find a Mediator