We do it with our lovers, our mothers, our friends, our co-workers and our neighbors. It’s how we decide who’s trustworthy, who’s fun – and who’s a jerk. From the beginnings of civilization, tribal living and group dynamics were essential for survival, so it’s not at all surprising that we want to read minds. What’s interesting is how truly bad at it we are.
A psychological study wherein subjects were asked to identify the moods, emotions and attitudes of another person resulted in an average accuracy rate of 30%. Other studies at the University of Texas on empathetic accuracy found that few people did better than 30% – and even the best subjects were only 60% accurate. This means that most of us non-psychics are terrible at reading other people. However, a few simple actions can help you get a more accurate idea of what’s going on:
Statistics show that after the first year of marriage, couples usually feel they’ve grown apart. Why? They have stopped paying close attention to each other’s cues – and they’ve begun to make assumptions. Being misread by someone close to us creates distance. Strive to give your lover or partner the same absorbed curiosity you granted them when you first fell in love with them. Your ability to read them accurately will rebound… like magic.
The best way to learn to read someone is to spend time with them. Once you’ve seen someone under pressure – in a meeting, driving in rush-hour traffic, or at home with the family – you’ll have enough information to better judge their emotional state.
Often, when we zero in on someone it’s because there’s something at stake for us. Our needs actually lower our ability to perceive the other person’s moods and desires. To set your concerns aside, make a conscious effort. Take ten deep breaths, and force yourself to focus on the other person – really listen, and really observe. Also, try to “mirror” their posture. This will subtly bring you into tune with their underlying emotional state. It will also make the other person feel heard, and they will become more open, enhancing communication.
One of the best ways to increase empathy is to ask questions. Pose simple ones such as, “you sound really low today, is that right?” This will help you read that person, so you can check the accuracy of your impressions.
Decide to deliberately be more expressive – it’s contagious! Most people will become more emotive in response. With more emotion on the surface, it’s easier to know what is on someone’s mind.
Are you having trouble reading people? Talk to a psychic, and find out what you may be missing. Call 1.800.573.4830
or click here