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Thread: Reading People

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    What does "reading people" mean to you and what function do you think is responsible for it?

    I think I'm LII but I have a good knack for getting "who people are," which is an intuitive expectation of how they are going to act and what sorts of actions they might possibly take based on what they like and what their values are. Maybe this is Ne. But it might be feeling, which is why I'm asking the question.

    Maybe this is simply instinct.

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    Define what you mean by reading people. My interpretation is very much Fe.
    I would say that ethically you are still supposed to act as if you have unilateral responsibility; but simultaneously you have to be able to see the other as a fully autonomous, free, aware person.

    Medicalizing social problems has the additional benefit of rendering society not responsible for those social ills. If it’s a disease, it’s nobody’s fault. Yay empiricism.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pookie View Post
    Define what you mean by reading people. My interpretation is very much Fe.
    Actually, that's what I'm asking you to do because your conception will be different than mine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ouronis View Post
    Actually, that's what I'm asking you to do because your conception will be different than mine.
    Communicating with someone (or watching), and picking up on whats going on in their head based on external cues.
    I would say that ethically you are still supposed to act as if you have unilateral responsibility; but simultaneously you have to be able to see the other as a fully autonomous, free, aware person.

    Medicalizing social problems has the additional benefit of rendering society not responsible for those social ills. If it’s a disease, it’s nobody’s fault. Yay empiricism.

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    To be completely honest, I have seen too broad a collection of types with this trait to say there's any clear generalization I can make.

    I like defining type more in terms of which of the two complementary parts is...well..not "greater" than the other, but held as closer to the absolute ego perspective where the other side's relevance becomes more relative. For example, a sensation type's intuition may be quite great, but it is approached in relation to a very sensation-centric perspective. Classic example being, how does it relate to an experience I was directly involved in, and the nature of those experiential perceptions? It'll always go back to that.
    Same for ethics and logic.

    I've seen a huge variety. NeTi types, SLE/LSI, various ethical types...so many different instances of good at gathering someone else's motivations.

    I honestly think this is just a general form of intelligence, and that perhaps the question is what do these people do once they gather some info on motives? What kind of cognition is then initiated?

    I won't deny that in terms of raw psychological awareness, some info-elements are perhaps more intimately connected to really mapping it out in full (I imagine some Ni base types are great with mapping out their internal states). But gathering a sort of crisp snapshot of someone's motivations is another story -- plenty of just pure logical inference and the general ability to fill in gaps is what's needed.

    Note that there's a difference in how different info-elements may focus in on how they actually describe the motives. I imagine Fe is more likely to produce an internal "mirror" of their emotional state, so that would color how a Ni/Fe type would read into this kind of situation. A NiTe type might be prone to focusing on what kind of actions one can expect from the person by logical inference.
    I can say NiFe might just mirror the person's sequence of internal mental-emotional states and their progression most closely.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chemical View Post

    ..perhaps the question is what do these people do once they gather some info on motives? What kind of cognition is then initiated?
    Good point. However on the other hand, supposedly perception is what's responsible for gathering info. The following cognition would be a judgement. But here, your bit about some pieces floating up from other aspects of personality holds. I've actually had this thought recently. Describing personality is probably better approached by describing what modules and methods a person has adopted based on their initial suggestibility and subsequent adaptions, even if it is done in terms of attributing some methods/modules to information elements..

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    Knowing what they are actually thinking/planning/wanting/feeling, based on what you observe and what they say. In that sense there are many aspects of it. I'm generally okay with knowing how people are feeling, but not so good at harder stuff like what they want and what they're planning to do.
    Warm Regards,



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    Most people seem like open books to me. Even when they think they are closed so it makes it easy to read. Maybe it is because most people I come into contact with irl are extroverts. I am not sure how I do it really. I just tend to know things about people. Like what they are feeling and thinking but I rarely tell someone unless asked. I get so many impressions about people that I often overwhelm myself. Then thinking about everything causes doubt to set in (what if I am wrong. I will look ridiculous). If I don't share it then it is all true...in my own head. I am never wrong when I keep it inside but some things feel like they will tear me apart if I cannot express them. If I do share I might be wrong. grrr

