Increasing Your Power to Discern


Image from Life, Hope and Truth.

Often, you fail to see warning signs around you because you’re too busy. So, instead of being saved from harm, you fall into a trap needlessly, simply because you didn’t pay attention. You know how you can increase your power to discern people’s intentions? Simply put, you need to pay attention more. Basically, that’s discernment—seeing warning signs most people don’t see.

Unintended Signals

People often send warning signals prior to their actions without knowing it. They give away clues inadvertently and they’re easy to spot if only you pay closer attention. One article on TalentSmart put it this way: “Body language provides an amazing amount of information on what other people are thinking if you know what to look for.”

Nope, it’s not about how people look, but how their bodies move—especially the little, tiny movements certain body parts make. Often, we judge by how people look per se. Smart-looking people are smart and dumb-looking people are dumb. Worse, sometimes we think that beautiful people are good and ugly people are bad. But it’s not that simple. Neither is it the big, obvious reactions they show. Rather than their looks, people sometimes reveal hidden thoughts and emotions by making certain little gestures or body languages unconsciously. The more they are almost unnoticeable, the more accurate they are if you catch them.

God’s Design

I believe God intended it this way so other people can be warned and bad guys exposed. It’s also a way you can make company with good folks. How accurate is it? It all depends on you. Many people don’t believe this and do not have the discipline to train in it. So they often fall victim. “I thought he was sincere!” Or, “He looked so kind!” they’d say after being victimized.

But mind you, lots of people change. You may have an accurate assessment of a person but then due to pressure, stress or emotional disturbances, he or she may change. Thus, even if you have an accurate discernment, always update it. People change, especially when exposed to fame, position or money.

Take Careful Note

Thus, it all depends on how observant you are. And to be keenly observant, you need to always pay attention on what’s important. You cannot do this if you’re always busy thinking or worrying about many things. Or if you’re fond of listening to music with headphones or tinkering with smartphones. You can never develop the ability to watch people’s unguarded hints and never increase your power to discern. You need to often develop a quiet mind even amid noise. So don’t create the noise yourself.

Unguarded Giveaways

I often catch the unguarded hints from the corners of my eyes when people think I’m looking away or not watching. But I have developed the ability to clearly see from the corners of my eyes, seeing small facial or body reactions without actually looking at them. I don’t have to move my eyeballs to see them.

Accurate first impressions are true if you know what to watch out for. Most people rely on the looks or appearance of people and create their first impressions on that. That is often inaccurate. I can actually discern pride in a person merely by watching his or her eye movements. During casual conversations, you’d notice the wee, small eye movements that tell if the person is humble, arrogant, nervous or uneasy talking with you. You combine this with little movements on the lips or of the fingers and you pinpoint his thoughts or emotions and, at times, even character.

Classified Information

So sometimes, just one look and I see volumes of descriptions. Sometimes, this is how it happens—people have good impressions about a certain guy, but I don’t. They praise the guy to the highest heavens because of the obvious. I don’t look at the obvious—I look at microscopic gestures revealed in unguarded moments—like fleeting shadows in the dark. That’s how you have sharp discernment.

But I keep everything to myself, of course. And after some time, I always prove myself correct and accurate. The guy I upraised to be so, actually is so! I unveiled his true colors before my eyes. But I never tell people what I discern in a person; the information I get is for my own use alone—to protect myself and pray for the guy concerned. Everything I sense or see is classified.

Extrovert VS Good Listener

If you love talking about yourself all the time, proud of yourself and your achievements and always conscious of yourself, chances are you won’t notice clues and hints from people. And you’d rely on big and obvious reactions which are often deceiving. But if you’re a good listener, you’d easily catch all the right and pertinent information.

So the keys are pay close attention, be a good listener and often ignore the obvious.

Checkout my self-help and inspirational e-books here.

These are all discernment in the physical world. Next topic, I will deal with spiritual discernment, which so few understand. So watch out for it.

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