We are going to talk about three Personal Illusions in three short blog posts. We think we know other people. This is Personal Illusions No. 1. No. We know what other people tell us.
Do you think you know other people? Or, do you think other people know you? If your answer is yes, unfortunately it is not true. We only know what other people tell us. Likewise, other people only know what you tell them.
When we tell other people about ourselves, we try to make ourselves look good. So we say certain things, we don't say other things; there are certain things we believe but they're not true, there are certain things we believe are true as we present but they're not true. So we don't really know other people, and we don't really know ourselves at a fundamental level.
Next reason is we see through our biases, everything is filtered, there's a filter between me and you. So there's me, the filter, and then you. I have to look through that filter, and then everything you say back to me comes through that filter too.
Everything is worked as it goes out and everything is warped as it comes back in. It's like it's been encoded twice. You'll never get the right information back.
The next reason we think we know other people or really don't is we often see what we want to see. We idealise people or we villainise people. Conversely we see what we want to see.
Remember Confirmation Bias? This filter is the confirmation bias. We don't just do that with ideas. We do it with people. It's one the most common things we do with.
We also distort what we know about other people with our history. In what context are they in our lives? How are they affiliated with us? Were they helpful? Were they hurtful? What was their first impression? There's tons of ways that we distort with our history, and our background; who we are colours who they are.
We just start with our self-esteem. Sometimes we like people better because they make us feel better about ourselves. Sometimes we like people less because they don't make us feel good about ourselves. And sometimes we completely dislike people for no other reason than they don't make us feel good about ourselves. A lot of times is because they're better and we are, in some way, shape or form. We take that as a personal offence.
One of the strangest things to understand is that it's virtually impossible for two humans to communicate and have good communication.
Another reason is false association. We all do this. We associate certain things with people that aren't really true we might think somebody is really nice because we some hold a door for a person. Well maybe that was his boss and that's why he was being nice. Maybe he normally doesn't do that, maybe he slams doors in people's faces, we don't know; so people do various behaviours and then we make false associations over and over and over again, so we don't really know other people.
Three Personal Illusions of Every Human:
Personal Illusions No. 1 We Think We Know Other People
Personal Illusions No. 2 We think we know ourselves.
Personal Illusions No.3 We Think We Know the World
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