If you clicked on this article with the hope that by the time you finished reading this you you would have mind-reading telekinesis powers, unfortunately, you’ll have to take your search else where…
But don’t be disheartened! You don’t need neurotechnology or telekinesis to understand the 'why' behind people’s 'whats'. Through education and a proper understanding of human nature, you can begin to see things you will never be able to not see again.
Even from a first impression, you’ll be able to rearrange a person’s Metallica tee, top knot, or crocs, and all their other features, into an informing insight about who they are. But the benefit of being a good people reader is not just being able to send your bullies insane. It’s actually being finally able to understand yourself better. When you can understand your own weird ways and the odd reasons you do things, you’ll be able to challenge yourself and improve who you are. Then, you’ll be able get into less drama with friends and family because you’ll understand why they are like they are.
Sold yet? Well, this all sounds a bit too good to be true. But I’m not saying you can learn this skill by tomorrow. The trick is that we are sometimes too attached to our own thoughts, emotions and biases, that we cannot understand other's thoughts, emotions and biases. You must learn the art of arranging your thoughts, not as who you are, but as files to be read, analysed, determined whether helpful or unhelpful and either discarded or used. What I mean is: you’ve got to be able to think about … thoughts! about what you did, and if it was right or wrong under the circumstances.
That ability is a precious gift. Why? Because being accurate in your perceptions of your own and others behaviour is the key to locating deeper philosophies that guide our lives. But the first step is education.
And the first lesson is contained in the wise words of Shrek himself. Because people, just like Ogres are like onions. That's right, some people, like onions, some people when you make them cut, you make them cry. But more importantly, people like onions, have layers. Because people think a lot. What are the layers then? They are thoughts that over the years we have chosen to believe in and live by.
Problem is, we often react to people’s rough outer layers, when we need to be able to listen to inner thoughts that are the reasons behind behaviour. And it’s 'whether these deeply personal thoughts or beliefs are functional or not’ that fills our gossip, funds our research and divides our families.
But, if we can learn to understand these inner reasons we cling to, we can also challenge them and move our lives forward with love, grace and respect.
Psychology Major, Theology Graduate, Counsellor, Bassist and polished Super Smash Mario Brother