All of us put on different masks as we go through life. We act differently at work than we do at home. We are different with our closest friends than we are with strangers. But, some people take things to a different level. Some people hide their true selves and intentions behind a façade of lies, half-truths, and illusions. One part of being successful is learning how to read people, learning how to see through people’s façades and into their souls.
Even Liars Have Tells
One way to truly understand someone is to study them for patterns. Are certain actions always preceded by small signs? Professional poker players are masters at identifying their opponent’s tells. Tells are the little things people do, subconsciously, before taking an action. Even the best liars and actors have tells. If you pay careful attention you may notice that someone often scratches their face when they lie or they may disappear for long periods of time when there is work to be done.
If you want to learn how to see through people’s false fronts, you have to spend a lot of time observing people.
Study Their Motivations
People often will not tell you the whole truth about why they are doing something. But, if you can learn what motivates people generally and apply that knowledge to the people you are dealing with, it often becomes obvious what someone’s angle is. Is the person you are dealing with motivated by money? Are they interested in gaining access to your network? Once you understand their true motivation it will be easier to predict their actions and to see past any smokescreen they are trying to put down.
Trust Your Gut
Your subconscious is extremely powerful. Often we notice things and draw conclusions without ever realizing what is happening. If someone makes you uncomfortable or feels “off”, you should trust your gut. It is probably your subconscious warning you of something.
Take this cue and be cautious. Try and see if you can figure out what your subconscious has already noticed. Never trust anyone with important information if you have a bad feeling.
Judge the Tree by the Fruit
One of the simplest ways to see through someone’s façade is to judge the results of their actions. Think about a fruit tree. Maybe you don’t know much about fruit trees. They may all look the same to you. How can you tell if a tree is an apple or a cherry tree? The easiest way is to look at the fruit the tree produces. You may not be able to tell is someone is as skilled or honest as they are pretending to be. But, if you are patient and pay attention, you will eventually be able to see the results of their work. You can judge people by the results of their actions just like you can judge a tree by the fruit it produces.
Learning to read people and see through their façades is an acquired skill. The more you practice it, the better you will get at it. If you are serious about succeeding in life you are going to need to learn how to make accurate judgments about the people you come across.
You can start practicing today by studying the people you meet. Watch their body language, think about their motivations, and observe the results of their actions
Life is really just one big poker game. The better you are at reading people, the better chance you have at taking home the jackpot.