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Today I went out for dinner, it was someone’s birthday. The mood was happy and all the people were fine. We went to a Chinese restaurant. Everyone was laughing and drinking, relishing the atmosphere and the food. It all seemed perfect. I looked further, I was forced by my own being, even though I did not want to.

There was a cook behind one of the grills. He was old, between the age of 40 and 50, maybe even older. This was his job and this was his life. And he was busy and he cooked and he cooked well. But all the while people were waiting on their food and he smiled at them as he served it to them, I could see his true being.

There were moments of calm. He was silent and his face was sad. I could see that this was not how he pictured his life. But he was here and he was of age, there was no changing. He had to survive and he had to accommodate himself. I saw it clearly and no one else saw it as they were all happy and eating their food and relishing the moment. I saw it all and it pained me into the depths of my soul. I saw it, but I did not want to see it.

A human soul was so open without speaking or without showing. I saw it, it was there. It was out in the open and it was clear.
I have noticed this more and often recently. I have seen it before but I had never been conscious about it. But now, I have become conscious, and I often wish that it wasn’t so. The world is filled with trouble and seeing it all is too much for any one single person to handle. The evening continued, everyone was happy and the cook eventually went home, so did we.

At home, the mood was still fine, but there was something else in the air. I could sense it. There were things unspoken. People starting leaving and there were only a few of us left. I spoke and I spoke true. I spoke of what was unspoken and the conversation took over. The pain that was not spoken of surfaced and it felt good to hear it spoken of, seeing people face their fears and understand that change was coming. It was a heavy conversation and it was not easy but it had to be done. I opened and steered the conversation without anyone realizing it, it felt good, and it felt heavy.

The evening ended with people feeling lighter and something to think about. I had changed something, but I was still blind as always to my own problems and existence. Time will allow me to learn but it is short and then it is no longer there.

Does anyone understand? Has anyone experienced this? How do you handle this, what is your vision on your place in existence?
 

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Projecting of your own reasons behind the characteristics and emotional state a person projects.
Although I'm pretty sure you'd say what you see wasn't fact, just what you 'read'.

It's a blessing to have a feel of people's emotional state and tie that in with the characteristic you can find, it's not the ability to see their opinions of themselves and direction, even though the simplist answer is the most likely.
 
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I read into things like that all the time. I recognize that it is my imagination running away with me, and though the story I've come up with is a likely story, I never view it as anything more than that. We don't always know what other people are going through. When I think up/imagine these stories of others' lives, I just learn my own lessons from them, lol. It's kind of sad :p Thinking up stories like that can keep me grounded, grateful, determined, etc. Even though it's just a story I've made up, someone in the world may have actually lived it. Thinking up possibilities like that keeps me driven :) I never assume I actually know what other people are going through though. I can read into the immediate... he's not very happy, he looks stressed, he looks completely worn out, etc. but I never assume I know someone's whole life story. It's silly :p If I sense someone is having a bad day, I will try to do something to cheer him/her up... leave a good tip (in a restaurant setting), give a heartfelt compliment, smile... something.
 

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I experienced this once when watching an old man who rode a public bus with me every Sunday morning on my way to church. He always wore the same blue plaid trousers and he looked neither happy nor sad, but somehow I sort of thought he was sad. His trousers has a small tear near one of the pockets and I remember wondering whether there wasn't anyone in his life that cared enough to sew it for him. Or if he didn't know how, or didn't notice, or had some reason why he didn't want it fixed. Then one Sunday he wasn't there, and the whole ride to and from church I wondered about him, and I wrote a story about him when I got home, that his wife had been ill in the hospital and had died, and that's why he wasn't there that day. It was just fiction but I was so curious about him that I decided to say hello the next week. It turned out that his wife had died, and she had had to be in hospice in the last few weeks of her life, and that IS why his pants weren't mended. And I wondered what it was about him that had told me that without me knowing it, and why there was this connection, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I would like to add that I was actually drunk when I wrote this post when coming home last night. I was not however, in the restaurant from where the scene stuck with me for the entire night, hence why I made this post. As for the account of being intoxicated, there might be more emotion or emphasis on certain subjects than would normally be necessary.

