Highly perceptive people notice much more than your average person.
But they can be very low-key.
Here’s how to know if you’re around somebody who’s incredibly perceptive.
1) They hear what you say
First up, perceptive people are active listeners.
They hear what you say and they also hear why it’s being said and what you want from saying it.
Perhaps you’re looking for sympathy, or want to interest them in a business partnership.
Perhaps you’re hitting on them or angry and offended by them in some way.
The perceptive individual will pick up on this pretty quickly, no matter how indirect or sneaky you are about what you say.
2) They hear what you don’t say
Even more than what you say, perceptive people will hear what’s not being said.
Often this is just as important or more important than what is being said.
A car salesman may go on and on about the benefits of the car he’s trying to sell, mentioning almost all its technical specifications.
However the perceptive person will notice that he conspicuously fails to talk about its gas mileage.
This perceptive individual then searches up the car model and notes that while it’s true it has many great selling points it has been widely panned for its low mileage.
Perceptive people hear what’s not being said, not just what’s being said!
3) They pick up on any subtle accent or slang
Perceptive people see and observe things, but the importance of hearing also can’t be understated.
They hear any subtle accent or slang in who they’re speaking to and often derive insights from that.
This can be merely idle curiosity or critically important.
Police use such tactics in interrogation and investigation or sometimes to determine more about someone’s motives or mindset.
In regular life it could be that picking up on a subtle accent or slang helps somebody make a connection with somebody they’re out on a date with, or to understand more about a type of music their kids like or what their mechanic is saying.
4) They notice what’s below the surface
Perceptive people notice what’s below the surface.
This is true of their environment, the history of what’s around them, subtle social cues and many other factors.
A perceptive person may notice that drivers on the road seem especially aggressive in a country he’s taking a bus through, for example, and wonder if something has people particularly “keyed up” lately.
The highly perceptive person then looks for any big news items.
It turns out this nation is a week away from a highly contentious election and has also just had a major controversy with its current president.
Could the two be linked?
5) They have insights into what makes you tick
Perceptive people have the ability to see what makes you tick.
They’re highly observant and can quickly clue into what somebody cares about or not.
The truth is that many people who claim to be “psychic” or “fortune tellers” are just highly perceptive.
They often use something called the Barnum effect to predict and have deep insights into what’s motivating you.
The truth is that most of us give out many clues about what’s making us tick and what’s on our minds.
This brings up the next point…
6) They can intuit a lot about your life and core values
Perceptive people are very skilled at figuring out what makes you tick and where you’re at in your life.
They don’t just stereotype you by category, but they do pay attention to outer indicators and what signs and types of characteristics you portray.
How do you talk?
How do you dress?
How do you walk?
What words do you choose to use? Are you clean shaven or bearded? Do you wear many accessories or none?
These may all seem like basic things, and they are, but taken together they can tell a perceptive person a lot about what you value in life and what’s motivating you at the level of your core values.
7) They have an accurate idea of your material wealth
The aspects I mentioned above can also be very useful to a perceptive person in getting a read on somebody’s wealth.
Street hustlers and pickpockets, for example, are often highly perceptive individuals.
They take a two second look at you and already know your approximate salary or how much you might be worth as a hostage payout.
The same for a cult guru or a person trying to sell you an investment at a bank.
Judging material wealth isn’t just about seeing how much your watch is worth, that’s very basic level.
In fact, somebody wearing a very pricey watch may be in financial trouble and be trying to show off and maintain an image just a little too hard.
Perceptive people look under the surface at the way you walk, how you talk, your subtle indicators of economic class, as well as more cryptic things like those who may be trying to hide their level of wealth in an unsafe area, for example.
Let’s put it this way:
Many of the richest people I know drive cars that look like they come from a back alley slum.
8) They’re knowledgeable about your relationships
Perceptive people have a sense of what’s going on in your relationships.
Romantic, familial, friendships, work relationships, you name it:
The perceptive individual has a sense from being around you and talking to you about how you’re doing in terms of your social connections.
They can sense whether you’re a bit on the extroverted or introverted side, and they can tell whether you’re open or closed to new friendships or relationships.
On the plus side this makes perceptive people very intuitive and skilled at friendship, romance and empathy.
On the downside, perceptive people can also use this skill to seduce, mislead and take advantage of folks who are emotionally needy or in relationship trouble.
9) They can feel your spiritual quest
Perceptive folks tend to have a keen spiritual radar as well.
Whether or not they are spiritual or religious, they can get a feeling and strong sense of where you are at in your spiritual quest.
This doesn’t mean they judge you as being superior or inferior based on how well you meditate or how much you know about spirituality.
It is more than they can gauge how strong your interest is in spiritual and self-development matters.
10) They can tell where you belong
Perceptive people are uniquely able to look at somebody and see where they belong.
They can quickly get a read of the kind of skills and weaknesses somebody has.
The advantage is that this can lead to being recommended for jobs and roles which are very empowering and help you become stronger.
The downside is that a perceptive person could use their insights to manipulate you or place you in a role you’ll be good at but not enjoy or find meaningful.
11) They have a sixth sense about your destiny
Many perceptive people have a very strong sense of intuition, as I’ve mentioned.
They have a strong feeling about where you’ll end up or what you’re suited for.
This makes them ideal career counselors, psychologists, empaths and even politicians and lawyers.
Because they’re able to see where people “fit” or “don’t fit” and able to reach very insightful conclusions about how people will be brought to their full potential.
This could be in the negative sense of using you, but it could also be in the positive sense of helping you reach self-actualization.
Seeing what’s truly there
We could all do well to become more perceptive people, and we all have that capacity within us.
The key to seeing what’s truly there is separating what lasts from what’s temporary.
So let’s go there: what truly lasts?
One day this will all be gone, and even the most stressful and painful situations will eventually pass, as well as the most joyful.
Spirituality and religion claim that the soul will last, and that certain forces such as unconditional love and mercy will endure forever.
A highly perceptive individual focuses on what really matters: his or her spiritual growth and self-development and the connections made and created with others.
Instead of just seeing what’s going on around them, the perceptive individual sees the dynamics of what is going on and why.
Perceptive people see the transitory nature of life and notice the ironies and details of what’s going on both inside and outside of folks, including inside themselves.
As Conor Oberst sings in his song “Trees Get Wheeled Away:”
“And believe you’re where you are
Keep acting out the part
But at the end of the day
The trees all get wheeled away.”
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