Understanding someone's behaviour

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Understanding someone's behaviour

I get many mails from people who ask me to interpret a certain behaviour for them or to tell them why a certain person behaves in a certain way.

In order to be able to understand someone's behaviour perfectly you need to put in mind that you can't analyze his behaviour in one or two situations then judge his whole personality.

For example sometimes i get mails with questions like "why is my friend showy?" or "why is my boss arrogant?". When answering such questions i usually reply giving the same response which is "in order to help you understand the behavior of that person in a better way you need to tell me more about him"

In this post i decided to tell you how to understand someone's behaviour so that you can have better relationships with people.

This is how to understand someone's behaviour

As a result of childhood experiences and past experiences each person develops certain psychological goals or unmet needs. Each and every person does his best to fulfill these unmet needs or to reach his psychological goals. (see Unmet needs psychology))

So you might be wondering, what does this has to do with understanding someone's behaviour? In fact the key to understanding a person's behaviour is to find the connection between his behaviour and his psychological goals.

here are two examples that will make things clear:

  • A woman who is only attracted to weak men: Why on earth would a woman only fall in love with weak men? Don't all women want protection? If we visited the past of the woman in this case we will find that her culture and family taught her that women are weak and that men are the superior sex. As a result this girl developed a defense mechanism that allows her to feel superior to men which is falling in love with weak ones whom she can dominate! Without knowing anything about the childhood of this woman you might have never understood her behaviour correctly (see also Tomboy psychology)
  • A man who fears commitment: I get many mails from ladies who tell me that they are afraid that their men don't love them because they don't want to get committed. Of course that might be a possibility but just as i said you can never understand someone's behaviour before you examine his behaviour within the context of his unmet needs. One man was neglected as a child because his parents got divorced. Because his subconscious mind didn't want his own children to go through the same experience he started fearing commitment. As you can see in the beginning it was thought that the man doesn't love his woman but after examining his behavior in the light of his unmet needs it was found that his problem is fear of the past repeating itself (see also My past is haunting me)

Guidelines for understanding someone's behaviour

Based on the previous facts here are quick guidelines that can help you understand someone's behaviour in a better way:

  1. One situation is not enough for understanding someone's behaviour: Don't interpret someone's behaviour based on one or two situations
  2. Collect information about his past: Don't try to understand someone's behaviour without collecting more information about his past experiences
  3. Find his unmet need:Find the psychological goals this person is trying to fulfill
  4. Connect the dots: Connect the dots together and if the behaviour was aligned with the person's psychological goals then know that you correctly understood his behaviour

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How to understand someone's behaviour part II

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