Imagine how much easier life would be if we developed the talent of reading the unexpressed thoughts of other people.
Weirdly enough, in psychology there is no proper evidence proving that it is possible to map someone’s mind accurately through their emotions, words and body language. But the lack of research-backed evidence does not totally deny the fact that it is, in fact, possible to develop sharp skills of reading minds.
There are many out there who are extremely skilled at mind-reading, and the techniques they use to decode the unexpressed thoughts are:
1. Decoding all sorts of nonverbal expressions
I read somewhere that this is a fantastically complex skill, one which requires a lot of practice. As the term says, it requires you to read the other person’s non-verbal emotions. The tone of the voice, quality of touch, facial expressions, handwriting style are the key clues to understanding someone’s feelings.
Infants, for obvious reasons, convey their thoughts through non-verbal facial expressions and their mothers are the best natural non-verbal communication decoders. Mothers actually are at all times best at decoding their children’s non-verbal expressions.
2. The mirror technique
You can replicate their body positions or their personality traits. Metaphorically speaking, it is somewhat similar to stepping in to someone else’s shoes. It helps you empathise with what the other person might be feeling. Moreover, copying the actions of the person that you are trying to read, drives their mind in such a way that they feel compelled to let their inhibitions go and open up to you.
3. Deception detection technique
Most of us think of ourselves as pros at detecting lies but in reality there are only rare individuals who are masters of lie detection. And if research studies are anything to go by, not all those who avoid eye contact are liars. In fact, most liars maintain steady eye contact thus driving home the sad realisation that the act of deceiving has evolved in terms of smartness over the years.
4. Study the context
One kind of gesture made at different situations could mean several things. Couples make a great subject for this technique. If the girl gives a wide-eyed expression to her man for a reason not obvious to you or anyone else, it could perhaps mean that she suddenly remembered something that she had earlier forgotten to tell her hubby. However, if some friend of the man from the group suddenly reveals something about him that his partner was not aware of until that moment, then at that point of time her wide-eyed expression in reaction would mean that she is shocked and mad at her partner.
5. Play the guessing game
If you know the person who seems to be hiding things a little too well, you can guess random things relevant to that person. Their expressions ought to change once you land up on the guess that is the exact thought on their mind. And if you are nearly sure about their unexpressed thoughts but want them to reveal it themselves, then you can keep talking to them about it until they blurt it all out.
6. Let their muscles tell you their secrets
This one is pretty common and more so often, gives accurate results. No one has to be an expert really to understand that if a normally relaxed person looks tensed body-wise, that means s/he has something on his/her mind. Also, there is something called muscle-reading.
You can either keep pressing the person’s back muscles whilst making random but relevant guesses of what can perhaps be bothering them, or you can hold their hands and continue the guessing game. Once the right guess strikes, you will feel their muscles tense up. This is how their bodies give away the hidden thoughts easily.
7. Telepathy- A highly debated, complex, but if records in history are to be believed, a totally effective technique.
Telepathy refers to the art of ‘thought reading’ without having to use any of the five senses. It is a technique performed between a sender and the receiver of the thought.
This technique needs a lot of practice and cannot be mastered overnight. Also, it has not really been proven by science yet some people continue to perform it with winning results.
Now while the above-explained techniques have more to do with daily mind reading, these days the evolution of brain scanning technology (neuro-imaging) has led researchers to debate on what particular areas can benefit from this technique. And one key application of brain scanning technology is criminal law.
A neuroscientist, Marcel Just believes that 3 to 5 years into the future, a machine that can read complex thoughts will become a reality.
The original version of this post can be found here.