Sizing People Up by Robin Dreeke, Cameron Stauth [Book Summary – Review]


Humans are not like islands and it is necessary to come together to get over things. But the truth is that some get along better with each other. You will meet many people who will always stand behind you or speak behind you while you are away, or who give you confidence throughout your life, or discredit you when they no longer need you.

This is a difficult reality to accept. Knowing that much of your gain in your work and family life based on whether you can separate reliable people from unreliable people in life, making this reality more difficult to accept. This book has been written to be useful in these situations. You will learn what behaviors the people around you always display and how you should study these behaviors to identify reliable people.

By learning how to examine their way of speaking, their attitudes towards people, and their appearance, you will be able to gain important information about a person. And by seeing more deeply what is insight, you will be able to notice signs of how people are. People being connected is thought to be the way to overcome many difficulties in life. What is written in this book will give you a light on which people you should not give up and which people you should take out of your life.


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Chapter 1 – Human attitudes are generally evaluated according to the situation they are in.


Do you think you know your colleagues? This was the thing that puzzled writer Robin Dreeke on September 11, 2001. He was working as a young FBI agent in New York when he questioned this. In horror and fear of what happened that day, some of his coworker agents dared to enter the towers that were attacked to save people. However, other colleagues did not show this courage and stopped helping the people trapped in the towers.

Later, Dreeke realized that it was difficult to understand which people would sacrifice and which people would be selfish. He understood that knowing what the attitudes of people would be like on this difficult day was vital. If you can guess this correctly, you will be sure which people will help in difficult times.

When you want to know someone’s behavior towards you beforehand, try to understand how much that person will be affected by their behavior towards you.

It is thought that there is a parallel between holding power and bad behavior. Unfortunately, this is a reality.

Some people tend to behave awfully if they have power by being rich or holding a high-status position. Why is this so? Because these people are immune to the negative effects of their bad behavior. It is quite challenging what the attitudes of people with power will be because they often do whatever they want.



On the contrary, it is quite easy to understand what the behavior of a very powerless person will be. A weak person is more likely to be punished for breaking the rules, so these people often try to act within certain limits. Because of this, it is easier to know their behavior beforehand.

To properly predict someone’s attitude, you have to consider how long your bond with that person will last. This is important because people tend to mistreat each other in short-term relationships. After all, they don’t stay together for long to deal with the negative effects caused by their wrong attitudes, why behave well? On the contrary, people who have been together for longer periods are either appreciated or punished for their behaviors. So, they have a strong reason to act well.

But how about making decisions about people with your gut and using your senses?

Intuition can sometimes be misleading because we tend to trust people we love more than people we don’t. But someone you loved but knew was unreliable probably popped into your mind. Or you know someone you don’t have many conversations with but are sure to help with any difficulties. This is exactly why you cannot intuitively understand human behavior.


Chapter 2 – Lean back on people who think they are successful when you become successful.


We all want to win all the time in life, but do the people next to us want the same victory on our behalf? You are probably with people who always stand behind you at all times and sincerely wish for your highest good. However, there will be people who do not consider their well-being in any way. It is essential to have a discrimination mechanism about who to trust or not.

Of course, you want to know who are true friends who are sincerely happy when you are at your best. These people are the ones who strive most for your success. They will save you from negative effects and make an effort to develop your interests. they will determine their way. Do you think these people are angels of goodness? I am sorry to say that they are not like that. They just think helping you is the best way to secure their priorities.

So by looking at what behavioral patterns you can understand that people are benefiting from your achievements?

First, pay attention to people who adjust their way of working according to your methods and are happy to work on the same frequency as you. They show you that they can sacrifice their comfort for your highest good. You can easily understand this situation when they set the meeting time according to the time you are most available.



Second, people who work for your well-being try to help you even if you don’t ask them. And it is interesting that the harder they try for your well-being, the more they love you. This is because hating the person you help is mentally awkward. Offering help when hating is an uncomfortable feeling to deal with. People want to avoid this annoying illogicality. So the people who help you will improve over time their feelings towards you as well.

Of course, it is also necessary to be careful, knowing that there are people in your career who are not happy with your achievements.

For example, if your patron gives someone else the growth you desire in your job, it doesn’t mean that your well-being is prioritized. Success is often related to the success of subordinates. So, your employer doesn’t want you to do more than her success. If you work in a place that does not strive for the advancement of your future career, you should seize better job opportunities for your highest good.


Chapter 3 – You cannot think that a person who does not think you are reliable is reliable.


Interpersonal relationships are often shaped by a simple question. Whether it’s with a friend at work or a passionate love experience, this question remains the same: Is this person reliable? But if you expect good answers then you need to ask yourself another question: Are you reliable?

In your logic, this question is silly, but to be with reliable people in your relationships, you must first evaluate yourself for credibility. If you emit signs that prove you are trustworthy, people you know will behave similarly to yours. They will also strive to be more reliable.

Accordingly, what behaviors you show could increase their trust in you?

