It’s not always easy to tell when somebody’s faking it.
Many people wear a mask when they’re struggling and try not to let anybody see their tears.
But there are those with a special ability to tell when somebody’s really not doing OK or just needs someone to talk to or a shoulder to cry on. Are you one of these people with a sixth sense for seeing when somebody’s not fine?
1) You can see behind a smile
Many of the brightest smiles out there are hiding a world of pain.
You can see behind a smile and you can quickly tell the difference between somebody who’s feeling real happiness and somebody who’s just masking their pain.
It may be hard to explain how you know, but you just do. Call it intuition or an advanced ability to read microexpressions that others miss, but you pick up a masking smile right away.
2) You notice small details of body language
You can sense when somebody is moving or holding themselves in a way that’s irritated, anxious or sad.
Whereas some may not notice subtle cues and body language clues, you pick up on it right away, even the small stuff:
Slumped shoulders, nervous fidgeting, shifty eyes and not making eye contact…
You can see right away that something’s just not right with somebody even if they’re trying to act fine.
3) You pick up on behavioral signs somebody’s struggling
In addition to subtle body language and mannerisms, you can also see small behavioral clues that somebody’s not OK.
For example, a person keeps glancing at their phone constantly in an anxious way…
Another person repeats the same question several times as if forgetting they just asked…
Another individual seems to be pursing their lips in a resigned way and keeps making a clucking sound with their tongue as if they’re disapproving of something.
4) Your hearing is sensitive to words and tonality
You’re the kind of person where you can hear what’s not being said almost more loudly than what is being said.
In addition, you pick up a lot from tone and the kind of words somebody is using in addition to their non-verbal habits like how many pauses they take, breathing a lot in between words or stuttering.
Granted some folks have speech impediments which have nothing to do with their state of mind.
But in general you can quickly hear when somebody’s struggling in some way, whether that’s with their mood, stress or a specific topic that’s upsetting them.
5) You can see when somebody’s repressing emotions
There’s something about a person who’s repressing emotions that comes across loud and clear to you.
It’s almost like you can see their soul or pick up on their energy field.
You can see when a person has deep struggles or experiences they’re going through which they’re not admitting to themselves or other people.
It’s often something you sense when you meet somebody’s gaze and get the feeling there’s something important they’re holding back that would be better to let out.
This is sometimes what writers describe as “speaking with their eyes.”
6) You observe subtle pressure and bullying on somebody
Many times you notice when a person is uncomfortable with those around them or those in their company.
The most common example is picking up on major tension or anger between a couple who’s been fighting or estranged from each other.
But it could be within a family or in a group of friends where you see that
7) You can read between the lines on vague text messages
Your ability to tell when people are not OK extends to long distance as well.
There’s something you can just feel in long silences from somebody, and you can also read between the lines on their texts and messages.
Even if all the words “seem” fine you have a sixth sense about knowing this person is clearly not doing too well or has an issue of some kind.
It’s sort of a particular intuition you get where you just know when a person’s message indicates some sort of problem or thing happening even if they’re trying hard not to act like anything’s up.
8) You can tell when somebody’s trying too hard
More generally, you can tell when a person is simply trying too hard.
They’re talking excitedly, they’re smiling like crazy, they’re laughing loudly at every half-joke.
They seem to be doing great! They assure everyone they are!
But it’s their over the top behavior that alerts you they’re hiding something.
Many times people are also hiding emotional distress and problems from themselves, which is part of why so many other people around them fall for it:
“See, she’s fine and she even says she is and clearly means it.”
That may be true, but for you when you look closely you can see the truth, even in the most enthusiastic attempts to act like all is well.
9) You know that the happiest people sometimes hide deep sadness
Earlier I mentioned about being able to see the sadness people sometimes hide behind a smile.
But you also are able to tell when somebody’s not ok but their outer behavior seems to indicate everything is fine.
You recognize the more subtle layers behind somebody rather than just how they’re doing right now.
In other words you can recognize that even though your friend Jeff genuinely loved his game of golf out with you and the other guys and was genuinely smiling and laughing with all of you, he’s also clearly not doing ok on a deeper level.
This ability to filter how somebody is doing overall from how they’re doing right now is a subtle and intelligent perceptiveness.
10) You know when to push and when not to hold back
Part of your ability to read people is that you know when to push and really check if they’re OK and when to back down a little.
There are times that you can tell somebody may really be near the end of their rope and you feel no choice but to pressure them a bit to open up.
But there are other times that you can see someone is not OK but that they really would prefer you to leave them alone and be with their own thoughts.
You notice this and you respect it.
It’s OK not to be OK
When somebody’s not OK and you sense that, the best thing you can do is be present.
If they want to talk, let them talk.
If they need help, try to provide it.
If they just want to be alone and you sense that’s best right now, give them that space.
If you’re one of those who can tell when somebody’s not doing OK, use this gift carefully and try your best to do small things to brighten up somebody’s day and improve their life even if they’re not yet ready to confide in you or open up about what’s bothering them.
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