- Thoughts for inspired living

November 12, 2008


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:22 am

According to a “tell” is any habit, behavior, or physical reaction that gives other players more information about your hand. There are countless “tells” outside of poker that are interesting to know about and give clues to underlying beliefs.

Here are a few that I’ve noticed over the years:

The person who frequents “all you can eat buffets” or loads their plate to the hilt (Thanksgiving excluded) has an underlying belief that there isn’t enough to go around. They have an underlying belief in scarcity and lack.

A person who constantly displays visible rigidity in their face and body has more rules than the average bear. Everybody has rules but these folks have ones most of us haven’t even thought of yet. They tend to develop arthritis early and lean toward constrictive diseases that play havoc with their digestive organs and heart.

The person with the perpetual “shit eating grin” (think actor Jack Black) has a penchant for overindulging (food drugs, sex, alcohol, partying) and have an appetite to try everything. They tend to be talented dreamers with both feet in the clouds and every now and then have a passing notion of reality.

I’m sure you have your own list of tells. If the only objective was to find tells in other people, we would have lots of information about others and very little about ourselves.

What are your tells?

What are you advertising to other people all the time that you are totally unaware of? What pattern sits beneath the surface and causes your telling behavior?

A start is to start giving credence to what people have been telling you for your entire life that you have been ignoring under the umbrella of “they don’t know what they are talking about.” Yes they do!

For example, if multiple people suggest that you reduce or stop your alcohol consumption, it’s a pretty good bet that you are medicating and masking some pain you have yet to face and need to move through. They aren’t members of the temperance league. They have witnessed enough of your quacking behavior to recognize a duck that needs to get off the surface of the pond and dive deeper.

I’m not big into labels, but I think they are useful in this context. How have you been labeled? What labels do your family, friends, lovers and casual acquaintances have for you? Pay attention.

I will agree that labels are limiting, but what are they telling you about your patterns that are on automatic pilot that need adjusting?

There is always a pattern beneath a tell. It’s an automatic stimulus/response that has a life of its own.

So get curious today about your tells and their causative patterns. In tomorrow’s post I will offer you a new strategy for interrupting and outgrowing patterns that I have found very helpful. It’s easy to learn and you won’t have to tell anybody how you did it.

All the best,


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