When we meet someone for the first time, we have no idea who they truly are. Be at a workplace, or meeting someone casually, it always takes time to really know the person.
It’s hard to ‘figure out’ a person at the first sight because no one really shows their true side initially. It may not be intentional, but people often tend to be layered with societal norms, customary formalities, and the need to be prim and proper. We showcase our best traits in magnified tones. This is usually in the beginning when we first meet someone and perhaps the reason for that is because most of us believe in “first impressions are the last impression.”
It becomes very difficult to understand a person and know who they truly are. Before investing time, it is important to know that they are worth your time. However, there is no definite way of knowing this, and you need to take that risk.
A new study conducted by University of Nebraska claims that there is one specific question you can ask a person to uncover his/her personality and way of thinking.
“Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.”. And the way people discuss other people is who they truly are. Surprised? Well, this is a new discovery, and it reveals the key question: asking someone to give you an opinion of another person can be the crucial thing you need to find out who they are!
Before we form an opinion on others we must know: people choose to identify and highlight only the trait they either lack or loathe in themselves.
For example, I have a close relative who constantly critiques me for my emotional or financial dependency on my father. After much thought and self-loathing by his rude comments, I realized that his own daughter was a weak, financially unstable married woman who needed him at her disposal all the time. It’s strange that this person would compare a 22 year old with a 40 year old married woman.
After reading the study, I realized he had trouble accepting his own daughter and he threw his hatred on me.
Just like this example, this theory also works. Dustin Wood, a psychology professor from Wake Forest University states that our perception of others, and how we perceive others, depends on how we view ourselves. It works vice-versa as well.
For example, if one views themselves negatively, they will be also viewed negatively by others. We, as individuals, mirror our emotions onto others.
So, next time you observe someone describing others, they could actually be describing themselves.