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Can you "read" a person?

I can pick up a sense about someone, by the way they act or what they say (or don't say), but I'm not a mind-reader and don't know what they're feeling unless they tell me.

Growing up it was almost expected that I was supposed to "know," so I was always guessing and living in anticipation of everything, and of course if I read someone incorrectly it was my fault. And it kind of screwed with my head because I thought that's what people did, so I learned not to say anything, but then I would also be disappointed when people weren't "reading" me and didn't act the way I liked. And if they were direct with me, it would freak me out because I wasn't used to that, either.

Never really learned to say what I felt - or even that I had a right to say it - until I was an adult, and even then it was a learning curve. I've even been called on it a few times by trusted friends, who make me feel safe enough about it to acknowledge, "oh yeah, you're right." As I've gotten older I think I've gotten much more bold in my directness, and in doing so I'm also noticing 1) I'm more and more comfortable with other people who are direct, 2) more aware of how much people aren't that way, and 3) more aware how some are taken aback by what I say. And I'm not even saying anything unkind, just speaking straight.

Makes it so much easier though than to try and "read" each other.

By bleurowz8
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Yes, I can "read" some people, especially when I am in a skeptical frame of mind. But, there have also been occasions when I saw in the person what I wanted to see, instead of what was really there.

wordywalt Level 8 July 5, 2018

I used to believe I could get a pretty good bead on a person by talking to them but nah. I got nothing.

CeliaAnne Level 6 July 5, 2018

I know nothing about football. Yet I predicted every missed penalty in the recent England Columbia shootout based on how anxious the penalty takers looked. There were witnesses. While this isn't exactly a scientific study - I think body language can be very revealing.
I've done some amateur acting. If people like a they talk about the story afterwards and their eyes light up when talking. If they're being nice but privately think the production was a car crash, I can tell. No eye contact. Words like interesting and different. Praise for the courage of people getting up on stage at all. Praise for a small item on the set.
On the separate question of bluntness versus evasion - it depends. If I think the boss is a jerk or a wedding dress is hideous, or a sensitve friend is a tone deaf singer,, I'll stay quiet. If I feel that I am being mistreated or that others are, and redress is possible, I'll speak out.


I was born with an antisocial personality "disorder", and one of the gifts from this curse is being able to pick up on what others are thinking or feeling. More times than I can remember, people have accused me of having ESP.. Which I don't believe in in a metaphysical sense.


This is different, but after I get to know somebody, I can usually paint a pretty accurate profile of that individual. I discourage people from asking me to do it for them, because an accurate profile always has some parts that the person would find unpleasant to confront. Some folks don't even take much effort to deconstruct. But I could not care less if someone reads me correctly, incorrectly, or not at all.

zeuser Level 8 July 5, 2018

Yes you can, specially if they have a lot of tattoos !!

VAL3941 Level 8 July 5, 2018

Or by the books they read.


As a building contractor it was essential that I could read people and most people have the same tells if you have learned what to look for, any bad feelings I would get around certain people I would attribute to subliminal and instinctual reactions to perceived threats. At one point 70% of my employees had served some sort of criminal sentence because it was so hard to find anyone who was willing to learn a trade and the penal system trained them as part of their rehabilitation. Excons are generally pretty easy to get a read on and fall into one of two categories in my experience, those who are killing time until they wind up back in jail and those who will do anything to make sure they never go back to jail. Within the first week I generally knew if they were the former and not the latter, they were fired when I cut them their weeks pay cheque. Sociopaths are harder to get a read on in my experience, I just make it a point to keep them out of my circle.


I study body language and I can read intentions


Yeah. We rely on reading people and hide behind polite-ese far too much IMO. Open communication is a skill that has to be learned and it can be scary to lay out who you are warts and all. I think it makes for much better relationships and mental health.


When reading women l prefer to use Braille. ?

Sticks48 Level 9 July 5, 2018

As an empath, I'm usually spot on with understanding people's feelings and motivations. It's important to still give them the space to communicate their thoughts and feelings, though. I don't expect anyone to "just know" what's going on in my head (especially when I don't know half of the time) and prefer just open and direct conversation. The world would be an easier place and if people said what they meant and meant what they said.

