How to Read A Person Like A Book

How to Read A Person Like A Book

by: Oscar Bruce

The human mind is an innovative hybrid that allows us to anticipate the future to think big thoughts. Thatกs the good news.

However, a growing number of psychologists and behavioral scientists are finding evidence that our brains are hardwired for mistakes in today social environment, especially when it comes to assessing the personality and predicting behavior of people we encounter.

Why are we so bad at reading the intentions of others? Built on top of the older กemotionalก parts of our mammalian circuitry, there is a กrationalก cerebral cortex. The two are often at odds, and under the surface, our protective instincts are always lurking. Unfortunately the กemotionalก circuitry frequently overwhelms the กrationalก cortex. When we encounter people we simply give more weight to elements in their personalities that support our beloved preconceptions than to any evidence to the contrary. Thus we frequently completely miss the target and pay a price of our misjudgments.


The frontal lobes have fallen in love with our preconceptions. This hardwired programming undercuts us in a host of sadly familiar ways. The most common is the way our preconceptions and prejudices distort our perception of individuals we wish to assess.


This is our all too natural ability to convince ourselves of whatever it is that we want to believe. How? We simply give more weight to events that support our desired prejudice or preconception than to any evidence to the contrary.


Consider how many great opportunities are lost by what I call กsemantic sabotageก. If youกve ever found yourself stumbling over your words, or simply not knowing what to say next youกve experienced ‘the dialog dilemma.ก Also if youกve uttered a statement, then realized that it wasn’t exactly what you meant to say. These are all curable maladies.

IกLL BET YOURกVE NEVER HAD THIS EXPERIENCE… Someone introduces themselves to you. Then you tell them your name. Suddenly you realize you can not recall their name. Why does this happen so often? Simple, you didn’t forget their name you never really heard it in the first place! You still had yourself in the middle of the picture.

Most people do not listen with the intent to understand they listen with the intent to reply or impress. This is never successful because the mind does not have simultaneous capability. Therefore, if you are contemplating your next statement, you are not focusing on his words, tones and actions.

In order to read a person like a book, you must get them to open up, get them talking. Getting people to open up is a skill that you can learn.

A skilled conversationalist uses specific question in three different categories. (1) Conversation starters. (2) Personal questions. (3) Philosophical questions. Once youกve mastered a small inventory of optional questions you can switch categories to control the outcome.

QUESTIONS ARE THE KEY TO KNOWLEDGE and source of power. He who does not ask the right questions always hears the wrong answers. An unclear question has an infinite number of answers.

Many say that information is the path to power. The wealthiest people will tell you that itกs their ability to make wise choices in dealing with people is their greatest asset. And that when they did make mistakes, it was often disastrous for them socially and financially.

About The Author

Oscar Bruce is considered the ultimate personal communications guru. His dynamic books are considered field manuals for mastering conversation and confrontations. His website offers several verbal strategies that can add power to your conversations at no cost.

HIS FREE NEWSLETTER is available at

Copyright: 2005

Article Autoresponder:

Author Contact Email:

TERMS OF REPRINT Publication Rules

The requirements for publishing this article are:

You May Not change the content of the article, except for minor corrections for layout, typos or grammar.

You May Not use this article in UCE (Unsolicited Commercial Email). Email distribution of this article MUST be optin email only.

If you post this article on a website, you MUST set any URLกs or email addresses in the body of the article or in the Authorกs Resource Box as hyperlinks (clickable links).

Please, if possible, forward a copy of the ezine or newsletter in which you published the article, or if on a webpage, the link to the article, to the author.

This article was posted on March 25

by Oscar Bruce