Projecting of your own reasons behind the characteristics and emotional state a person projects.
Although I'm pretty sure you'd say what you see wasn't fact, just what you 'read'.

It's a blessing to have a feel of people's emotional state and tie that in with the characteristic you can find, it's not the ability to see their opinions of themselves and direction, even though the simplist answer is the most likely.
I did indeed not mean it that literally. I cannot know how the person I described feels about his life. But I have seen this person before. The way he moves, talks and looks does tell me something. There was a pain there, and it was not the pain of a hard day's work that he couldn't wait to finish.

It is a feeling I get, and it is also not a feeling I have with everyone person, but thus far in my experience, it has far more often than not, turned out to be true.

That also being the reason for me posing this question. I am curious about the experience of others.

I read into things like that all the time. I recognize that it is my imagination running away with me, and though the story I've come up with is a likely story, I never view it as anything more than that. We don't always know what other people are going through. When I think up/imagine these stories of others' lives, I just learn my own lessons from them, lol. It's kind of sad :p Thinking up stories like that can keep me grounded, grateful, determined, etc. Even though it's just a story I've made up, someone in the world may have actually lived it. Thinking up possibilities like that keeps me driven :) I never assume I actually know what other people are going through though. I can read into the immediate... he's not very happy, he looks stressed, he looks completely worn out, etc. but I never assume I know someone's whole life story. It's silly :p If I sense someone is having a bad day, I will try to do something to cheer him/her up... leave a good tip (in a restaurant setting), give a heartfelt compliment, smile... something.
I understand your point. And often what we feel might not be accurate at all, because we tend to look so deep, one might say we look too deep. Yes, it is almost impossible to know the life story of a person by giving them one look.
But I don't make up whole stories about a person. I view them for what they can show me. Facial expressions of anger or happiness still have subtle differences. I don't want to disregard what I stated or the thoughts that accompany it as totally silly, especially when you start talking to such a person and you find out more about them.

What I described might have come of as if I think that I know it all. Not my intention and not the point I was trying to make. As I said, it is a feeling I have. And it is this same feeling that can make me very uncomfortable in social situations. I don't want to feel all that people spread outwards, often probably subconsciously, but it is there. I can't explain it, but I trust it and I am still learning. I don't see it as a bad thing to work on this and try to develop it.

I experienced this once when watching an old man who rode a public bus with me every Sunday morning on my way to church. He always wore the same blue plaid trousers and he looked neither happy nor sad, but somehow I sort of thought he was sad. His trousers has a small tear near one of the pockets and I remember wondering whether there wasn't anyone in his life that cared enough to sew it for him. Or if he didn't know how, or didn't notice, or had some reason why he didn't want it fixed. Then one Sunday he wasn't there, and the whole ride to and from church I wondered about him, and I wrote a story about him when I got home, that his wife had been ill in the hospital and had died, and that's why he wasn't there that day. It was just fiction but I was so curious about him that I decided to say hello the next week. It turned out that his wife had died, and she had had to be in hospice in the last few weeks of her life, and that IS why his pants weren't mended. And I wondered what it was about him that had told me that without me knowing it, and why there was this connection, etc.
This is probably spot on with what I was aiming for. Didn't you think it was strange, the feeling you got from the old man? And at the same time, weren't you scared about how right you had been?
It is wonderful, but at the same time strange and sometimes can make things uncomfortable, for me at least.
 

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This is probably spot on with what I was aiming for. Didn't you think it was strange, the feeling you got from the old man? And at the same time, weren't you scared about how right you had been?
It is wonderful, but at the same time strange and sometimes can make things uncomfortable, for me at least.
I suppose, if you look at it objectively, it IS pretty strange. And when I've told other people about this kind of thing (which happens to me pretty regularly; this was just one example off the top of my head) they tend to discount it as coincidence or unimportant. Until I read what they're sort of not saying, and they think it's cool. My friends usually call me "insightful" for this reason.

