Psychology, as a discipline, gives us access to innumerable possibilities to explore the human mind. It helps us determine and explain the way our mind can interpret events, the way it gets influenced, and in turn, influences us to act in a certain way. It is a complex play of conscious, sub-conscious, and unconscious activities inside our brain. And this is why each person has a thought process, response, and reactivity that is unique to him or her.
Psychology is not something irrelevant to our daily lives. Though the mental makeup is different for each individual, it still has some common norms across time and space that are quite generic. There are widespread human behavioral traits and observations that guide our general perceptions to take them as facts. But are these facts true and do they help us understand others better?
Let us examine and find out for ourselves if we can discover something new and have an evolved understanding of human beings around us from the 10 psychological facts given below.
1. Women And Secrets
It is generally believed that women can’t keep secrets. And it is not some random sexist viewpoint. There are studies that have established the limited capacity of women to keep private or confidential matters within their minds (1). In fact, the research also suggests that the maximum duration of time in which a woman will successfully keep a secret as it is cannot be more than 47 hours and a few odd minutes. And if there is any moral self-restraint at all, a few shots of alcohol can give it all away.
The secret is generally confided to a person who may be very close, for e.g., one’s mother, sister, husband or best friend.
However, there was a small fraction of women, about 27%, who almost forgot the matters that were shared with them.
2. Multilingualism And Personality Traits
It is very interesting to note that the ability to speak two or more languages is linked to a smarter brain. Research states that those who speak multiple languages are more suited to adapt to different circumstances (2). It is because each language has its own set of cultural intonations, practices, and subtleties. As the spoken language changes, so do the mannerisms, conversational styles, and responses. Thus, it makes the brain more adaptable and flexible. Therefore, being able to speak more languages enables a person to imbibe and switch between more than one identity.
It may make a person more open, empathetic, and understanding towards people and society in general.
3. Love In The Friendzone
It is said that a strong basis of friendship is a cementing force in a couple. In fact, this decreases their chances of getting divorced by about 70%. Being friends for long helps because the partners are adequately aware of each other’s strength and weaknesses. They are more open to communication and constructive criticism. They take all ups and downs in their stride and are temperamentally more consistent in their interaction and therefore, better at dealing with their problems.
4. Loneliness Pangs Are Harmful
Human beings are essentially social creatures, and if we take away the aspect of emotional bonding and social security, a person may feel lost and distressed. Where solitude can be a positive thing, giving scope to introspection and self-improvement, long periods of loneliness can be quite miserable. It may lead to depression, which is now considered equally harmful as any other modern lifestyle hazards like alcoholism, obesity, or smoking and can affect a person’s psychological well-being.
It is important to consider the aspects that may lead to such mental isolation. It may be forced migration due to geographic, economic or social factors, or change of place due to employment or work. Or it may simply be a lack of familial support, indifference, and lack of enthusiasm that may drive a person into loneliness.
5. Being Choosy Over Friendships
It is not uncommon for a few people to cherish a set of close friends, rather than being friendly with everyone. Research suggests that these people also possess higher intelligence quotient (3). They make long-term goals and are not interested in pursuing people-pleasing skills. They depend more on themselves and their trusted circle of counsels to manage any hurdles and are more confident masters of their time, energy, and resources.
6. The Beginnings Of Making Friends
Our species is perhaps the most social one, and we start making friends and bonding from an early age. Have you wondered what the peak period of forming the most lasting friendships is? Studies suggest that from the age of 16 to 29, we make and connect with most friends. There are some interesting reasons behind this. Firstly, our personality develops fully by this time. Psychologically, we connect more with people who share same perceptions, taste or outlook towards life, and this forms the basis for a lasting relationship. Secondly, we are young enough to keep in touch with our childhood and teenage friends and old enough to make friends out of our colleagues and peers at the workplace. Thirdly, after this age, you are saddled with big responsibilities of family life, kids, etc., and you don’t have much time to socialize beyond your daily life.
So, our personalities are in full bloom during this period.
7. The Agonies Faced By The Agony Aunts
When we are feeling bogged down with our problems, we need a shoulder to cry on, and seek counsel from who would tell us the solution to our problems. We confide in those people, who we expect to give us the right advice at the right time. But what makes them wise enough to do so? We have already heard that experience is the best teacher. Such people have undergone and faced physical and emotional hardships that make them more empathetic and open to other people and their problems. And that is why their suggestions are also more practical and sensible to follow.
8. Making Memories Over Material Gains
There is no doubt that money is very important. But the satisfaction of using the money to buy material things is nowhere close to the contentment of collecting experiences and memories. Studies have also shown that money spent on oneself gives lesser happiness compared to the money spent on someone else (4). Also, it is a better idea to spend on vacations, outings, close family gatherings, travels, charities, and philanthropy to gather knowledge, love, gratitude, and closeness, whose values are far more rewarding and permanent than materials that lose their novelty in no time.
9. The Funnier Sex
The number of stand-up comedians or comic characters in popular media is dominated by males. But why don’t we see as many women comedians? Does it have to do anything with the psychological perceptions about the two genders?
Indeed, it must be. A research conducted by the Stanford University School of Medicine, along with some other social scientists, reveals that men are thrust upon with the burden of impressing the opposite sex, and therefore, humor plays a very important part in wooing a girl and establishing consequent bonhomie with her folks (5). In the case of a woman, it is believed that she doesn’t need to appeal through her humor to impress a man since there are different social yardsticks for her.
10. Music And The Mood
Music is said to be a great leveler. It can be used to motivate, to move, to comfort, or simply to entertain. Not only this, music can activate memories and cognitive abilities of the brain. No wonder it is such a powerful tool to influence any psychological state of a person. Music has the ability to transport a person through its lyrics, tone, and rhythm. The kind of music one listens to can trigger corresponding emotions in the person – from sheer joy to intense grief. That is why it is often used for therapy.
A keen interest in psychology reveals so many things about the human mind and the factors that shape our experiences and thoughts. Therefore, an eager observation and understanding of everyday matters may seem mundane, but they can always help us to know the people around us in a better way.