It’s only right for my first post that I give you a little glimpse into some of the arcana of reading people.
Cracked.com has compiled a very funny list of some of the things you can tell about people just by looking at them: http://www.cracked.com/article_19194_6-intimate-details-you-can-tell-just-by-looking-at-someone.html (Beware! The article might not be considered safe for work. I find it pretty tame, but your boss may differ.)
What’s so fun about the list is that it’s mostly pretty accurate. That’s a rarity for popular articles about body-language. It also illustrates some of the sources of non-verbal cues. Some are the product of learned behavioral patterns, some have a genetic basis, and in some cases we’re not really sure why they happen.
Now reading people involves much more than simply having a mental database of body language trivia. It’s actually much more important to understand the “why’s” of non-verbal communication. Nevertheless, having a huge store of facts and factoids to work with is required. This article reminds me that accumulating these facts is great fun in its own right. Plus, they’re great fodder for water-cooler chat.