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I and the others

In one of the earlier posts I had mentioned a review article published in Science recently (Emily Pronin et al). The paper discusses ongoing research in Human Psychology about how differently we think about ourselves compared to how we think about others. The approach we take while judging others is completely different from the approach we take to understand ourselves.

When it is about others, we lay more stress on the inputs we get from our senses (visual and hearing) and we are completely unaware of the other person's inner thoughts. And when it comes to judging ourselves we have access to our innermost thoughts and at the same time we forget about our actual actions (as seen by others). In the former it is an extrospective approach whereas in the latter it is introsepctive. In both the situations we do not have access to the complete information which might explain an action or decision or a situation.

It is this incomplete information which becomes the basis of our inter-personal relationships. We interact with people, work in a team, love one person, hate another, not knowing everything about them and ourselves.

In this context what would being wise and having good interpersonal skills mean?

It would mean taking an extra effort and extracting the information which is otherwise not available while judging both ourselves and others. We need to be less-biased, less-selfish and self-centered while introspecting about our own actions. And we need to empathize with others and try to understand their intensions before judging them. But if either of these is overdone it might again lead to an imbalance.

I tend to over-analyse situations and blame myself sometimes. Sometimes I am self-absorbed and not able to see the other person's point of view. It happens with all of us.

No matter what, it is good to peep into oursleves and ask a few questions :-

a) Am I right in doing so?
b) Am I actually right or do I just believe that I am right?
c) Am I lying to myself?

Answer these questions honestly and then only move ahead. We can lie to anyone in the world but not to ourselves.

I own that I have made some mistakes in life and I do regret certain things. But even if I am not telling anybody else, I am being honest by owning my mistakes. I am not actively troubling anybody. Often I have been the one who has been troubled. What was my mistake? That I trust easily? That I open my heart to people easily? That I forgive the shortcomings and forget the nonsense inflicted on me, not forseeing that same things will act against me?

Every mistake of mine that I know of has taught me a lesson.I remember all of them and I have promised myself that I wont repeat them. I will try my best to understand the other person, as well as I can understand myself. At the same time I won't be able to take any nonsense from anybody.

It's enough.


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