How is Profiling People Useful?

London Life Coach & Relationship Expert Sloan Sheridan-Williams talks about profiling. Follow Sloan on Twitter @SloanSW_London and check out Sloan’s website

Being able to profile someone is not a complete science because no matter how good you are at recognising the facial patterns for surprise, happiness, disgust etc… for true interpretation of why the emotion just flashed on the face you need just that little bit more insight. Sometimes, life provides you with the missing piece to the puzzle, but sometimes you need to delve deeper.

Staring at this face in the audience of my group talk the other day, it was so obvious  9B+24C… +62D… 5B+7B+24D… +4c.

No, I didn’t accidently press number lock! This is how facial profilers code the movements of your face.

Simplified the above means a slight nose wrinkle and more pronounced lip press followed shortly by eyes glancing sideways then an upper lid raise, eyelid tightner and an even strong lip press concluded with a eyebrow lower. Even more simply, the face was angry, but that is only a starting point because I had no idea why the anger was present. I had yet to meet this person, so any attempt to hazard a guess as to the exact cause of the problem would be my perception and not a factual judgement, which as a J type is against my make-up anyway. Perceptions in general are a dangerous water for any profiler to dip their toe in, acquisition of the facts is always necessary for a thorough interpretation.

In life there are lines, yellow lines at the tube station to mark the point where the platform is no longer safe to stand on, red lines that mark a point where accessible turns to off limits and white lines, often in sport, to mark a boundary for play. Whether these lines represent safety, security, conformity or merely guidance they are all there for a reason. If you choose to cross the line you do so at your own risk… But what happens when that line is internal, a personal boundary of sorts. Most likely a quick flash of 9B+24C… +62D… 5B+7B+24D… +4c! At this point, all one can conclude from registering that face is that a personal line had been crossed, but what and by whom was still left unanswered.

People can’t help themselves, they see a physical line they just want to cross it and it’s not just INTJ’s that are the greatest culprits of rule breaking/aversion. It’s seen across the signs less so in some SF typology though. Maybe it is the thrill of going to the unknown or forbidden, a sort of personal dare who knows. However, personal lines/boundaries once crossed are slightly taboo as once the line has been violated it feels almost impossible to go back. This concept and it’s remedy is interestingly discussed in the comedy movie ‘Anger Management’.

During the lunch break, I took time out to speak to the gentleman and found out that he was annoyed at the interruptions by a fellow audience member. The talk finished at 4:30pm and he was concerned we would not cover all the material in time due to his colleague acting as if he owned the room. There it was, the obvious reason and the underlying reason, plain as day. This gentleman was both angry at his colleague as he said but also angry at himself that he had not developed assertiveness skills. I continued to talk to him and uncovered that he got passed over at work for a promotion the previous week amongst other things in his home life. After a few assertiveness sessions in the following weeks at my next group session with the firm, our subject was happily contributing with the others and reportedly up for a promotion.

The gift about seeing that which others try to hide even from themselves, is the ability to help them move on and grow. In this case, put the lines back up, respect them, play the game within your boundaries and above all assert such when needed.

And, when you manage to do that just as my client did, once you make it back across the line, you find your life starts to unfold in ways that you only dreamed of.

Profiling is an invaluable skill in psychotherapy arenas etc… but this is only one aspect, I will endeavour to write other articles on its other uses over time.

I look forward to your comments, either below or send them to us via our contact pages if you wish them to be anonymous.

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