This is a book review of “I Know What You’re Thinking” by Lillian Glass. This is a must read for anyone who is into practical psychology, personality typing, and how to “read people”.
KEYWORDS: book review, I Know What You’re Thinking, Law of Attraction, Lillian Glass, Myers-Briggs, personality typing, psychology, reading people.
PART 1: THE BOOK
In this book review I will be reviewing my copy of I Know What You’re Thinking, by Lillian Glass (click image to enlarge):
Figure 1. Front and back covers of I Know What You’re Thinking by Lillian Glass (John Wiley & Sons, 2002).
This is the Wiley paperback edition of this title, and it says on the copyright page that it was originally published in 2002. Two other versions of this book are also available: a hardcover edition and a Kindle edition.
About the Book
I Know What You’re Thinking is a book made for those who are interested in “personal” psychology and, more particularly, the art of reading other people. It is not a university textbook in psychology, but rather a very hands-on and practical book made for people who feel that they want to be able to understand people better, and to figure out who they “really are”.
The book is divided into three main parts: the front matter (10 pages); the core text (237 pages); and the appendixes, index, and product list at the back (20 pages). So all in all, 269 pages.
The front matter consists of some title and copyright pages, and a dedication. Then comes a three-page Contents, after which there are two pages of acknowledgements.
The main part of the book is divided into 3 parts: Part One: The Art and Science of Reading People (pp. 1-59). Part Two: Mastering the Four Codes of Communication (pp. 61-196). Part Three: Using the Codes to Determine Personality Codes (197-237).
In the back there are two appendixes: one called Recommended Reading (pp. 239-243), and another one called Gallup Poll Results Concerning Annoying Speech Habits (pp. 245-246).
Further back we find the main index (pp. 247-258) along with a finishing page with information about Lillian Glass’s contact info and her products and services (books, audio tapes, video tapes, music CDs, seminars, corporate training sessions, etc.)
Some of the main concepts discussed in this book are: the importance of reading people; no more victimization; the negative and positive scenarios; the four codes of communication; listening to the speaking code; hearing the vocal code; watching the body language code; looking at the facial code; emotional hands, verbal leakage; facial disconnects; the nose knows; etc.
Also, it may be good for the prospective reader to know that there are no images, or pictures, or illustrations, or diagrams in this book. This is a text-only book (which therefore has the potential to be a decent Kindle edition, if the reader would prefer an electronic version instead of the paperback).
About Lillian Glass
According to the text on the back cover, Lillian Glass has two doctoral degrees. One degree is in the field of communication disorders, and the other is in the field of counseling psychology. And she has a private practice in Beverly Hills.
She is the author of many bestselling books (Attracting Terrific People, He Says, She Says, etc.), and, once again according to the back cover, she is “one of America’s most sought-after media psychologists and commentators”.
PART 2: THE REVIEW
My copy of the 2002 edition is approximately 6 x 9 inches (15.3 x 22.8 cm). And it’s approximately 0.7 inches (1.9 cm) thick.
These typical 6 x 9 dimensions makes it less portable than a classic pocketbook. It would be nice to have seen it in a classic pocketbook format, especially since there are no illustrations or photographs in it.
However, since it nowadays also is available in a Kindle version, perhaps those having such hand-held devices might use that edition instead.
Paper, Printing, and Binding Quality
Although the format of the book is not a pocketbook, the paper quality is much like that of a mass-market paperback. For reading only (i.e. without writing in it) that is perfectly fine, especially since it is nicely printed.
For readers like myself who like to write notes in the book, it is important to select the right type of pen. Fountain pens are probably not a good idea to use here, for the ink will most probably bleed through to the other side of the page. But using a simple ballpoint pen (such as a BIC) or a pencil will work fine.
As far as the printing and binding goes, there are no complaints. The text is crisp and clear, and the binding still holds perfectly, even after many years of usage.
Layout, Design, and Typography
I think the overall design of this book is aesthetically fine. Although the font size is not bad, it would be nice if it was somwhat bigger. But it works, as it is now. And the leading is big enough to make it easy to read.
Headers and subheads seem to be approximately the same size. This looks a little strange, especially since the subheaders are bold, while the headers are not. But it is not the whole world. Actually it is better that the subheaders are bigger than they “should” have been (to accomplish a better aesthetics), for they are very easy to read.
