He called on the audience to understand the four patterns of human behavior that he refers to in his book Surrounded by Idiots, and to know how to adapt and harmonize with them.
Erikson pointed out that being wrong is a characteristic of humans, and frankness opens the doors of dialogue and understanding and reveals aspects of the personality that one may not notice.
“Backbiting and gossip sow hatred and doubt between us, and make us see the world with a bad eye. However, people should deal with advice in a kind manner, and accept advice with humility,” he warned.
Explaining why he chose the title for his book, he explained that he sought to resolve the common feeling of being misunderstood by everyone around you.
“The goal of the book is to help readers understand understand themselves and others better, and improve their relationships and communication with different personalities.”
Erikson also met with some school students, who expressed their happiness meeting the well-known writer. He revealed that the idea for his book came to him while he was in high school when he first noticed that he got along with some people better than others, and it was easy to talk to some of his friends, but with others, everything went wrong.
He pointed out that people in this world are not different by nature, but the difference lies in cultures, and it is not necessary for this world to be a beautiful place all the time. For this reason, he explained, the way we deal with those around us determines what the world will be like for us. The question that must be constantly asked, he argued, is: Who are the people I surround myself with?
“It is a very important question because we are affected by them in one way or another.”
On the necessity of change in human behavior; Erikson pointed out that there is a difference between change and adaptation, and from his point of view he considers adaptation to be the most important, with the need to know how to adapt and why we should adapt.
Finally, he advised students not to deal with others in life as if they were a similar group imitating each other, but rather to focus on individual differences, which are considered a path to excellence.