Body Reading

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By Frederick Crouter

William Sheldon, one of the most unconventional minds to brighten the landscape of American psychology left a %0F% legacy which is a wealth of information for the cold reader: Body Typing.

Modern day psychology has been committed to the idea that we are a "tabula rasa" or blank mind at birth and that nothing we bring with us into the world is as important as what happens after we enter it. Sheldon rebelled against this psychology. He created a complete system showing that the psyche was rooted in constitution and a knowledge of body type could reveal the personality within in profound and important ways overlooked by conventional psychology.

In analyzing the human physique, Sheldon found three basic structures present in varying degrees in everyone: endomorphy - the component of roundness, mesomorphy - the component of muscularity and ectomorphy- the component of length. These three components are linked to traits of temperament; the endomorph to relaxation, warmth, and sociability; the mesomorph to energy, assertiveness and drive; and the ectomorph to quickness, sensitivity and inwardness.

These three components combine to form the personality and make up the basis of solid, mind-boggling cold readings. In each individual one component is usually dominant, another secondary and he third the least of the three. The blending of these ingredients makes the cold reading.

Endomorph - Luciano Pavarotti, Orson Wells, Buddy Hackett, Shelley


Endos are soft, curvy, generous, affectionate, and optimistic.

"The most obvious thing about you is your relaxation. Your whole being is loose and easy going. You are inwardly secure and this allows you to be outwardly trusting. Your strong practical common sense together with your refusal to be rushed into action saves you from most serious mistakes ofjudgment. You may look like a softy, but it is surprisingly difficult to take advantage of you. You take great delight in sleeping. You have no trouble falling asleep instantly and deeply. Comfort is your aim. You like overstuffed furniture and beds you can sink into. You dislike cramped quarters and like large rooms and large cars. You have difficulty looking sharp and clothes are a problem for you. You are extremely hard on shoes and may have weak ankles. You also do not like to walk far or stand for long periods of time. You hate waiting in lines. You have a strong personal aversion to yard work.

"You love people and social situations and are a good conversationalist. You also enjoy table games such as playing cards where you can sit and 'chat'. Friends are a strong emotional need in your life and yours can always count on you. You're solidly dependable.

"Because you hide nothing of yourself you have little awareness of hypocrisy, and never suspect that there may be a discrepancy between the way someone acts and the way they feel. "Outward show" is inward truth for you and there is never any split between them. It's true with most people, most of the time, the surface is an accurate guide to the inside — but not always and when it isn't you are likely to be out of your depth. The advantage you offer to the working world is your undistractibility. You can be single minded with dogged determination. "

Endo Traits:

1. Relaxation in posture and movement

2. Love of physical comfort

3. Slow reaction

4. Love of eating

5. Socialization of eating

6. Pleasure in digestion

7. Love of polite ceremony

8. Sociophilia

9. Indiscriminate amiability

10. Need for affection and approval

11. Orientation toward people

12. Evenness of emotional flow

13. Tolerance

14. Complacency

15. Deep Sleep

16. The untempered characteristic

17. Smooth, easy communication of feeling, Extraversion

18. Relaxation and Sociophilia under alcohol

19. Need of people when troubled.

20. Orientation toward childhood and family relationships.

Mesomorph: Arnold Schwartzenegger, Clint Eastwood, Golda Meir, Pete


Mesos are strong, muscular, assertive, energetic, and ambitious

"You have a great and well-adjusted confidence in your ability to manipulate the world of objects in space. You are in your element when you have to make rapid decisions in which many different factors have to be taken into account. You are most at ease in the world offacts and you are always eager to go on new fact finding missions.

"Effortless energy and drive characterize you. You like to move against an objective and your less interested in cooperation or understanding than in conquering. You move fast and decisively, hitting the ground hard when you walk.

"You love risks of all kinds and would probably enjoy climbing, skiing, or flying. You tend to be somewhat claustrophobic and want to be able to see as far off into the distance as possible. You like panoramic perspectives and if possible you will live in a house on a hill with spacious rooms and a commanding view. The main feature of your house is the view it overlooks rather than anything in it. You are virtually tireless and five or six hours of sleep is plenty to ensure a nonstop outpouring of energy during the day.

"As a child you were an early walker and a rather late talker. You want three things: action; the feeling of mastery over the external world through acting upon it; and status, the tangible reward for having achieved this mastery. You may not always get what you want but you are never unsure about your ambitions.

"You are an action person and you have a lot of irons in the fire. You don't have much free time. You prefer outdoor sports and spend a great deal of money on hunting or fishing equipment. You have an innate interest in animals and especially horses. You like to present a good image. (Men buy lots of jock equipment to work out and women buy more makeup than they need) You are very loyal and patriotic. The key to your life-style is moderation."

