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This is what I (want to) see.

Are you reading right?
I can clearly recall one incident which would perfectly explain what I’m trying to put here. One day, I went on walk with some my friends. After covering some distance, we reached in in a large and open public space. All of us sat on a bench except one special person.

He stood right in front of us by resting his hands on his hips. I would like to mention here that he used to claim himself being a body language expert publicly, most of time in my presence.

While we were chatting among ourselves, a small group of boys & girls came there and all of them sat 50 to 60 feet away from us. What happened after that moment only added to my fascination about individual-centric social reading.

Right from the moment the group arrived at the spot, a good looking girl caught attention of the self-proclaimed body language expert. He started to look at her continuously and without batting his eyelids but she somehow didn’t realize about same. Apart of other girls in the group, she had dressed up very well for sure.

What she did is that she sat 5 to 6 feet away from rest of her friends, only to talk with somebody privately on her cell phone. This only added to excitement of the guy and perhaps few others too in our group. She kept talking on phone and he kept looking at her only.

The girl on her cell phone
Couple of minutes passed and an unexpected incident occurred. The so-called body language expert suddenly asked me a question, “What’s your interpretation of that girl’s body language?”. Without wasting a single moment, I answered to his question by saying, “She’s just busy in talking with someone in private. Other than that, she’s not conveying anything to any of us here.

It didn’t end there and whole incident took a new turn. However, I was expecting the same derogatory comments from him at that moment when he was quite busy in looking at her. Undoubtedly, he was enormously attracted at her beauty.

The guy tried to turn me down by saying, “Sachchidanand, you simply didn’t fulfill my expectations by answering this way. The girl is doing nothing but trying to grab attention (of him only?) by sitting away from rest of her friends. What all she wants is to get noticed (by somebody).

Well! The guy indirectly conveyed his own desire even when she never looked at anybody else other than her own group. She wasn’t giving away any classical nonverbal clues of attention grabbing, grooming or flirting. She was just sitting there, glued to her cell phone.

Like all others in our group, I was quite aware about sarcastic, jealous and derogatory commenting style of the guy. Definitely, he was quite skillful in reading people and has done some good social readings, according to my personal experience. However, his unconscious urges took hold of his conscious mind while reading her body language clues.

The only reason behind his wrong or biased interpretation about the girl was his own wish to attract her attention at himself as he couldn’t step towards an unfamiliar but nice looking and well-dressed girl. Not with him only but this happens with almost everybody and quite frequently!

Subjective Perception
When emotions, instincts and desires run high or uncontrolled, we simply try to look at people and situations in false colors only. We unconscious try to convince ourselves or (openly) defend our own biased or individual-centric viewpoint(s) about people we are looking at and situations we are in.

We try to interpret people and situations on the basis of our own mindset, intentions, emotions or desires towards them. Very few of us can throw away or keep aside what we unconsciously want or expect from the person under observation.
Moreover, an individual assumes that he/she is the only target or center of false mindset, intentions, emotions or desires of people that he/she is looking at the moment. This phenomenon is simply called as ‘Subjective Perception’ of a social situation.

We misinterpret not just an initial impression, facial expressions and body language of people but also arrangement, placement, sequencing, links among and appearance of different objects and entities. There are plenty of real life examples and not just a single one to put here.

What you personally think after looking at this woman’s face? Does she look jealous, angry, bored or lustful/flirtatious? Without any doubt, your answer would reflect your own subjective perception or desire about her.
This woman appears to be jealous, angry, bored or lustful/flirtatious?
Just to mention here that this face has been included in a small quiz created by me couple of months ago. By clicking on this link, you can test your social reading skills.

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