Is it possible to learn to read people like a book and where to start?

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How to read people and see their essence?0 out of 51 based on 0 voters.

To look at a person and understand what he is, to read hidden thoughts and intentions, to unravel the background of his actions - it seems that this is only possible in science fiction films.

In fact, reading people and seeing their essence is an ability that any person can develop in himself with a competent approach and diligence. There are a lot of practices that help, if not to become clairvoyant, then at least to strengthen intuition and, on a subconscious level, learn to feel and understand what is hidden from view.

Learn to read yourself

The first thing you need to start with if you want to learn how to read people is to learn to read yourself. You need to know yourself much better than most people know themselves. But the good news is that you need to get to know yourself from a certain point of view, namely, you need to understand at what moments you form an opinion about a person, and at what moments you change your opinion about him.

There are about 7 billion people in the world, and it is clear that you have not formed an opinion about most of them. You don’t know, trust or distrust them, love them or hate them, you just have a neutral attitude towards them.

Forward lean

What do you do when you like someone or want to contact them? That's right, you go to meet him, you head towards him. The interlocutor, leaning forward a little, shows that he is not at all against communicating with another person. In this position, the legs may remain motionless, but the body moves forward intuitively.

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Determining your opinion about your partner

And so you meet one of these strangers, approach him, start a conversation, and after five minutes of conversation you have already formed some kind of opinion about him.

Only through self-study can you learn to understand other people.

You can already say something to yourself, like: “You know, I don’t trust him, there’s something repulsive about him” or “He’s cool, I’d love to talk to him”, or “I think he’s very He’s smart, I’d like to work with him.”

But in fact, a couple of minutes have passed, you haven’t looked at him or his resume and you don’t know much about him, everything that this person told you may or may not be true. Everything you might have noticed is just subtle hints. Therefore, if you train yourself to notice these hints, you will be able to identify for yourself what relates to what.

Step 1. Self-study

You need to study at what point you form an opinion about a person.

Step 2. Focus on the interlocutor (see where the person’s attention is directed)

The first thing you need to do is focus their attention. Attention is what is easiest to identify. Many of us do things intuitively, but if we highlight some points, the first one is visual contact. You understand that if a person listens to you or says something and at the same time looks around or at the clock, it means that he wants to leave.

You understand this intuitively. Another thing that people find difficult to control is body position. If you are tempted to leave, then your body itself changes direction: “Yes, yes, great, see you tomorrow!” and the person leaves. By the same principle, if you are in a room where there is a person with whom you want to communicate, but you are talking to another person, then your body will involuntarily begin to turn.

If a person looks around and does not pay attention to you, this means that he is not comfortable and wants to leave.

Where your hips are pointing, your legs are pointing, your torso is pointing, basically where different parts of your body are pointing are indicators of where your attention is going. And the last thing that can be attributed to attention is the person who is talking to you or with whom you are talking, and how you are involved in the conversation, what questions you ask.

The main tasks when contacting a stranger are:

  • engage the person in conversation;
  • keep his attention.

If you are not involved in the conversation, then you will react to the conversation like: “Yes, yes, great,” “Yeah, very interesting” - this is abstraction. A person’s involvement in a conversation is indicated by questions on the topic – addition. In this case there doesn't have to be a question. An action can simply be a comment that relates to the topic of the conversation. It is an excellent indicator of whether you have interested a person, which is the first step to forming a contact.

The second step is to understand whether you are holding this attention to yourself. Will your interlocutors be interested or vice versa? And how can one recognize whether a person is interested in what is happening in front of him? Here we turn to emotions.

Non-verbal communication

Nonverbal communication refers to expressive movements (facial expressions and pantomimes), gestures (bow, turning towards or away from the interlocutor, etc.), the use of objects (giving a woman a bouquet of flowers, bringing a cigarette to her mouth, etc.).

Each country has developed systems of special signs and symbols. For example, traffic control signs, uniforms, insignia, awards, etc. The use of expressive and concise means of non-verbal communication significantly expands the possibilities of communication.

Any group, formal or conventional, strives to find adequate symbolism to indicate the type of its activity, social status, location, etc. Often informal groups adopt their own symbolism, understandable only to initiates, for example, tattoos, a special cut of clothing, hairstyle, etc. d.

As a person grows up, is raised and trained, and later in professional development, he masters a certain system of verbal and nonverbal communication, which he uses in his communication with people around him.

According to leading experts in nonverbal communication, only 7% of information is transmitted through words, 38% through sounds, and 55% through facial expressions, gestures and postures. Thus, it is not so important what exactly a person says, what is more important is how he does it.

Understanding the language of facial expressions and gestures of the interlocutor allows you to “read” the interlocutor, see what impression what he heard made on him, find out his position even before he speaks out on this matter. Feedback is provided through nonverbal communication, which determines the attitude of people towards each other.

Understanding nonverbal signs will help you change behavior in time or do something else to achieve the desired result in communicating with people.

