They say that more than 50% of communication is nonverbal.
That’s why you have an advantage if you’re able to read people’s faces well.
But how do you know that you’re actually good at it?
In this article, I will talk about 12 signs that you’re naturally good at reading other people’s faces.
1) You just “get” people
You find it easy to put yourself in other people’s shoes, to understand their feelings and empathize with them regardless of whether you agree with them or not.
And people don’t have to explicitly tell you what they’re feeling, or to justify why they feel that way in order for you to “get” them.
In fact, you don’t need to hear those details at all.
All you know is that they feel upset, or happy, or overwhelmed…and so you adjust your behavior towards them to make them feel more at ease.
2) People say that you’re a good listener
You’ve been told plenty of times that you’re easy to talk to, or that you’re a good listener.
Perhaps you might not even have understood exactly what they meant by that, because as far as you’re concerned, you’re just being yourself.
There are many reasons that may contribute to why people keep telling you that you’re a good listener, but one of the most important things is that you’re naturally good at reading people’s faces.
You can decode what they really want to tell you because you’re not just paying attention to their words, you’re considering their nonverbal messages, too.
3) You’re good at reading the room
In fact, you’re so good that sometimes you can tell that the mood has shifted before anyone else has caught on.
People might be carrying along with the conversation as normal, but you can tell from the ever-so-slightly tense glares and increasingly forced smiles that things are going south fast.
The reason why so many people seem oblivious to these things that are quite obvious to you is because they don’t really pay attention to people’s faces as closely as you do.
4) You prefer talking face to face
You feel uncomfortable talking to people through text, voice call, or even talking to someone through a wall.
You don’t consider either of these to be satisfactory communication. It just feels…incomplete.
You would rather talk face to face in person and, if that’s not possible, at least communicate through video call. There’s just something missing without visual contact.
This feeling of unease is because you rely a lot on seeing the expressions people make while they speak, and you feel like a fish out of water if you can’t see them.
This is also why you don’t like talking to people if they’re not looking at you and they’re busy doing other things.
5) People can rely on you to cool things down
So long as things haven’t gone to the point where lead is already flying, people can generally count on you to soothe tensions and calm people down.
Because of how well you can read people’s emotions.
You pay attention to what is and isn’t being said. You can reliably identify and address the root causes rather than just slap a salve on the surface issues.
You also know the right words to say because you can clearly see how they’re feeling and even have a better understanding of what they’re thinking.
6) You can read people’s smiles
A smile is more than just a smile as far as you’re concerned.
Most people simply think about whether a smile is fake or not, but you can go beyond that and accurately read all the subtle motions a smile can tell.
You can distinguish a shy smile from an “oops, I did it again” smile, and a triumphant smile from a “come try me” smile.
It’s not always easy to tell these smiles apart, with the difference between some of them being as small as the faintest thinning of the lips—and yet you can tell, thanks to how you pay attention to people’s faces.
7) You can identify people’s personalities with ease
It doesn’t take long for you to get a good idea of what someone is like after meeting them.
This is probably the reason why people often say that you’re a good judge of character.
You can tell from the faces they make, the tone of their voice, and the words they use just what their beliefs and general personality is like.
You can start talking with someone who seems shy and withdrawn, for example, but can tell from the look in their face that while they’re certainly shy, they might just have the makings of a leader.
8) Socialization is exhausting but satisfying
You love talking to people. But at the same time, you can’t deny that it leaves you absolutely knackered every time.
And interestingly, this happens even if you’re not even talking that much.
You might withdraw from a party dead tired and yet struggle to recall having said at all that much.
This exhaustion is likely because you spend too much time trying to read people’s faces and trying to understand what they’re feeling.
You just absorb a lot more information from every interaction compared to people who are not good at reading body language.
9) You’re popular and approachable
People enjoy talking to you.
You’ve been told that you’re approachable, and you’re always invited to gatherings.
You somehow just “fit in” no matter the crowd. And most of the time, you aren’t even trying. Or, at the very least, you don’t feel like you’re trying to fit in consciously.
And that’s because you’re reading and empathizing with people subconsciously, noting the emotional cues they’re giving off and reacting appropriately.
10) People sometimes think you’re overthinking
You are well aware of and pay attention to microexpressions, which are small and subtle changes in facial expression that sometimes last for just fractions of a second.
Unfortunately, this means that you pick up on things that others simply don’t get.
You might say that someone has bad vibes, or that someone is depressed and needs help, but can’t exactly explain yourself without sounding crazy.
So people sometimes just assume you’re overthinking things, even if eventually you’re usually proven right anyways.
11) People listen to you
Talking to people is always tricky when you have conflicting values, perspectives, and opinions. And yet there’s something about the way you hold a conversation that makes people willing to hear you out instead of just shutting you down out of hand.
It’s not because you’re particularly forceful. In fact, you might even find it somewhat stressful finding the right words to avoid putting people on the defensive.
But the very fact that you can do this means that you’re especially good at reading people and knowing how to adapt to their mood on the fly.
12) People don’t get nervous around you
The thing with people who are not that good at reading people’s faces or are trying too hard is that they end up looking creepy.
They’d be staring too hard or too long that people would feel “examined”.
Someone who is so good at reading people’s expressions to the point where it’s natural won’t do that.
They’ll notice the expressions that people make simply through quick glances, without any especially obvious stares.
That’s not to say they haven’t done their fair share of staring in the past, however. It’s a skill, and not everyone is born knowing everything there is to know.
Many people learn how to read people’s faces without even realizing it, and that’s why we often end up thinking of them being naturally charismatic or “talented” with people.
If you see yourself in these 12 things I’ve described, then you’re probably already quite good at reading people and have learned how to do so for a long time.
But it’s ultimately a skill and anyone can learn how to read other people with enough effort.
So don’t be discouraged if you don’t relate with everything in this article, because so long as you keep on trying, you’ll eventually get there.
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