7 secrets of reading people

- February 9, 2021 2 MIN READ

These 7 tips are the foundation to understanding people more fully, to gaining trust and rapport faster and building stronger relationships in all areas of your life. Too often we judge people on our past experiences. We let our emotions cloud or judgement and we either get conned by crooks or miss what would have been wonderful relationships, writes Alan Stevens.

1.Always know yourself first

Know where you sit in the scheme of things compare to everybody else gives you the upper hand in any situation. We all have a view of our self – one that is different to the one that other people have of us. For instance, you might believe you analyse information before making decisions. But in reality, do you know if you analyse more or less than the next person? Without first knowing yourself, you don’t know how much you need to change the way you speak, to the way the other person needs you to speak, so they can “hear” what you are saying. You want to get your message across, don’t you?

2. Learn how to recognise the other persons personality traits

 If you can’t recognise their personality traits, it will be a case of “hit or miss” when it comes to communicating. Far too many relationships break down because of this and just as many opportunities are missed as well.

3. Talk to them in the way that they want to be spoken to

Once you get 1 and 2 right, the rest is easy. How many times have you spoken to someone, everything is going fine, and then they just switch off? Was it because you’re more analytical than they are? You needed more information and so you gave them what you would need, but it was overkill for them.

4. Watch their Body Language 

Look for the indicators in Clusters. Don’t just take one gesture on its own. If their arms are folded, yet they are leaning towards you, feet and body facing you, nodding, asking you questions, then the folded arms don’t mean what you’ve been told they mean. Are the gestures in context and are they congruent with what you expect to see?

5. Watch their Facial Expressions

Between unconsciously reacting to something as it is said and our conscious mind then taking over, our faces give away our true emotions. Out of the thousands of expressions we can make, seven form what we call Micro Expressions. Anger, contempt, disgust, fear surprise, joy and sadness. Recognising these, with the same rules as with Body Language, and you will know if the person is telling you the truth or if they are trying to conceal information or lying.


6. The words are only worth 7% and everything else is the truth

Listen to what they say but pay more attention to how they say it. The non-verbals always give away when the words are false.

7. Remember personality is not character

Don’t let your biases control what you think you see. You may meet somebody who looks similar to somebody else that you’ve known from your past, but it does not mean that person will have the same character. The Facial Features will tell you their personality; how they take in and process information and how they are likely to act in any given situation. In other words, how they think and not what they are thinking. On the other hand, observing their Body Language and Micro Expressions, you’ll have insight into their character as well.

Alan Stevens is the founder of The Science and Art of Reading People. To find out more about how other people have used these tips and the results they have achieved, visit