People are always curious about human behavior. Because of this they seek things to read dispensing advice from others. Other people are more than willing to give advice based on their experiences and point of view. For instance, friends will “advise” you on what divorce is like based on their own divorces. But, is their experience generalizable to you? Or, are their viewpoints even helpful to you? Can their advice instead be unhelpful or even harmful to you? Since people each have unique experiences in their lives, no other person’s experience or circumstance will be the same as yours. So, it is doubtful others’ advice will benefit you.

So, what is the best way to learn about you and others and how you and they think and behave? For this you have to first look inward for self-understanding. It is a slower process and not a quick fix. You must begin through detailed self-observation.

You must discipline yourself to observe how you think, feel and behave, not only in your interactions with others, but also when alone within yourself. Include in your observations all of your daily routine and people you encounter. This method will give you more insight and self-understanding that any proscriptive self-help commentary or literature. What has been your experience with self-help versus introspection?

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