18 tips on how to understand people
18 psychological tips on how to understand people
How To Read Anyone Instantly – 18 Psychological Tips
When we are meeting someone for the first time, we are bombarded with information.
It can be hard to work out what kind of person they are.
That’s why it’s important to understand HOW we communicate.
According to experts, 55% of what we convey comes from body language, 38% from the tone
of voice, and only 7% from what we actually say.
This means that when we meet someone for the first time, we have to take into account these
three factors - in addition to what a person’s appearance may suggest.
So, if you want to gain insight into someone’s personality when you first meet them, pay
attention to the following clues - starting from the head down!
Number 1 - Eye Contact
They often say that the eyes are the window to the soul.
The key to knowing which kind of eye contact someone is giving you, is to consider the
For example, if a person literally can’t take their eyes off you, it could mean there’s
a romantic interest.
On the other hand, when you look someone in the eye, and they can’t bring themselves
to look back at you, it’s a sign that they’re either nervous, or they’ve got something
That said, if you’re talking with someone whose stare is making you squirm - especially
if they’re very still and not blinking - something is definitely up, and they may be lying to
Number 2 - Eyebrows
If you want to see how comfortable a person is, take a look at their eyebrows!
There are three main emotions that make your eyebrows go up: surprise, worry, and fear.
Try raising your eyebrows when you’re having a relaxed casual conversation with a friend.
It’s hard to do, isn’t it?
If someone talking to you raises their eyebrows, and the topic isn’t one that would logically
cause surprise, worry, or fear, it’s a sign that they’re feeling pretty uncomfortable.
Number 4 - Smile
When it comes to smiling, the mouth can lie, but the eyes can’t.
Genuine smiles reach the eyes, crinkling the skin to create crow’s feet around them.
People often smile to hide what they’re really thinking and feeling, so the next time
you want to know if somebody’s smile is genuine, look for crinkles at the corners
of their eyes.
If they aren’t there, that smile is hiding something!
Number 5 - What They Say
If you’re meeting someone for the first time, and all they do is talk about their
wonderful better half or praise their work colleagues, chances are, they’re a pretty
decent person themselves.
Studies show, that the more people rate others as being kind, polite, loving and well-mannered,
the more likely they are to also possess these traits.
However, the reverse is also true.
Anyone backstabbing and describing others as manipulative and nasty, is more likely
to have these traits themselves.
It’s also possible that they have a history of depression or personality disorder.
Number 6 - Paralanguage
Paralanguage is nonverbal communication such as your tone, pitch or manner of speaking.
Basically, it’s a fancy way of saying that you need to pay attention to how someone says
For example, if someone is answering you in monotone, they’re most likely unattached
to your concept and not interested.
The use of sarcasm is another good example.
When someone uses sarcasm, what the person means is actually the opposite of what the
So, pay attention to the emphasis they put on words and how they say it.
It gives you a big clue as to what their true intentions are.
Number 7 - Side Glance
People that are warm and open to meeting you, will have their body facing you and they will
look you in the eye.
On the flip side, if you’ve just met someone and they immediately glance away to the side,
this is a subconscious body language sign that means they are looking for an escape.
Number 8 - Frequent Nodding
Nodding is usually a sign that someone agrees with you.
But, exaggerated nodding may signal anxiety, about approval.
When you’re telling someone something, and they nod excessively, this means that they
are worried about what you think of them, or that you doubt their ability to follow
On the other hand, frequent nodding could also be unconscious gestures that are cues
for the other person to get a move on - just like when a person keeps looking at their
watch or touches their car keys.
Number 9 - Chin And Jaw
When someone is trying to make a decision, they tend to rub their chin.
They might be looking up, down, or to the side...
It’s a sure sign that they are deep in thought.
A clenched jaw is a sign of stress.
Regardless of what the person is saying, this indicates a considerable level of discomfort.
The conversation may be heading toward something they’re anxious about; or their mind may
be elsewhere, and they’re focusing on the thing that’s stressing them out.
Number 10 - Posture
How someone carries themselves can give you some indications about their self confidence.
For example, if someone is walking upright with their shoulders back and looking straight
ahead, that gives the indication that they feel good about themselves and have confidence.
However, if someone is slouching over and looking at the ground when they walk, that
gives a much different impression.
It may not necessarily mean that they have low self-esteem, but that’s the message
it gives off.
Number 11 - Rubbing Hands
It is believed that the hands broadcast what the head is thinking.
When a person is rubbing their hands together, generally it means that they have a positive
feeling about something.
People usually do this when they are hopeful about something good coming up in the future,
and they’re excited about it.
Number 12 - Handshake
You can tell a lot by a person’s handshake.
Soft and flabby - and they are likely to be submissive or a pushover.
Too hard and crushing - and they are possibly domineering types.
The length of time is also important.
Too long and it’s weird, but too short could indicate some form of conflict.
It’s possible that the person does not want to make a deep connection with you.
But, it could also mean that they don’t have much time.
Number 13 - Leaning In, Or Away
If a person leans in toward you, it’s a clear indication that they are interested
in what you have to say.
What you might not know, is that it’s also a sign of respect.
When people come closer and lean in toward you during a conversation, it shows that they
want to confide in you.
It makes you feel trustworthy and valued.
If someone leans back however, they show that they are tired of the conversation, or perhaps
they feel uncomfortable for some reason.
Number 14 - Holding The Baby
Ok…this might seem like a strange one, but it’s good to know.
If you’re meeting someone for the first time, and they just happen to be a new mother,
look at what arm they use to hold the baby.
Studies show that happy moms tend to hold their babies in their left arm.
While stressed and depressed mothers usually hold their babies in their right arm.
Number 15 - Crossed Arms And Legs
Have you ever had a conversation with someone who crossed their arms or legs while you were
talking to them?
If you’re on a first date, or if you’re trying to pitch someone a new idea, it’s
not a good sign.
Crossed arms and legs are physical barriers that suggest the other person is not open
to what you’re saying.
Even if they’re smiling and engaged in a pleasant conversation, their body language
tells the story.
Psychologically, crossed legs or arms, signal that a person is mentally, emotionally, and
physically blocked off from what’s in front of them.
On the same note, the direction of someone’s feet are also quite revealing.
A judgments about people’s shoes, but studies show that they are pretty
- Nervous people will have new or very clean shoes
- Amiable types will wear practical shoes - Calm people have an affinity for uncomfortable
Just take a look at your own shoes.
Does your personality type fit in with them?
Number 17 - Overall Appearance
How someone dresses and presents themselves can say volumes about them.
If the person has their hair in place, their clothing pressed, and they show attention
to style, they may be very detail oriented.
Someone with a more casual wardrobe or “bed head” might be creative, or just messy.
And then take someone who looks unkempt and smelly - they could simply be a really lazy
Number 18 - Copying Body Language
If you’ve never tried to read people before, this is something you probably haven’t noticed.
But, pay close attention to it in the future, because when someone mimics your body language,
it means they feel so good about you, that they want to harmonize with you.
It’s a sign that the conversation is going well and that the other party is receptive
to your message.
This is done unconsciously – as no one walks around with the intention of outright copying
But when we’re comfortable with people, we have a tendency to do what they do.
Some of us are pretty good at reading the signs that people give off.
While others are so bad, that they need the other person to come out and straight-up tell
them what’s on their mind.
Reading people isn’t easy, but if you can do it, it’s a fantastic skill to have.
Of course, everyone is different, so interpreting their words and actions may or may not always
But hopefully, with these tips, you’ll be well on your way to becoming better at reading