It IS strange, but I'll tell you too, I've cultivated it for my work a lot. I look out at my students and I can see all kinds of things about them. I know which ones were out partying, which ones did their readings, which ones' significant others just dumped them, which ones are insecure about their appearances and which ones desperately want to participate but aren't sure how. It helps me help them; I try to gauge their interests and see what's important to them, so that I can find personal connections to make the subject area more relevant to their lives. It's nice to have a profession where I can use my natural gifts. So after all this time, I don't get uncomfortable about it even when I intuit something eerily spot-on about someone. It makes me feel thankful, because there are so many people out there who have no idea what goes on with ANYONE but themselves, and worse, don't care.
 

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I suppose, if you look at it objectively, it IS pretty strange. And when I've told other people about this kind of thing (which happens to me pretty regularly; this was just one example off the top of my head) they tend to discount it as coincidence or unimportant. Until I read what they're sort of not saying, and they think it's cool. My friends usually call me "insightful" for this reason.

It IS strange, but I'll tell you too, I've cultivated it for my work a lot. I look out at my students and I can see all kinds of things about them. I know which ones were out partying, which ones did their readings, which ones' significant others just dumped them, which ones are insecure about their appearances and which ones desperately want to participate but aren't sure how. It helps me help them; I try to gauge their interests and see what's important to them, so that I can find personal connections to make the subject area more relevant to their lives. It's nice to have a profession where I can use my natural gifts. So after all this time, I don't get uncomfortable about it even when I intuit something eerily spot-on about someone. It makes me feel thankful, because there are so many people out there who have no idea what goes on with ANYONE but themselves, and worse, don't care.
Yes, it is strange, but at the same time wonderful. It is also very nice to hear that you found an outlet for that gift, your work.
It is something I will strife for to find, as I feel that it will give a lot more meaning to, at least my own life, in what I am looking for.

Finding that outlet for the gift like you have done with your work also makes the difference between it being scary and instead useful. But like you said that a lot of people have no idea what goes on with anyone but themselves, I found it in someways to be the exact opposite. I can see what goes on with other people, but when it becomes personal, I often don't have a clue.

And how did this gift grow for you, if I might ask? Has it always been there? Did it develop with age? For myself, it has always kind of been there. But when I was younger I pretty much always ignored it, while I wanted the world to be a better place, there wasn't room in my own behavior, so to speak, when I was a kid / teenager. I had my own problems and the empathy for others just couldn't fit in, yet.
 

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And how did this gift grow for you, if I might ask? Has it always been there? Did it develop with age? For myself, it has always kind of been there. But when I was younger I pretty much always ignored it, while I wanted the world to be a better place, there wasn't room in my own behavior, so to speak, when I was a kid / teenager. I had my own problems and the empathy for others just couldn't fit in, yet.
actually it was a lot stronger when I was a kid; it was kind of uncontrollable at the time sometimes. I really internalized the things I got from other people too...it was beyond empathy. You know how as adolescents you sort of feel everything more dramatically than at any other time in your life...I was feeling everyone else feeling dramatically. I had two outlets to help me cope with it until I found a way to see it as a tool...writing, and sex. Both as much as possible. Because with either one you can pour out excess emotion into the context and it's appropriate for it to be strong and unrestrained.

My first year of teaching was really hard because my heart broke for my students and all the stuff they were dealing with. While I was professional and consistent, I still felt for them. Which is good, if you can help them, but can be incredibly depressing if left unchecked. The second year I managed to intellectualize the ability to a manageable level and now instead of being sort of a panoramic vision, I use it more like a scalpel. I can still full blast it if I want to be overwhelmed by impressions... (I like to do this while people-watching) but for everyday life that's just too mentally and emotionally exhausting.

I suppose in a way you could say I grew into it. :)
 

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actually it was a lot stronger when I was a kid; it was kind of uncontrollable at the time sometimes. I really internalized the things I got from other people too...it was beyond empathy. You know how as adolescents you sort of feel everything more dramatically than at any other time in your life...I was feeling everyone else feeling dramatically. I had two outlets to help me cope with it until I found a way to see it as a tool...writing, and sex. Both as much as possible. Because with either one you can pour out excess emotion into the context and it's appropriate for it to be strong and unrestrained.
I guess that I hadn't looked at it that way. I did have the feelings when I was a kid, but I just had absolutely no idea of how to deal with them, or what to make of them. You are already exploring so much during that stage, I guess I poured my energy into gaming and shut out the world, instead, which was probably the wrong thing to do looking back..

