emotions are a stunning expression of our energy, the “vibe” we give off. we register these with intuition. some people feel good to be around; they improve our mood and vitality. others are draining; we instinctively want to get away. this “subtle energy” can be felt meters or feet from the body, though it‘s invisible.

emotional energy is contagious. it can make the difference between a toxic and a healthy relationship. it‘s crucial to get a clear read on this aspect of anyone you plan to regularly interact with. then, you can decide whether a relationship will be successful based on your energetic compatibility.

when reading emotions, realize that what others say or how they appear frequently don‘t match their energy. you need to let go of the notion that what you see is what you always get. a friend seems cheerful but you sense that she‘s hurting inside. realize: just because people smile doesn't mean they’re happy. or just because people are reserved, doesn't mean they’re not joyful.

the energy transmitted by someone’s smile and presence tells the truth about where they’re at. so, correlate a person‘s energy with their emotions. most people aren't being intentionally misleading - often they don‘t know what they feel or project. they might tell you one thing - and believe it - but you‘ll learn to decode their emotions.

here, the surrender to focus on is saying “yes” to the messages your body sends. your mind may want to talk you out of your body‘s wisdom. don‘t allow it to. reading energy lets you attune to how you relate to people, who you feel comfortable around and who you don‘t. to avoid unhealthy relationships, you must let go of trying to convince yourself of anything the body‘s intuition doesn't tell you.

to help with this surrender, here‘s what to do: when identifying how you energetically respond to others always ask: how does my body feel? does my energy go up or down? then follow your body‘s lead rather than resisting it. to experience the pleasure of compatible relationships, use the following tips.

sense people’s presence – this is the overall energy we emit, not necessarily congruent with words or behavior. it‘s the emotional atmosphere surrounding us like a rain cloud or the sun. as you read people notice: does their overall energy feel warm? calming? uplifting? invigorating like a breath of fresh air? or is it draining? cold? detached? do they have a friendly presence that attracts you? or are you getting the willies, making you back off. 

watch people’s eyes – we can make love or hate with our eyes. just as the brain has an electromagnetic signal extending beyond the body, studies indicate that the eyes project this too. take time to observe people‘s eyes. are they caring? sexy? tranquil? mean? angry? the way others look at you can make you feel adored or fearful. also determine: is there someone at home in their eyes, indicating a capacity for intimacy? or do they seem to be guarded or hiding? 

notice the feel of a handshake, hug and touch – we share emotional energy through physical contact much like an electrical current. ask yourself: does a handshake or hug feel warm, comfortable, confident? or is it off-putting so you want to withdraw? are people‘s hands clammy, signaling anxiety. or limp, suggesting being non-committal and timid? is their grip too strong, even crushing your fingers, indicating aggression or over control?

listen for people’s tone of voice – the tone and volume of our voice can tell much about our emotions. sound frequencies create vibrations. some frequencies we hear. below an audible range, sound can be felt (think of a bass’ vibration). when reading people, notice how their tone of voice affects you. words ride the energy of tone, its warmth and coldness. ask yourself: does their tone feel soothing? or is it abrasive, snippy, or whiny? are they a soft-talker or mumbler whom you can barely hear, signs of patience or low self-esteem?

sense people’s heart energy – the most important aspect to read about energy is whether people exude a sense of heart. this is the loving-kindness in us, our capacity for empathy, giving and connection. when heart is present you‘ll feel the warmth of unconditional love emanating from others which makes you feel safe and at ease. it‘s the unspoken sense of being accepted, not judged. no one can fake this. our heart presence builds through our good intentions, deeds and emotional work to overcome fear and negativity. the heart is the most positive quality anyone can have. it‘s healthy to be drawn to it.

reading energy is a game-changer. it enables you to see past fantasies or desires to pinpoint someone‘s motivations by sensing invisible messages they give off. in your life, get used to reading people‘s emotions. factor what you sense into your total assessment. maybe just a single red flag will appear so you‘re not sure what to do. then, take your time. watch how people treat you. notice if their words back up their behavior. the purpose of reading energy is to become more empathic by sensing the nuances of different personalities. stay alert to the signals energy sends so that you can see the whole person.

agree? disagree? share your loving kindness in a comment below :)

post inspired by Judith Orloff’s book The Power of Surrender: Let Go and Energize Your Relationships, Success, and Well-Being. Copyright © 2014 by Judith Orloff, MD. All rights reserved.