Social & Interpersonal Skills

Master This Life Hack with the 5 Best Books on How to Read People

Books on how to read people can help you understand human psychology, body language, and communication. Understanding how to read others will help you deal with them and adapt to their communication style and feelings for better interactions and relationships.

Do you know what signs to look for? LaRae Quy does. She’s a former FBI agent who is expert at reading people.

Quy says people don’t have to have expert interrogation skills to understand what’s going on with others. She says the signals are always there for anyone to see if they know what to look for. She’s experienced in reading people and knows the signs and signals they give out in different emotional and psychological states. Such as a shuffling walk indicating lack of confidence, or a strong voice indicating a confident person.

The following experts and authors of the five best books on how to read people will help you know what signs to look for when you want to understand people. This life hack is so important for your success and your protection. Read all about it from these five experts from law enforcement, behavioral and trial consultancy, psychology, and emotional intelligence. Learn from the experts who have been reading people for decades, and who have studied the psychology of body language and interpreting tone of voice, facial expressions, and gestures to understand motivations.

Related Article: Essential Situational Leadership Books to Guide You to Greater Success

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Henrik Fexeus

Read The Art of Reading Minds to master the art of networking, persuade people to your way of thinking, and learn how to control others’ thoughts and beliefs with Henrik Fexeus.

Fexeus teaches psychology-based skills including non-verbal communication, body language, and psychological influence to find out how others think and feel. This book is an easy read, with Fexeus’s short chapters and snappy, fun tone. He discusses what contradictory signs mean, how people flirt unconsciously, planting and triggering emotional states, methods of suggestion and covert influence, and even mind-reading party tricks.

There are no evil undertones in this book. It’s an interesting read on benevolent use of reading people in personal and professional incidences for a better understanding of how to get along and develop social skills. Fexeus believes relationships and social interactions are important enough to learn how to improve them and are valuable life skills worthy of attention. He explains that understanding peoples’ realities are key to building a good relationship, as well as adapting to their communication styles to make connections.

One great takeaway from this book is to develop a good relationship with someone, help them associate you with positivity. If they have a good time with you, they’ll associate you with good feelings, easing the path to a great relationship.

Jo-Ellan Dimitrius, Ph.D.

Jo-Ellan Dimitrius is a behavioral expert and jury consultant. She knows how to pick up clues and read signs of work habits, integrity, and sexual interests, and discusses them all in her book Reading People. In one of the best books on how to read people, you’ll learn about intuition for decision making, how to detect a lie, and how to read the signs of romantic interest. Dimitrius explains hidden messages in tone of voice, appearance, facial expressions, and personal habits and how to use them to understand everyday interactions.

This New York Times best seller received great reviews, from sources such as Larry King and Publisher’s Weekly. King praised Dimitrius’ book, saying it will change people’s lives. Publisher’s Weekly praised it as a great source of techniques for getting to people’s real motives and character traits.

Although written in 2008, it’s been updated with information about reading people to spot terrorism during travel and school shooting scenarios, spotting and understanding behavioral patterns online in digital media including email, text, instant messaging, and social platforms, and facts on body language and health in people with syndromes such as Asperger’s and Parkinson’s. There are interesting case studies about body-reading for jury selection and verdicts.

James W. Williams  

In How to Read People like a Book, James Williams explores body language to understand and connect with people. Williams discusses how to interpret what people say and do to connect, create relationships, and be part of communities. It’s important to understand verbal and non-verbal communication to know what people are thinking. Body language, facial expressions, and gesturing are just as important (or more so) than what people say verbally.

This is another one of the great books on how to read people. Williams discusses the accuracy of reading body language, different personality types and how to communicate with them, secret factors for motivating people’s behaviors, and exploring your own personality. Learn about verbal communication, getting to deeper meanings, and reading unspoken clues in interactions. Also communication styles, motivations, facial expressions, listening, using body language, and a discussion of hands and feet for insight. He helps you understand how connecting with people to build strong relationships is key to a happy life.

Joe Navarro

Learn about nonverbal intelligence from Joe Navarro, who worked for the FBI and an expert on reading people in What Every Body is Saying. If you want to know how to read people’s moods and motivations, figure out sentiments and behaviors, and spot deceptive behaviors, this is the guide you need.

Joe Navarro explains how body language forms peoples’ opinions of you, as well as lots of secrets about body language. He talks about how ancient survival instincts influence our body language today, why facial expressions are only a small part of reading someone’s feelings, and what to pay attention to with feet, thumbs, and eyelids. Learn how to establish trust and communicate authority with simple nonverbal clues to influence those around you.

Navarro shares his professional experience throughout to help you really understand everything about the person in front of you or across the room, with or without talking to them.

Reviews of Navarro’s book include School Library Journal and David Givens, Ph.D., author of Crime Signals and Love Signals. The Journal says Navarro helps people understand nonverbal clues to deceptiveness and sincerity, as well as body language. Givens praised Navarro for his in-depth understanding and explanation of body language and his credibility in advanced law enforcement.

Charles P. Carlton

Did you ever have a funny feeling about someone but couldn’t exactly say why? Do you have a problem reading people in social and public interactions? Successful people understand others beyond just what’s on the surface, and you can too after reading Charles Carlton’s How to Analyze People with Dark Psychology.

Don’t be manipulated by others and learn how to read their intentions with relationship psychology and communication skills. Carlton teaches proven techniques to read people, uncover red flags of manipulation, tips to defend against mind control techniques, and how to influence others.

Carlton discusses dark psychology used to control others through manipulation and persuasion. He explains subliminal persuasion, persuasion techniques, neuro-linguistic programming, mind control, and brainwashing, and how to guard against them. This is a good guide to understanding the ways people interact and influence each other, and to understand what is really going on when you interact with others.

Why Read Books on How to Read People

Do you ever walk away from a conversation thinking you know what took place, but find out later you were way off base? Do you go away not understanding what someone is feeling at all and wonder why? Understanding others is important for healthy interactions, understanding yourself, and forging good relationships. It’s also important to be able to protect yourself from others who are not interested in a good relationship or healthy interaction, but to manipulate or even hurt you.

Susan Kraus Whitbourne, Ph.D., writing for Psychology Today, says we’re constantly practicing reading people’s emotions, whether we realize it or not. And how good we are at it matters for developing the interpersonal and intrapersonal skills that can protect us, keep us healthy, and help us achieve success and happiness.

Those are very good reasons to read books on human behavior and how to analyze people. The best psychology books on human behavior and books on how to read people’s body language will give you an advantage in social, public, work, and personal settings, as well as a better understanding of yourself. Intentions, motivations, influences, and deceptions are just some of the areas into which you’ll gain insight for your personal, professional, and social benefit.

About Author

Founder of With over 20 years of experience in HR and various roles in corporate world, Jenny shares tips and advice to help professionals advance in their careers. Her blog is a go-to resource for anyone looking to improve their skills, land their dream job, or make a career change.

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