I didn't get into writing or sex until later when things had already changed, but they would have been good for me, I am a late bloomer.. ;-)

My first year of teaching was really hard because my heart broke for my students and all the stuff they were dealing with. While I was professional and consistent, I still felt for them. Which is good, if you can help them, but can be incredibly depressing if left unchecked. The second year I managed to intellectualize the ability to a manageable level and now instead of being sort of a panoramic vision, I use it more like a scalpel. I can still full blast it if I want to be overwhelmed by impressions... (I like to do this while people-watching) but for everyday life that's just too mentally and emotionally exhausting.

I suppose in a way you could say I grew into it. :)
Realizing that I have those emotions / feelings was the first step. Now I have to search for an environment that will let me utilize them, and build from there, in a healthy manner. Thank you, your post has been very insightful.

Having talked about this subject I actually feel much better about it. No longer empty.
 

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I'm not alone.

I asked my friend once what was my strongest attribute. He said, "I think its your perceptive ability in social situations."

I've always had the ability, but I think with time I'm discovering how it works, and how to temper it a bit. I've called it both my curse and my gift. I used to call it being an empath, but that term doesn't do it justice. I haven't learned to turn it off like Marimeli, so there are times where I can burn myself out taking in all this "extra" information. It can be greatly overwhelming. But I just can't think of giving it up because it helps me touch people's lives for the better. I "see" things about them, and sometimes intuit just why it is that way, and then I reach out instinctively. It's not 100 percent fireproof, but most of the time I am spot on. And even though my gesture might seem small, to that person it might have been the drop of water they needed at that moment. I have never been able to express it in words that others could understand. I never found anyone else that could understand.

Not one, but two people, who understand what it is to be this way.

Funny thing is, I can see everyone else, but not myself. I am my own blind spot.

Pom87, I wish I was that articulate when I was drunk. I don't think I'm even that articulate when I'm sober!
 

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I'm not alone.

I asked my friend once what was my strongest attribute. He said, "I think its your perceptive ability in social situations."

I've always had the ability, but I think with time I'm discovering how it works, and how to temper it a bit. I've called it both my curse and my gift. I used to call it being an empath, but that term doesn't do it justice. I haven't learned to turn it off like Marimeli, so there are times where I can burn myself out taking in all this "extra" information. It can be greatly overwhelming. But I just can't think of giving it up because it helps me touch people's lives for the better. I "see" things about them, and sometimes intuit just why it is that way, and then I reach out instinctively. It's not 100 percent fireproof, but most of the time I am spot on. And even though my gesture might seem small, to that person it might have been the drop of water they needed at that moment. I have never been able to express it in words that others could understand. I never found anyone else that could understand.
What is different between us, is that while we can both see it. I often don't have the ability to act on it. When things get personal, I tend to freeze, I pick up on the social ques, but the ability to act on them seems just not there. Can you or anyone understand or relate to this? I find it extremely difficult to hug people, for example. But I am actually very empathic on the inside, and I see all those things and they seem to collide in an unnatural manner.

It seems your environment is aware that you have this ability? My environment does not know that at all about me.
The uncanny ability to read between the lines, when people are having a normal or casual conversation, for example, might actually be a cause of social anxiety for myself. There are instances such as little things people say to each other and how they react. Meanings that come off different than intended with the other person, but the other person does not see it, then there it is just something awkward, but so many people don't notice this, such things make me cringe, badly. It is hard to explain, I hope it is understandable.

Also one of the reasons why I started this thread, I still have a lot to find out and learn.

Not one, but two people, who understand what it is to be this way.
There are more! But they are likely not to show or share it with someone. Maybe they will show themselves here, however ;-)

Funny thing is, I can see everyone else, but not myself. I am my own blind spot.
I guess this is also the curse part, and it is exactly the same for me.

