The need to learn to understand people most often occurs when a person was mistaken about the others more than once. Since we are all more or less dependent on the people around us, understanding others’ behavior is one of the key life skills. How to develop it?
What is worth reading
Since the topic of today’s article is very general, I want to give some references to the theoretical material that will be useful.
First, be sure to read books on the topics like body language, gestures, facial expressions that can say very, very much about the person. If you do not mind a kind of stereotypical approach, you can also explore the physiognomy (judging character by facial features) and psychology of temperaments.
No matter how many books you may have read, without the practice learning to understand people’s behavior is impossible. So you will need some practical experience. How to get it?
1. Develop and listen to your intuition
Very often, our inner voice tells us (mainly at the level of sensations or feelings) how we should treat a particular person. Someone provokes in us a tingling on the back and a feeling of anxiety, when other people immediately make us feel comfortable and confident. Or sometimes we just feel that “something is wrong about this person”.
Intuition tells us what we do not realize consciously, but is perceived and recognized on a subconscious level. Do not ignore the inner voice, because later you will probably get a confirmation of those vague feelings that warned you.
2. Train your mindfulness and concentration
Suppose that you have studied and even memorized the meaning of different body language signals. In order to apply this knowledge in practice, it is necessary to constantly stay focused on the object of your study. After five minutes of dialogue it is easy to forget that you were going to watch and analyze, so work on your ability to focus on the task at hand.
3. Make your conclusions in the appropriate situations
The proverb “a friend in need is a friend indeed” and the notion that a person can be known only in trouble or an emergency situation exist for a reason. In usual circumstances, most of us follow certain patterns of behavior and wear a “protective” mask, pretending to be not what we are.
When one comes out of his comfort zone, it is very difficult to use such behavior pattern, and only then you will see the ‘true face’ of the person. Because to make a decision in such a situation, he will be following his own internal values, and you will understand what these values are and, therefore, what kind of person is in front of you.