Do people really mean what they say

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

You are no Good

When i help people build their self confidence i usually point their attention to how they sometimes see reality incorrectly because of perception errors. Its so common for a person who has low self esteem to interpret people's reactions incorrectly and assume they have other meanings.

But one of the things that troubles people who try to build their confidence is the direct messages they get from people that can't bear another meanings.

Brad got engaged to a very beautiful woman then a close friend told him that he heard someone saying that she is too good for him. Because Brad was unaware of the way humans think and behave he found no other interpretation other than he is no good.

How many times you were criticized directly by someone with words that could hardly bear other meanings?
How many times a friend told you that someone said that you were no good or incompetent?

I am sure this happened to you before at least once but did you feel bad then?
Its because you don't really know how people think.

Do people really mean what they say?

A psychological goal is a goal that provides a person with emotional relief after he reaches it. A showy person would feel great after performing flawlessly on a stage, its the achievement of the psychological goal that made that person feel really good.

Because people get really pleasant feelings when they achieve such psychological goals they change their behaviour as much as they can in order to achieve as many of them as possible. (see also How psychological wounds affect behaviour)

Because human beings prefer to do less effort to reach their same destination most people start to use words to reach their psychological goals instead of taking actions. After all, its much easier for a showy person to talk about how good he is instead of making big achievements in real life. (see also How the words people say reveal their personalities)

Because many people are psychologically unhealthy they tend to use words in a bad way just to help themselves keep feeling good. Did you get the point yet?

The words people say might not have any connection to reality and they might just be saying them to feel good about themselves.

How people say things and mean other things

If a woman hates another woman because she feels jealous of her then she would want to make herself appear better than this other woman. In such a case the first might say something about the second such as "her hair style doesn't suit her at all".

If someone delivered the words to the second woman her self esteem might get affected badly but if she understood that the other woman was really jealous of her beauty then things will become clear.

Here are few rules you should keep in mind:

  • 1) People put each other down in order to feel good about themselves: I am driving a car that is considered exotic in the city i live in. Yesterday i heard someone saying "Oh look, the car doesn't suit him at all". It was clear that the person got jealous because he saw a young guy driving a car that he can't and might never afford to buy. (see also How to buy your dream car)
  • 2) Hatred and jealousy affect perception: If someone hated you then his perception of reality will change in such a way that he will become more focused on your flaws. A person who hates you is much more likley to believe that you are short even if you had an average height! The Brain always modifies what we see in real life in such a way that it appeals to our inner world and this is why a hater might actually believe that you are no good even if that wasn't true. (see also Why can jealous people find you unattractive)
  • 3) Words can have the opposite meaning: "Hey you are wasting your time working on this business" might actually mean "Hey am jealous that you are doing what i can't do. You'd better fail so that i don't feel left out"

The next time someone tells you that people mentioned you in a bad way or the next time someone tells you something that you don't like you'd better not look at the literal meanings of the words, but Instead, you should try to find out whether there is any psychological goal that this person is trying to reach through these words.

2knowmyself is not a complicated medical website nor a boring online encyclopedia but rather a place where you will find simple, to the point and effective information that is backed by psychology and presented in a simple way that you can understand and apply. If you think that this is some kind of marketing hype then see what other visitors say about 2knowmyself.

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