Anthropomorphizing refers to the act of attributing human characteristics, behavior, or emotions to non-human entities, such as animals, objects, or even abstract concepts. It is a common cognitive tendency observed in human beings, as we often try to understand and relate to the world around us by projecting our own experiences and understanding onto other entities.
People anthropomorphize for various reasons. It can be a way to make sense of and connect with the world, to enhance our emotional connection with animals or objects, or to ascribe intentions and motives to entities that don't possess them. For example, when we see a dog wagging its tail, we may interpret it as a sign of happiness because we associate tail wagging with joy in humans. Dogs will often wag their tail right before they bite!
While anthropomorphizing can be a natural and harmless way to relate to the world, it is important to recognize its limitations. Animals, objects, and concepts have their own unique characteristics, and attributing human qualities to them can lead to misunderstandings and misinterpretations. It is crucial to maintain a balanced perspective and understand the differences between human and non-human experiences.
In some cases, anthropomorphizing can be problematic, such as when it leads to inappropriate expectations or judgments. For example, if you ask your dog to get off the couch and the dog doesn't respond because it doesn't know your language, you may get frustrated because you asked so nicely. Giving a dog more ability than they possess is setting them up for failure. You have to teach them as they don't inherently know.
Assigning layers of human reasoning and emotions diminishes the value and ability of the dog. Your dog is a dog and will only ever be able to perform as a dog. If you keep that expectation, your relationship will change.
Overall, while anthropomorphizing can provide a way to relate to and understand the world, it is important to approach it with caution and consider the inherent differences between human and non-human experiences.
Dogs are amazing animals, let them be dogs.