Have you ever had someone tell you any of these? “I feel safe with you,” or “It’s incredible how you see through things and get the gist of something right away.”
Then, my friend, you just might have something we all want – a natural gift for understanding others.
Do you know what other signs can show you have this gift?
Then read on – this article is all about what you do that you probably don’t even notice because it’s just second nature to you. Let’s dive in!
1) You’re an active listener
I’ll start with something other people need to work on, but you don’t. Not because you don’t care, but because it’s something you’ve simply been doing all your life – listening.
And by listening, I don’t mean the way others do, you know, how they just listen to respond?
For you, it’s because you’re truly, sincerely interested in the other person’s perspective. You’re all in with every conversation, not just hearing the words but truly seeking to understand them.
Believe me, you might think you aren’t doing anything special, but you are. You’re making the people you listen to feel seen, heard, and appreciated. And that’s something the world badly needs more of!
2) You’re naturally curious
As I mentioned earlier, you’re an excellent listener. That’s because of this one other trait – your inherent curiosity.
You love knowing the real score about people, their stories, their experiences, every tiny thing about them. If I had to put it more succinctly, it’s this: you love delving into the full human experience.
As a writer, this is something I can definitely relate to. I enjoy talking to people because I always learn something new. I always come away with a deeper understanding of the human condition.
And if you’re anything like me, you also love things like Humans of New York, personality quizzes, reality TV shows, and even true crime stories…anything that gives you a glimpse of how other people think and behave.
That’s your natural curiosity at work. And you know what? It gives you another (super)power, as the next section shows…
3) You can often predict people’s reactions
Your love of studying human behavior and listening to people’s perspectives give you this gift of predicting how people would react. And that is what makes your relationships and interactions go ever so smoothly.
Let me tell you a tale of two bosses:
In my first job, my boss was a complete authoritarian. She would enforce policies in the hope that they would improve performance, but they almost never did. In fact, her policies and rigid attitude did the opposite – they made employees feel resentful and less inspired to work.
On the other hand, my boss in my second job was a naturally effective leader. You know why? Because she could foresee how everyone would react if she put a certain rule in place, or if she talked to them a certain way.
This gift allowed her to tailor her approach to conversations and office management.
It’s pretty clear to see which boss was more effective. And if I might add, more loved.
4) You’re good at reading body language
Just as how good you are at predicting people’s reactions, you’re also quite skilled at another important element of communication – reading body language.
The less attuned won’t be likely to notice when someone’s feeling nervous or sad or apathetic. But not you. You can zero in on how a person feels just by looking at their body language.
You notice subtle things like body orientation or micro-expressions. These non-verbal cues prompt you to address whatever the person’s feeling and put them at ease.
5) You’re intuitive
Sometimes, you don’t even need those non-verbal cues; you just instinctively know when something’s off. You’ve probably had moments where you just knew something wasn’t quite right with someone, even though they insisted they were fine.
A sharp intuition is another sign that you have a natural gift for understanding others. It means you’re tuned in not only to what people say, but also to the many things they don’t.
I can’t count the times when my intuition has led me to approach someone and offer some comfort. I can’t explain it either or how I came to be that way, but I guess that’s why they call it a natural gift – you’re just born with it!
That said, it doesn’t mean that those who aren’t so intuitive can’t ever have a strong gut feeling. They absolutely can, because we’re all born with intuitive abilities. They just need to practice being more mindful and getting in touch with their intuition.
6) You have high emotional intelligence
So, what do all of those skills above add up to? Emotional intelligence. That’s something you have heaps of.
Your high emotional intelligence, or EQ, allows you to understand how other people feel. You’ve got that mood radar thing going on, where you can walk into a room and quickly gauge the mood.
This allows you, once again, to tailor your approach to other people and handle situations with grace.
And more importantly, it’s what helps you build stronger connections with people, no matter where they come from.
7) You’re empathetic
Speaking of connection, I have to talk about empathy, another quality that shows you have a natural gift for understanding others.
Empathy actually goes beyond understanding with the mind. I like to think of it as understanding with the heart. It’s the ability to imagine yourself in someone else’s place and really feel along with them.
Let’s say you’re a fairly well-off person, and you’re talking to a friend who’s in trouble because of debt. Now, the average person would feel sorry for the troubled one and stop at that, maybe even walk away and forget all about it in a second.
But you, an empathetic person, would actually imagine yourself in that position and feel the pain along with your friend. You’ll get that sense of feeling trapped and crushed under a mountain of bills.
Does this sound familiar to you? Then, that’s a sign you truly understand others. With your whole heart. That’s also why…
8) You’re often the go-to person for people with problems
That scenario above is something you’ve probably experienced in your own life. Not necessarily the same problem, but you get what I mean.
Your phone’s always buzzing with messages from friends asking for advice. People often approach you for your viewpoint on their dilemmas.
Well, you shouldn’t be surprised. Aside from your empathetic nature, there’s also something about your insight, your ability to dissect the issue and offer balanced, sensible advice that draws people towards you.
Think about it: people only seek advice from someone they trust, someone who can look at their issue without bias, and who understands their situation intimately, right?
If you’re often stepping into the problem-solver role, it speaks volumes about your ability to empathize and truly understand what others are going through. You’re a safe space for the people who come to you!
This leads me to my next point…
9) You don’t pass judgment on others
See, a safe space is one that’s free of judgment. The people who come to you know that whatever they tell you, you’ll be there to listen – no harsh opinions or disapproving faces.
Simply put, you have the open mind and big heart to accept and understand people for who they are. And this explains why…
10) You have a diverse circle of friends
Yes, this is one of the telltale signs you have a natural gift for understanding others.
As human beings, we’re naturally wired to like people who are like us. That’s the similarity-attraction effect.
But there are a select few – and that includes you – who defy the saying, “birds of a feather flock together.”
Because for you, it’s more important to break barriers and form friendships with people of different personal, cultural and social backgrounds.
This boils down to two things you deeply believe: 1) we’re all more alike than we think, and 2) everyone deserves to be treated the same way – with love and understanding.
So, did you recognize yourself in these signs? Then you’ve likely been blessed with a talent that’s rare and precious.
With loneliness and feelings of social isolation still at a high even after the pandemic, your gift serves as a bridge. You make everyone you talk to feel welcome and connected. Truly, the world is a better place with you in it!