Pom87, I wish I was that articulate when I was drunk. I don't think I'm even that articulate when I'm sober!
Yeah I thought it looked good when I posted it that night, but then when you read something back later when you are sober, it usually looks like gibberish. Now, I felt it was good enough still, it made me chuckle, though.
 

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@Pom87, @Laeona
Re: being your own blind spot

"ditto" is not nearly a strong enough word for that. I NEVER see myself as other people see me, and frequently the misinterpretations of other people's social cues, for me, are when they are in regards to me. I sort of find myself preemptively apologizing for boring people with my work when I discuss it with them, for example, because I will assume they're only asking to be polite when they are truly interested; or that someone will compliment my intelligence and I'll be uncomfortable because I think it might be that they were having trouble finding anything nice to say so they picked something obvious, when in reality they were just paying me an honest compliment. It's not just insecurity, because there are things I am very secure about personally that I still misunderstand others' responses to. I think it's literally that I just don't see myself through their eyes.
 

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I stumble over words when I'm trying to express all of this. I hate my lack of expression, especially over something I feel is so important.

When I said I react, I realized I was drawing on the memories that stuck with me the most, which usually are the ones where I got enough courage to act on what I saw. They were emotionally charged because of that, and therefore the most prominent experiences I draw from. But my mind "reads between the lines" all day long in all sorts of situations, and I may never act on most of the information I take in. And there are times, where if what I'm reading involves a stranger, I may not react on an initial feeling, but may think about how I would like to react if I run across this person again, very similar to Marimeli's example. It's never so much that I doubt what I'm reading. But how will that person take an intrusion in to their life like that? How can I tactfully approach them with something so delicate, because these are very deep private matters for these people.

Most people are not aware of my ability to "read". My closest friend knows and encourages it, but my family and most other people I'm around do not realize what I do, or they dismiss it as the creations of a fanciful mind and lucky guesses. I've found most people have trouble grasping the topic. So it becomes lonely at times when I'd love to express what I've encountered and have feedback but do not have an audience that will take it seriously.

I totally get what you mean about the awkwardness of social situations, where you pick up on something and it changes the mood of the event. It's moments like that where this ability becomes grating. I think it's one of the reasons we come across as moody. Conversation is racing right along, then "Oops, what's wrong with Laeona? She was fine just a moment ago, but now she looks like something is bothering her." How do we even begin to explain the complexity of what we just saw transpire? Pom87, trust me, you have a gift for expression. Can I have you along as my translator?

Do you know how good it feels to be able to talk about this?

Guys, here's a fellow INFP who blows topics like this wide open. I just stumbled on this thread today, and I intend to seek out more of his writings.

http://personalitycafe.com/infp-articles/32891-infp-observational-perceptiveness-skills.html

Everything we find is one step closer to understanding another piece our ourselves.

And one more thing: The blind spot stinks!!! :p
 

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I catch similar glimpses a lot of the time. I believe that the more empathetic a person is, the more they will be able to see things like this. When I was younger, the emotions of others would overwhelm me at times, so much so that I couldn't handle it. But then again, I was the kind of person who couldn't sleep for nights over the guilt of hurting someone's feelings, which was usually unintentional and the other person usually forgot it by the next day. The guilt would eat away at me, their emotions would become my own - everything affected me very strongly, whether it was experienced through my five senses or something non-physical.

Age helped me get used to it all. It still is felt but doesn't hurt me as much. Personally, I feel that such moments are beautiful in that another individual has the ability to understand how another feels on a deeper level. It makes life seem a little less lonely.
 

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I stumble over words when I'm trying to express all of this. I hate my lack of expression, especially over something I feel is so important.

When I said I react, I realized I was drawing on the memories that stuck with me the most, which usually are the ones where I got enough courage to act on what I saw. They were emotionally charged because of that, and therefore the most prominent experiences I draw from. But my mind "reads between the lines" all day long in all sorts of situations, and I may never act on most of the information I take in. And there are times, where if what I'm reading involves a stranger, I may not react on an initial feeling, but may think about how I would like to react if I run across this person again, very similar to Marimeli's example. It's never so much that I doubt what I'm reading. But how will that person take an intrusion in to their life like that? How can I tactfully approach them with something so delicate, because these are very deep private matters for these people.