Pay attention to emotions

What you need to know about emotions is that they are mainly focused on a person's face. This is the most important place to consider emotions. Of course, they can be found in other places, but more than 80% of emotions are concentrated on the face. And here it is necessary to bring a voice. Intonation also says a lot. So, of course, you need to start with recognizing facial expressions.

Psychology of human behavior


Everyone knows what joy looks like, but it’s harder to recognize microexpressions on the face. For example, if someone experiences some emotion but tries to hide it. Let's say you're interviewing for a job and you've been given an offer that exceeds all your expectations, but you don't want to show it, you don't want your employer to know it.

They tell you: “We are ready to offer you a salary of so and so rubles, okay, an interesting offer.” And we see that a person literally loses control over his emotions for an instant. In this case, a smile slipped through. And we understand what emotions a person experiences. But microexpressions are not a core skill for reading people.

He rubs his chin

How to evaluate such a gesture? Such actions are carried out by people who are trying to make some difficult decision. They may look down, up or to the side. That being said, the direction of the eyes doesn't really matter because the person is so anxious that they often don't even notice others or realize what they're looking at.

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Be able to recognize behavior patterns

Let's return to the situation when, for example, you are having an interview and the employer tells you: “We have studied your resume, we will call you back,” this is a template, and you understand that they may never call you back. Therefore, first of all, it is necessary to learn how to predict them. This will greatly help you train your recognition skills.

Making guesses about people's behavior

For example, make predictions about how the conversation will develop among the people around you, whom you can follow for some time while in a bar or cafe. Does the girl like the guy and the like. Try to predict the future situation, and then observe whether it will happen or not.

Psychology of human behavior

You notice these things, but if you don’t apply them in life and try to predict what will happen next, then it will all turn out to be a waste of time. The interesting thing about putting all this into practice is that you prove to others, and above all to yourself, whether you are right or wrong.

The ability to make predictions will help you predict the behavior of other people.

Applying various patterns on yourself, be it speaking loudly (being sociable), being able to maintain eye contact, try to understand the reaction of the people around you, if they react negatively, then this is not what suits you. If you learn to identify emotions, you can make assumptions about what causes such emotions.

If you start making predictions and observing other people, you can learn to determine how the conversation is going. And also analyze the situation and ask yourself “What happened”? By analyzing other people, you will learn not only to read them well, but also to understand what evokes emotions in people, you will be able to better attract attention, become a more interesting person, and become the person you would like to become. We are not born charismatic or uncharismatic, confident or insecure, it is just a set of your thoughts and actions.

Hand down

What does this gesture mean? Most often, this signals that a person is experiencing compassion, and this happens immediately after a regular handshake. In another case, such a gesture may mean drawing attention to important words or clarifying rules. Perhaps the person is secretly communicating his superiority.

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7Thomas Erickson “There are only idiots around. If it seems so to you, perhaps it doesn’t seem so to you.”

Scandinavian bestseller on communication psychology. It went through four reprints in Sweden. Being a universal master key to the personality of any person, this book is on the desk of almost every Swedish leader, teacher and journalist. Its author, the famous Scandinavian psychologist Thomas Erikson, divides all people into four color types. It describes the logic of behavior, temperament, and value system of representatives of each color. Explains how to find a common language with them, lead projects, resolve conflicts and establish partnerships.

11Aud Dalsegg, Inge Wesse “On the Hook: How to Break the Cycle of Unhealthy Relationships”

Is a hysterical boss keeping the entire office in fear? Does your best friend make you dance to his tune? Is your loved one a tyrant? Are your parents impossible to please? Does your child blame you for his failures? If you are in constant nervous tension, feel pathetic and worthless, or even feel afraid of those with whom you live or work, then perhaps you have come under the influence of a psychopathic personality. How to resist such people and get out of their masterfully placed networks, preserving yourself and your “I”? This is what the book by Aud Dalsegg and Inger Wesse is about, based on real stories.

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3Lillian Glass “Everyone lies. How to detect deception by facial expressions and gestures"

Doctor of Psychology Lillian Glass worked as an expert on the world's largest television channels, giving lectures on body language and lies to employees of various law enforcement agencies, including the FBI. Serves as a forensic consultant, behavioral analyst, and dispute resolution mediator. In her book, Glass shares the quick and easy approach she uses to recognize lies—from “innocent” petty deceptions to shameless lies that can change lives.

5Bohr Stanwyck “We are all in time. How lying, cheating and self-deception make us human"

Lying is not always bad, sometimes it is useful, and sometimes it is simply vital. The book contains many examples of “good” deception - in human society and in the wild. The entire history of civilization is permeated with deception. Why has this phenomenon taken root in our society? Why does a lie attract us so much that even a feeling of guilt does not force us to give it up? The book will find answers to these questions. But the main thing is that the author suggests by what signs you can understand that they are lying to you, and by what signs - that you are deceiving yourself.

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