10 unexpected habits of people who are masters at reading others

Lucas Graham by Lucas Graham | January 17, 2024, 2:17 pm

Ever wondered how some people seem to just get you? Like they can read your mind?

It’s not magic, it’s skill.

And guess what? They all share some common habits.

Get comfy and let’s explore 10 surprising habits of people who are really good at understanding others. You might pick up a trick or two!

1) They’re great listeners

First off, people who are good at understanding others spend more time listening than talking.

They’re not just hearing words, they’re actively listening. They tune into your tone of voice, the pace of your speech, and the words you choose to use.

All these elements can give them clues about what’s going on in your head. They know that sometimes, what’s left unsaid can be just as important as what is said.

In fact, by staying quiet and focusing on the other person, they often encourage others to share more about themselves.

This gives them even more information to work with in understanding you better.

It’s a simple habit, but incredibly effective in reading people.

2) They notice details

Next up, these folks are detail detectives. They’re always alert and aware, picking up on tiny changes in the behavior or speech of others that most people would miss.

Maybe you’re tapping your foot a little more rapidly, or your voice gets lower when a certain topic comes up.

These little changes provide a wealth of information about your current state of mind and emotions.

They know that often, these small details can reveal more about a person than any grand gesture.

This habit of keen observation helps them build a more comprehensive understanding of the people around them.

3) They see what your body says

Now, let me tell you about body language.

I learned pretty early on how much our bodies can reveal what we’re feeling, even when our words might be telling a different story.

I once had a friend who would always cross her arms tightly across her chest whenever we talked about her job.

She would tell me she was fine with her work, but her body language told me something else. She was closed off, almost defensive.

It turned out she was indeed unhappy at work but didn’t know how to express it.

That’s when I realized how helpful it can be to pay attention to someone’s body language. It’s like a window to their unspoken feelings and thoughts.

So, the ‘people readers’? They’re constantly watching how you stand, how you move your hands when you’re talking, or even if your eyes dart away when certain topics come up.

Your body might be saying more than you think!

4) They understand emotions

Did you know that there’s actually a term for being good at recognizing and understanding feelings? It’s called emotional intelligence, and it’s a key trait of people who are adept at reading others.

Emotional intelligence, or EQ, is the ability to identify and manage your own emotions, as well as the emotions of others.

It’s not just about being aware of how you’re feeling, but also understanding why you’re feeling that way and how your emotions can affect those around you.

Studies have shown that people with high EQ are often more successful in their personal and professional lives.

Those ‘people readers’ you know, they’ve likely got a high EQ which helps them understand not just what people are feeling, but why they might be feeling that way.

5) They try to feel what you feel

Empathy. It’s a word we hear a lot, but what does it truly mean?

It means stepping into someone else’s shoes, seeing the world through their eyes, and feeling what they feel. It’s about genuine understanding and compassion.

People who are really good at understanding others, they’re often deeply empathetic. They don’t just see your point of view, they feel it.

They don’t just hear your words, they feel the emotions behind them. They’re not just bystanders observing from the outside; they dive in and swim in the depths of your experiences.

This heartfelt connection with others allows them to truly understand your thoughts and emotions on a deep, intimate level.

It’s not just about reading people; it’s about connecting with them heart to heart.

6) They think about the situation

I’ll never forget a lesson I learned one day while watching a friend interact with a waiter at a restaurant.

My friend, usually cheerful and kind, was short and almost rude to the waiter. I was ready to judge her for her abruptness until she later explained she’d just received some terrible news.

That’s when I realized the importance of considering the situation at hand. The same action can mean different things in different situations.

It taught me not to jump to conclusions too quickly and always take into account what’s happening around me. Just like me, ‘people readers’ always think about the context.

They know that understanding others often requires looking beyond their immediate actions or words and considering the larger picture.

7) They look for things that don’t add up

Let’s get real here. We all wear masks. We all put on a performance to some degree.

We say we’re fine when we’re not, we smile when we want to cry, we pretend to be confident when we’re shaking inside. It’s human nature.

But people who are really good at reading others? They see through the act.

They notice when your words don’t match your actions, when your smile doesn’t reach your eyes, when your laugh is just a bit too forced.

They understand that these inconsistencies often mean something’s up. They realize that sometimes, the truth lies not in what’s being shown, but in what’s being hidden.

8) They don’t jump to conclusions

Did you know that our brains are wired to make quick decisions? It’s a survival mechanism that dates back to our ancestors.

This ‘snap judgment’ mentality, however, isn’t always helpful in today’s complex social interactions.

When it comes to understanding people, jumping to conclusions can lead to misunderstandings and misinterpretations.

That’s why people who are good at reading others practice a different approach.

They keep an open mind and take their time to gather information from various sources before forming an opinion.

9) They trust their gut

I’ve always been a firm believer in intuition. You know that gut feeling you get when something just doesn’t feel right, even if you can’t put your finger on why?

I’ve learned to trust that feeling. It’s guided me in making some of the most important decisions in my life and helped me understand people on a deeper level.

I’ve found that when my gut tells me something about someone, it’s often spot on.

The ‘people readers’ I know, they trust their intuition too. They understand that sometimes, understanding people is more about instinct than logic.

They pay attention to these inner nudges and use them as a valuable tool in reading others.

10) They take their time

Let’s face it, we live in a world that’s all about speed. Fast food, fast cars, fast internet. We’re always rushing, always trying to save time.

But when it comes to understanding people, speed isn’t always your friend.

You can’t rush empathy or force insight. People who are really good at reading others understand this.

They take their time and let conversations unfold naturally. They don’t rush judgments or jump to conclusions.

In stead, they know that truly understanding someone often takes patience and time. And they’re willing to invest that time because they know it’s worth it.

Understanding people isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon. It’s about building connections, fostering empathy, and creating meaningful relationships. And all good things take time!