Now, don’t get freaked out.
This article does not focus on read people like Edward Cullen from Twilight. If vampires exist, they can only do this.
It is about understanding, beyond words, the thoughts and feelings of others. It’s about understanding what other people really mean, even if they don’t say it.
Your social, personal and professional life will be greatly affected by your ability to accurately read others.
Understanding how someone feels allows you to adapt your message and communication style so that it is understood.
It is not difficult. Although it may sound cliché, you don’t have to be an expert in reading people.
Here are 10 tips to help you read people like a pro.
1. Keep your eyes open and objective
You must practice being open-minded before you can read people. Don’t let past experiences and emotions influence your perceptions and opinions.
You will make mistakes if you judge people too quickly. You must be objective when approaching each interaction and every situation.
According to Judith Orloff, Ph.D. in Psychology Today “Logic alone will not tell you everything about anyone.” To learn how to read non-verbal cues, you must give up other important forms of information.
She states that in order to see clearly, you need to “remain objective” and “receive information neutrally without distorting.”
2. Attention to your appearance
Judith Orloff, M.D suggests that you pay attention to the appearance of others when you read about them. What do they wear?
Do they dress for success? This indicates that they are ambitious. They may be wearing jeans and a T-shirt, which indicates comfort.
Are they wearing a pendant that reflects their spiritual beliefs, such as a cross, Buddha or a cross? You can sense something in whatever they wear.
Sam Gosling, University of Texas personality psychologist and author of Snoop, suggests that you pay attention to identity claims.
These are the things people show off with their appearances. For example, a T-shirt with slogans or tattoos, or a ring.
“Identity claims are statements that we make about our values, attitudes, and goals. It is important to remember that these statements are intentional. Many people assume that we are manipulative or disingenuous with them. However, I believe there is very little evidence that this is the case. People want to be known. They will even sacrifice their appearance to be known. If it was down to it, they’d prefer to be seen authentically rather than positively.
Some findings also suggest that psychological traits may be able to be seen on someone’s face.
Vinita Mehta Ph.D., Ed.M. Psychology Today:
Higher levels of Extraversion are associated with a protruding nose, lips, recessive neck and masseter muscles (the jaw muscles that help in chewing). The face of people with lower Extraversion levels had the opposite pattern. It appeared that the nose area pressed against the face. These results suggest that psychological traits may be able to be read on someone’s face in some way. However, more research is needed to fully understand this phenomenon.
3. Pay attention to the posture of others
The way a person holds their head high speaks volumes about how they feel. Confidence is reflected in their posture.
Low self-esteem may be indicated by indecisiveness or a tendency to cower.
Judith Orloff, M.D., says to look at your posture. If they are confident and hold their head high, or if you see them walking indecisively, that is a sign of low self-esteem.
4. You can watch their movements.
People express their emotions through movement more than words.
We tend to lean towards people we like, and away from those that we don’t.
Evy Poumpouras is a former Secret Service Special Agent.
If the person is leaning against the wall, you can tell that he or she is building a wall.
Crossing of arms and legs is another movement you should be aware. This can be a sign of anger, defensiveness, or self-protection.
Evy Puumpouras states that “if someone is sitting down and suddenly you say something, and their arms cross, then I know that I said something that they didn’t like.”
However, hiding your hands does not mean you are hiding anything.
If they do not bite their lips or pick at their cuticles, it is likely that they are trying to calm themselves in a stressful situation.
5. You can interpret facial expressions
Your emotions will stick to your face unless you’re a poker master.
According to Judith Orloff, M.D., there are many ways to interpret facial expressions. These are:
Deep frown lines can indicate that someone is anxious or thinking too much.
A person who truly laughs will smile and show crow’s feet.
Puffed lips are another sign of anger, contempt or bitterness. Tension can also be indicated by a clenched jaw or teeth grinding.
Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D., in Psychology Today, describes a classification for smiles in Psychology Today.
Reward smile: Lips drawn upwards, eyebrows lifted and dimples around the mouth. This is positive feedback.
Affiliative smile: This involves pressing the lips together and making small dimples to the sides of the mouth. A sign of friendship and liking
Dominance smile: The upper lip is raised, cheeks are pushed up, nose wrinkles, indentation between mouth and nose deepens, and the lids of the upper eye are raised.
6. Do not ignore small talk.
Perhaps you are uncomfortable with small talk. It can help you get to know the person.
You can observe the behavior of a person in everyday situations by using small talk. It can be used as a reference point to spot unusual behavior.
The Silent Language of Leaders: Why Body Language Can Help or Hurt How You Lead. The author discusses a variety of mistakes people make when trying read others. One of these errors was not having a baseline of their behavior.
If you are looking for a structured and easy-to-follow structure to help you find your purpose and reach your goals, you can check out our eBook.
7. Examine the overall behavior of the person.
Sometimes, we assume that if someone does something, such as look down at the ground during a conversation or other actions, it is a sign they are nervous or anxious.
If you know someone well, you can tell if they avoid eye contact or just relax when they look down at the floor.
LaRae Quy, an ex-counterintelligence agent for the FBI, stated that people have “different quirks and patterns in behavior”. Some of these behaviors could simply be “mannerisms”.
This is why it’s important to establish a baseline of the normal behavior of others.
You will learn how to recognize any deviations from the normal behavior of a person. If you notice a change of tone, pace, or body language, it is likely that something is wrong.
8. Ask direct questions for a straight answer
Avoid vague questions if you want to get a straight answer. Ask questions that are specific and require an answer.
When the person answers your question, don’t interrupt. Instead, observe their mannerisms and how they speak.
INC recommends searching for “action words”, to gain insight into someone’s thinking:
If your boss states that she has “decided to go for brand X”, this is an example of an action word. This one word means that your boss is most likely not impulsive, has weighed many options, and thinks through things. Action words can give insight into how a person thinks.
9. Pay attention to the tone and words used
Pay attention to the words used by someone you are speaking to. If they say, “This is my second promotion,” it’s likely that they mean they have already received a promotion.
What’s the best part? These people are reliant on others to improve their self-image. These people want to feel proud of themselves.
Judith Orloff M.D says that you should pay attention to the tone being used.
10. Listen to your gut
When you meet someone for the first time, listen to your gut instincts. You will feel a visceral reaction, even before you can think.
Your gut is a good indicator of whether you feel at ease with someone.
Judith Orloff, M.D says that “gut feelings” are a quick, primal response. They are your inner truth meter and relay if people can be trusted.