All of us in our childhood used to dread those intimidating Math problems. However, we all agree that once we solved that Math problem, we felt that it was no less than a piece of cake. We start enjoying the subject once this happens.
The fear diminished. Unfortunately, we do not employ the same strategy when dealing with difficult people in our lives. We are sometimes shocked at their strange behaviors without understanding their roots. Life becomes simpler once we know why people behave the way they do. As a result of learning, It becomes easier to deal with them, manage them, and even empathize with them. Additionally, doing so can help us resolve the majority of our conflicts and reduce hostility among people. In Pakistan, this is the need of the hour. Instead of complicating things, let’s make life simpler by giving our attention to human psychology.
In my previous writings, I have advocated the fact that some important subjects of study should be taught to all students at an early age in Pakistan. In addition to that, I also emphasized that useful knowledge should be accessible to everyone. In my opinion, another subject that should be part of both our formal and informal education is Human Psychology. I not only consider it a highly interesting subject but also one that is extremely beneficial to us in all walks of life. From business to relationships, knowing why others behave the way they do naturally gives us a competitive edge over others.
In the Business World
Both those who operate their own businesses as well as those who administer or manage other`s businesses can tremendously benefit from learning and employing psychology. From a Marketing point of view, this science enables us to understand our potential customers and how they perceive us. It can also help us identify the needs, wants, and inclinations of our target market. From an HR Perspective, it can aid in the selection of the most desirable candidates during the recruitment process. Furthermore, as Senior Managers, understanding the psychology of our employees (reporters) can help us manage them better for greater productivity.
Psychology also plays a major role in the entire sales process. To illustrate, let me share the insight of an experienced employeeof a well-known company in Pakistan. I was part of this company’s marketing department and often observed how Sales functioned. We were casually talking about the significance of “Tea” in our daily lives in Pakistan. To which this gentleman mentioned that simply offering a cup of tea to the clients can do wonders. This can help Salespeople win the client`s trust and even close the deal. Even though this is merely a business tactic, offering one`s customers tea or coffee (or Cold Drinks) connotes hospitality and courtesy. Being hospitable is highly valued in our regional culture. Thus, those customers are likely to respond positively and form a relationship. Psychology is at work here!
Furthermore, those who are working in corporate settings can also manage their bad bosses well if they can understand the “why” behind their behavior. There are books, articles, and seminars on this. Recently, I saw a podcast discussing the signs of an inefficient manager. I assert that such podcasts should be held more frequently in Pakistan. Using certain psychological tactics, such bosses can be easily tackled. Psychology can also assist us in better understanding our business partners. From conflict management to the establishment of long-term business relationships, the list of advantages to using psychology in business is endless.
In Personal Relationships
During our day-to-day interactions with friends and relatives, we tend to realize that everyone is different. We feel that not everyone is compatible with us. However, if we desire to sustain a healthy relationship, it is imperative that we observe and deal with it from a psychological point of view. For example, we should be aware that a person who excessively boasts about himself or herself is compensating for his or her insecurity. This is what psychology reveals. Similarly, that angry, condescending sibling of yours does not deserve anger in reaction. Psychology tells us that he or she is already suffering from pain inside. He or she deserves empathy instead.
Psychology can also point out to us how good we are in the eyes of other people, even if we are not aware of it. For instance, we all have that one friend or acquaintance who is always very interested in what is going on in our lives. At times, this behavior of theirs becomes very irritating. In Pakistan, even our Drama Serials exhibit this fact. Instead of getting annoyed at the behavior of such people, we can look at it from a different perspective altogether. According to Psychology, these are the people who do look up to us and find our lives interesting. Why else would someone care about anyone else so much?
Likewise, it is a well-known psychological fact that people who make others laugh are themselves in a lot of pain. Most of us know about Charlie Chaplin`s sadness. In recent times, anyone`s social media can reveal a lot about him or her psychologically. People who excessively take selfies are obsessed with themselves. Research suggests. Understanding all of this can help us maintain and improve our relationships with others. Since we know what is going on in their heads, we can understand them better and even help them out. In Pakistan, we judge other people immediately. What we should be doing is assessing others objectively and rationally.
In the world of Politics
In Pakistan, politics is always our favorite topic of discussion. As citizens of Pakistan, our objective should be to elect those leaders who are best for us and our country. However, very few among us have tried to understand these political figures from a psychological perspective. If one is familiar with psychology, he or she, for example, can understand if that political leader is speaking the truth or is doing a gimmick. Those well-acquainted with psychology are able to understand the politician’s body language, facial expressions, etc. Psychology can also assist political analysts in our country. In fact, I believe that successful Political analysts in Pakistan can forecast the future behavior of a politician by using psychology.
Just as understanding and applying psychology can be of service to the citizens of Pakistan, so too can our Political leaders use it to their advantage. By understanding the concerns and issues of the people, these leaders can successfully win elections. Additionally, by being familiar with the mindset of one’s political opponents, a clever politician can decide his or her next moves accordingly. In foreign affairs, this subject can help our leaders understand the vested interests of other countries. Thus, it can help our leaders proactively ensure a win-win situation. This is how long-lasting relationships can also be formed internationally between or among countries.
This incident happened some months ago. At my workplace, a colleague came to me and started showing off his social media profile to me. I belonged to a different department, and we did not interact often. He showed me his achievements, his contacts, and other pictures of the events that he had attended in the past. His profile and his achievements appeared to be very impressive. However, I was perplexed that I never asked him about this at all. Why is he showing this to me all of a sudden? Does he want me to like him by doing all this? These questions would have naturally come to mind. However, my basic knowledge of psychology often gives me the answers I require.
Psychology states that people who try to impress us are those who are already impressed by us. Isn’t it an interesting fact? Thus, rather than feeling bothered by my colleague’s attitude, I should actually be thanking him that he does consider me someone worthy to “impress’ ‘. In reality, I already liked that co-worker for his courtesy, ethics, and politeness. He had no need to show these pictures or achievements to me to increase his “perceived value” in my eyes. Honestly, I respected him more before he displayed all of this to me. Based on this, it can also be inferred that qualities such as amiability and affability make a person more charming than showing off or bragging.
Learning psychology yields countless benefits. In Pakistan, we need to realize its importance and emphasize learning and teaching it to others. I contend that at least the foundation or basics of it should be known to everyone from an early age. Thankfully, much of this knowledge is available online today. They should be part of our daily lives, like food and drink. It can greatly help us individually as well as collectively as a Nation. In the words of the great Sigmund Freud,
“The only person with whom you have to compare yourself is you in the past.”