    I get in all kinds of emotional turmoil because I know something but I am too afraid to ask for confirmation. An example of this is that I have "known" that an ex was cheating even though there were no external signs that I consciously noticed. In hindsight the signs were there but the way I got the read on them felt like it came out of left field, I was preoccupied, as usual, and they said they were going out for a while. I was all like, ok have fun, but as they walked out the door I got this sinking, sick feeling that they were going to meet someone else and it wasn't to study. That happened a long time ago but I really can see, in hindsight, how I was picking up clues subconsciously for weeks even though I was immersed in my own world. The person being an introvert masked some things, at first.

    It is an endless cycle of knowing, then doubting, then having my impressions externally validated by observation, and finally being direct. It is so hard to directly question someone on certain topics but something inside me won't let go until I finally understand what is going on.

    "When I ought to be thinking of heaven he will nail me to earth"

     







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    More thoughts on this:

    Two of the easiest expressions to read in others is respect and animosity. It's like energy doesn't lie. Even if someone is smiling and NOT even acting passive aggressive I can still sense their animosity, not only toward me, but toward others. Same with respect. It is really easy for me to see when someone has respect for me, or others, even if they are silent.

     



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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebird View Post
    How I personally see it is that, when first meeting a stranger, many things can be pulled together to get a picture of how a person is. I can see this picture from a distance, but I don't know why that certain picture was formed. I'll make note of what they are wearing, even if I won't likely remember it later, not really focusing on the details of what they are wearing, rather what kind of persona they are trying to exude through that (like bohemian, conservative, business attire). I'll make note of how they treat others (are they friendly and nice, insecure, rude, arrogant? etc), I'll make note of where I'm seeing them (the grocery store, coffee shop, library), what they are doing(shopping, reading, instructing, working), what kind of people they are with, or if they are alone. I'll try to guess at what they might like or what they want to be thought of as like, by their persona or what they are doing...anyway I could go on. Even if people do not think they are giving clues to how they are, they always are. Even if what they are trying to exude is a facade, the reason for putting on a facade is important, and even that says something about a person.

    I think capturing someone's essence at first is easy, but learning more about a person gives more understanding of that essence. The essence of a person doesn't change, imo, but experiences can draw out bad or good potential from that essence, which previously could have been lingering at the depths, rearing it's ugly head in due time, or surprising others by goodness (think Bruce Wayne's public personal, lol)

    Also, when someone shifts, or starts doing something out of the ordinary than what they usually do, or I feel someone starts distancing themselves away from me, I think something probably caused that. And then I start thinking back and imagining scenarios, when the behavioral change started, what I could have possibly done, did I say something wrong?...etc.
    This is a very good description of what Fi/Ne does, I think. hahah I like how you explain things like this. Everything you mentioned is the stuff that I take in as well, through observation and I am aware of those things, but Ne being my ignoring function none of those things are really important. I see it but it is not what I base my "reading: the other on. Cool, thanks for this.
    Last edited by Aylen; 02-23-2015 at 07:11 PM. Reason: used "stuff" too much haha

    "When I ought to be thinking of heaven he will nail me to earth"

     







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    Being able to read people means being able to tell if thry are lying, if they have your best intentions and needs at heart, being able to tell if that person is a good person despite human nature and shortcommings, being able to read their actions and interpret them well. That being said i let my feelings get in the way of brushing evil people aside due to hope that the person might see otherwise eventually. I do feel that I'm second best at reading people to LII who I think are amazing because where I feel they think.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maritsa View Post
    Being able to read people means being able to tell if thry are lying, if they have your best intentions and needs at heart, being able to tell if that person is a good person despite human nature and shortcommings, being able to read their actions and interpret them well. That being said i let my feelings get in the way of brushing evil people aside due to hope that the person might see otherwise eventually. I do feel that I'm second best at reading people to LII who I think are amazing because where I feel they think.
    Originally Posted by Maritsa
    I would not say that I'm the best at people's real feelings or intentions as I'm not good wit Fe



    I only seek clarity here and I am not poking you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aylen View Post


    I only seek clarity here and I am not poking you.
    Yes you are. Stop quoting me. I'll have my ese friend explain how this works differently in both of us. You just match words up to find meaning. I should not have used intentions. It only confused you

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maritsa View Post
    Yes you are. Stop quoting me. I'll have my ese friend explain how this works differently in both of us. You just match words up to find meaning. I should not have used intentions. It only confused you
    Ok, I will stop quoting you but I am not poking you. You seem to be very confused yourself. So much for being a paid instructor in socionics and not being able to express yourself clearly. Nice advertisement here.

