How To Analyze What’s Secretly Going On In Peoples Minds
Want to know how to understand people?
I receive a lot of messages on the forum from people who wish to better understand others …ESPECIALLY those that treat them in a way they can’t understand. This is because many people suffer from psychological stress and relationship problems that stem from their failure to understand the people around them.
A common failure for example is mis-reading the emotion of jealousy in others.
For example, if you react to someone based on the belief that they hate you when in fact they are actually jealous of you …your reaction will only make the situation worse. And you’ll probably find your relationship with that person will deteriorate.
Mis-reading people like this not only has the effect of causing your relationships to suffer but it can also lead to lower self-esteem and even affect your well-being. This is what I want to help you avoid in this article. Below I will explain a few ways to improve your understanding of others so that you can have better relationships and build higher self esteem.
What is driving people’s actions?
When people behave in a way we don’t understand we frequently rush to label them or arrive at a hasty conclusion in order to fit their behavior, and our reaction, into a convenient mold.
Here are a few examples of how a quick judgment may miss the mark:
- The Joker: This guy always has jokes learnt off and will share them when there is a group around. This guy can seem fun to be around. However, what might not be as obvious is this person may be using rehearsed jokes as a means of compensating for an inability to make good jokes on the fly or even because he is a poor conversationalist and needs jokes to strike up conversations.
- The Fitness Fanatic: We may treat someone who exercises daily as if they are positive, driven, and extremely self-motivated without realizing that the underlying cause may be much less positive. Their commitment to exercise may stem from a poor body image!
- The Fashionista: This girl is always in fashion and everyone remarks on her sense of style. However, what may not be as well know is that she may suffer from a lack of self confidence. Her fashion sense is simply a mask to cover her lack of self esteem.
- The Hard Worker: This person spends almost all their free time devoted to their work and seems really motivated by their job. You may even feel a bit intimidated by their work ethic and treat them with admiration. Nonetheless the real driving force of their work ethic is may be that they have little to no social life and nowhere else to go! It may also be that they are having marital problems and are avoiding going home. They have convinced themselves that they love work to distract themselves from their lackluster social life.
As the saying goes “What you see, is not always what you get”.
What causes us to get people wrong?
Some of the reasons we misunderstand people’s behavior are:
- A lack of knowledge: We might look at an overweight person and think they don’t care about their health and just love eating fatty foods. In reality, it may that they are depressed and find relief in food. It could also be they have a disability that’s not immediate obvious and so they are unable to exercise or biologically able to keep the weight off (such as if someone has thyroid problems)
- A lack of self confidence: For example, if you have low self-confidence and someone is busy and fails to call you back …you will likely interpret this as them not liking you. Your lack of self-confidence clouds your interpretation of the other persons actions.
- Projecting Our Belief System Onto Others: We might feel that someone treated us badly because they think we are losers (our actual feelings) when in fact that person simply had a bad day. This is how a lot of road rage incidents start. Some people take being cut off by another car as a personal insult against them and their worth as a person …despite the fact that the other person couldn’t possibly know them. If they feel like a loser, then they will assume they were cut off because the other person thought so also.
The number one cause of most fights people have in life is as a result of a lack of understanding. When people understand each other correctly they become much more tolerant of each other’s action.
So, how can I better understand people?
If I was to sum up this article in two steps you can take right now to better understand people, they would be:
- Consider The Other Persons Psychology: You need to look past your own internal belief and value system and try to understand the other person’s. For example, you may think someone who is quiet and distant is arrogant and cold (your own equation of this behavior) when the reality is that they are shy and intimidated. Your belief system accidentally ascribed the wrong traits to the other person’s behavior.
- Build Your Self-Confidence: It is vitally important to build a solid base of self confidence. A lack of self confidence will cripple your interactions because all of your misunderstandings will lead back to a negative interpretation of others’ behavior. If a cashier gives you back your change after a transaction without looking at you, if you suffer from low self-confidence you might think they ignored you because you are unattractive (or something like that). This would make you think that person is mean or ignorant. In reality it may be that they were simply caught up thinking about something completely unrelated. By building your self-confidence, you can avoid mis-understandings like these.
Following this advice you can develop a better system for understanding people.