Understanding human behaviour

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Understanding human behaviour

The reason most people fail to understand human behaviour correctly is that they look at their behaviour without taking other variables into consideration.

If you had the goal of understanding a car's wheel, can you analyze the wheel alone without trying to understand its relationship with the other parts of the car?

If you did so then you might get the wheel incorrectly or fail to understand its function. For example you might never understand why the wheel has certain holes in the middle and even assume that its faulty but when you come to know that this wheel will fit into a rotating shaft then the holes in the center will make all the sense in the world.

The same goes for humans, You wont understand human behavior correctly before you take into consideration the person's beliefs, values, lifestyle, way of thinking and all other variables that affect him directly or indirectly.

A perfect real life example for understanding human behaviour

Brian,a self made millionaire, was a confident and charming person. Brian was so proud of himself and the main psychological identity he used to identify with was being a self made millionaire.

One day Brian discovered that he developed a weird obsessive compulsive disorder that forced him to check whether he left his car's door unlocked or not every few minutes!

For the first instance it might seem to a person who knows little about psychology that a problem happened with Brian's brain chemistry, which is a part of the truth, but he will never be able to guess what was going on unless he analyzes Brian's personality in more details. (see How to analyze someone's personality)

In the past few weeks Brian has been seeing a recurring dream where his car gets stolen. Again to a person who knows little about the human nature it might seem that Brian is afraid to lose his car and that his fears were fed by this dream but that conclusion is wrong as well. (See Dreams and personality disorders)

In the past couple of months Brian faced serious problems with his business that threatened its continuity and threatened his main and most important psychological identity. After all if he went out of business he wont be that self made millionaire anymore and he will lose his money.

Understanding Human nature by connecting the elements together

Because dreams always come in the form of symbols the loss of the car in Brian's dream was just a reflection of his fear of loss of his status. In other words the dream meant that Brian was concerned about losing his status or prestige! (see what does your dream mean)

Because the subconscious mind thinks using symbols and because logic is ignored to a certain extent during its operation Brian's mind forced him to develop that obsessive compulsive disorder because it was so concerned about the threat of the loss of his status.

In other words, Brian developed that disorder because he was too afraid to lose his status and checking whether the car was locked or not was a reflection of his fear of losing his car if he became poor.

This is how to understand human behaviour

When trying to understand human behaviour don't ever examine a single item without examining all the items in the system.

If a woman fears cats then instead of quickly assuming that a traumatic experience with cats happened to her when she was young you should try to look at other aspects of her life.

Could this fear of cats be a reflection of her fear of other women?
Could her low self esteem made her vulnerable to the presence of other women who were symbolized in the form of cats by her subconscious mind?

Of course i am not asking you to study the previous examples by hard then say that each man who develops such a disorder is afraid to lose his status or that each woman who fears cats has low self esteem but instead i am asking you to take a deeper look in order to understand the human behaviour perfectly.

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