The ability to accurately read people is a gift.
And it comes with plenty of benefits!
First, it can help you form good relationships. After all, if you know how to read people, chances are that you’d know how to treat them well.
It can also help you figure out when someone’s up to no good so you can avoid them.
Want to know if you’re a good people-reader?
Let’s find out!
If you recognize these 13 signs, you’re exceptionally good at reading people.
1) You’re highly observant (and not just with people)
You’ve been told that you’re good at spotting details that others easily miss.
You can “feel” when your car is running a little differently than normal.
You can also tell when it’s the right time for you to insert yourself into a conversation.
You’re naturally observant.
It’s almost like your senses are always on high alert without you trying.
If you’re this kind of person, chances are that you can also notice the small nuances people make…which makes you a good people-reader.
2) You’re an expert at reading body language
To you, 50% of communication is body language.
That’s why you try to really pay attention to people’s facial expressions and body movement to get their full message.
If you see someone fidgeting, you know that even if they tell you that they’re “fine”… they’re actually not.
They’re nervous, but they’re telling you that they’re “fine” because they’d rather be left alone.
And when someone simply can’t look into your eyes despite being deep in a conversation with you, you know it’s either they’ve got a crush on you or they’re hiding something (unless of course, they’re neurodivergent).
3) You love nerding out about psychology
If you’re the type of person who’s interested in psychology, sociology, and human behavior, chances are that you’re more aware of others than the regular folk.
This might seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning.
I’m like this. I love anything psychology and I’ve been reading up about it for years—and in doing so, trained myself to be especially observant.
I pay very close attention to how people move, react, and especially what they’re trying to hide.
So if you’re into these things, then naturally, you’re more adept at reading people than someone who has no interest in them.
4) You know when two people are flirting
You don’t have to hear any “I want to feel your arms around me” or “Come closer, baby” for you to tell that people are flirting.
You can feel it in the WAY they look at each other, and you can decode it in the WAY they speak even if the words they exchange are just yes and no.
And if you know these people well, you can definitely notice how they transform when they’re around one another.
If you are to be honest, it doesn’t always feel nice to be able to feel all that love in the air. If anything, you’re often tempted to tell people to just get a room.
But hey, that’s a consequence of being good at reading people.
5) You know when two people are fighting
You don’t need to witness fists flying for you to realize that things are NOT okay.
People might try to hide it, but there’s always just something off about them.
They might be too “okay”, too quiet, or maybe they simply refuse to look one another in the eye.
Ask one of them in private about what’s going on and like as not, they’ll admit it and say “Gee, I thought we’re good at hiding it.”
And they probably are!
The problem is just that you’re simply too good at reading people.
6) People tell you that you’re sensitive
Being perceptive and being sensitive almost always go hand-in-hand..
You feel bad when you see someone struggling with their homework.
You get mad when you see someone getting bullied in front of you.
And you can’t stand to watch tragedies on TV.
You can read people well because you’re a natural-born empath.
You feel emotions much more intensely, so you’re also more in tune with what others could be thinking or feeling at any given moment.
7) You can tell when someone’s fake
It’s easy for you to sense whether someone’s a genuine person or not.
You can feel it in the way they speak and how they carry the conversation.
You can see it from the way they hold themselves.
You can even tell from the way they smile.
All these help you figure out quickly whether someone is being truthful or not—and if they’re lying, whether they’re trying to take advantage of you or if they actually have a good reason to lie.
You rarely (if ever!) get scammed, and this is one of the reasons why.
8) You can tell when someone is best avoided
You’re not judgemental.
You don’t go around avoiding people because of things like their race, age, gender, or sexuality.
Hell, you don’t even have to know what they look or sound like!
You can’t quite put a finger on it but there are just some people who make you feel uneasy. It’s almost like they have big red arrows pointing at them saying “DANGER!”
Even stranger is that when you talk to your friends about it, they’d go “Huh?! I don’t think they’re like that.”
But then weeks later they’d come rushing to you and say “Yeah, you’re right!”
And of course you’re right—you figured out that they were dangerous because you’re just that good at reading people.
9) People find it hard to lie to your face
Liars and opportunists don’t stick around you for too long.
And the reason is because they quickly learn that you can see through them. It makes them uncomfortable and they don’t want that.
That discomfort becomes very apparent if they have no choice but to be near you.
They’d stutter, fidget, be especially quiet and “distracted”. It’s almost as if they’re afraid that you’re going to crucify them!
Have you been called “intimidating”?
Well they’re probably scared of you because you can read people well.
10) You easily sense tension in a group
You can tell when a family is dysfunctional, when a friend group is toxic, or when a couple is about to break up.
They might act nice together and act like they’re having fun, but you can sense that something’s not quite right.
It feels like you’re watching a suspense drama with lousy actors.
People are too stilted, too careful.
There’s a big powder keg in the room and people are walking on eggshells because the wrong move can easily set it off.
11) You can guess what someone’s about to say
You can sometimes figure out what someone is about to say even before they’ve opened their mouth.
It doesn’t always happen, of course. But it does happen often enough that people even start to notice it.
Let’s say that you’re standing in line and the old lady in front of you keeps fidgeting. You see them turn to you and you can already tell that they want you to save their spot.
Or maybe you would see your mother look at you while you’re busy listening to music and guess that she wants you to lower the volume.
This happens because of a combination of intuition, knowledge of a person (you know your mom hates loud music), and the ability to read people well.
12) You’re charming
Now you don’t really think you’re at all THAT charming.
It’s not like you’re classy, a smooth talker, or a schmooze. Hell, you might even be so foul-mouthed you could make a sailor blush!
But people insist that you’re “charming” nonetheless.
Don’t just dismiss it as flattery—perhaps you really are charming.
You’re charming because you know how to connect with people.
It doesn’t take you long to figure things out about the people you’re talking to and it’s basically second nature for you to talk to them on their level.
And that, my friend, is what charm is all about.
13) People have told you “you know me more than I know myself”
You might have brushed it off as mere flattery… or even sarcasm!
It’s not like it could ever be possible that you’d know someone more than they know themselves, right?
Hold that thought.
There are people who aren’t so self-aware. Who they think they are might be different from who they really are.
They reveal a lot about themselves through things that they do subconsciously—like by the way they talk, the way they move their body, or even the way they dress.
If people have told you over and over that you know them better than they do, it might just be that you’re good at picking up these little signs and understanding them correctly.
The ability to read people isn’t some superpower only a chosen few can ever have.
If you relate to some of the things I’ve described here, then you’re probably someone who had to learn how to read people at some point in the past.
And if you don’t—don’t fret!
You can teach yourself to read people better, so long as you’re willing. And you can start by paying more attention to the world around you.
Lost Your Sense of Purpose?
In this age of information overload and pressure to meet others’ expectations, many struggle to connect with their core purpose and values. It’s easy to lose your inner compass.
Jeanette Brown created this free values discovery PDF to help clarify your deepest motivations and beliefs. As an experienced life coach and self-improvement teacher, Jeanette guides people through major transitions by realigning them with their principles.
Her uniquely insightful values exercises will illuminate what inspires you, what you stand for, and how you aim to operate. This serves as a refreshing filter to tune out societal noise so you can make choices rooted in what matters most to you.
With your values clearly anchored, you’ll gain direction, motivation and the compass to navigate decisions from your best self – rather than fleeting emotion or outside influences.
Stop drifting without purpose. Rediscover what makes you come alive with Jeanette Brown’s values clarity guide.