I have been a writer since I was fourteen years old. Being a writer, you watch people, you study them from afar, you take note of those small looks, those simple smiles, those cringed expressions, and those annoyed twitches that define their feelings on any host of a number of topics or events. People become easy to figure out. I've been a salesman, and the rule of thumb there is, you have seven seconds, from the point that you outstretch your hand, to the point that you say, "Hello, how are you today?" to size a person up, to figure out what type of mood they're in, are they serious about buying, or are they there really to just look. As a heavy man with a taste for beautiful women, you have to know when a woman is interested, when she wants that moment of escalation, when it's the right time to touch her hand, and the right time to kiss her, and the right time to suggest a change of venue. And last but not least, at a poker table, asking those four simple words, "Do you have them?" can mean all the difference between walking home with empty pockets and walking home with a few extra thousand dollars.
People wear their emotions on their sleaves, whether they want to admit it or not, we are all emotional creatures, bound to bouts of anger, happiness, sadness, contempt, disgust, fear, and surprise. This book is a great book to start your education with, though I'm personally more in favor of Emotions Revealed by Eckman. This is an informative book, well written, with the strongest grasp you're going to find on the topic of facial expressions that is not in the academic field. I will be the first to say, for those who have a great interest in understanding how to read people, that this book is not the only material you will ever need. No, there are at least three commercial texts on body language that everyone should have, then, I would recommend for those who seek greater knoweldge, getting home study courses from some of the professionals. Kevin Hogan, Patti Wood, Janine Driver, and the such. I have personally only tried Kevin Hogan's course and I have no regrets.
Now, to some fun stuff. I'm 22, so, I'm always looking on how things can be used for either dating, or party entertainment. After studying Paul Eckman's books, I have been able to consistently 8 out of 10 times, guess the card in a person's hand, by reading their facial expressions, in 5 to 7 questions. It's a fun trick that leaves everyone amazed and I'm asked to do it a lot because people believe they can't be read. Here's the fun secret about people, the harder they try not to be read, the easier they can be read. Though the book does not delve into micro-expressions, for which, Emotions Revealed, Second Edition: Recognizing Faces and Feelings to Improve Communication and Emotional Lifedoes a far clearer job with, this book is still a strong foundation into the knowledge of the face and emotions.
I've said before that with a clear understanding of body language and the knowledge of how to use persuasion and speak deliberately, you become able to sell anything, get any job, seduce any woman (if you're a guy), and just have a lot more fun and control in and of your life.
Books on body langauge that I would recommend.
1. What Every BODY is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent's Guide to Speed-Reading People
2. The Definitive Book of Body Language
3. Winning Body Language: Control the Conversation, Command Attention, and Convey the Right Message without Saying a Word
4.You Say More Than You Think: A 7-Day Plan for Using the New Body Language to Get What You Want