We like to put people in boxes – it helps us to feel that we have a handle on them – that we understand them. But in truth people are rarely that simple. Try describing yourself in 10 words..does that sum up the entirety of you? So why do you think you can do this to someone else?
In truth we are all a bundle of contradictions. It’s one of the ways a skilled mentalist or fake psychic can persuade you that they see the real you. In Tricks of the Mind, Derren Brown wrote a brilliant character analysis and gave it to a sample group, claiming he has ‘read’ this information from palm prints they sent to him. Almost all agreed it was spookily accurate, but in truth, they had all received the same thing. Does this mean that all these people were essentially the same? Well in some respects, yes, but I doubt any of them would have seen the others as their character twins.
He used truisms like ‘you are often prone to bouts of self examination’ and ‘you have given up on dreams too easily sometimes’ but he also used the contradictions we feel as thought they were some profound insight e.g. ‘You will often find yourself at a gathering and find yourself playing a part. While on one hand you find yourself being talkative and funny, you’ll also be detaching yourself to the point you feel utterly unable to engage’.
Derren often speaks out against fake psychics and explains their techniques. By listening to the explanations of how we can all be duped it offers us an insight into how we think. Despite our innate belief that we are in some way unique, and that no-one else can really understand us, it turns out we are mostly pretty similar in our peculiar set of contradictions.
So, next time you meet someone new and think you have them pegged ask yourself what contradictions lie behind the front you see?
If you want some help working on your own contradictions hypnosis can help. If you are in the Coventry area and would like to speak to someone about this check out http://www.talktherapies.co.uk for more info.