Most people are not aware of my ability to "read". My closest friend knows and encourages it, but my family and most other people I'm around do not realize what I do, or they dismiss it as the creations of a fanciful mind and lucky guesses. I've found most people have trouble grasping the topic. So it becomes lonely at times when I'd love to express what I've encountered and have feedback but do not have an audience that will take it seriously.

I totally get what you mean about the awkwardness of social situations, where you pick up on something and it changes the mood of the event. It's moments like that where this ability becomes grating. I think it's one of the reasons we come across as moody. Conversation is racing right along, then "Oops, what's wrong with Laeona? She was fine just a moment ago, but now she looks like something is bothering her." How do we even begin to explain the complexity of what we just saw transpire? Pom87, trust me, you have a gift for expression. Can I have you along as my translator?

Do you know how good it feels to be able to talk about this?

Guys, here's a fellow INFP who blows topics like this wide open. I just stumbled on this thread today, and I intend to seek out more of his writings.

http://personalitycafe.com/infp-articles/32891-infp-observational-perceptiveness-skills.html

Everything we find is one step closer to understanding another piece our ourselves.

And one more thing: The blind spot stinks!!! :p
First, look at the bold part you wrote, just before telling me I am good at written expression (thank you for that, I would come along and there would be adventure for nothing is a feeling of depressing loneliness any longer because we would share). You perfectly described why we actually have those moods that we all know so well, and why we come of to the outside world as such. It is because everything we pick up and then we are as a mirror. We reflect what we feel, but not from the inside because we are quiet and we feel misunderstood. But it is written on our faces and apparent from our posture, the way we walk or stand. You actually opened my eyes here, as I have never looked at it that way. I read what you said and now I am awake.

And as for expressing, Hemingway taught me. And every sentence I type feels good and full of expression and makes me warm inside, because I know that my words are true and they really are my own.


There is still a very large step between the actual reading and intruding into the life of a person. And I often cannot make that step, but I think I don't want to do it either. Unless, it is in a professional setting where it is my job and I know that good will come from it. But the feeling that I should do something about what I see is always there, I repress it, but when that is no longer possible I do not know how to control it yet in a way that is genuine and helpful to those involved. It has much to do with the fact that I am a natural shy or quiet person.

And as for other people not being aware, I think maybe keeping it like that is a good thing? People will act natural around you now, but when they know they will be halted and maybe they can feel like they can no longer be themselves? It can be seen as both positive and negative I guess..

And yes, I know how good it feels to share here! Things like this can weigh heavy on the soul if they are kept inside and cannot be shared or understood. But we understand, and we share.

I shall take a look at that link you posted here.
 

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Yes. All the time.

It can be wonderful and golden, and then there's moments where you feel your heart absolutely ache for the person.

I often people watch. I want to notice people. So often we just walk through our lives, never really stopping to look at other people who are always around us and have always been there. I love trips to the city. Thousands of people. And all of them, because they live so closely together, aren't used to making much eye contact with a stranger. They keep to themselves, in whatever group they're in. But I love watching the people in that setting. It's so very interesting to watch them. Some people feel as though you are invading their territory by smiling and making eye contact with them.

And then others absolutely love it.

It's heart breaking to see the people as you described - not happy. Resigned. Kind of an outcast of society that everybody tends to overlook. I saw a person of a different ethnicity early in the morning, washing a window outside of a restaurant. He worked outside, where everybody could see him. Everybody saw a person who had a probably low-paying job and thought nothing more, if they even bothered to notice him. But most people's eyes never found him, even when he was there plain as day. I made eye contact with him and smiled. It was magical. His face with rather surprised. But he nodded back. He was surprised that I had acknowledged his existence -- his existence as another human being, as an equal.

It was bittersweet. In cities, where people are most guarded about their own personal space, if you will, are the easiest to see into their "souls". At least a glimpse.
 

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Yay, I'm in the same boat, sort of xD I don't think my reading abilities are as well developed as you people described it, but yah. Maybe I read behavior, body language, through which I 'imagine' the soul. Not sure on this.

