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You Can’t Understand Others Unless You Understand Yourself Essay

Understanding ourselves is an aspect of psychology that deals with human behavior and interrelationships. Developmental studies show that self concept and awareness begin in childhood based on observed characteristics, and build up throughout adulthood. The important question that psychology tries to answer is how one goes about understanding themselves. An individual can understand themselves at many levels: observing how they relate with others, personality awareness (confident, shy, ambitious) and self discovery. It involves self knowledge of what is right, acceptable and the impact on society expectations. Each person has idiosyncrasies which are merely their particular reaction to the world based on their tendencies and experiences.

Definition

Psychology, in its broad context, analyses human behavior in terms of interactions with people, social adaptation and changes in behavior when subjected to factors such as emotions and challenges. These concepts affect individual expectations on others. Psychology provides a framework which defines acceptable behavior, that which form the ‘norm’. An individual acceptance of what is right and wrong reflects on what he or she expects from other people’s behavior.

Each person is sensitive to various things, which differ and understanding of these aids in self knowledge and discovery. For example, challenging life experiences make someone develop compassion and understanding of yourself and others going through similar situations. This is indispensable when judging other people’s behavior in your own point of view. One cannot truly understand themselves, without associating with different personalities and characters.

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Psychology tries to highlight crucial distinguishing life parameters, such as gender, racial, cultural, religious and educational differences. Understanding this diversity helps an individual to relate with others, through awareness of different backgrounds and genes. It explains on different reactions to emotional, social and financial challenges associated with life. Grasp of these core concepts that define human diversity eliminate absurd expectation and biased judgment of others.

Psychology explains differences in viewing of the self

An individual can either focus on own thoughts, feelings and actions, or define themselves in terms of relationship with others. By understanding who they are, an individual develops likes and dislikes which affect their relationship with others as they are aware of what they like or dislike. Understanding oneself helps in self discovery, interpreting of the social world, self knowledge and evaluation by social comparison.

Self behavioral analysis forms the framework of identity, which in turn places an individual in relationship with others. Understanding oneself gives an individual their strengths, weaknesses, fears, hopes and expectations. This build up an individual’s personality and consciousness. A person who tries to analyze and evaluate himself has an advantage over one who does not as they have a better idea of lining up core values with events in their lives e.g. A successful manager who was once below par is able to recognize the potential of an employee who is not performing.

Understanding ourselves helps us to see others objectively and perceive them in a manner that defines their perspective on behavioral differences. This plays a crucial role in building up relationships and emotional maturity in terms of empathy, sympathy and tolerance.