Judging people by their actions

On Sunday, I went for a run along the Burke Gilman trail in the Seattle area.

I was running on the right side of the trail. Out in front of me was a man walking on the right side. Up ahead of him was a man walking toward us, also on my right side.

It was a game of chicken.

The man in front of me and I were both walking on the correct side of the street (if you’re in the United States, anyway), but the man coming at us was on the wrong side (his left).

As we were all coming up on one another, I was interested to see how it was all going to shake out.

The man in front of me who was walking in the same direction was the first to budge. He moved to his left (making it two walkers on the wrong side of the road).

I was determined to hold my ground because I was on the proper side, according to road and pedestrian etiquette. As we neared each other, the man walking toward me moved to his right, and I remained where I was.

All three of us crossed paths at exactly the same time, with the guy who moved left on the outermost left side, the guy walking toward us in the middle, and me on the right-hand side.

As I ran on through, I couldn’t help but think about the personality test we had all just taken. I believe you can tell a lot about people just from a brief interaction like that one.

Based on what I witnessed (plus dress and demeanor, to be sure), I think I could give you a pretty complete and accurate assessment of each person’s personality, from how they are at work to how they relate to friends to what their politics probably are.

What do you think was learned about each person?

– My name is Jon Friesch, and the reason I love marketing is because I love studying and predicting the behavior of people.

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