- always consider the context when reading a person’s pose,
- it’s easy to identify a confident person: he stands confidently on his feet, does not make unnecessary movements and always looks in the eyes,
- if a person speaks quickly and slurred, most likely he is lying, not speaking or not sure what he is saying,
- pay more attention to changing the pose than to the pose itself,
- Remember that each person has his own habits in movements, which speak more about his character as a whole than about momentary desires.
Determine the rate
People have different quirks and patterns of behavior. For example, they can clear their throats, look at the floor during a conversation, cross their arms, scratch their heads, sort their hair, mow their eyes, pout or shake their feet. Initially, we do not even notice this. And if we notice, then we do not attach any importance. However, people can exhibit this behavior for various reasons. Maybe it's just an ingrained habit. Or maybe an indicator of nervousness, distrust or aggression. Mentally create a profile for everyone with whom you have to deal, and place there the behavioral patterns and habits inherent in it, which can conditionally be considered the norm for a given person.
Pay attention to any deviations of a person from the norm prescribed in his profile. For example, your business partner has the habit of clearing his throat at the very beginning of the conversation. However, today, during a discussion of some of his new initiatives, he does this much more often than usual. It is worth paying attention to such changes in behavior and, perhaps, asking your partner more questions than you did before.
Notice gesture groups
Sometimes a single gesture does not mean anything, but if it goes in conjunction with others, then almost always it indicates some special state or hidden intention of the speaker. Returning to the business partner, we recall that he usually only clears his throat. But today, this was also added to frequent scratching of the head and swaying of the foot in the air. Double the caution.
Compare and contrast
So, you notice that someone is acting a little different than usual. Go up a notch to see if a person behaves the same way with someone other than you. Observe how he or she behaves with others in the room. Or how to answer a sudden incoming call. Does facial expression change? And what about posture and body language?
Do not forget about the mirror
In the human brain, there is something like mirror neurons that reflect the states of other people. You by default read the body language of the interlocutor. His smile activates the muscles in your face that are responsible for the smile, and a frowning expression makes you frown. Meeting someone you like, your eyebrows rise, your facial muscles relax, your head bends, and blood rushes to your lips, making them a little brighter and fuller than usual. Take a closer look at your partner’s face. If all this does not happen to him, the conclusions about his attitude towards you are obvious.
Why do you need the ability to understand people
It could be said that it is not necessary to understand the people around you, you don’t need to learn to read them like books, because you can communicate without this knowledge. But modern society requires communicative qualities in almost any field of activity. Therefore, you need to increase your emotional intelligence, learn to understand other people and put this knowledge into practice.
The ability to read people, like open books, will help to build a dialogue easier and easier, to quickly come to a consensus, to achieve their goals. This is especially important in working with people, such a skill will be useful to every leader. When it is necessary to achieve a certain return from subordinates, you need to understand how to get it, making the least effort.
The basic rules of understanding the interlocutor
Before trying to read a person like a book, it is important to understand that we learn most of the information from the interlocutor from non-verbal signals, facial expressions, gestures. And when a person says one thing, and his body position and facial expression say differently, the interlocutor has a double understanding of the situation. And often non-verbal signals cause more confidence.
Another factor to remember in order to understand how to read a person, like a book, is an understanding of his needs and desires. In any conversation, some goal is pursued, each cooperation and communication leads to certain results. Understanding these goals and the desires of your interlocutor will make it possible to correctly interpret all his words and emotions.
No wonder they say: "People are like books, and we read them." Any gesture, a look, a sigh, a change in facial expressions can say much more than a said phrase or a voiced thought.
The meaning of facial expressions
Many would like to know how to learn to read people like a book, and the first understandable page in this “book” may be the ability to understand facial expressions. Moreover, it is not isolated of any one part of the face, but of the complex. Indeed, it often happens that the lips are smiling, and in the eyes of malice or hatred. The main points in understanding facial expressions can be called such moments:
- When a person is really happy, he smiles not only at the corners of his lips, his cheeks are also lifted, and the muscles around his eyes are activated.
