Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Tell

I find it interesting how body language and movement can reveal clues about our personality. I selected this book by Matthew Hertenstein because I wanted to learn how to understand people better through their body language.

The subtitle is "The little clues that reveal big truths about who we are." Those seemingly innocuous things that predict big things like sexual orientation, autism, and lying. Some people have wondered if little things can really predict certain behaviors and outcomes. Hertenstein reveals that our initial observations and impressions of people are surprisingly accurate. He examines various situations and people through the lens of recent studies to tell us this truth. He, of course, wraps each chapter with cautions about the limitations of the studies and warns about making wide spread judgements about groups of people.

One interesting chapter deals with autism. He began to notice certain behaviours in his infant son that suggested he had autism. He tried to obtain confirmation from various professionals, but they all told him it was to early to tell. Convinced that his son might have or might develop into full autism, he began therapy right away despite what others told him. Research tells us the sooner an autistic child receives therapy the better. He believes that by starting intensive therapy before the age of 2, his son no longer exhibits autistic characteristics. Such an idea certainly deserves more in depth study. There were, of course, caveats that this may not work for other children and some doubt his son was autistic in the first place.

The book is full of anecdotes and discussions of studies that were interesting, but not compelling. The book lacked the depth that I was interested in. It certainly was not a how-to manual on how to read people, as the title suggests.

Book Rating: 3 stars

The books I select for review are books which I personally select from my local library. I do not receive any reimbursement from authors or publishers or free books. I do provide links to Amazon as a convenience to the readers of this blog. I do earn a small referral pittance which is not even enough to buy a soda.

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