SUBJECT: 4/5 RELEVANCE: 4/5 INSIGHTS: 3.5/5 OVERALL: 3.5/5
“Most of us wear a mask, a social mask to hide who we really are and what we’re feeling, to protect ourselves, to avoid conflicts, or to masquerade a personality trait that wouldn’t otherwise be appreciated or accepted. The fear that the world is going to find us out leads us to adorn a mask. This displays us in the best possible light—giving, kind, confident, secure, and humble.”
Pushpendra Mehta, OBSERVE TO UNMASK
There is a huge difference between what people say, what people think, and how people act. To most of us, this difference is not easily discernible, but there are many ways to understand people better. Also, there are reasons why people act in a certain manner or exhibit definite personality traits. The key to understanding this complex set of factors is by close observation of one’s nonverbal cues and by delving a little deeper into their lives.
What to expect?
Expect a short read that will leave you richer in knowledge in just over a few hours. Expect a book that talks about the art of observation, and the advantages of careful observation of people. Expect a book that will help you better understand people and their thought processes. Expect a book that will give you a definite advantage over others. Expect a book that will help you become a better conversationalist and a negotiator.
Who can read?
Since the book is written in a simple and easy to understand language, it can be easily picked up by a beginner level reader.
About the author
Pushpendra Mehta is a man of many talents and achievements. He is a marketer, storyteller, writer, content and communications specialist, and a flourishing online media news entrepreneur. Born in India, he currently lives in the United States and has authored 4 books – The Suitable Inheritor, Tomorrow’s Young Achievers, The Game of Life and Relationships, and OBSERVE TO UNMASK.
What is the book all about?
People wear social masks behind which they hide their real self, but usually, there are cracks in it, and with careful observation, you can see them for who they are. At the very core, this book offers 100 small things, 100 small ways, methods, or tools to know and understand people better.
But the good thing is
The great thing about this book is that it not just enables one to better understand others, but also oneself. It makes you aware of your own blind spots and shortcomings and enables you to overcome them.
Fifteen short and crisp chapters
Divided into 15 short chapters, the book covers a wide variety of subjects from human behavior and emotions to money and advice, from growth and gossips to the many tests of characters, and from spirituality to power games that people play.
An unusually beautiful dedication
I always make it a point to read the sections immediately preceding the content of the book. There is a lot that these can tell about the author, and his writing style and thought processes. I simply loved the short, sweet, and highly unusual dedication that the author wrote thanking God for the gift of writing, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for giving life to the memorable character of Sherlock Holmes.
How it all began?
In the introduction section, the author describes how it all started. The book began as an answer to a very intriguing question posted on Quora – “What small thing can tell you a lot about a person?” The author’s answer to this question received more than a million views, thus encouraging him to expand the popular answer into a full-fledged work.
The author in his own words
The author describes himself as a sensitive person whose sharp instincts and the ability to feel made ‘observe and notice’ his life’s credo. This credo, he then, poured into his work, and as a result, the book is based on the author’s own experiences, intuitions, and findings.
Took me back in time
Something that I loved about the book is that it reminds me of some important lessons that I learned in my business communication classes – that communication is more non-verbal than verbal. Humans communicate much more through their silence, feelings, cues, facial expressions, posture, vibes, motives, appearances, etc.
A word of caution
A word of caution to those readers who look for research statistics and scientific data in their nonfiction reads – the content of this book is not backed by any such data. Instead, it is solely based on the author’s own experiences and learnings in his life, as well as his intuitive insights.
Every chapter of OBSERVE TO UNMASK is designed to provide and analyze careful insights. From what people talk about to what they read and who they keep as friends, from how they engage in group conversations, to how they talk about their charitable initiatives, from what they were deprived of in their early years, to what they post on their social media, and who they follow on social networks – every aspect can be used to know and better define a person.
Identifying and understanding particular personalities
The book scores some brownie points in its ability to identity, classify, describe and analyze certain unpleasant personality types like ‘conversation hoggers’, ‘poor listeners’, ‘fervent braggers’, ‘conversation monopolizers’, ‘egocentrics’ amongst others. This enables the reader to delve much beyond the outer façade and better understand such people.
What did I like?
I love how the author invites every kind of feedback. While he urges the reader to read with an open mind, he invites the reader to provide all kinds of feedback – whether they accept or reject, appreciate, or ignore each insight.
What could have been better?
I would have loved it if the book had more information that went beyond the basics. It is ideally a good book for beginners but not so for regular or voracious readers.
In the end
In the end, OBSERVE TO UNMASK is a good read for those looking to enhance their people skills. Written in a beginner-friendly language, the book is a starter savvy method that enables one to look behind the social masks that people wear and comprehend their actions, decisions, and motives more clearly.
The final verdict
Read it to learn and get better in both personal and professional life.
Pick the book if
- You enjoy reading nonfiction.
- You like self-help books.
- You are a beginner level reader looking for a short read.
- You want to learn more about people and their thought processes.
- You are a constant learner.
- You want to grow more in both your personal and professional spheres.
Skip the book if
- You have previously read a detailed read on the subject.
Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of Pushpendra Mehta’s OBSERVE TO UNMASK using the link below.