I can see past your lies, your deceptions, your attempts at covering up just how nervous you feel, that fake laughter whilst you slag me off in your head, that trying-to-be-cool demeanour so I'll be interested in you. Most of it anyway.
In the past, say... 3 years I've gotten really rather good at reading people. And I never used to be. I still fuck up, and I'll miss all the obvious stuff, and if you're my boyfriend, then I miss all the non obvious stuff too - sorry, blind spot so to speak - I'm not good with reading facial expressions, but I have developed the ability to read body language, to pick up on habits people have, to notice behavioural patterns, to take note of what they say, rather that necessarily how they're saying it. For this ability I largely blame/thank Joel and Lisa.
I think it all started with Classics Play '08 (I say it like that to make it sound cool, and not just a geekfest for those who want to make themselves feel important and feed their need for attention and power). Lisa was directing Agamemnon, and I was PMing. But also sort of asst. directing, and half producing, as she was running every idea past me 3 months before it ever actually got announced to the rest of the production team due to the nature of our friendship. Luckily, this worked out quite well, and we're theatrical producing duo that can actually stay friends through working together, which is INCREDIBLY rare in my experience. It's like living with people you were in halls with; all too often, it goes horribly wrong where it seemed such a good idea way back in September. Anyway, back to the point - Lisa is a very observant person. She's totally make a good bene gesserit in geekworld. She picks up on things that people wouldn't even realise they give away about themselves. Stance, posture, patterns of speech, how they change according to the situation they're in. And somehow, I absorbed all this, and started doing it subconsciously to other people in my life, though of course, nowhere near as well as she does. And then I did the play this year again, and I got round 2 of that whole learning experience, and by just seeing how she is with people, I realised just how little I still know about this
This taught me a lot about body language and speech mannerisms. It's actually quite astounding how much people give away through this. I mean sure, everyone gives stuff away through it, but its astounding that even people who are actively trying to cover these things up still reveal so much. You'd need some serious psychological training and a strong conscious override of your subconcious to make things undetectable. But even then, I've had no 'training' and have manged to pick up the tricks to read people with, someone who was trained to do it might notice even then.
And then I met Joel, and he's an empath, and we got an instant subconscious connection, and he reads me better than anyone else in the world, much to my usual annoyance when he manages to get straight to the point of what I'm actually feeling even when I'm stressing about something completely different. And I can do it back to him, which equally, irritates him. It's incredibly useful at times, and works on a completely bizzare level which most of you will find odd. It is actual mindreading more or less. We can sense feelings, thoughts, see images and memories and do a whole 'The Shining' deal with not needing to talk or even be in the same room to communicate with each other. ANd from Joel, I've picked up paying attention to what people say, not the mannerisms and quirks and idiosyncracies in how they talk, but their phrasing; how they answer questions, how they avoid leading you down certain routes by their choice of vocabulary; how they do it all without the use of stress, so that you won't notice. And strangely, since having this link with Joel, I seem to have picked up a little bit of his empathness, or I channel it; either's possible with me and Joel., but regardless, I have a better emapth ability. And I was a fairly empathetic person to begin with. But I'm not a lot better at just 'sensing' when something's wrong, and analyzing the situation without consciously thinking about it, recognising when certain tactics aren't working, and knowing what the right questions to ask are.
It's both a blessing and a curse, as Joel will know all too well. This ability to read people is great, noticing these different unintentioned aspects of people can get me so many places with them, and I don't mean that in a manipulative way... largely, but it has its drawbacks, it takes some of the thrill of guessing out, it makes certain situations that much harder to bear when you're trying to talk to someone in distress, and you're the one trying not to cry, because you can feel how badly they want to. And its a bit like the witchblade: its an ability that abandons you when you most need it, its hard to turn inwardly, its hard to turn on those closest to you, both out of a sense of respect for personal privacy, and some form of blind spot that just seems to occur on those kind of matters. But largely, its very useful, and I'm glad I've picked this ability up so much in the last few years.