How To Read A Person Like A Book

Saleem Rana

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When I was 15 years old, I found a book on body language. I purchased it because I wanted to read something on a train journey that I was taking that day. I read the book with some fascination.

Later, during the day, I struck a conversation with an elderly Irish clergyman, in the dining car. He was amazed when I told him that I could tell what he was thinking and feeling. He challenged me. And for the next 15 minutes, I told him what his passing moods were.

I laughed when he asked me if I were psychic. I explained to him that a person reveals his inner life by the way he moves his body. There is a language that one can read if you know the symbols. I spent a fascinating time revealing the secrets to him. He said that he would find the information very useful in counseling and advising people.

Today I still find the study of body language interesting. It is useful in getting to know anyone and helps in communicating with them. I suppose it can be used for sales, negotiations, relationship building, and any other kind of human interaction. I find it useful in getting a psychological profile on someone without my asking.

To illustrate my point, I will talk about confidence. How can you tell if someone is confident? Also, if you learn the language of body confidence, you can project an air of confidence and actually become that way.

Here are some traits of the confident person. By the way, you will be pleasantly surprised to find that you knew this already, but just had not put it together into an entire pattern.

Speech. A confident person is spontaneous in their speech. They speak without hesitation, and often with a great deal of enthusiasm. They also tend to be charming and entertaining.

Eyes. A confident person establishes more eye contact and has longer eye contact than someone who is nervous or bashful. They rarely blink, although this is not always true.

Hands. Hands usually gesture outwardly, away from the body, as if seeking to push or change the surrounding air around him. Internally, this signifies that the confident person has a belief that he or she can positively influence people and events. A common gesture, when sitting, is to steeple or taper the hands, so they resemble a church steeple.

Face. Usually the expressions on the face are in line with the flow of the conversation. If it is bantering, the face looks as playful as a child’s face. If it is serious, the expression is stern and determined.

Saleem Rana is a psychotherapist in Denver, Colorado. If you would like to learn more about how to efficiently decode people’s inner feelings and emotions through their body movements, and how you can use this knowledge to succeed in your career, relationships, and personal life, you can find this information at


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