In what ways can we all be considered Psychologists?

‘Ordinary people come to know about each others tempory states (such as emotions, intentions and desires) and enduring dispositions (such as beliefs, traits and abilities) from their actions (Gilbert 1998)’

I think every mentally stable person has certain qualities that enable them to understand the minds of other people and therefore be considered a Psychologist. Obviously there are different levels of understanding. A professional has the abilities that an ordinary person wouldn’t, merely because they’ve studied Psychology. Whereby they have the knowledge and understanding that others don’t. This doesn’t mean that everyone has the skills, characteristics and intelligence to become a Psychologist. There are certain qualities required to gain such a status.

We all have the ability to recognise different emotions that others feel and express. We can see and understand the effect situations have on people. If a friend is upset because their relationship has terminated then we immediately know how they will feel. We may not entirely appreciate their despair, it may even become a burden simply because it’s not happening to us. However we would help our friend make sense of the break-up; reminisce and constantly inform them how we can relate to their emotions and thoughts from our own relevant experiences. This isn’t entirely self-less behaviour; people enjoy talking about their own mentally painful experiences (why?). We know how they feel because it’s common knowledge, we’ve been in a similar situation, therefore we remember how it felt and what emotions and thought processes we had or we can see from their body language that they are miserable due to the situation. We also recognise basic body language and what mental state it reflects.

Another major way is our curiosity. We want to understand why people feel the way they do after situations have occurred. We want to understand ourselves, we want to know how others perceive us etc. Our curiosity is endless, we’ll never have a day when we don’t ponder or ask questions. Whether that is just a mere thought or if we make an attempt to gain an answer.

Lastly, I think we can sense how others would think, behave or react; people behave differently with each friend, not only are we treating them as an individual, we’re also foretelling their tolerance. Some people are more tolerant to jokes and mocking than others and often without testing our theories our behaviour adjusts depending on the people we’re with.

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