First, try to keep your ego a little more in the background when chatting with people.

Often we show defensive, suspicious, and distant attitudes when we meet an egocentric person who does not respect the thinking behavior of others. Even worse, we are always looking for something beneath the honesty of egoistic people to us, which prevents us from taking honest attitudes towards them. We make ourselves safe not to be deceived. Therefore, the surest way people can trust you is to show that you are more into them than with yourself. Do not praise yourself and wait for them to ask to talk about your achievements.



You can gain other people’s trust in you by affirming their actions, thoughts, or words. Even if you think you allow them to notice their mistakes, it is not right to criticize people directly. So, if you oppose everything people do, people will not accept and approve of anything you do. Therefore, instead of expressing your negative thoughts unfiltered, you can try to be open-minded and direct your attention to the events and situations people experience, understanding people’s capabilities and problems. If you act in this way, you can meet with the other person at a common point. When people realize that they are being listened to by you without judgment, they will reveal their true selves and their trust in you will increase.

Finally, generous behavior towards people can increase their trust in you.

It is not surprising that we trust people who are always offering something, rather than people who want something all the time. Nobody wants to be the giver all the time. If you constantly put your interests first, other people will also behave selfishly to keep the ties at the same level. If you want to increase confidence in you in any relationship, you need to do more than expected. You can think of it as a futile effort. However, people understand that they are getting more than they want, and they act with the same generosity towards you.


Chapter 4 – Many of the methods we use to understand how reliable people are are flawed.


You want to make sure who you can trust, right? Human history has generally been shaped around cultivation and production. Thanks to these works, people understood better who to trust or not. People either found solutions for food or goods or failed at them. However, in this advanced life, it has become very difficult to understand whether the people we work with are completely reliable.

People tell unrealistically that they are always reliable, both on their CVs and during job interviews, and at the same time, the bosses that the person has worked with before providing misleading information that will make the person look good. This could be their way

of throwing off an employee they don’t trust. Or they don’t want to upset their former employees who have already left their jobs more by giving negative information about them. In either case, it is very challenging to understand whether people are reliable or not.

As a business manager, you assign certain tasks to those working at your command. These tasks you assign to the employee may allow you to find out whether the person can do the job or not, but you cannot learn everything about the employee with this task. Tasks assigned for the job help you understand only the competence of the employee. However, the measure that determines whether you can trust the employee or not is his effort.



In this way, the person who is waiting to be recruited can perform the assigned task perfectly, but after the recruitment is certain, he can start to ignore the tasks assigned to him. Highly talented people often rise in their careers based on first impressions. These talented but pretentious people do not make an effort in their work. These arrogant people pass on tasks they deem trivial to other colleagues whom they attribute to being less skilled than themselves.

Fortunately, there are some signs that you can always trust the job applicant.

One of these methods is to get an idea of ​​the applicant’s life rather than just learning about their professional experiences. Those who tend to succeed and trust most of their life will behave this way in their working life as well. These types of people generally manage to form intimate friendships and strong romantic bonds because they can easily control their time and offer constant loyalty.

So, you can also find out personal information about the life of the applicant in a job interview. If you come across an inconsistent answer, you can form an impression that the applicant is dealing with some negativity in his life. Remember that people who fail to organize their own lives effectively will not be able to show much competence in working life either.

You have to consider how applicants present themselves. People you shouldn’t trust are those who don’t care about their looks. If people applying for a job do not pay attention to their appearance, they are probably not satisfied with their existence. Therefore, people who come to a job interview with unclean sloppy clothes and a bad smell become a source of unhappiness for both themselves and you when they are hired.


Chapter 5 – One of the most important signs determining potential behavior is past attitudes.


What are your criteria for defining a person’s key characteristics, such as commitment, honesty, or self-confidence? Of course, you can ask the person about these, but you will probably get untrue answers. You can learn these by looking at the patterns of behavior that a person repeats constantly. Because following repetitive behavior does not deceive you.

Loyalty is a model of behavior. Of course, not every person who is loyal to you can be trusted. Even people you know to be unfaithful will be fairly loyal to important people who may offer them opportunities. However, this is not an indication of sincere devotion, but only an urge to survive in life. The people who truly deserve your trust are the ones who always stand behind you while everyone else knocks you down. While it’s always easier to stab in the back, you can always rely on someone to defend you in any situation.

One of the most important indicators of people who have trouble with trust is when a person constantly mentions other people in a bad way when they are with you.



This is a sign of unreliability inherent in human character. Unconfident people always belittle other people to assume themselves stronger and more successful. They become very happy when telling other people’s mistakes and troubles in their lives. You have to be very careful with these people because you never know when they will pass on your flaws to others. On the other hand, when people start gossiping and the person leaves the scene, this is an admirable course of action. In this case, you can give a good and reliable comment about the person that is not concerned with the problems or mistakes of others. This person only cares about having good communication with people.

