Essential Social Skills for Reading People Correctly
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Do you feel the need to read people and interpret their verbal communication and nonverbal communication? Most of the time, we as humans, are inept at accurately judging a person. If you want to learn how to "read" people, the best thing is to get to know them. Here are three social skills strategies to help you!

You might think the art to being a good communicator is knowing how to decode body language, to interpret subtleties, in their messages, to read eye contact. But the reality is, is that even if you think you're good at interpreting body language and reading into people and reading people, the reality is, is that most humans are actually not good at doing this.

Meaning we're not good at judging a book by its cover and seeing something or reading into something that we think is there but is not actually there when it comes to people and people skills. So I'm going to share three things that you can be doing instead of trying to decode body language and get to the bottom of what someone really means.

Even though that's not their intended meaning. All right. With that, let's get into it.

All right. So the first thing you can do is to get to know the person. So instead of judging them right off the bat and trying to just imagine how this person is just based on the way they act, the way they look, the way they dress, the way they talk, the way they walk. Instead, put all of that somewhere else.

Leave it out of the picture and instead focus on actually getting to know this person And the reality is, is that that's going to take time and patience. So if you're not willing to invest in that relationship, shape or friendship or budding connection, then you're never really going to get to know the person. But that's not to say that you should just judge them, right?

So instead of judging them, we're trying to really get to know the person. We're not judging them by who we think they are. We're not judging necessarily, but assessing their character and their personality. The more time we spend with them. So we have to put in the hours, and that's quality hours and then show genuine interest rate. That's how we get to know someone.

Think of all the people in your life to whom you're very close. Think of your best friends. Think of family members. Right. How much time have you invested thus far to be able to get to know them so well? So think of it that way. All right. That's the first point. The second thing, and it's somewhat related, is to fight the cognitive bias that will surface.

Our minds are constantly working. We're constantly analyzing. We're interpreting our surroundings. We're trying to make sense of the world. We're categorize saying. Right. And that's the the software that we have from caveman days to try to help us release some of the cognitive load to lessen it so that we are able to carry on with our day. But the danger of just simply categorizing and writing something off as soon as we encounter it without fact checking or really looking at what's there when it comes to people and our people skills, is that most of the time we'll let's cognitive biases take over.

And so will instead of thinking about it and instead of really getting to know someone and instead of trying to understand and assess the situation, we'll just say one plus two equals three. And that's all I need to know. For example, hearing something that you want to hear, seeing something that you want to see, interpreting behavior that you already thought about, like confirming someone's behavior as a characteristic or a personality trait or a flaw, a perceived flaw in their character.

Right. It's reaffirming something that you already believed without even giving them a chance to show you who they truly are. So essentially, it's about really not allowing yourself to succumb to what the cognitive bias will lead you to believe. And it's very difficult because, again, our brains were wired to put everything nice and neat into a box, to categorize it, to stamp it with a label and such.

But when it comes down to really assessing someone and understanding who they are as an individual, most of the time our interpretation is going to be wrong. It's a subjective reality. That is not really true. And so we have to be very careful with this. All right. And the last thing is to avoid the urge to constantly read or interpret, which, of course, leads to quick judgment.

So instead, try to listen to what someone's saying without trying to judge their every word, their word choice, their intonation, their accent, their diction, their dictation, again, because if we don't fight this urge, then we're just going to be too quick to to judge and to overanalyze and to overinterpret. How many times have you left a social situation and just sat there replaying the conversation or something had happened?

The interaction just constantly in your mind, ruminating over what they said or what they didn't say or how they said it, as opposed to taking it for what it was and not overinterpreting or overanalyzing or trying so hard to decode every single eye pattern or facial expression or micro expression or pause. It's something to really think about and to instead of placing the attention on how you're going to analyze someone, think about how you are going to tone down the analysis and instead trying to listen with compassion empathy and being as attentive as you can, but leaving judgment out of it.

So that's something to keep in mind. And I hope that it gives you some comfort in knowing that you don't have to be an expert in reading body language and decoding people's non-verbal nonverbal communication. Because like I said, most people actually don't know how to do this and we're not good at doing this right. We think we have someone down pat and we're able to, you know, know who they are just by judging them from the few interactions that you had with them.

But in truth, you actually don't know who this person is as an individual. So that should come as a little bit of solace to you in knowing that you can get to know someone better and think about not allowing the cognitive bias to take over and control your way of thinking. And then the subsequent interactions with the person based on your misunderstanding of the person.

Right. All right. So I hope that you've found this lesson useful. I hope that you try it out in your next interaction. These strategies will come in handy with people that you know really well and also people that you are just getting to know. So give people a chance. Give them the benefit of the doubt, put in the time and the patience to actually get to know someone because it is an investment and people are not expendable.

They're not replaceable. So every person you meet will have their unique value and will bring their unique value into your life and you into theirs as well. All right. So practice these strategies and make them your own.

All right Explearners, thank you so much for joining me for this lesson. I hope that you enjoyed it. If you did, please give it a big thumbs up if you're watching here on YouTube.

Otherwise, if you're listening to the podcast, be sure to leave us a nice review. Share it with friends and family and anyone who wants to improve their communication skills, their social skills and their public speaking. We have loads of videos on all these topics in the communication space and be sure that you're subscribed and that you're signed up for our free newsletter, which you can find over at so I hope that you do check that out and I am going to see you in another lesson right here at explaining.

All right. Bye for now and happy Explearning. ⚡

About the Author and the Explearning Academy:

Mary Daphne is an expert in communication, executive interpersonal skills, and personal development. She is the founder of the Explearning Academy, a platform dedicated to helping individuals enhance their social fluency, boost their careers, and elevate their social game. Through immersive group coaching programs like the Executive Communication Lab and self-guided journeys, participants gain the social superpowers and career catapults they've been searching for. If you're ready to take your negotiation skills to the next level and connect with like-minded individuals, visit and explore the various plans available. Join the Explearning Academy community and unlock your full potential.

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