How to understand people

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

How to understand people

I get lots or emails from people who want to understand others who treat them in a strange way. Most of the psychological and relationship problems those people ask me about result from lack understanding of people.

After all if you believe that someone hates you while in fact he is jealous of you then you might mess up your relationship with him instead of dealing with him the right way.

Lack of understanding of others cannot just limit the potential of your social skills but it can also lower your self esteem and affect your well being! In this article I will explain how you can understand people so that you can have better relationships and a higher self esteem.

Why are they doing so?

Whenever we find anybody doing actions that we don’t understand we rush to label him or to make conclusions that are based on our own belief systems. Here are few examples that shows how skewed your judgment of others can be as a result of lack of understanding of their own beliefs and motives:

  • Someone who exercises everyday: You might believe that this guy is extremely persistent or that he is self motivated, and while you got a part of the truth still the main motive behind his commitment to exercise may be a poor body image problem!! (see Addicted to exercising)
  • The hard worker: he is workaholic and always spends extra hours at work!! He is really motivated to work! But who told you that the truth is that he doesn’t have a social life and that’s why he tries convince himself that he loves work so that he distracts himself from the fact that he doesn’t have anywhere to go to other than the company premises? (see Lying to yourself)
  • Someone who picks perfect clothes: This girl is always on fashion and everybody loves her style but do you know that lack of self confidence might one of the big reasons people buy branded clothes? (see I want to be perfect, to hide something else!!)
  • The boss who always shouts: The guy must be really aggressive, he always shouts at everyone but do you know that this aggression might be a result of a stored anger that he can’t get rid of otherwise? If he has big problems in his social life or with his wife he might project the anger he feels onto the employees!!

Why do we get people wrong

We always incorrectly understand people because We:

  • Depend on our own belief system to judge them: He treated me badly because he thinks that I am a loser while in fact he treated you badly because he had a bad day!!!
  • Lack self confidence: She didn’t say hi because I am unattractive while in fact she was worried about a problem to the extent that she didn’t even notice you
  • Lack of knowledge: He is overweight because he loves food while the fact is that he is depressed and gets his relief from food!!

In my book The ultimate guide to maintaining healthy relationships i explained how the number one reason for fights can be lack of understanding of each other!! If you managed to find a way to understand other people correctly you will have much more tolerance for their actions.

How to understand people correctly

If you want to understand people then you must first learn about psychology, and luckily 2knowmsyelf has got all the resources that you need.

Secondly you must put aside your belief system when trying to understand someone’s behavior and instead focus on his belief system. For example if someone didn't talk to you much you might assume that he is arrogant (your own belief system) while in fact he might be a shy person who don't talk much during the first few meetings!!

You incorrectly judged that person because you used your own belief system to evaluate him and that’s why you made conclusions that matched your inner world and not ones that matched reality!!

Finally you need to build self confidence because lack of self confidence will let you interpret every single move people make as a response to one of the flaws you think you are suffering from (example: They didn’t call me because they think I am boring).

Follow these three advice and you will have a solid understanding of people.

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