Minta79 Level 7 July 5, 2018

I’m usually pretty clueless about people.

Hermit Level 7 July 5, 2018

@hiil And why would I want to do that?


I love to try and read people. I tend to pay attention to my gut instincts which are more often than not, correct. I have made some awful mistakes though when I let my emotions (not the same as instinctual) make the judgment calls!!! I have to work on that...........smile005.gif


Body language is something we should all attention to, because quite often people say things when questioned that are not true, but their body language gives them away. In general terms in relationships it would be a lot better if people made clear what was on their minds instead of expecting others to read their minds. In my experience this problem is common with married couples!


I've experienced that a great deal myself. It's more of an intuition type of thing instead of actually "reading" someone's thoughts and emotions. Being a strong empath allows that to happen. You take in people's energies, whether they're good or bad, and circumvent that by getting a broad understanding of what they're feeling from what they say and do. It's a blessing and a curse though. Before getting a good handling on dealing with all this, it's not to take in negative energy and it affect your own mood. With time and patience, eventually it just becomes second nature, and it really shines when people come to you for help. Having an understanding of knowing where someone is coming from does wonders on providing them advice and the like. That last part was kind of off topic to what you were saying, but still haha. Being able to possess such talents aren't all that uncommon, it's just kind of strange trying to tell someone that doesn't know what it's like how it all works.

I totally relate to what you are saying. I have come to the realization that I may have empathic qualities. Not something that I would have chosen for myself, non the less it is what it is and I try to use it for good...sometimes much to my discomfort.

@patchoullijulie Well you can't necessarily pick whether you're instilled with such qualities though. It's a card you're dealt, so you have to deal with the good and the bad that comes with it. That's all you can do, is learn how to block out negativity and use it to better yourself and others.

@Hollowbound Agreed.


One I like to use is do they like dogs

Marine Level 8 July 5, 2018

Exactly. Don't like dogs, don't trust you!


Yes, and 98% of the time, I have been right.


My initial instincts are usually spot on but as soon as you think or analyse that clarity is gone. I'm usually also fairly good at knowing if someone is full of shit or genuinely out of sorts but I don't put the radar on everybody I meet lol

ipdg77 Level 8 July 5, 2018

My initial instincts are usually spot on but as soon as you think or analyse that clarity is gone. I'm usually also fairly good at knowing if someone is full of shit or genuinely out of sorts but I don't put the radar on everybody I meet lol

ipdg77 Level 8 July 5, 2018

Well said, and what many people experienced, and still experience growing up. Assuming what people think or mean or intend is the quickest path to misunderstanding and conflict.

Being assertive is the "bridge over troubled waters." LLOL

josephr Level 7 July 5, 2018

It’s like reading a page from my biography!


I’ve been known amongst my friends to be able to understand their emotions and opinions on things before they do. I also like to tease people to see how they will react on things before befriending them. Like weather or not they laugh at a dead baby joke, or give me a shocked expression.


I don't think I can read a person
But I can "smell" things
Hate, animosity, stress, disdain.
I can smell and see these things on a person
I have an ex, she literally reeks of these aforementioned things
It keeps our interactions heavily strained and restrained.
She denies that she feels this way, but she knows she can't lie to me.
We don't talk often and Im inclined to believe its a good thing, well, for me anyway.

Tedster Level 3 July 12, 2018

In some ways I am, in other ways I am pretty cue blind - I was a lecturer in Rogerian person centred counselling for many years - so if i am one to one with someone I can get them pretty well and see where they are coming from - Now I am living in a country I didnt start out from and so the clues are not there and obviously if they arent my clients I am not going to have rapport with them - sometmes I can barely make out what they are saying, even if its just a greeting. where i am living is far more religous than anything i have ever experienced before so as an atheist that is part of the mix too as I don't speak that language either - but non eof it is any bother to me as I am now 70y.o and pretty much out of the game - Nice when I meet someone I click with no bother if I don't .

jacpod Level 8 July 11, 2018

Yes I can read a person. I'm a people watcher so very good at studying body language. I'm hardly ever wrong on it either. There's certain signs I look at when talking to people or watching other people and can sense when they are uncomfortable or lying

royboy50 Level 2 July 8, 2018
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