In any case, these are minor things. The book is nicely produced.
The basic content is, I think, very good. The “selling text” on the front and back cover actually works: I think this book succeeds in delivering what a potential buyer would buy it for, after having read the text on the covers. So its “promise-to-delivery” ratio is excellent, close to 100%.
Overall, this book has lots of information–information that is very useful for people who want to learn to “navigate” in life (i.e. to be able to read people correctly, even if they say something completely different).
One “reservation” I have here is regarding the title. It is not all that great. But it is not, at any stretch of the imagination, an awful one.
My idea here is that the main title could have been more telling. After all, the words “I Know What You’re Thinking” doesn’t say very much on their own.
But that is, of course, compensated for somewhat by the second part of the title (“Using the four codes of reading people to improve your life”). So the “total title” works, when putting these two parts together.
I think it would have been better, though, to have the words “Reading People” somewhere in the first part, and then adding the phrase “personality typing” or “personality types”, while also including the number “14” to really highlight the fact that there are 14 personality types categorized in the book.
Within the book, the text is very nicely written. The style is simple (non-academic), and very readable. One might say it is a good example of “popular science writing” that is enjoyable to read.
In other words, stylistically, the text is not in any way pretentious or “complicated”: it is written for “ordinary people” and that is very appropriate for a book of this kind.
Another good thing about this book is that there are lots of subheads. In fact there is one almost on every page. This means that it is easy to “dive in” in the text, if one sees an interesting subhead. And it makes the book feel more interesting and easier to read, on the whole.
The Four Codes
Lillian Glass’s book uses a system of “four codes” to read people. These are: the speaking code, the vocal code, the body language code, and the facial code.
Personally, I feel that these four dimensions give a very nice “sample” of a person’s “message” or “standpoint” or “stance” when read correctly (the Lillian Glass’ way) in a live situation.
I also feel that the fourteen personality types described in the third part of the book are nicely “crafted”, and they actually sound like real persons.
The complaint can always be made that two personality types have some things in common. But I think think this is only natural, because people have always SOME commonalities, even if they are of two personality types.
And here we may bring up “competing” theories such as Myers-Briggs. So looking at, say, the book TypeTalk by Otto Kroeger and Janet M. Thuesen, that personality typing system is much less practical.
And it also has the disadvantage of having many more commonalities between its 16 different types of personalities. In addition, it is much less readable (and usable) than Lillian Glass’s book.
So all in all, I think Lillian Glass’s book is a great read, and her system seems very “down-to-earth” and believable. But is it usable, in real life?
I think this book can be very useful. For I think the 14 categories of personalities in her book really sound like real persons. Her types feel like “real people”, contrary to those described in TypeTalk.
And the most convincing aspect of her personality types, in my view, is that the number of traits for each of the personalities is very limited (at least compared to those in TypeTalk). So the reader can easily use just a couple of traits to identify one of the fourteen personalities.
It is that simplification and characterization of the personality types that is the real accomplishment here.
On the flip side, some people may complain and say that the book is very negative, for 13 of the 14 personality types are various “problematic” people (such as “The Bully”, “The Snob”, “The Narcissist”, “The Liar”, etc.).
My response to such a complaint would be that it reflects the world, exactly as it is. For in the real world, there are a lot of negative people, with various agendas and “unpleasing” behavior.
I Know What You’re Thinking is a great book. There may be one or two weak spots here and there, but overall I think it is a very usable piece of work.
This book is very valuable for people who want to understand other people, and learn what they are really saying. By using this book the general reader can learn to “pinpoint” what it is that other people are doing when they are communicating with them in real life.
This book can also be very useful for students of the Law of Attraction, who are trying to master the art of deliberate creation. For by understanding better what people really are saying, the student can quicker and more efficiently decide what his or her next focus should be, in order to take advantage of the 17-second rule in the best way possible.
Title: I Know What You’re Thinking: Using the Four Codes of Reading People to Improve Your Life
Author: Lillian Glass
Publisher: Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Year (stated on copyright page): “2002”
Edition: First (in terms of main content inside)
Pages: x + 259
ISBN-10 (a): 0-471-43029-3
ISBN-10 (b): 0471430293
ISBN-13 (a): 978-0471430292
ISBN-13 (b): 9780471430292
Links to This Edition