Finally, the riskiest behavior to watch out for is a contradiction. You should stay away from people who continuously exhibit unpredictable behavior and do not do what they promised to do. Of course, their reactions to life and stationary events can excite and haunt you. But don’t let them fool you. These people shout “I am unreliable”. And when you run into a problem, if there is anything worse than that problem, it’s these types of people who act inconsistently.


Chapter 6 – The people we can trust have a simple style, and apologies are not a big deal to them.


Being a good listener is one of the primary methods of effective communication. When evaluating people, their way of speaking also says a lot about themselves. It is correct to examine this because language plays an important role in interpersonal communication. So, our way of way speaking – our words, our presentation, our expressions – gives clues about ourselves.

Reliable people speak simply and straightforwardly. Because they trust their thoughts, they do not need to stretch their ideas unnecessarily and drown them in words while expressing them. On the other hand, you cannot usually trust people who express their opinions in incomprehensible and complex words. In this way, they try to hide their flaws because they cannot trust themselves or their opinions. And you should avoid people who speak too fast or who speak too slowly. People you can call trustworthy are usually plain talkers. They do not use fancy and excessive words.

The words “often and sometimes” occupy more space in the vocabulary of trusted people than the words “never and always”.

Why so?



Remember those old disputes when you were judged for “never” doing something. That’s why you got angry and immediately started to defend yourself, right? Stay away from people who adopt a way of speaking that expresses this kind of certainty, because these expressions bring controversy. Certainties are not common in real life, and therefore it is wrong to use exact judgments like “never”.Instead, you can trust people who speak out in more likely phrases like “often” or “sometimes.”This way of speaking tells you that people are more honest, fairer, and more willing to achieve harmony in communication.

You should also eliminate people who do not apologize for their bad behavior towards you.

We were created as humans prone to error. A person who takes responsibility for his mistake, apologizes for it, and does not get stuck with it, is someone you can trust, while defensive ones in any case are unreliable. People who use the word “but” after saying “sorry” tend to blame you and excuse their bad behaviors. This is a red line. It symbolizes that they will not accept that they behave flawed and will not apologize from you due to the fear of seeming powerless. What is the reason for this? Whatever the reason, they probably don’t think you are trustworthy. And you must understand very well that you shouldn’t trust people who don’t trust you either.


Chapter 7 – You should keep the distance in your relationships with people who are experiencing emotional tides.


Before trusting a person, you should consider how emotionally strong that person is. Have you noticed a flawed attitude? Is he peaceful and confident about his capabilities or is he worried about them? Someone you cannot trust may try to seem trustworthy to you. However, if you can read the signs well, you can easily understand what each behavior means.

To understand people with emotional distress, the author developed a method called “3-P personality”.

First, they think that every bad situation that happens to them is permanent. They don’t want to realize that even if they are sad, it won’t last forever.

Second, it is difficult for them to divide their lives into periods. All the troubles they experience are pervasive at every point of their lives. You can inculcate them to divide their lives into bad times and good times, but you cannot change their perspective.



Finally, emotionally unstable people personalize all bad situations and blame themselves for them. They tend to take responsibility for every problem. Such people get angry and insult themselves for not taking an umbrella in rainy weather. These emotionally tidal people always think they are victims, even if they do not go through a major traumatic event. They see big troubles and small troubles equally badly. From their perspective, small problems grow and cause disasters. Moreover, they spread a feeling of fear wherever they go. You should distance yourself from people who cannot cope with small troubles and always overestimate them.

So how do you know if a person has a solid emotional mindset? To begin with, love is more prominent than fear in the life of someone with a healthy emotional mood.

People who prioritize love are always full of gratitude. These types of people in a good mood have a sense of gratitude for everything that has been given to them. They don’t take the time to worry about what they can’t get. Solid people are always satisfied with themselves. They are always forgiving and tolerant as they accept themselves as they are. In contrast to this, emotionally tidal people are often not at ease with themselves. It is also difficult to communicate with them because they are not at peace with others. If people don’t love themselves first, they can’t love anything else, and you’ll also become an unloved person for them.


Sizing People Up: A Veteran FBI Agent’s User Manual for Behavior Prediction by Robin Dreeke, Cameron Stauth Book Review


If you can understand the differences in the behavior of dishonest and reliable people, you can establish relationships with confidence and avoid being deceived. It is not very challenging to infer from human actions. This has little to do with belief or guessing. The inference is based only on knowledge. You should take a deep dive into the background of what people present to you and evaluate their speaking styles, perspectives, and past attitudes and behaviors.


You can count on people to be the way they are best.

One of the firm judgments about people is that everyone always prioritizes their interests. You may think this is selfish. But dealing with what we believe to be true for ourselves is beneficial for survival. Therefore, if you want to know what the future behavior of a person will be, you must understand well what that person desires. In this way, you can infer what kind of behavior people will engage in. And finding out what people desire is very simple. Just ask them about it!



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I'm a software engineer. I like reading books and writing summaries. I like to play soccer too :) Good Reads Profile: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/106467014-sava-ate

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