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Thread: people reading

  1. #1
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    Default people reading

    which types do you think are the best people readers? i've always thought of it as a primarily NFJ thing, with a lot of other Ns being pretty good too. (my ENFP best friend is amazing.)

    i ask this because i have a friend i've always considered an INFJ, but i'm wondering now if he may be an ISFJ. the thing with him is, he's not intellectual like at all, but he understands people and why they do what they do without even trying, and he's always exactly on point. not to toot my own horn, but i consider myself to understand people quite well, and i'm usually surprised when someone comes up with motivations i haven't thought of. he constantly does this.


    the reason i've always thought NFJs were the best people readers is that Ni collects pertinent information to the current abstract thought process, and Fe consciously focuses on the feeling sentiments of the environment. so when an NFJ focuses their attention on someone, their Ni will try to paint as full a picture as possible, and Ti will step in to organize the picture even better. this is not to say other types don't have the capacity to do this, but NFJs are more likely to pay attention to it.


    i feel as if Si would have a harder time painting a full picture because the focus is on the detail.

    so, do you guys think SFJs can be amazing people readers? which other types do you think would be good?

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    veteran attention whore Jeffster's Avatar
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    Obviously, I'm not a good topic title reader, because I read this as being about people doing this:

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    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    I think most of the dominant perceivers are good people readers. That inclueds all ExxP's and IxFJ's. I don't think most IxTJ's are good people readers though. Also each type reads people a different way. For example my (INFJ) wife and I are both good people readers, but while I read their behavior and motivations, she reads their emotional state. At the same time I'm pretty bad at reading emotions, and people's motivations and behaviors are often confusing to her. Overall I would think ENFP's are the best people readers, since Ne would clue them into motivations and behavior while Fi would allow them to be more tuned into people's emotions.
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    My first instinct is that Ni people seem to read others well without a lot of obvious clues to go on. You just sort of "know" where someone is coming from, and it's hard to explain in hindsight.

    I think Ne/Se people can read things when there's lots of external clues or intimations to work with, but Se might not get below the surface. Still, when the situation is pretty tangible, they can be pretty canny and immediate with perceiving what's going on.

    [And i have to say it's sort of funny even with ISFJs. They might not instinctively know what someone wants up front, but I have found that they are extremely good at remember what people have expressed interest in liking. (i.e., they collect and store enormous amounts of detail about people they care about.) The silliest story I have is one Christmas my mother gave me something purple, and I said rather sincerely and foolishly, "Oh, that's nice, I didn't have anything purple yet." For the next 6-7 years, I got purple things for Christmas because it was my "favorite color" until I almost had to yell at my mother to get her to stop. That's a little different than people perception, per se, but some types replace live perception with stored data that they access... which might be dead on if the situation and data match up, but if the data is bad, then it's not very helpful.]

    I didn't really feel like Ne people were as great at people reading. See, the problem there is that the ENFP tends to get too caught up in the possibilities and often uses Fi to pick the possibilities they personally happen to favor... The really mature ones might be grounded enough to REALLY pay attention to the other person and get a good read, but the average or less mature ones are focused on the possibilities they favor, not necessarily the person.
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    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    ENFPs are definitely much quicker people readers than INFJs. INFJs have to gather a lot more information, and tend to focus their attention on one person at a time.

    meh, i'm beginning to think this thread isn't too great. hopefully it'll get interesting.

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    veteran attention whore Jeffster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dissonance View Post
    meh, i'm beginning to think this thread isn't too great. hopefully it'll get interesting.
    Well, it's been nearly an hour since I posted in it, so that's probably.....

    I think since I've been reading all this personality type stuff in the last couple months, I've gotten much better at "reading" people. I've started to pick up on clues from people in conversations to their motivations and the way they think. It's really fun sometimes, especially when I'm not even really participating in the conversation, but I'm mostly listening to two other people talk. I can sit there and watch/hear their personality types come out in the conversation and it's really cool.
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    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    I don't think most IxTJ's are good people readers though.
    I can read people but I lack tact. I just get bombarded with information from expression and intonation and I just can't do anything except the very basic -- stay, or back off. Kind of like trying to fix a pair of eyeglasses when all you have is a hammer, and you know, when all you have is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail...

    Dunno about other ITJs, though.
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    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    some of the INTJs i know (for some reason i hang out with like 6) are really really good at predicting people's actions. but i don't necessarily think they understand what the other people are feeling, the just know the patterns in behavior. (i don't mean that to sound that cold, just colder than NFs)

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    Quote Originally Posted by dissonance View Post

    i ask this because i have a friend i've always considered an INFJ, but i'm wondering now if he may be an ISFJ. the thing with him is, he's not intellectual like at all, but he understands people and why they do what they do without even trying, and he's always exactly on point. not to toot my own horn, but i consider myself to understand people quite well, and i'm usually surprised when someone comes up with motivations i haven't thought of. he constantly does this.

    i feel as if Si would have a harder time painting a full picture because the focus is on the detail.

    so, do you guys think SFJs can be amazing people readers? which other types do you think would be good?
    My ISFJ boyfriend is an amazing people reader and does it in the same exact way as your ISFJ friend. He sees things that I don't pick up on & I've always been the people reader master, dammit!

    One way that he fails in his people reading is if he has a history with the person because his experience with them & his feelings towards the experience with the person cloud his vision. I don't have this problem - I can see someone's intentions regardless of my experience with them. He also tends to be exact in reading the details of people where I am more exact in reading the patterns & symbols of behavior. We are both very good at reading intentions, though, and I have to blame Fe for that one!

    He is MUCH better at reading people in which he has no personal connection. He really does pick up on tiny details in their body language, voice inflections, and actions that seriously pass me by. His Si judgement is, as much as I hate to admit it, normally spot on & when he bases his observations of people against his own judgement, the results are normally exactly right.

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    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    My ISFJ sister-in-law is really, really good at people reading in a way that I'm not. It amazes me and when I'm stumped by someone's behavior, I often ask her to help me figure it out.

    I can pick up on character stuff usually, but I also have huge blind spots because I think backwards or upside down of most people. 'Normal' is just so weird to me, you know? I almost never see it coming.
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