TALENT AND SKILL THESAURUS

READING PEOPLE



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HELPFUL TIP:

When planning a cast member's talents and skills, think about how genetics, personality traits (both positive attributes and flaws), past experiences, environment, and the character's roles (within a family, a community, and society) all factor into what strengths may form. These special qualities should tie into the story, not only to make the character interesting but also to help him achieve his goal.
DEFINITION:
Being able to size others up quickly and accurately

DESCRIPTION:
Characters with this ability can easily see through misdirection and outright deceit. They're able to identify who people really are and gain a window into what motivates them, which helps a character to decide who to trust and shows where their loyalties will lie. 

BENEFICIAL STRENGTHS OR ABILITIES:
Being a good listener
Being able to think clearly and in an organized fashion
Control over one's emotions
A non-threatening demeanor, coming across as approachable and trustworthy
Being intuitive, having good instincts
Charisma

POSITIVE TRAITS SUITED FOR THIS SKILL OR TALENT:

REQUIRED RESOURCES AND TRAINING:

While some people are inherently good at reading others, there are some things that can be done to improve skills in this area. Spending time studying human behavior, learning how to read body language (especially deceitful behavior through reading micro-expressions and tells), and studying people in general will all help hone the character's intuition. Being exposed to different cultures will also provide a window into how different experience affect how people view the world and what their motivations might be. Also, practicing one's listening skill so one develops a good ear for vocal shifts to indicate emotional responses, omissions, lying, and redirecting would also help a character develop accuracy with this skill.  

Much of what we know about others, we learn by observation. Anyone who wants to read people better can do so by simply studying them. Paying close attention to people, listening intently to them, and engaging with them will result in a better understanding of people in general and will eventually help us to recognize patterns.


ASSOCIATED STEREOTYPES AND PERCEPTIONS:
Con-artists, detectives, gamblers, psychics, and Empaths are often portrayed as being able to read others (stereotype)
Some people use this skill for good, others to manipulate and take advantage (perception)
A character profile that reads as "shy and under-valued but highly perceptive" (stereotype)

SCENARIOS WHERE THIS SKILL MIGHT BE USEFUL:
When someone with power or influence is not who they appear to be
When a dangerous person is about to do something deadly
When someone is suicidal and is hiding their desperation
When a friend is in an abusive relationship
If someone is being conned
When a famous or highly regarded person needs to tell true friends from users
When trying to get to the bottom of an argument or long-lasting feud
When a police officer is interviewing a subject
When a con-artist or criminal is looking for a mark
If one need to bribe an individual in power, this skill will help them know who to approach
When one must deliver difficult news, this skill would help with knowing how much to tell
To determine when one's spouse or child is lying