1. Pay Attention to Appearance
When reading others notice: Are they wearing a power suit and well-shined shoes, dressed for success, indicating ambition, Jeans and a t-shirt, indicating comfort with being casual. A pendant such as a cross or Buddha indicating spiritual values.
2. Notice Posture
When reading people’s posture, ask yourself: Do they hold their head high, confident, Or do they walk indecisively or cower, a sign of low self-esteem, Do they swagger with a puffed out chest, sign of a big ego.
3. Watch For Physical Movements
- Leaning and Distance—Observe where people lean. Generally, we lean toward those we like and away from those we don’t.
- Crossed arms and legs—This pose suggests defensiveness, anger, or self-protection. When people cross their legs they tend to point the toes of the top leg towards the person they are most at ease with.
- Hiding one’s hands—When people place their hands in their laps, pockets, or put them behind their back it suggests that they are hiding something.
- Lip biting or cuticle picking—When people bite or lick their lips or pick their cuticles they are trying to soothe themselves under pressure or in an awkward situation.
The Second Technique. Listen to Your Intuition
You can tune into someone beyond their body language and words. Intuition is what your gut feels, not what your head says. It’s nonverbal information you perceive via images, ah-has, and body knowings, rather than logic. If you want to understand someone, what counts the most is who the person is, not their outer trappings. Intuition lets you see further than the obvious to reveal a richer story.
Checklist of Intuitive Cues
1. Honor your gut feelings
Listen to what your gut says, especially during first meetings, a visceral reaction that occurs before you have a chance to think. It relays whether you’re at ease or not. Gut feelings occur quickly, a primal response. They’re your internal truth meter, relaying if you can trust people.
2. Feel the goosebumps
Goosebumps are marvelous intuitive tingles which convey that we resonate with people who move or inspire us, or are saying something that strikes a chord. Goosebumps also happen when you experience deja-vu, a recognition that you’ve known someone before, though you’ve actually never met.
3. Watch for intuitive empathy
Sometimes you can feel people’s physical symptoms and emotions in your body which is an intense form of empathy. So, when reading people, notice, “Does my back hurt when it didn’t before? Am I depressed or upset after an uneventful meeting?” To determine if this is empathy, get feedback.
The Third Technique. Sense Emotional Energy
Emotions are a stunning expression of our energy, the “vibe” we give off. We register these with intuition. Some people feel good to be around; they improve your mood and vitality. Others are draining; you instinctively want to get away. This “subtle energy” can be felt inches or feet from the body, though it’s invisible. In Chinese medicine it’s called chi, a vitality that’s essential to health.
1. Sense people’s presence
This is the overall energy we emit, not necessarily congruent with words or behavior. It’s the emotional atmosphere surrounding us like a rain cloud or the sun. As you read people notice: Do they have a friendly presence that attracts you? Or are you getting the willies, making you back off.
2. Notice the feel of a handshake, hug, and touch
We share emotional energy through physical contact much like an electrical current. Ask yourself, Does a handshake or hug feel warm, comfortable, confident? Or is it off-putting so you want to withdraw? Are people’s hands clammy, signaling anxiety. Or limp, suggesting being non-committal and timid?
3. Listen for People’s Tone of Voice and Laugh
The tone and volume of our voice can tell much about our emotions. Sound frequencies create vibrations. When reading people, notice how their tone of voice affects you. Ask yourself: Does their tone feel soothing? Or is it abrasive, snippy, or whiny?
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Asad Khawar, 15 years old.
administrator of Gegapedia and Gegamall.