Machiavellian psychology suggests that if you profile people around you, you'll be less inclined to be involved in personal conflicts. How do you achieve this? First, you need to be receptive to the act of reading people and focus your energy on the task. Once you've reached this awareness, understand what you are looking for and master the act of listening. Keep the conversation flowing by asking questions. Make sure to be cognisant of any slang, exaggerations, sarcasm, self-criticism, or gossip, as these characteristics can define the person you are profiling. Pay attention to body language and whether acts are consistent with what is being said. Watch out for mistakes, because if repeated often, the excuses are no longer valid.
The statements and actions of people can help you better understand who they are: their emotional style, their self-esteem, their negative or positive directions, their goals, and if they're able to adapt easily to their surroundings. You may not be able to read everything—after all, this is not a mind-reading exercise—but you'll certainly have some greater insights into the person you're studying.