The art of reading people: 7 ways to identify someone’s true intentions

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We all interact with people every day, but how often do we truly understand their intentions?

I bet not as often as we’d like.

It’s a tricky game, isn’t it? One moment you think you’ve got them figured out, and the next, you’re left scratching your head in confusion.

But here’s the thing – it doesn’t have to be.

You see, reading people is an art. And just like any art, it requires practice and understanding.

Today, we’re going to unveil 7 ways to identify someone’s true intentions.

Let’s dive in.

1) Understand their body language

The first thing I learned about reading people? Majority of communication is nonverbal.

Yes, you read that right.

Happy, sad, angry, anxious – our bodies speak volumes before we even utter a word.

Let me tell you a story.

I once had a friend who would always cross his arms whenever we were in a group setting. It seemed like a casual habit, but it was more than that. He later confessed that he did that when he felt uncomfortable or anxious.

That was an eye-opener for me.

Ever since, I’ve made it a point to pay attention to people’s body language – their posture, facial expressions, gestures – they all offer valuable clues about their true feelings and intentions.

2) Listen to their words… and the silence between them

The second thing? Words can be deceiving, but the silence between them often isn’t.

This one’s a bit tricky, but let me share an example.

I used to work with a colleague who would often take long pauses before answering any difficult questions. At first, I thought he was just slow with responses. But then I noticed a pattern – he only did this when he was trying to hide something or wasn’t fully honest.

It was his silence that betrayed him.

The moral of the story is – don’t just listen to what people say, pay attention to how they say it and what they don’t say. Sometimes, those silent moments speak louder than any words ever could.

3) Observe their behavior over time

It’s said that a person’s character is best revealed not in one single moment, but over time.

This is particularly true when it comes to identifying someone’s true intentions. A solitary incident or outburst may not accurately reflect a person’s true character or intention. But consistent behavior over time gives us a more accurate picture.

Keep this in mind – people might wear a mask for a day, a week, or even a month. But they can’t hide their true self forever. Over time, their mask will slip and their true intentions will shine through.

4) Trust your intuition

Your gut feeling. That little voice in the back of your mind. Call it what you will, but never underestimate its power.

Your intuition is a powerful tool that can help you discern someone’s true intentions. It’s built on a lifetime of experiences and subconscious observations.

Many times, we feel something isn’t right before we can logically explain it. That’s your intuition speaking to you. It’s a gentle nudge to look deeper, to question, or to tread carefully.

So next time when that feeling crops up, don’t just brush it off. Listen to it. It might just be showing you the truth that lies beneath the surface.

5) Notice their reaction to stress

Someone once told me that the true test of a person’s character is how they react under stress or pressure.

I didn’t fully understand this until I was paired with a colleague on a high-stakes project. From the get-go, he was charming and amiable, always ready to lend a hand. But as the deadline drew near and the pressure mounted, I saw a different side of him.

His cool composure gave way to snide remarks and blame games. It was clear that his previously friendly demeanor was just a façade.

That experience taught me a valuable lesson – to understand someone’s true intentions, watch how they react when things don’t go as planned. That’s when their true colors are most likely to show.

6) Pay attention to how they treat others

The way people treat others, especially those they perceive as ‘less important’, speaks volumes about their personality and intentions.

During a dinner out with a potential business partner, I observed how he interacted with the waitstaff. His dismissive and condescending behavior raised a red flag for me. It made me question: if he could treat them with such disrespect, wouldn’t he do the same to me when he no longer needed my services?

True intentions are often revealed in how people interact with others. So, keep your eyes open.

7) Look at their past actions

History, they say, often repeats itself. When it comes to understanding someone’s true intentions, looking at their past actions can be quite revealing.

A friend of mine was once in a relationship with someone who had a history of broken friendships and relationships due to lack of trust. Despite the red flags, my friend believed that she could change him. Sadly, she was left heartbroken when he betrayed her trust.

Past actions might not define a person completely, but they certainly provide valuable insights into their patterns of behavior. And more often than not, these patterns repeat.

Empower your instincts: Read people like a pro

Understanding people’s true intentions isn’t straightforward. But with these 7 strategies in your toolkit, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the complex world of human behavior.

As you navigate the complex landscape of interpersonal dynamics, trust your instincts, observe non-verbal cues, and remain open to the subtle nuances that reveal the genuine intentions beneath the surface.

Remember, practice makes perfect – the more you try to understand people around you, the better you’ll get at it. Happy reading!

Isabella Chase

Isabella Chase, a New York City native, writes about the complexities of modern life and relationships. Her articles draw from her experiences navigating the vibrant and diverse social landscape of the city. Isabella’s insights are about finding harmony in the chaos and building strong, authentic connections in a fast-paced world.

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