Reading the Situation

Are you a good judge of other people’s happiness? Tell us about a time you were spot on despite external hints to the contrary (or, alternatively, about a time you were dead wrong).


Being able to read people is simultaneously a blessing and a curse. There are people you want to read in order to help them out and lend an ear if they so need, then there are some people you really don’t want to read or who don’t want to be read; this can lead to some unsavory feelings if not dealt with properly.

The gift found in being able to read people is that you are able to tell when another person is happy, and if your an emphatic then that happiness could in turn be your happiness. A person can be so happy that a dreary environment will not even intrude upon their good feeling, that is the wholesome feeling of rightness that we all strive for. Some are successful, many are not.

There was a time when I was hanging out with a group of friends that I can clearly recall being able to read people a little too well. It was one of my friends birthday’s, and I could tell that she was not having a good time. It was her 21st birthday, and while many choose to go out to a bar and drink on their 21st that is not everyone’s cup of tea. My friend fell into the latter category, but some of our other friends simply told her “you don’t know what you’re talking about” and tacked on the ever helpful “you’ll have a blast”.

It turns out that no, she did not have a blast. She drank a few drinks that she really didn’t want to, and we stayed out much later than she had deigned necessary. But she was the birthday girl, fresh to the bar scene, and our other friends were either too focused on their own inebriation that they didn’t notice her miserable countenance or they were having too much fun to care.

That was the moment I felt my inner self being torn in two different directions. One of those direction reached out to the birthday girl, who clearly would have preferred to celebrate her birthday in a different fashion. The other direction went out to those of my friends that were undeniably having a good time. Being able to read people and situations means that you often have to pick sides, and while it might be an unfortunate feeling for you, you’re going to find that you can be the savior too many under certain circumstances.

In that instance, I choose to help out the miserable party; because it was her birthday and no one should feel miserable on their birthday.

~J. Spade


2 thoughts on “Reading the Situation

  1. First of all – good for you for being the girl’s real friend in that kind of situation, I am very similar in that I absolutely hate those kind of gatherings and I have wished someone would have ‘saved’ me, I bet your actions meant a lot to her. I love this post, I really relate on a number of levels – as an introvert who hates being ‘out there’ in the bar or club scene but also as a highly empathetic person torn in many social situations.

    To me, people are transparent as glass and it makes life difficult. Very difficult I think, when you know people are feeling negatively and how to manage that emotion without getting affected by the negativity itself. I don’t know if this makes sense? It is hard to describe. I often wish I couldn’t read people nearly as well as I can – on the other hand I’ve won a lot of poker games! We have to work with what we have though and the ability to read people is definitely up there with one of the most useful natural talents we can have, whether we like it or not!

    Sorry for the rambling post, I am normally more articulate…. its a tough subject to put into words! But I heart the blog. Lets be blog friends 😀


    • I felt really bad for her, and I knew before we even went out that she would probably end up feeling that way. Unfortunately my words weren’t enough to change the rest of the parties feelings on the matter, so we ended up going out anyway.

      Sometimes it seems like being able to read people is actually just a constant battle of who you want to piss off the least; at least my experience has lead me to such a conclusion. Maybe your experience has been a bit better.

      You are very right about being able to read people being useful in poker games! It also helps me snuff out a lie pretty quick. Overall, I like the talent I have been given; it’s useful and it helps me understand others better. Unfortunately, this talent also seems to make it so I put more focus on others than on my self, so I’ve suffered a lot due to that.

      I thought your post made perfect sense, but then again maybe it’s because I’m prone to ramble a bit myself. Like right now, actually.

      I am super excited to have a blog friend! I can’t wait to exchange more ideas with you 😀


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