    "When I ought to be thinking of heaven he will nail me to earth"

     







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    I often end up VIing someone before getting a more 'personal' read on their expression and state... but generally I just kind of wait and watch, not necessarily in a predatory way, just with a sense of tactical distance... see what the person really wants, the story that took them to where they are. it's kind of a contrast because sometimes I'll miss basic (what at times I take to be Se) cues that would curtail or alter an interaction, but I think I kind of unconsciously take more 'spiritual' components to matter more, so it is what it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by chemical View Post
    I can say NiFe might just mirror the person's sequence of internal mental-emotional states and their progression most closely.
    I would agree with this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aylen View Post
    Ok, I will stop quoting you but I am not poking you. You seem to be very confused yourself. So much for being a paid instructor in socionics and not being able to express yourself clearly. Nice advertisement here.
    Let's break it down for you…

    I'm far less cynical than ESE (I'm using ESE as the Fe example), I believe that being more cynical than myself ESE can pick up on deception and bad intentions easier than myself. I'm far more likely to take people at their own word than an ESE. Now let's compare how Fe and Fi would work in reading people. Given the following definitions for Fe and Fi, which I commonly use to describe and differentiate the two types:

    [example=Fe]Fe "Motive" - FeNi, FeSi
    External behavior or cues belie the inner disposition or motive.

    Fe observes the display of feeling or disposition and analyzes motive, the catalyst of the feeling or disposition. Fe analyzes based on a particular disposition or emotional cues. Finely tuned Fe can be "people-smart" and pay attention to determining who is trustworthy and what to expect from their behavior based on hints of emotional and behavioral expressions.[/quote]

    Quote Originally Posted by Fi
    Fi "Relation" - FiNe, FiSe
    Relations exist between people and things of differing bonds of attraction or repulsion.

    Fi observes personal attraction and repulsion between people and things, the boundaries of relationships created between people, and how those relationships are in relation to other bonds created in a great web of interpersonal relational tactics, rules, limits, etc. Fi analyzes the levels of personal attraction or repulsion that creates these bonds.

    Fi relations are a tactic, a bond, a unification made inside of and in relation to all of the other existing unities between people. Within it there are certain rules and understandings of what is appropriate and not appropriate to do within the realm of ethics. It's not as simple as "oh, don't use dirty words." Its more like 'we are attracted to eachother (as a bond),' and, sometimes, 'we are not attracted to them.'

    For some it is a tactic they can manipulate, for others it is something that 'happens' to them and they benefit from it. For a Fi base individual, it may be just something that happens. They don't choose it so much as it seems like a fact that colors their whole perception vis a vis these interconnecting bonds. Fi creative individuals may or create those bonds. In some ways it may seem like they have a greater control, or atleast more of an active control, over it than Fi-base.

    Fi isnt the same as "friendship," its about position within a realm of understood positions and relations; not just rules that 'limit'...but rules that are there; so the word use 'tactic' is used. Fi is a 'unification' between people. Fi is an ethical understanding. It's emotional; it's a personal understanding.

