How to learn psychology on your own

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

The requirements of learning

So many people get the learning process wrong. They think that by getting few books about a certain subject then they will become experts on the topic but there is a serious problem with that approach.

When a person feels like he wants to learn something it usually happens because of a deep psychological need that this person has. If for example a guy felt weak when he was young he might feel like wanting to learn martial arts.

In such a case the purpose of learning is to become strong. In other words learning in such a case is a vehicle that helps the person reache his goal. Now what goes wrong when people start learning is that they forget about this fact and instead try to read generally about a topic only to find themselves totally uninterested in what they are trying to learn.

Follow your interest

If you want to learn psychology then you need to ask yourself an important question which is : Why do you want to learn it?

Do you want to deal with shyness? Do you want to get more self confidence? Do you want to get over depression?
Let's suppose that your answer was learning how to deal with shyness. In such a case this must be your starting point. If you began with another area of psychology you might not find it as interesting as the subject of shyness.

In my previous article How Boredom happens i explained how we feel bored when we believe that whatever we are doing can't help us reach one of our important goals.

In other words if you didn't believe that whatever you are reading about will help you solve one of your important life problems then you will find that thing boring.

The learning process

Assuming that you have done the above you can safely move to the next part which is knowing how learning happens. When you want to learn about something such as shyness the first thing you should begin with is online articles. The good thing about articles is that they are short compared to books and that they will help you find out the right books you should read.

Let's suppose that after reading few articles you realized that you are a shy person because you don't really know what to say during social interactions. In such a case you might need to grab a book about communication skills.

As you keep reading you will realize that there are subtopics that are very interesting to you. It's almost impossible to find those subtopics without first reading about the general thing. See also how to learn any skill.

Shifting from a topic to another

Let's suppose you managed to deal with shyness. In such a case you need to find another goal to achieve so that you keep yourself motivated.

After some time you will realize that , even though you solved your problems, you are still interested in knowing more about certain topics. This happens because your mind might have became curious after it managed to grab few pieces of useful information.

That's how the human mind work. When we get few pieces of the puzzle we will always want to complete the puzzle.
This is exactly how i learned psychology then ended up writing more than 10 books.

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