Sunday, January 31, 2016

Why we often misunderstand people's personalities.

Do you love to watch reality tv, shows about relationships? Do you sit on the couch and like to tell other people why that person in the show is really likable or maybe totally not?

What makes that person so likable or unlikable? Is it maybe that we are trying to gauge the personality of that person? 

How do you define somebodies personality? How do you define somebodies personality in a relationship? 

We can go round and round but in the end we all give out a first impression that is really strong and we all place much importance to the first impression we got from people. 

The Halo effect sometimes makes us think that one attribute of a person defines that person completely. 

We are often too quick with judging a persons personality as something on its own.
We are often too quick with judging a persons personality by how they behave in a relationship.

As if that behavior is independent of the changing relationship and the other person/people in that relationship.

"OMG he is so weak." 

Maybe that person is responding submissive to that situation in that relation because the other person is too aggressive. 

The coping strategies that we use depend on the situation, the options we have, the risks we want to take, the outcome we have in mind, ext ...

"She is such a bitch" 

Maybe she is responding in such a way to defend herself from being seen as weak. 
If so how come that she needs to defend herself from others options.
Maybe the partner was responding aggressive to what that person sees as sings of weakness.

You begin to notice how all we perceive is a moment in a process while we tend to see that moment as the whole process of changing relationships, actions and reactions between different people. 

The halo effect seems to be present on this level of perception too. 

On a more macro level we see this too in how we think aout the "national character" as a fixed thing. 
This can be further studied in "ecology of mind" by Gregory bateson, from page 98. 

The more we can open up what seems like fixed things into open omgoing proccesses the more we can see how things really operate. 

Our understanding grows and our understanding of people grows with it.