One of the most valuable tools in the world is something called “Mind Reading.” I swear I don’t remember where I got it, or if I synthesized it. I just don’t remember. But it goes like this: “Everyone feels alone and afraid. The only question is: what do you do with your loneliness and your fear?”
You don’t have to argue with it. I ask only that you empty your cup and ask what might be implied by this perspective if it IS true.
1) Start by applying this to yourself. The deeper you go, the easier it will be to understand others.
2) “Every tree grows as tall as it can.” When you see lack of full development physically, mentally/career-wise, or emotionally, the safest assumption is that something interfered with growth, just as if you see stunted plants, it may be safest to assume poor soil.
3) People delude themselves, and lie. An additional level of detail is revealed in the stories they try to sell themselves and others about why they are what they are, and how they aren’t afraid.
4) NEVER tell people what you see in them in regard to this technique. People deserve and need their privacy. Explaining how you see through their rationalizations and ego-shell is the fastest way to anger them.
5) And oh, in case I didn’t mention it recently: anger is a mask over fear. Asking yourself “what are they afraid of?” Allows you to feel compassion rather than challenge, along with giving you excellent tools to understand the behavior, and defuse future problems.