3 Playful Ways to Find Out What Someone Thinks About You

Stop wondering why your relationships are in trouble


As a Conflict Coach, I am often sought out to help my clients with broken relationships. Usually, by time my clients reach out to me their relationship is suffering from poor communication, hurt feelings, and misunderstandings. At this point, I help my clients to step back and figure out what went wrong and what the real problem might be. We begin doing what I call ‘stopping the bleeding’ work.

However, relationships don’t have to reach this state. The breakdown often has to do with people not knowing how to tell what others think about them. This is not about figuring this out because you are needy of people liking you. It’s about being in a position of strength that allows you to fix problems before they hurt your relationship.

Here are three powerful ways to help you know what someone thinks about you:

1. Be a sleuth and look for clues

Think about it, you never leave your body or mind. When you are trying to figure out what a friend or your boss thinks about you, you do it always from your frame of mind. That puts you at a disadvantage because you are viewing it from your own perspective and life experiences. To find out, look for verbal and nonverbal clues.

· When do they look most at ease around me?

· What words do they repeat often when referring to me?

· Does their body language suggest they like me or find me interesting?

2. Name your role

People like to make sense of their world and so they cast people in roles. You may think of your neighbor as “nosy”, your kid’s teacher as “helpful”, or your friend as “persistent.” They have far more traits then the role you assign, but it helps you to categorize them so that you know what to expect of them and how to respond to them.

Well, people do that about you too! On a piece of paper, list all your relationships, then write down your role you believe they may have assigned you. Now, go look for clues again to see if you are right. If you are brave, share with them what you think and see what they say.

3. Act like a child

Just watch children pretend and you will find a fresh way to figure out what someone is thinking about you. Imagine having coffee with the other person and play both roles. Pretend to be the other person and dialogue with yourself. Make it sound just like how it is when the two of you spend time together. Now, step back and think about how you may be perceived. How would the other person experience you? Play acting allows you to see yourself in a completely different way.

Knowing how to figure out what others think about you will prevent your relationships from unraveling to the point of doom. You will see yourself from a different lens and give yourself new information to mend a relationship or make one even better.

Phyllis Reagin is the Founder and Conflict Coach of At The Coach’s Table. A former leader for a Fortune 500 company, she teaches clients how to get to the root of conflict, find their voice during it, and transform conflict into opportunities for collaboration and innovation. You can sign up for Phyllis’ free weekly conflict busting tips at her website, www.phyllisreagin.com