Mesomorph Traits:

1. Assertiveness of posture and movement

2. Love of physical adventure

3. The energetic characteristic

4. Need and enjoyment of exercise

5. Love of dominating, lust for power

6. Love of risk and chance

7. Bold directness of manner

8. Physical courage for combat

9. Competitive aggressiveness

10. Psychological callousness

11. Claustrophobia

12. Ruthlessness, freedom from squeamishness

13. Unrestrained voice in speaking

14. Spartan indifference to pain

15. General noisiness

16. Overmaturity of appearance

17. Horizontal mental cleavage, extraversion of somatotonia

18. Assertiveness and aggression under alcohol

19. Need of action when troubled

20. Orientation toward goals and activities of youth

Ectomorphy: Audrey Hepburn, James Stewart, Nancy Reagan, Twiggy

Ectos are long, slender, sensitive, quick, and private.

"Your single most characteristic trait is your lack of complacency. You are always watchful and paying attention. Even your sleep is light, restless and full of dreams. You feel as if your circuitry is constantly in danger of burnout from overloading. Restraint always appeals to you.

"You have always felt alien and somehow different from other people as early as babyhood. You always prefer quality to quantity, spareness to luxury, and purity to profusion. You're fastidious and discriminating. Experiences cut deeper with you and you need more time than others to assimilate them.

"Eating has been a constant problem for you. You inspect every forkful wondering "What are those black specks" or "What is that lumpy stuff".

"In your interpersonal relationships, it is equally painful for you to be invited to join in and not be invited. Either you are being torced to join in against your will or you are being excluded and both make you miserable. Fortunately you have a full and vivid fantasy life that is full of dreams of glory. In this imaginary world you can be everything that you can't be in the real world; strong, confident, king of the playing field.

"You have a strong sense of boundaries and you fear being encroached upon. You do not like being touched and if someone lays a casual arm across your shoulders your whole back bristles and arches. To you, truth is never found upon the surface of things and you are fascinated by the hidden side of things. You gain strength as the day progresses. You are a twilight and evening person.

"Although your politics are liberal you tend to be very conservative with your money. You like walking and enjoy plants and flowers. "

Endomorph Traits:

1. Restraint in posture and movement

2. Physiological over-response

3. Overly fast reactions

4. Love of privacy

5. Mental over-intensity, hyperattentionality

6. Secretiveness of feeling, emotional restraint

7. Self-conscious motility of the eyes and face

8. Sociophobia

9. Inhibited social address

10. Resistance to habit and poor routinizing

11. Agoraphobia

12. Unpredictability of attitude

13. Vocal restraint and general restraint of noise

14. Hypersensitivity to pain

15. Poor sleep habits and chronic fatigue

16. Youthful intentness of manner and appearance

17. Vertical mental cleavage, introversion

18. Resistance to alcohol and other depressant drugs

19. Need of solitude when troubled

20. Orientation towards the later periods of life















Physically active






Private Tense

Mentally active

Apprehensive Excitable Sensitive Passionate Quick

Sheldon rated body types by a scale of 1 to 7 on each of the three types (i.e.

7,3,1) which would be very endomorphic (7-round, fat, stomach oriented) some mesomorphic (3-muscular) and very little ectomorphic (1- long, with long arms and legs). This leads to the logical conclusion that you could have combinations such as meso-endos (such as most politicians). In doing cold readings for the combinations just add the type traits together and lean it toward the predominant type. The biggest mistake commonly made is between endos and meso-endos. Endos look like the doughboy (fat and squishy) whereas meso-endo's look and feel harder underneath (picture a fat Hells Angel)

The identifying characteristics of the Meso-Endo are:

Shoulders are broader, squarer, chest heavier than on the pure Endo (but still less prominent than the belly) The whole body surface is less smooth with more muscle contours. The body appears sturdier and more rugged and solid than that of the pure Endomorph.

"Your (palm, cards, etc.) indicate the best word to describe you is love. You love life - you love work - you love to go places. You live to express yourself and you are generally confident and optimistic. You like to live life on a grand scale and to 'think big'. You like to buy the giant size, by the dzen. Too much is never enough and your taste includes soft, deep armchairs, ornate furniture and glistening chandeliers. You take up a lot of psychic space radiating waves of emotional energy in all directions. You are a strong believer in the "KISS" principle (keep it simple stupid) and you have little tolerance for ambiguity. A thing is either good or bad.

"You want to feel and do everything one hundred percent and will throw the full torce of your psychic energy behind a project. When someone tries to throw a wrench into your plans you are likely to respond with 'Stop making things so damn complicated.'

"You are fun to be around and your optimism is contagious. You have the capability of cheering up and entire office, political rally, or gathering offriends.

One thing is certain: You can't have fun in a down mood so you won't stay down for long. You have great resilience and bounce back quickly from illness or disappointment. You have a wonderful ability to put people at ease and could be described as "easy to love." Your love your freedom and do not like to be tied down. "Don't Fence Me In" could be your theme song. Projects in which you have little interest or activities which isolate you from people will trigger procrastination in you."

Male meso-endos need exercise and can enjoy bowling, golf, tennis, swimming, camping, football, hunting fishing and sex.

Female meso-endos can be good bowlers and golfers and like horse-back riding. They are terrific cooks.

Both male and female meso-endos have an interest in hiking, mountain climbing and skiing but find it too much work. Both like to travel.

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