Tuesday, January 3, 2006
at 10:26 AM
Paralleling is a term that I use to describe how I can read people really quickly—in the drop of a hat—without even knowing them. It is how I am able to tell if a stranger is likely being deceptive.
Paralleling for me happens innately, but it is akin to quickly identify traits of one person you know, and then apply them to a total stranger. When I meet a stranger, 95% of the time or more, my mind immediately flashes someone in my mind's eye from my past who either looks or acts like the person before me. It happens without any conscious thought on my part. I have an exceptional subconscious brain that I think works overtime 24/7. I just suddenly see a face of someone from my past, and think "Oh yeah, this person is just like Jane, aren't they?"
With that, I can instantly pick up on idiosyncrasies in people. I also, in an instant, have a pretty good and accurate understanding of someone I've never known before without ever having to exchange a word. The same thing happens for me with photos as well as voices.
"Our wizards are extraordinarily attuned to detecting the nuances of facial expressions, body language and ways of talking and thinking. Some of them can observe a videotape for a few seconds and amazingly they can describe eight details about the person on the tape," says Dr. Maureen O'Sullivan of the University of San Francisco (source).
Here is an example:
The other night, my husband and I were watching a new show on the Discovery Channel, called Going Tribal. It's about an Englishman who had decided to spend one month of his life living with the most remote tribes on the planet. It's a great show and I highly recommend that you check it out. It's fascinating.
Anyway, back to paralleling: When I watched the host and main man of the show, Bruce Parry, I was immediately reminded of Michael Palin, you know, from Monte Python. Without effort, when I see Perry, my mind immediately flashes images of Palin. With that, I have an immediate connection. I know that Perry will likely share many characteristics with Palin.
Why or how this happens, I don't know, but I believe it is the core of my abilities. It happens in seconds usually of meeting someone.
These flashes are so accurate, that I usually feel like I know the stranger before me, because I intuitively connect their traits to the person I have known in the past. Hence, I can immediately spot his inconsistencies, and hence, potential lies.
Well, if you watch Going Tribal, you'll see that Parry is a young Palin. They share lots of attributes and personality traits, and I can pretty much assure you that these two men handle situations very similarly. With that, I can watch Parry and predict his behavior based on what I know about Palin.
You take this to much deeper levels, of course, if I knew Palin a lot better. If I knew Palin, in person, I could get very detailed in my description of Parry, and my details and accuracy would freak you out, as would my ability to predict when either is lying. But it shouldn't. This is how I do it--with paralleling. This is how I spot deception in total strangers.
Looking at both men, now, we can immediately see they are similar.
- Both men are very honest in recounting their experiences.
- Both men love travel as well as risky foreign adventures that are almost life-threatening.
- Both men love telling their "story" and being the center focus of one.
- Neither man is egotistical or arrogant.
- Both are highly intelligent, yet enjoy living on the edge, knowingly.
- Both men have the ability to laugh at themselves and the absurdity of the position they put themselves into, yet they can each proclaim in honesty that they are deathly afraid despite it all.