How to 'Read' People

Do TELL - A tell in poker is a change in a player's behavior or demeanor
that is claimed by some to give clues to that player's assessment of their hand.
by Mike Corthell

''Language is secondary. It's your body language, your face, your eyes, your walk,  your energy that will first capture your audience.''
— Mike Corthell

Life is like a card game.

Do you like poker?

Do you know how to go beyond what people tell you? Go past even their actions? My Mother's favorite saying was, ''Actions speak louder than words,'' but there's more, much more. Look for detailed actions.

We don't have to be from the FBI to figure out what's going on inside someone's mind. Analyzing people is what we human beings do to each other all the time. 'Sizing  up' a person.

Get a baseline. A good place to start is getting to know a person's habits over time. How they react to stress for example. Also, just ask, ''How are you doing?'' If they say, ''I'm doing great!'' but then complain about everything under the sun you know how to approach them.

Looking at appearances. Are they dressed for success? A power suit. What kind of jewelry? Perfume or after shave? A cross? Ripped jeans? And so on.

Posture can be telling. Does this person their head up? (a sign of confidence) Do they walk with indecisive steps?  Or do they walk with a swagger, chest out?

Look at Physical Movements
  • Leaning and Distance - If they lean to you, they like you.
  • Crossed arms and legs - Might be defensive or may not like what you're saying.
  • Hiding one’s hands - Deception, hiding something from you.
  • Lip biting or cuticle picking - Sign of stress. They maybe soothing themselves.
The face speaks. Facial expressions can tell you a lot. Emotions become a road map on face. Deep frown lines may mean worry or a deep thinker. Crow’s feet may mean that the person is joyful. When a person is telling you something, pursed lips may signal that they are angry, or bitter. A clenched jaws signs of tension.

These are basic tips on actions and behaviors we all exhibit. But there's more(isn't there always?) Up next: ''Intuition: Can We Trust Our Gut Feelings?''