In the famous novel, The Idiot (free Kindle edition), by the great Russian writer, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, the protagonist, Prince Myshkin, is perceived and called an idiot throughout the book.
In reality, he is quite astute, but his epileptic fits and his "saintly nature" fool others into thinking he is idiotic.
Here are 5 passages that shed light on the psychology of human relationships:
1. The importance of projecting positive energy:
"Probably when he is alone he looks quite different, and hardly smiles at all!" thought the prince.
"With pleasure! In fact, it is very necessary. I like your readiness, prince; in fact, I must say—I—I—like you very well, altogether," said the general.
2. On vanity and insecurity:
"Very likely he anticipated far worse things than was at all necessary; it is often so with vain persons."
"You are suspicious, you know, and jealous, therefore when anything annoying happens to you, you exaggerate its significance."
3. How rage blinds judgement:
His rage so blinded him that he had not even been able to detect that this "idiot," whom he was abusing to such an extent, was very far from being slow of comprehension, and had a way of taking in an impression, and afterwards giving it out again, which was very un-idiotic indeed.
4. On luxury:
"How easily the heart accustoms itself to comforts, and how difficult it is to tear one's self away from luxuries which have become habitual and, little by little, indispensable."
5. Why to stay away from unstable people:
"When you are not with me I hate you, Lef Nicolaievitch. I have loathed you every day of these three months since I last saw you. By heaven I have!" said Rogojin. "I could have poisoned you at any minute. Now, you have been with me but a quarter of an hour, and all my malice seems to have melted away, and you are as dear to me as ever. Stay here a little longer."