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How to Predict the Actions and Reactions of Others

With every action you take and word you say towards another person, a reaction is to be expected. The reactions that those around you have to the things you do will vary in how they’re shown. The reaction someone has to something you say can be an internal reaction, perhaps just mentally marking a trait of yours, while a reaction to you pushing somebody on the subway train will be more illustrious. Anticipating these reactions to your words and actions is a beneficial approach to visualize paths to the interactions that you have on a daily basis. If you need an interaction to go smooth with a manager at work, then you will need to visualize the possible ways that interaction can lead and keep track of any turning points and how you can affect them. Steering interactions and communication you way involves anticipating reactions and having responses to others’ reactions.

Anticipating how somebody will react to a thing you say or an action that you commit is a difficult venture to undertake. You can use pattern recognition approaches, body language reading methods, and other telling signs and signals to what reaction is coming. There can be an argument made however, that fully understanding how you yourself would react if placed in the shoes of the people that you’re interacting with will lead you to the closest guess on which reactions you will thereby see. It is important to remember that human analysis is easiest done on ourselves, and we can pinpoint down to discreet logic and reasoning as to why we do what we do by asking ourselves a series of questions into the subject.

When trying to anticipate the actions of another, always test the series of triggers which you have presented to another on yourself. How would you react to what is laid out on the table if you have the knowledge and experience that the other has? Make your prediction detailed, and apply it to the person who is in question. After you make your first prediction, decide how you will react to their response, and keep the cycle going until you get down the chain of many possibilities and mentally prepare yourself for a plethora of possible scenarios.

The end-goal of anticipating the behavior of others is to be prepared for situations without being surprised. The exercise of exploring the different possibilities of what your subject will respond with to your actions will train your mind on the sheer number of possible responses and to be quick on its feet. You will begin to notice that even though you may have not predicted somebody’s behavior to a tee, you are able to react quickly and effectively to whatever their behavior turns out to be.

Book Recommendation:

How to Analyze People: A Psychologist’s Guide to Master the Art of Speed Reading Anyone, Through Psychological Techniques & Body Language Analysis


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