Intelligences evolve because there is information in the outside world that is important for us to know about. Read More
Something I've been pondering over the last few days seems to fit well here as an example. Let me set the scene - I am walking with my 3 dogs, 2 on the lead in one direction. A male cyclist and his young daughter are coming towards me from the opposite direction and take a path approx 15 yards to my left to pass by me. My dogs bark at things that move and henced barked at the cyclists - remember my dogs are on leads and nowhere near the cyclist and his daughter. I notice the 'adult' give me a 'dirty' look and respond by saying 'They're only barking.' To which I get thrown back at me 'You can't trust dogs' (even though they are on leads and nowhere near him) - followed up by another dirty look and various other retorts, which I didn't hear, as they continued to cycle away from me. So what does the look and following sentence tell me?
As you might guess it tells me the cyclist doesn't like dogs, for what could be a variety of reasons, probably underpinned with some sort of fear.
That's a simple observation that most people would be able to conclude accurately, however what else have I learned?
This man is quick to make judgements, he is happy to 'pick' on solo females, he is unconcerned to the way he is behaving in front of his daughter and subsequently acting unconsciously. His dislike for animals tells me that he is disconnected from himself/nature/soul. He has limited self-awareness, and this is very likely his 'normality'. In this state he may perceive himself to be superior in certain circumstances - hence the dirty look and judgement - and in lacking his own self-awareness will also very likely be inferior in other situations. He will be projecting and suppressing abuses he undertakes in varying social situations and will be, in the main, totally unaware of the behaviours he is projecting.
I could continue, but you can get my perspective from my comment, and all this information from a 'dirty look' and a single response.
Finally I can conclude that I would not like this man as a friend.
Reading people is very easy when you know yourself.
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John D. Mayer is Professor of Psychology at the University of New Hampshire and the author of numerous scientific articles, books, and psychological tests.
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