How to profile people: 15 steps (with pictures)

How to profile people: 15 steps (with pictures)
How to profile people: 15 steps (with pictures)

To understand the psychology of people and the ways they act and behave, profiling is an essential skill. Put the world on pause and watch the others. Will you be able to notice the details and see beyond what you see?


Part 1 of 3: Understanding the basic idea

Profile People Step 1

Step 1. Compare people to onions

Define 4 onion layers for each person. The depth you are able to reach will determine what you are able to read about a person.

  • The skin: we humans reveal our personalities and character traits to others without even realizing it. It could be a simple conversation at the bus stop about rain and shine or other topics like lifestyles and the world around us.
  • The second layer: People we like or get to know better, such as colleagues or classmates, are able to analyze us much better, due to the comfort and trust that characterize the relationship we have.
  • The third layer: Strong bonds, like the one you have with your husband or your best friend, create a “sealed” feeling of security between people. This layer is about introducing yourself on a personal level, like sharing secrets, trusting, explaining your fears and anxieties, etc.
  • Heart: Each person has a "heart", thoughts and feelings that they do not share with anyone. This layer is mostly psychological, because it refers to the subjectivity of things and their acceptance or impossibility of being accepted.
Profile People Step 2

Step 2. Eliminate the projection barriers around you

Prepare to accept the truth as it stands instead of forcing yourself to believe something that is not true.

Many situations can arise from embarrassment, guilt, or insecurity that blind us and prevent us from accepting the reality of life

Profile People Step 3

Step 3. Eliminate your prejudices

Psychological prejudices far exceed ethnic or sexual considerations. Realize that your biases lead you to base your opinions on ideas and not on facts or knowledge. Keep your mindset neutral and avoid getting lost.

Part 2 of 3: Practice analyzing a person

Profile People Step 4

Step 1. Analyze someone you know

Avoid working on a stranger right away, as you will need to observe him for a while. You can choose your partner, colleague or friend.

Profile People Step 5

Step 2. Recognize his "basic" profile

The basic profile of a person corresponds to their "comfort zone" or "state of rest".

Profile People Step 6

Step 3. Observe his behavior during trivial times

Note how the person reacts to certain events, evaluate them on different days and see how they interact with those around them.

We all act in different ways, whether we are under the stress of work or relaxing at home. We also act differently with people, whether we are dealing with someone we are in conflict with or someone we care about

Profile People Step 7

Step 4. Look for trends

Try to bring out the most common character traits and behaviors that this person has revealed to you. These tendencies will be the basis for you to discern the person's sincere attitudes from these more false attitudes.

  • Different vocal tones (normal, excited, scared, defensive, etc.).
  • Eye movements.
  • Facial expressions.
  • Body language (the way the person stands).
Profile People Step 8

Step 5. Focus on out-of-trend indices

List the unexpected moments, behaviors or tics of the person that do not correspond to his "basic" profile.

Part 3 of 3: Deepening Your Knowledge

Profile People Step 9

Step 1. Define who the person is

Define the person according to their appearance, demeanor and style.

Profile People Step 10

Step 2. Notice how she expresses herself in front of others

A soft voice could mean that this is a shy person. However, also take into account external factors, such as fatigue. A loud speaker might betray the need to feel superior to others or to want to lead a situation.

  • Does the person's voice change when defending an opinion or does it remain constant?
  • Does the person communicate with you in a mature or immature way? You could infer his level of education and vocabulary knowledge from this.
  • Make sure you know how to differentiate between exaggerations, sarcasm, slangs, and other verbal expressions used in a conversation. Analyze the choice of words according to the context and thus determine if the person has a good education or if they are just trying to appear smarter than they are.
Profile People Step 11

Step 3. Analyze his personal space

Compare their interior or office to how the person presents himself to the public.

  • What kind of neighborhoods does she live in? If the person lives in a poor neighborhood, you might assume that they have less financial means than someone living in a wealthy neighborhood.
  • Organizational skills can say a lot about a person, but don't judge so quickly! If the person has a very busy life, a poorly kept interior might just be a sign that they haven't had time to tidy up. Whereas the mess inside of a person with time to tidy up could be a sign of laziness. Usually, the more organized a person is and wants to show it off, the more confident they are and the less stressed they are when faced with different situations.
  • How does the person share their personal life with others? A lot of us aren't comfortable doing this in public, and if you walk into that person's office, you'll only see what fits their "professional comfort zone." Many people, including psychologists and doctors, place pictures of their families on their desks. This might tell you that this person is close to their family and likes to think of them while looking at these photos.
Profile People Step 12

Step 4. Analyze her dress style

Analyze a person's clothing the same way you analyze their car or interior. The way a person dresses and presents himself can say a lot about his organizational skills.

  • Is the person dressed neat or sloppy? Are her clothes more suited to a work environment or a beach vacation?
  • What about her hairstyle? Does the person's hair suggest that they've spent time styling their hair or barely bothered to look in the mirror? You will be able to deduce from this whether the person presents himself to others as he is or wants to convey the best possible image of him.
  • What kind of shoes is the person wearing? Are her shoes always perfectly polished, or is she wearing sandals worn over time?
Profile People Step 13

Step 5. Follow her reactions to unexpected situations in public

If she burps, does she point it out or try to cover it up? Belching, sneezing, and coughing can reveal whether the person has good manners or not.

Profile People Step 14

Step 6. Detect the movement of his eyes

Does the person look you straight in the eye or do they have a shifty gaze? Does she tend to look away when asked for a sincere answer? Analyzing the person's gaze could help you spot when they are lying.

Profile People Step 15

Step 7. Assess whether the person is comfortable around other people

Some people tend to be nervous, especially around a lot of people, and look for a way out of these situations.

Impatient people tend to position themselves more tense than relaxed individuals. They are also constantly fiddling with something, biting their lip, sighing, or checking their watch or phone more often than necessary


  • Profiling people is used in everyday situations, in professional interviews as well as in poker games.
  • People prone to anxiety and those with autism may have difficulty making eye contact.

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