How to understand people psychology

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

How to understand people psychology

How to understand people and their actions?

Long ago before i studied psychology i used to judge people superficially based on their actions just like everyone else does.

For example whenever someone came late to an appointment i used to think that he is not punctual because at this point i wasn't aware yet that procrastination can sometimes be a method of escapement from a task that a person doesn't want to do.

Later on when i started getting deeper into psychology i discovered that each weird action taken by a person can be understood and can make a great sense if it was seen from a different perspective.

In this article i will tell you how to understand people psychology.

Past experiences and understanding people

As the newly born child progresses through life he starts developing certain goals that guides him for the rest of his life. For example a child who was always preferred by his parents might grow up as an attention seeking adult in order to maintain the attention he used to get.

A young girl who saw her father cheating on her mother might develop fear of commitment, fear of men and even become homosexual.

So the key to understanding a person's psychology is to know about the goals that he is striving for as a result of the situations he has been through earlier in his life.

Whenever you look at the person's actions from this perspective you will find the behavior that you previously described as weird makes all the sense in the world.

One of the girls i know is a typical tomboy, she plays football, she loves to wear black and most of her friends are guys. From a superficial point of view people describe her as mad, psycho or weirdo but when getting a deeper understanding of the situations she has been through you can easily understand her actions.

As a little child this girl felt unfavored by her father because he wanted a boy instead of a girl. At this point the girl started believing that girls are bad, defective and weak. As a result she unconsciously developed the desire to become as strong as a guy because she hated being weak like other girls. (see Girls who act like guys)

Understanding people's superstructures

Long ago i used to think that each person has many different sides of his personality that are not related.

For example i have never managed to think that fear of darkness might be connected to job security or that the preference for black might be connected to earlier childhood experiences.

When i got more understanding of psychology i discovered that the person's personality is like a big super structure that is strongly interconnected. A girl might fear darkness because deep inside her she is feeling insecure in life as a result of seeing her jobless dad spending his time drinking instead of securing the future for the family.

The subconscious mind at this point unconsciously reminds the girl of her insecurity whenever she finds herself in a dark room. One friend sent me a message once telling me that she can't sleep at night because she fears ghosts. When i talked to her i discovered that the feelings of insecurity she experienced as a result of losing her father few months ago was the one responsible for her fear of darkness.

When attempting to understand people psychology you must not separate their actions, habits, the dreams they get and their attitude from each other because all of these things are connected to each other either directly or indirectly.

Understanding people's psychology in few steps

So let me summarize what i said in few points, in order to understand people's personality you need to:

  • Look deep beyond actions: Don't just look for actions but try to look at the intentions behind them even if the actions seemed weird
  • unmet needs are the key to understanding people: Goals, drives or unmet needs that the person develops at an early age can be the key to understanding that person. Make sure you look at the person's actions through this perspective
  • Everything is interconnected: If someone likes to wear great clothes then this might be connected to his self image problem which could be rooted to the rejections he got from the other sex earlier in his life (just an example not a rule)

Is this everything?
of course not, understanding people's psychology is big topic that can't be covered in one article. Go through the below links if you want to know more about people's psychology.

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