- With a disgust or hostility experienced, the upper lip rises in a person, and the skin on the forehead in the area of the nose is wrinkled.
- If anger builds up in a person’s soul, his lips will be tightly pressed, and his eyebrows are drawn in the center of the nose.
- A sad or sad person drops the outer corners of the eyes, as well as the lips. The look becomes distracted.
- In a person who is afraid of something, his eyes involuntarily expand and his mouth opens. Horizontal folds appear on the forehead.
Remembering these simple signs, you can quickly figure out how to read people, and eventually succeed.
Related factors for understanding interlocutors
Trying to understand and “read” another person, it is important to consider his life circumstances, sphere of hobbies, marital status, health, mood and other important factors. For example, from friends you can often hear complaints about a lack of money. But when these words sound from an unemployed lonely person, sympathy for him and a desire to help more than from a hard worker who simply does not know how to distribute expenses.
It is important not only what circumstances have developed in the life of a particular person, but also how he relates to them. Understanding this will give a direct answer to the question of how to read people. Indeed, even one regards moneylessness with ease and confidence that he will cope, and the other falls into despair, seeking help and support from others. Therefore, to draw conclusions from facts alone is pointless; one must take into account various related factors in the life of the interlocutor.
Eyes - a mirror of the soul
A person’s eyes, like no other part of the body or face, can help to understand the interlocutor and find a common language with him. From the eyes you can understand the mood of a person, well-being, and even recognize when he is telling the truth, and when he is lying. Reading with friends and relatives is much easier than reading strangers. The eyes of a loved one are familiar and understandable, their reaction to certain words is remembered over time, and even reading thoughts by sight becomes possible.
To understand from the eyes of a stranger, you can remember several basic signs:
- If your eyes are wide open and shine, this most likely means the interest and dedication of the interlocutor.
- By how often a person looks away, being interested in the surroundings, one can conclude how much he is involved in the conversation.
- If the interlocutor looks away, most likely he does not want to talk or suggests fraud.
- A dull look and narrowed pupils indicate a negative attitude to the interlocutor or to the topic of conversation.
The eyes can say a lot, and the observant can understand much more than the lips say.
The ability to ask questions correctly
To understand how to read people and find a common language with them, it is important to be able to ask questions correctly. Sometimes what matters is not what to ask, but how to ask. After all, the same question can be asked in different ways.
To understand a person, you need to be interested in his opinion and attitude to the situation, and not just listen to a dry statement of facts. The following questions will help in this:
- Why did you do that?
- What did you feel at that moment?
- What are you going to do next?
- What help do you need?
In order for a person to open up and become understandable, it is important to earn his trust. And this can be done only sincerely interested in the life and well-being of your interlocutor.
Find a strong voice
The most important person may not be sitting at the head of the table. Those with real power have strong, well-established voices. Not to be confused with a loud voice, which often, on the contrary, is a sign of weakness and insecurity. If you are trying to convey your idea to a group of people, you should not concentrate only on who is formally considered a leader. Hear all of these people, find the strongest voice, work on attracting exactly his voice to your side.
Follow the movements
Self-doubt people can easily be identified by abrupt and fussy movements, stooped posture and lowered head. But this does not mean that their ideas and considerations will be rubbish. If you have such subordinates, you probably will have to make a little more effort to “knock out” them, finally, their brilliant ideas.
A person can express the same idea in many different ways. Pay attention to what kind of words a person selects to convey this or that thought, and you will learn much more about him than perhaps he knows about himself. For example, he may say: “I get paid $ 500”, or “I earn $ 500”, or “I have a salary of $ 500”. In the first case, you have a passive person who is used to relying on others in everything, in the second - a person with an active lifestyle, and in the third - a lover of restrictions and clear rules.
A more detailed portrait of a person is not difficult. Just collect the answers to the following questions. Is he an introvert or an extrovert? What is more important for him - feelings or achievements? How does he relate to risk and uncertainty? What feeds his ego? How does he behave under stress? And in a relaxed state? Filling all these points in his profile, you will undoubtedly come closer to a better understanding of this person. A better understanding will lead to effective interaction.