When analyzing the behavior of other human beings and attempting to predict their future actions for our benefit, we tend to put our similarities aside. It is a well-known fact that human beings share upwards of up to 98% of the same DNA as current-day apes. If those are apes, then how similar are we to other humans? You’d be surprised by how much genetics, as well as the environment we’re in, factor into our behavior. Properly analyzing yourself can be a more effective method at predicting the behavior of others than attempting to read their intentions blindly.
Putting On Worn Out Shoes
In attempts to know what people want during a particular moment in time, you should first aim to understand what you would want in the same situation. The best way to do that is to put yourself in that situation and go through the experience itself. The second best way is to remember a time when you were in a similar situation. It is easier to predict the actions of people younger than ourselves than those who are our elders, as it is easier to think back and remember times of ourselves experiencing similar things. We were once kids and can thereby guess what goes through the minds of our younger friends. We know what a boy wants to do around an attractive girl, and how a child feels while being scolded about not finishing their vegetables.
Taking Journeys in Others’ Shoes
Sometimes we can’t put ourselves in the same situation of another, and have never experienced what they may be going through. When attempting to know what people want in a situation in which you have never been, you must force yourself through a mental exercise of morphing into them.
Allow yourself to feel what they feel and experience the desires which come about. The better you get at doing this, the better you will become at predicting what others want. Be completely honest and do not assume that the people who you are analyzing are any different than you are. The thoughts that you think inside your own mind are not any different in structure than those of the people that you aim to understand. They are just as detailed, embarrassing, intricate, and perhaps stupid in some ways.
Notice the Similarities
Never assume somebody is different than yourself when trying to predict the actions and desires of others, and always visualize what life would be like for you in their situation. That is what the person you aim to analyze is – they are you placed in another situation. Learn yourself and how you react to different situations, and apply that analysis to different people.
Human beings are much more similar than they are different. Our egos tend to make us believe that we are different from everybody else and are somehow special. A simple conversation with a hundred people about their most intimate thoughts would show us otherwise. We are more similar than different, and we come from a very specific source of limited populations. We share DNA, we share ancestors, we share thoughts, and we share the actions that we commit on a daily basis.
Remember this aspect of humanity, learn how to be honest with yourself on how you truly feel and what you truly want to do in the given situations of life. The results of your simulated thoughts are closer to the things that others will want to do than you anticipate.