I've lately been running into people who I haven't seen in quite a while. When I do, it seems to become painfully obvious whether or not they care to talk, or if they actually remember me.
I believe that facial expressions and movements, eye contact or lack thereof, a quizzical look, and a general 'vibe' can all tell me a lot about where I stand with such people. Unless I really don't want to talk to them, which is exceedingly rare, I always try to connect nonverbally first, primarily via eye contact and a subtle friendly smile or something of that nature. It's hard to describe since it seems to be pretty natural for me, but you get the idea.
When I get a sense that someone doesn't want to talk, that's fine.. I don't tend to initiate conversation with them at all, in that case. I'm not pushy about that sort of thing, and I don't want to impose. (I also don't allow my curiosity as to why they act this way to lead me to actually strike up a conversation and fish that information out of them--though it could or could not have anything to do with me at that particular moment.)
But I'm wondering whether I rush to judgment on these things, though--whether that person actually does want to talk and I'm reading them incorrectly. But then, if they really did want to talk, they could take some initiative themselves. But then, they could just be extremely shy. But then, .. ..
And so the cycle of thought on the subject goes, and I begin to question my own judgment at times.
On the other hand, none of this stops my ESFJ sister when she runs into a similar situation. She'll aim to "pick up" the other person's spirits.. pretty much no matter what the cost.
So do any of you experience something similar? How accurate are these kinds of nonverbal impressions? Am I not giving people the benefit of the doubt when I get a sense that they don't want to talk? Should I impose myself upon these people?
Feel free to explore the topic in general.. this one ain't just about me and my specific situation, after all.