I used to reach out a lot. Sometimes I would do it actively, sometimes passively. There was this one time when I was staffing at a teen camp, it was winter and I was doing a tea & cookies round for the kids who had caught a cold. There was this one girl, lying sick in bed. But when I saw her, she didn't seem so sick. I gave her tea and cookies and sat down for a moment, scanning her eyes (which seemed bereft of joy), her body language (curling up, hiding). That's when I knew a story was coming.

Two or three minutes in, she starts talking about how she was raped by her b/f recently. Boy, I felt like I was at the wrong place at the wrong time - I didn't expect this topic, and there's only me and her (a pretty girl, I should add) in the room, and she was like what, 17, me 22 at the time. Totally opening up to me and I wanted to leave the room to find her a woman to talk with. Then I thought it would make her feel really uncomfortable if I'd leave, so I didn't. I let her talk, said some comforting words, prayed a bit with her and then I was outta there xD But it was awkward, the rest of the duration of the camp she was hanging around me, being huggy and all that jazz. Well, at least I did get to see her bright, joyful eyes.

There was this one coworker of mine a few years ago, whom I had come to know as an outgoing, ambitious and proud person, but I could see through that layer of his. After asking him for his nationality, it was clear to me what was going on. He was an Afghan who had spent some of his early years in Afghanistan, but he and his family had fled the nation and ended up in my country. I know, it is an obvious possibility to think of, the reading was actually in the change in his demeanor, when I tried two or three times to subtly ask about it. He'd look more pensive, but would give me a detached story about what it was like. As if he could see the timeline walk by in front of him while sharing his memories. Even so, I saw how it bore on his soul, I never asked if he had but I could see the promise he had made to himself, to leave history as history, yet not being fully able to free himself of it. That was the true him that I believe he has never really shared with anyone.

Yeah, I never asked. Sometimes one knows she/he needn't ask.

I don't try to read people much, the last few years or so. I can't help everybody and not everybody wants to be helped (or talk). Plus it leaves spare time to enjoy being myself xD
 

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I'm always kind of amazed at how easily some people do open up to us. It's like they're ghosts trapped on the astral plane, and we enter the room and "see" them, and they sense that and unleash these life stories. I had a clerk in Home Depot the other night give me his whole sordid life story and why he "came to his senses". I didn't ask. I was just looking for graffiti remover! I thought that was an ironic twist, since we had just discussed whether we "readers" act on what we "read". Sometimes, we don't get a choice. We're grabbed without getting to think about it.

Do any of you get a wicked high from being in a room full of happy people? haha A room full of happy crying people is just craaaaazy to "read".

And yes, I can "read" animals too. But I am NOT the animal whisperer. Ugh.
 

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Interesting how the majority of posts in this thread is written by xNFP, INFP's at that. I'm summoning @Adriana and @emerald sea, just because I can :3 I mean, to see what happens :3
 

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I'm always kind of amazed at how easily some people do open up to us. It's like they're ghosts trapped on the astral plane, and we enter the room and "see" them, and they sense that and unleash these life stories. I had a clerk in Home Depot the other night give me his whole sordid life story and why he "came to his senses". I didn't ask. I was just looking for graffiti remover! I thought that was an ironic twist, since we had just discussed whether we "readers" act on what we "read". Sometimes, we don't get a choice. We're grabbed without getting to think about it.
My husband calls me a weirdo magnet, because I'll just be sitting there minding my own business, and all of a sudden next thing I know the stranger next to me is pouring out their life story or telling me some really intimate detail about themselves. I listen to what they say and don't say and then I let it go unless it's really amusing, then I make a story about it and focus on the humorous details, and keep it for later. And a lot of times the people look surprised at the stuff that just rolls out of their mouths at me, or say, "wow, I can't believe I just told you that!" My friends call me "eminently approachable." Isn't that ironic, for an introvert? And I can smile and nod and commiserate and basically be whatever they need me to be at the time.

Funny, I never really thought about how weird that actually is. People I know make jokes about it all the time, but since it happens to me I guess I assumed it sort of happens to everyone and most people just don't notice. But looking at it objectively, it IS rather unusual.
 
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