How to Read a Person Like a Book, A Humorous Look at Social Science

Looking for instruction? Read a book.Looking for love or commitment? Read a person.In western civilization books are read left to right.Mid-eastern books are read right to left.If it’s Chinese, read top to bottom.Read a person in any or all of the above directions. Just read as many of the attributes of a person (see below) as you can in whatever time allotted you.There are 10 attributes to observe in reading a person. You may know of more but these 10 will suffice to tell you all you want and need. Each item can be scored producing a person-revealing value (PRV.) Then, massaging in a “finagle” factor, you can know that the person you have read is honest and sincere or mean-spirited and evil. Never forget that the person you are reading is probably reading you!* * *
For instructional purposes, we shall assume that you and the person you are reading are both well rested, undistracted and psychologically at or near normal (whatever that is.)Meaningful reading of a person, like watching a movie, occurs on two levels: Text and Subtext. If you have any interest at all in the person you are reading, both are important; read them and evaluate.Text is verbal: what the person says. By speaking, that person guides the direction of conversation. Text is usually completely controlled and voluntary.Whether spoken, screamed or whispered, observe: Is the person’s “Text” frank, candid, and honest? Is the tone formal/professional, or familiar/caring? Depending upon that person’s sincerity, the uttered text may be 0 to 180 degrees from the subtext. It may be truth; it may be lies. How can you know the difference?–Read on.Subtext is truth. It is involuntary, observable body language and/or autonomic physiologic reactions. To comprehend the true resolve of the person you are reading, observe the following attributes of subtext (AST) and know their meaning. Read in no predetermined order; try to be calm and comfortable. Then reassemble the AST’s to learn the true story, the real plot.If you know what you want from the person you have just read and where he/she is coming from, you can adjust your own text to express your motives, but you still won’t have any control over your AST’s than the person you have read.To read a person like a book, listen to the text and observe the AST’s.Attributes of Subtext (AST)Voice: Is your person speaking with a high pitch and staccato delivery? (No points) Is she hesitance, interrupted by frequent throat clearing? (No points) Is her speech easy, in a natural voice at a speed geared to comprehension, successful and honest communication? (3 points)Eyes: Is your subject blinking, squinting or shifting? (No points) Is she looking away from you? (No points) Does she maintain eye contact with you? (3 points)Brows/Forehead: Are they high and arched with furrowed forehead? (No points) Are they squeezed together with a wrinkled forehead? (No points) Or are they relaxed and natural (3 points)Nose: Are the nostrils flaring? (No points) Is she sniffling? (No points) Is her nose calm natural? (3 points)Mouth and Cheeks: Are her lips tight on her teeth? (No points) Are her cheeks ballooned? (No points) Does she have relaxed full lips with a smile? (3 points)Skin: Is her face and neck flushed and/or damp? (No points) or warm and dry? (3 points)Breathing: Does she frequently hold her breath or breath fast and shallow? (No points) Is her breathing easy and even? (3 points)Hands: Are her hands fidgety or tremulous? (No points) the palms sweaty? (No points)
Does she keep her hands calm, still? (3 points)Legs and Feet: Are they shuffling, shifting or tapping? (No points). Are her legs crossed bouncing crossed leg? (No points) Does she keep her feet calm and parallel? (3 points)Head and neck: Is her head held still, stony and rigid or restless, bobbing? (No points) Does she appear relaxed? (3 points)Finagle Factors (FF)The manner in which you read a person will depend on some of your own personality and character traits as well as person you are reading. For example, if either of you is:Autistic: You won’t or can’t communicate.Dyslexic: You transpose value of numbered responses.Attention Deficit: You frequently distracted from items observed and have to re-read or may not have finished reading your person in time to reply.Passive-aggressive: You smile, nod your head and don’t listen to or read the your person; You’re too busy planning revenge.Bi-polar: If your mood is high, anything in text or subtext isn’t so bad or can be fixed by behavior modification (Yoga; Meditation; Conversion to Buddhism.) If your mood is low, it doesn’t matter; you want to get back to bed.Frightened or Angry: You can’t listen to or read subtext.Primary Depression, Grief or Guilt: You feel like you are sinking in quicksand and don’t want to hear the virtues of sinking; the moral high ground of drowning. You don’t want to meet with a “support group” of fifty people going under in their own quicksand. All you want is a lifeline!Schizophrenic: This depends upon whether you swallowed your medicine or just threw it into your underwear again.SCORINGAdd all the points.If the total is 0-10, the person you have read is lying, leading you up the primrose path to Prozac. Beware!If you get 11-20, the person you have read is uncertain, vacillating, on the path to purgatory. Decide if that’s where you want to go.If the person scores 21-30, that person is true, loving and forthwith and wants to take you along to heaven.THE FINAL SCOREFinally, for any suspected single finagle factor (FF) on the part of either, deduct fifteen from total.If two or more FF’s are present between you, deduct 30 from total and make every effort to move on to another person to read where you may get luckier
* * **This report has been validated by more than 70% of those present in the asylum’s Day/TV/Bingo Room.