Learning the way to read people is a psychological superpower, but it’s also a skill that anyone can grasp. It’s possible to glean plenty of info about others just by paying attention.
Ever since I started to write, I’ve been polishing this skill. It’s not a tough and fast science — everyone has off days.
But staying conscious of a couple of patterns can help you find people with great character — and shape the person you’ll wish to be.
I search for these eight subtle clues in I’m dealing with people to know who they really are.
The way they deal with service staff
The way someone deals with people who work in food service, retail, and hospitality tells me just about everything I want to understand about them.
Why? Because when you’re with service staff, you’re handling a position of power. An employee nearly always has got to be nice to you because “the customer is always right.”
If you treat these people poorly, it shows you’ve got low empathy, integrity, and even self-respect, Since someone with self-respect never has got to act as if they’re above anyone.
How polite they’re
People often means how “polite” I’m, and it’s so strange to me. It’s shocking to seek out out how rare it’s for people to possess basic manners.
That’s why whenever I meet an individual who says “please” and “thank you” often, I do know I’m with someone who’s socially intelligent.
you’ll make someone’s day, lose friction during interactions, and move through life far more easily by saying those simple words.
How they walk
When Barack Obama walks into a room, he features a palpable sense of confidence: He’s simultaneously friendly, powerful, and attention-gaining, though he’s never seeking validation.
once I see this sort of swagger in others, I’m captivated.
I got to know a useful trick from The Art of Charm called the “doorway technique”.
Basically, you “anchor” confident body language to something you usually see during the day, sort of a doorway. whenever you walk through the doorway,
you’ll know to see your body language. Are you standing up straight or are you slouching your shoulders?
Are you walking with a touch of pep in your step or are you dragging your feet?
How they respond in slightly uncomfortable situations
Once, I used to be standing in line at Chipotle and overheard the person ahead of me asked for queso on his burrito.
The employee didn’t hear him, therefore the man’s partner looked at him as if to mention, “Aren’t you going to repeat yourself?” But he didn’t.
Why? Because he’d need to experience the slightest social friction.
It’s a low-stakes example, but situations like these are often a clue to how an individual moves through their life — and the way they’d handle the larger things,where the social friction is bigger. Do they want to be a little uncomfortable, or will they stay quiet because it feels safer?
How they answer the great fortune of others
Back when Peyton Manning won his second Super Bowl, a funny meme made the rounds: a photograph of his brother Eli, whose expression appeared to indicate that he wasn’t too thrilled.
“Crap, what am I getting to brag about at Thanksgiving now?” one tweet captioned him thinking.
To figure out whether an individual tends to support or envy those that are successful, watch their facial expressions, or hear the subtle hints in their language. A “concern troll”
is someone who disingenuously expresses concern about something when they’re really just trying to undermine an individual. Imagine someone talking about how they made a bunch of cash
with their latest business venture, then another person responds by saying, “Gosh, you’re getting to need to pay tons in self-employment taxes. confirm you’re saving.”
Ask yourself whether their intention is to support, or to throw a touch of shade.
How they frame their responsibilities and challenges
Do you “have to” work on the technical aspect of your business, or do you “get to” learn valuable technical skills to assist your business to grow?
once you hear people mention the items on their plate, you’ll get a way of whether or not they view life through a lens of victimhood or of agency.
Language is powerful.
How they answer the phrase “How’ve you been?” or “What’s new?”
Many people give the default responses: “good,” “okay,” or “same all.” you would like to gravitate toward people that always seem to be up to something.
those who light up once they mention their side projects, cool hobbies, or ideas they’ve been brooding about.
How children and dogs answer them
I swear that children have an insight about people. Because their capacities for elaborate reasoning aren’t fully developed, young kids specialize in your “vibe.”
They don’t base their opinions of you on what you say or how you are trying to return across — rather, they narrow in on your expressions and how you carry yourself.
When you’re not fully present with them, believe me, they recognize.
No one goes to get all of this right 100% of the time. But being a touch more observant and noticing patterns about people’s behavior can have a serious impact on your life.
The more attention you pay, the more you’ll surround yourself with people that truly enhance your life.