    Initiation of a Fi relationship can be as simple as coming into the ownership of a pet or the custody of a child; the emotional bond is the culmination of the relationship, but the initiation is essentially Fi. A Fi relationship was established at the moment tactical emotional or ethical interconnections changed between individuals: now one's role is to look apon the other with love and caretaking; the other's role is to look up to the first with love and obedience. Such are the implicitly understood rules of the Fi understanding.
    Let's say my nephew comes to me and talks to me about his love for his girlfriend who I've never met before. Me, being an Aristocratic type, I love my family and the way that I see our relations is very different from the Democratic ESE. Not defining my nephew by "he's mine" my ESE sister, cousin etc will jump to analyzing and observing the display of feeling or disposition and analyzing his motives. They would ask "how long have you known this girl" etc. Nevermind that he's my nephew and he's my baby who has fallen in love with someone who he finds pleasure in. They care that he's happy, but I feel that jumping to motives and discovering by probing instead of respecting and appreciating are two different ways of approaching a person. That's first. Second of all, because I don't probe and because I'm not cynical because my observations are Aristocratic as in "heck what society does as long as I have the group that I love and they love me it can all burn for all I care." The cynicism arises from having encountered one too many people and circumstances that show an unhappy nature of humanity. This causes ESE to seek pleasure to be happy or feed themselves happiness.

    How does this make me a better reader of people next to LII. I watch people. I observe relationships, spectator baby!. This guy, though be a cousin, decided to turn the cheek on his friend, what does this say about his character. Or that girl decided to force the friend to buy her a car, well what does that say of her? I'm looking for character while I believe ESE or even Fe would question individually and more so prod them in ways which are and seem unkind to me. Such techniques are throwing tantrums at their displeasures. For example, one of those tantrums is my sister escalating the emotional ambiance by directly confronting her husband about the tone of voice that he uses when addressing his point about things. She doesn't calm the situation, she instead tries to make him see that his insecurity lies in his inability to listen to other people's opinions about things. She will scream at him directly. This is something that I believe EIE would not do in public. I can understand my brother in law mainly because I can utilize the tools of psychology, spirituality, socionics, whatever that I learn to listen and add to my knowledge while my sister would not buy that any tool can be used. Her belief is that it's all from the family you're from and who raised you, that nothing is inherent. I believe things are inherent. I see that LSI have some common qualities. She can't see the same because she's a Democratic type.

    I believe that LII can utilize the tools in the same way that I can but being Democratic type they always tell me "find an LSE who comes from a family of EII grandmother" why do they tell me this because they are ESE's duals of course they too believe that an LSE from a different background will be different than all other LSE while I see that most LSE have a common thread, common qualities that make all of them seem like all of the other LSE, like a group.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ouronis View Post
    What does "reading people" mean to you and what function do you think is responsible for it?

    I think I'm LII but I have a good knack for getting "who people are," which is an intuitive expectation of how they are going to act and what sorts of actions they might possibly take based on what they like and what their values are. Maybe this is Ne. But it might be feeling, which is why I'm asking the question.

    Maybe this is simply instinct.
    I am good at reading people in terms of their character, their strengths, weaknesses, etc. In particular, delta NFs are said to be good at this sort of thing. I'm an alpha NT and I think I do this to some extent thorugh creative Ne.
    What I'm not so good at is reading subtleties in body language. I will pick on obvious feelings that others display but some of the more nuanced expressions I might misinterpret. I think this might be due to weak Fe and/or Se.
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    I think there are various ways to know how a person is feeling.
    I do not think there is a right way to read a person; everyone picks up on different cues.
    Whether that is something that you sense biologically by the hormones they are putting off or if it is an intuitive feeling that you are getting or if you just happen to notice that their behaviour is different than is normal for them and they seem to be portraying physical signs of unease, etc...

    What I am getting at is there is no singular function that this correlates to. It could be strictly biological and not at all mental or it could be functions working with one another rather than just one singular function being engaged on its own.
    Everything interests me but nothing holds me.

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    To me, reading people is knowing their internal state without them having to say a word, something I've always been able to do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmers View Post
    To me, reading people is knowing their internal state without them having to say a word, something I've always been able to do.
    Yep, this is how it is for me too. Not exactly sure how I can tell-something in the air.

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    My input is that you might consider if you are a harmonizing subtype. Knowing one's inner states sounds like some kind of additional IP admixture.
    A LII already has strong Ni, and I imagine this + role (rather than polr Fi) can lead some to have a fine ability to read people's more internal states and actually guessing what this means in terms of basic ethical questions (as opposed to formulating an ethical program as one's main standard).

