You Are What You Think

“Why is he acting this way?”

“Why does she do that?”

Most people, I find, ask these questions all the time. Therapists get asked this question a lot.

My answer is always the same: “He has his reasons.” People do not always act rationally, logically or consistently. But they do always act for reasons. Their reasons may or may not make objective sense — but they still have reasons. They might be aware of their reasons, but often they are not. Just because one’s reasons are subconscious does not make them any less real.

If you want to figure out why someone acts the way he or she does, identify everything you know about the person’s thinking, attitudes and beliefs. These will usually tell the tale. Nutritionists tend to say, “You are what you eat.” The psychotherapist’s version of this is: “You are what you think.” Or even better: “You act what you think.”