Being a better communicator is one thing,
but when you think about it,
so much of what we “say” to one another is far beyond the verbal language we share intentionally.
If you want to become better at reading people,
and understand them on a deeper level,
it’s necessary to go one step deeper than what we normally think of as communication.
In the chapters that follow,
we’re going to explore several subtle but effective ways to quietly gather information about the people around us – even and especially when they’re not deliberately sharing it! We’ll look at the power of observation,
how to master questioning techniques to your advantage,
and see what we can learn from interrogators,
interviewers and even cold readers and “psychics.”
we’ll start with something simply: merely looking at what’s right in front of you.
If you really look,
there’s a lot of information to be gleaned about the people you interact with.
The idea that people cannot help but reveal their true intentions and feelings one way or another is an appealing one.
People can say whatever they like,
but it’s always been understood that “actions speak louder than words” and that people’s facial expressions or body language can inadvertently reveal their deepest selves.
We are in effect communicating all the time,
sending out information about our intentions and feelings—but only a small fraction of this is verbal.
Observing people’s actions and behavior in real time is what we most commonly understand to be analyzing people.
It might seem natural to look to people’s physical bodies in space to intuit what’s going on in their heads,
and there’s plenty of scientific evidence to support these claims.
Physical appearance can tell you a lot about a person’s feelings,
even if they’re actively trying to conceal these.
In other words,
the body doesn’t lie!
this approach to understanding people’s motivations is not foolproof.
When we’re interacting with others and trying to understand what makes them tick,
it’s important to be cautious in making assumptions.
We’re all individuals,
and context is very important.
Though we can use various methods to read facial expressions and body language,
it pays to remember that no single piece of information is enough to “prove” anything,
and that the art of reading people this way comes down to taking a holistic view of the full scenario as it unfolds in front of you.