    It is my experience that some highly ethically oriented individuals actually pale in reading their inner states compared to some Ni-strong types. That said, reading the states is distinct from rationalizing an ethical program.

    The important thing is their strong Ni isn't in terms of the information they value producing and understanding reality in terms of -- Ti is an explicit-oriented rather than internal contextualization, meaning it brings concepts outside of the mental apprehension and places them into logical form.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ouronis View Post
    Yep, this is how it is for me too. Not exactly sure how I can tell-something in the air.
    That's what it feels like. There are many times when what they say conflicts with how they vibe.

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    i feel like there are so many people who think they can read other people. like you know reality TV stars who sum up their personalities like "i'm fun, live for my friends, love my family, don't get on my bad side, great at reading people. just don't get on my bad side. i love to laugh, don't piss me off” i feel like they are everywhere. people who translate any insecurity/paranoia about other people judging them, lying or whatever story they've applied to a person, they auto-translate it as true, so they lose the ability to recognize their own place in the world. they never think of themselves as part. just center. projection becomes objective truth. the thing is, it's like... everybody. i feel like this is everyone's personality. i feel like everybody is the same person.
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    I definitely agree that so-called "ability to read people" seems more like "inability to recognize one's own projections" to me, most the time. I will say though, a few Se doms do seem uncanny good at typing, so somethings going on there as well it feels like

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    I think I'm very good at reading people too.

    Like i read them like a book. Especially in person.

    I know if they're anxious, they're whatever..

    I just can see it. I can also empathize with them..

    But one thing I've understood, not because you see people like that is that they're already what u think they are. At that given moment they may be pissed but it's just a natural response In being a human. Everyone can change easily.

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    I want to clarify that this thread was about predicting actions and not seeing into their inner soul or some shit. I replied to that quote without noting the difference in claim at the time.

    Edit: no it wasn't woops. Either way I think that's the more productive route to go.
    Last edited by ouronis; 07-26-2017 at 12:32 AM. Reason: vo->go
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    Hmm... For me, it depends to if I had some similar person I have been in contact or observed to said person and how much I have knowledge on them/how much I paid attention? If we are talking about prediction, that is. I am horrible at learning almost anything from their facial expressions, maybe their socionics types and if they are a sx-first or not at best, but I am often better at picking possible unsaid things between their words?

    For example, I could recall an SLI professor of mine talking really highly of an even higher statue almost seen as a goddess most likely ILE professor which came to visit our college for an event. I could easily see said SLI prof's words "she is our teacher who taught me a lot too, with giving replies" sentence to how SLI professor's own old professor who also came to event and had a rather Ip 6w5 nervous vibe with constantly trying to show how her evidences were throughly researched and CORRECT, I kind of connected that said SLI teacher most likely got more of confused with uncertainity of her own professor and since said ILE professor was someone who is constantly looking for new problems and questions to solve in our field in our country, she likely did found her replies from the ILE than Ip prof of hers. Which also did made a lot of sense, considering how much weight and trust she puts at theories ILE prof supported and wrote in her books, she also does take parts from her books as study material for us.

    So at things like that, connection dots between two small things said at different times which people wouldn't expect me to connect, I am good. But 'in the moment' reading of someone's emotions/facial expressions, I suck horribly. Which means while I am not exactly surprised when people do stuff most of the time, I also wasn't predicting them happening most of the time either. And when I do predict, I don't trust and think that I was just making fuss out of a smal detail, which often turns out to be true and comes back to bite me in the ass.

  28. #28
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    I can read people like a motherfucker. Some of the more dangerous sociopaths/psychopaths can pull a fast one on me because they are much more skilled at masking their energy than the average person. For the most part, I am the champion at reading people. I can always tell when someone is lying or creating an illusion. It's nearly impossible to bullshit me without me knowing exactly what you're doing. I am also good at concealing myself and letting others underestimate me so they can feel like they don't have to put in as much effort into deceiving and then they are more likely to fuck up their game. I can tell instantly if someones crying or laughter was the slightest bit off, which sucks when I'm watching a movie and I notice every little hint of bad acting.
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