Big thanks to Joe who gave me the idea for today’s blog post! He emailed me a link to a quiz in the New York Times, “Can You Read People’s Emotions?”
In today’s article I’m going to invite you to an experiment with that interesting quiz.
For maximum fun, please read the following before you click on that quiz .
The quiz contains 30 questions. Each one shows a photo cropped closely to show mostly the eyes and, to some extent, eyebrows. So what you see is very eye-centric.
Beneath each photo four choices are supplied, each one naming an emotion like “Preoccupied” and “Imploring,” one emotion per grey box.
Quizzing away, your job is to click on one of those boxes. Then you receive immediate feedback on whether or not your answer was deemed “correct” according to those who published the quiz.
Reading Expression — Is That Going Deeper or Just a Way to Shallow Up?
Like beauty, that may be in the eyes of the beholder.
Here’s what I mean. Joe wrote me that he found it a bit tricky. Responding to those questions he would slip into unskilled empath merge. (Of course any time an empath slips into an empath merge, it is unskilled. You do understand that, yes, any empaths who are reading?
Even if Joe hadn’t been an empath, the process of taking that quiz could be quite different, depending on whether you do it deep or shallow.
The Reading People Quiz, in Objective Reality
Here are the bland words, purely objective reality-type words, in the instructions that preface the quiz:
“For each photo, choose the word that best describes what you think the person depicted is thinking or feeling.”
Trickily enough, the New York Times article started this way, though: “Are you tuned in to the emotions of others?”
Let me ask you, Blog-Buddies. As you read the words on this screen, can you do it simply as an exercise in literacy? Or do you stop every sentence and ooch around in sentiment, trying to relate to Rose Rosetree as she sits at her keyboard, wondering, “What on earth was she r-eeee-aaaaa-llll-y feeliing?”
The Process of Taking This Quiz? Up to You
Here is a small assortment of different ways you could take this quiz:
- Ooch around in the person’s eyes, trying to feel what that person feels.
- Look at the person’s eyes and take a wild guess.
- Look at the person’s eyes. Then read Choice #1. Does that seem possible? If not, go on to Choice #2, and so forth. So you try on each interpretation for size and settle on the best one.
- Look at the person’s eyes, slow down a bit, and aim to identify an emotion that the person has.
- Mechanically copy the person’s expression, physically, as best you can. Then notice how you feel — in just the most superficial way. Then drop the expression. Click on a choice.
Only One of These Would Bring on Unskilled Empath Merge
Bet you can guess which one, my fellow empaths. 😉
Just don’t go there.
Now, go to do some of that quiz. Maybe a couple of tries with four of those ways. Quiz yourself and do it your way.
However you like, really.
And if you find an entirely different way to play with that quiz, have fun.
Only one of those aforementioned five ways would count as Technique Time.
Reading Human Expression Can Be Shallow Perception
For skilled empaths, it is. For everyone else, it is.
Your thoughts, Blog-Buddies?