Predictably Unreasonable

When you’re young, you can often get the feeling that everyone around you is just randomly unreasonable. That they make their decisions seemingly as the wind changes and the minds of others are filled with chaos. If you don’t pay much attention, this feeling can persist for the rest of your life.

If you do pay attention though, you learn that people definitely aren’t randomly unreasonable. They’re predictably unreasonable. Sure, they’ll make a lot of bad choices. But those choices can make perfect sense once you understand the context of the things that influence their brain.

The most important thing you can learn about other people’s quirks is that – for the most part – they’re consistent across every aspect of their life. If someone is always in a better mood after they’ve eaten, then that will be true at a party, during a fight, when stressed about work, etc. If this person is mad at you, don’t try to assuage them; feed them.

Far too often we take our own mental patterns and project them onto others. “When I’m mad, I want people to apologize profusely to me. So if someone else is mad at me, I’ll apologize profusely to them.” That’s a trap – other people aren’t you.

Know the people around you. If someone is a big part of your life, know their quirks and habits. Predict them. If you don’t – then it’s you who’s unreasonable.

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