You can’t really go about socializing properly until you are able to at least somewhat read others’ personalities – this enables you to gauge potential responses and reactions to your actions. This is a human thing! Everyone does it, it’s how we determine who we make friends with and who to stay away from.
Although you cannot possibly determine everyone’s personality type from simply having a conversation with them, there are ways you can learn to gauge some of the basic traits to get a better understanding of them as a person.
All these steps require you to know yourself so that you can put yourself aside and pay attention to them.
1. Ask questions and gauge how they respond.
Do they blurt out some of their first thoughts without pausing? Do they take a moment to think and reflect on what they’re going to say? This can make the difference between some (not all) introverts and extroverts. Generally, people who have introvert tendencies are going to need time to think about things, and people who have extrovert qualities will think out loud.
2. What do they refer to when they talk – what’s happening now or what could happen in the future?
Sensors tend to think of things in concepts that relate to the present what is happening right now, not then, not later, but right now? Intuitive people like to dream, to think of possibilities the future can hold – or they may worrywarts and anxiously obsess over what the future holds. Listening to how that person describes something can give you very good clues to their personality type.
3. Do they think of how others will be affected by what they say and do?
Are they mindful or aware of the possibility of hurting others? Feelers will always ask themselves if what they’re about to say will hurt someone’s feelings, and always try to be conscious of this. Sometimes extroverts can be feelers as well, and they may blurt something out but may seem completely mortified that they hurt someone.
Thinkers, on the other hand, run their life by truth, and assume everyone else should – it’s the truth, right? Who wouldn’t want that? Well, apparently there are a lot of people who don’t appreciate the use of tact. Thinkers normally don’t consider other’s feelings as much as feelers do, since Thinkers use logic and believe that the truth is always the best answer.
4. Change in plans – big no no or go with the flow?
Does a change in the person’s plans mean catastrophic results and a possible meltdown, or do they simply absorb and adjust fire? Perceivers can easily adjust their plans to go with the flow – they like to have constant moving and change around them, so changes in plans are exciting.
Sticking to plans can be stifling for perceivers. Judgers, however, like a clear plan set in motion, and not deviating from it. The constant change from the outside world can be confusing or overwhelming, and judgers like to have a solid plan they can stick to.
5. Start piecing together each trait from the last four questions to determine what personality type the person has.
Learn more about Myers-Briggs types of personalities.