I was interested in making a new post and had a couple of things that I would have been OK with writing about. One such example, there was a decision I just learned of, made by an old friend – someone a lot like me. Learning of the decision made me nervous for both them and me on a number of levels. I was thinking of writing from ‘my’ perspective so it was obvious I wasn’t just referring to them and that my concern was real.
I was thinking of writing on issues in general. There are plenty of things going on that I have insights upon. Ah but so many people talk about those kinds of things. It gets old after a while unless I have some way of looking at such a thing that is unique and distinct.
Then an old neighbor reminded me of something. It kinda applies to a great many of the things I was thinking about writing on today anyway, even the situation with the friend. People don’t like to be ‘read’. What do I mean by that? Well, perhaps it will serve well to give an example.
When I was still in High School I had an uncanny knack for guessing girl’s ages. I mean really guessing – within months. This wasn’t merely guessing but as a result of factors I would examine on the person. Without talking to them first, as strange it sounds, looking at their ‘knees’ was one thing I noticed the most useful. Most girls were growing in their teens and there was something about the area around the knees – muscle development, fat, etc. – that helped me narrow down an approximation considerably.
To narrow it down to a month or a range of months, I would need to know more about them but that too would be based on ‘reasons’ I could determine, even if I was just doing so unconsciously. Guessing someone’s grade was also easy in high school as there were noticeable differences between how a freshman acted versus a senior. If you could determine their age and get a good feel for their grade, you could compare the two. Someone that seemed on the high or low age end for the grade was likely born in summer months for example and either entered into school ‘early’ or ‘late’ as a result. Another example, a lot of the kids were children of school teachers. Many of those teachers intentionally tried to plan their kids’ births at or near the beginning of summer when they were on vacation from work.
In high school it wasn’t that big of a deal. Girls thought it was interesting when you could guess their ages that closely and it made for a good conversation starter. Near the end of high school and thereafter it became another matter. I could still do this reasonably well when I was in college, and by then I was in a band. From time to time it would slip out that I had this talent and women at the bars and clubs where I would play would immediately ask me to ‘guess’ their age. I learned quickly to refuse!
I would joke – but it wasn’t a joke…
“If you guess too low, the women will get angry because they will think you are saying they look or act immature. If you guess too high, they will get even madder because they will think that they look ‘old’. And if you guess right on the money, they will not act upset but they will be livid that they ‘look their age’ and will unconsciously end up punishing you for noticing from that day forward.”
Well, ages are not the only thing I found I could read well. I tend to have a very good ability to get a feel for certain aspects of a person’s personality with a first glance. Again, there are noticeable ‘reasons’ to come to such determinations. How someone dresses tends to reflect their self image. The lines on someone’s face reflect often how they wear their expression, etc.
For the most part, if you keep such things to yourself and simply use it as a tool as to how to deal with people, things are fine. If it ever becomes an issue where someone asks what you think of them or what your impression was – take the fifth!
I don’t know what it is, but people do not like for their true selves to be revealed to them. They don’t like when something they do or some way they act states things about themselves that they don’t fully acknowledge or recognize themselves. If you are perceptive, you can pick up a great many things about anyone you care to examine – but don’t let them know what you find – you will both likely regret it.