I'm really good at reading people if it's not stuff that's directed at me. If I'm able to keep enough distance and objectivity, I can get a gut-level reaction about their motivations that is seldom wrong. If I'm too close to it, though, it doesn't work. Like Jennifer said, though, it's just a gut feeling, and nothing that I could specifically point out, like body language or anything.
This is odd for me to read about because I've never even thought about it before. If I read people, it's not something I do consciously enough to remember afterward. In general, though, I think I have very little interest in reading people. Maybe the people who are good at reading others are just the people who like doing it?
"When a resolute young fellow steps up the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard, he is often surprised to find that it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
I am INTJ and I am really bad at reading people. I thought that Ne is much better at reading people than Ni.
I wonder if part of it is a matter of trusting your N.
I have problems with people who are not honest about their feelings. For example people who have tone/facial expressions/body language that show a negative reaction (upset, angry disappoving, etc.) but if you ask them what is wrong they will say "nothing is wrong."
It was my bad luck to run into this a lot during my childhood and adolecent years. At that time my thoughts were "I keep getting it wrong, I must be really bad at it." It wasn't till many years later that it occured to me that most likely I was reading them correctly, they just were not open about their feelings.
On the other hand, that kind of behavior is not that uncommon so other people must have gone through the similar experiences and not had the same problem.
I think if I were Fe instead of Te, I would be able to realize they really were upset, even if they said they were not.
Not to toot my own horn...beep beep....but I happen to be extremely good at reading people. There are very few times when I'm blindsided and when I have been it's been a matter of steping over initial gut feelings about a person and wanting to see only the "nice" things. I absolutely agree with Jennifer about Ne verses Ni in terms of reading people. I know that the ENFP's I know are good at reading people but they don't do it nearly as well as I do mainly because they absolutely do let their Fi get in the way of targeting in...they may see lots of possibilities but targeting the main point is Ni's skill and NFJ's have that in abundance. I think one of the reasons an ENFP can be good at counseling someone about what's out there for them is the Ne whereas an INFJ or ENFJ would be much better at counseling someone about their motivations (being able to get to the root) of a person is because of Ni. Often times I can't explain why I think/feel what I do but at least 92.8 % of the time I'm right...and no I don't always like being right about what I pick up.
for my life is slowed up by thought and the need to understand what I am living.
Littlelostnf: Word to that. Not to toot my own horn either, but... Ni seems very strong at reading people and really get to the root of it, Ne seems to be more overall. Being myself a fairly complex person, Ne people time and again read me wrong... NFJs have an easier time to get to a person's underlying moods, motivations, state of consciousness, hidden tensions and intentions.
I think all types can be good people readers but every type reads other people differently. So, some types read people "emotionally" when some other types read people logically. Some types (or rather some people) read the motives and hidden agendas when some other people read the actual needs of other people well. And so on.
I think every type and every person has their own strenghts in people reading. It's only a matter of how interesting one sees other people.
Last edited by alcea rosea; 08-06-2008 at 02:27 AM.