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People tend to judge the meaning of action from the outside and sometimes fail to see what’s inside the person’s mind doing the action. Most romantic relationships fail because the jealous partner often sees only the external act of what his/her partner is doing with another person. One girlfriend just broke with her boyfriend when she saw her chatting with a beautiful girl from afar. She interpreted the animated conversation of the two as a form of attraction. Without asking the boyfriend about the girl and what they were talking about, she immediately stopped texting and communicating with him. Max Weber, a German sociologist, has a very good advice for people who want to judge the meaning of people’s interaction. He called this approach as “verstehen” or “interpretive understanding”. This means that if one wants to fully understand the meaning of the human action, he or she must understand the meaning of the external act and the motive behind the act. He or she must place himself or herself into the shoes of the other to know the full meaning of the action. Without learning the motive of the act, it would rash judgment to conclude the meaning of the act. The girl could have investigated what was really the motive why his boyfriend has an animated conversation with the other girl.
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