Find Better Reasons Behind Other’s Functioning
It will help to avoid demeaning or even idolizing others.
Whenever we meet someone and do not like some of his personality traits then it is the normal tendency of the mind to find the reason behind those traits. In the majority of cases, these reasons may be superficial and mere stereotypical views that may calm the mind for the time being but it will generate feelings of either disgust or self-rejection in the person.
Example: Ram is a person who has a soothing personality. One day he met Shyam who had an off-putting personality. Shyam was full of anger and in his interaction with Ram, he started criticizing others. Ram wanted to have a pleasant conversation with Shyam but every time he tried to change the topic, Shyam found a way to revert back to criticizing others. Ram did not like this trait in Shyam and immediately his mind brought in the reason for his trait. He thought that since Shyam belonged to a place where most people are characterized as being angry people hence his tendency is to criticize others in any conversation.
Another example: Sara studied at a mediocre university. She did an internship in a multinational company where people from top universities were also working. Once Sara faced some issues in her work and Victor was able to solve it. Sara’s mind immediately thought about the reason behind Victor’s ability to solve the problem and came to the conclusion that since Victor was from a top university hence he was able to solve. This reason is again a stereotypical view and created self-rejection in Sara.
People in the path of self-improvement have a better understanding
People in the path of self-improvement, deal with overcoming their unwanted traits by working on the fears and changing their beliefs. This makes them have a better understanding of the existence of certain traits. When these people confront others with similar traits then their mind will not bring any stereotypical view as the reason behind the trait but will bring in the actual cause of the traits. Being ahead in the evolutionary stage as the other people, these people will tend to sympathize with those who have not yet reached the stage instead of holding a grudge or feelings of anger.
Example: In the earlier example, in any conversation, Shyam would always criticize others. Now consider that Ram has a soothing personality as he works a lot on his self-improvement. Initially, Ram’s nature was also to criticize others but then he found out all the fears and beliefs responsible for it and overcame them. Some common fears were:
- His desire for the opposite sex being known to others in a conservative society where he lived in.
- Fear of punishment from God when he diverts from the religious path. This also created guilt in him.
Thus while interacting with Shyam, Ram’s mind brought in possible fears and beliefs that cause Shyam to vent his anger and frustration by criticizing others. Thus instead of disgust against Shyam, Ram sympathized with him. He was able to do so as there was a time when he too was in a similar situation.
Another example: In the earlier example, Sara idolized Victor for studying at the top university. Now consider that Sara too is in the path of self-improvement and in the process has removed all of her mental blockages that did not allow her to think freely. She understood that Victor was able to solve the problem not because he belonged to the top university but because as a person, Victor’s mind was devoid of subconscious fear. Victor grew up in a society where his tendencies did not come in conflict with those accepted by his society and that caused him to have less subconscious fears. Though Sara also accounted for the fact that there may be genes that may also play a role behind Victor’s brilliance but the ability to think freely was the major reason behind his success. This evolved reason that Sara’s mind was able to think, ensured that Sara does not idolize Victor, and gets feelings of self-rejection. She had a better understanding of the reason behind Victor’s ability to think freely and was able to treat him not as superior but just like any other person.
Catharsis to the rescue
There are times when people in the path of self-improvement also can fall into the trap of finding reasons that are stereotypical views. In such situations, there will arise feelings of disgust or self-rejection that one needs to deal with.
Upon encountering behaviors that trigger our own subconscious fears, we may not be able to accept the other person and will find superficial reasons behind his behavior so that we reject them. It is only after we remove the emotional charge associated with the interaction that we may be able to objectively think about the real reasons behind the existence of other’s behavior. The process of catharsis helps in this purpose.
In catharsis, one needs to engulf himself in the feelings of disgust by reliving the interaction and vent it out by means of fast breathing, etc. After removing the emotional charge one may be able to objectively analyze the real cause of the behavior and come to peace with the other person. Details of catharsis are explained in the below articles:
The process of catharsis explained in terms of software development analogy
Does an empty mind make you feel restless?
Example: Ram is on the path of self-improvement but still has a long way to go. One day he met Shyam who was full of anger. He criticized Ram’s father that caused Ram to immediately close off to him. His mind created views that were stereotypical in nature such as Shyam belonged to a particular caste or a certain place that caused him to behave in that manner. These reasons were superficial and caused Ram to feel uneasy.
Upon returning home, Ram performed catharsis and relived the interaction with Shyam. He vented out his frustration and anger by doing fast breathing, etc. After removing the emotional charge, he analyzed the incident and came to the conclusion that Shyam may not be knowing his father. He just had a superficial knowledge about Ram’s father and hence reacted in that manner.
This realization made Ram overcome the feelings of hatred against Shyam and also hold sympathy for him.
Every individual is at a different level in their evolutionary stage. This evolutionary stage has nothing to do with material possession or status in society, etc. It is an evolved mental state where one knows the reasons behind the existence of certain mechanisms in other people. Upon encountering behaviors that are negative, an evolved person should try to bring in the real reasons behind the behaviors. They should not rely on the reasons that are just stereotypical views.
Not everyone is fully evolved so in cases where one’s mind does bring in stereotypical views as the reason, he should perform catharsis and then analyze the real reason. This process will help move him up in the evolutionary stage and make him a better human being.