I just did an inbox search. I’ve received 61 emails and messages on FB to write an article about this subject. This article is an edited version of an excerpt from my book. ENJOY.
Whenever you’re dealing with human behavior and psychology, nothing is absolutely true all the time. There are no guarantees. Every bit of data collected should be held in contrast to what else is observed about a person. These are rules of thumb, but are still highly reliable.
When observing a purse, handbag, carpetbag (Marry Poppins) or leopard-print wallet with matching fuzzy wrist strap, there are six categories to observe and take mental (or handwritten) note of.
NOTE: If you are taking handwritten notes, I’d use a blank crossword to do it. Looks a lot less suspicious (lower creep factor).
The six factors to consider in women’s purses:
2. Proximity and Placement
3. Style / Design
4. Grip and Handling
6. (My Favorite) Contents
Let’s break all these down into flavorful, bite-sized pieces.
The big purse trend is pretty common at the time of this writing.
The size of a purse cannot, in itself, be a reliable indicator unless context is taken into account. Let’s look at a list of possibilities first:
1. Large Purse: Could be a mom with kids who needs to pack things. Confirm this with comfortable shoes, non-dry-cleaned clothing and multiple pockets on purse. If it is empty and no children are present, it could have been “cleaned” out to reduce carry weight. There is a link presently between extroversion and social connectedness with purses. This is largely due to the trend women have recently started following of having very large purses.
2. Large, Full Purse: The chronically forgetful and the prepared will both appear similar when looking at a large purse that has lots of stuff in there. The forgetful woman will usually have more items that relate to routine, the prepared woman will carry items relating to activities and situational readiness. The prepared will also usually have keys, phone and small things in inner designated pockets as well. We will get to the individual contents in a moment.
PROXIMITY AND PLACEMENT
The way the purse is placed is a very telling indicator of how a woman feels in the moment about her environment, the people she is with and her mood.
Rules of thumb:
1. The closer a purse to her body when it is set down, the less trusting she is in the moment. This can also be an indicator of a habitually untrusting person who does this regardless of where she is.
2. The further from her she places the purse, the more trusting and relaxed she is. (Provided there is room for her to do so.) A woman will place her purse far from her to get more room and to allow room for others in seated situations. Women in the company of a strong and trustworthy husband will also feel much more comfortable placing their purses in the 'open' when they are socializing or eating.
3. A woman who deliberately folds the handles of the purse toward herself and away from public could be one of two things, depending on the revelation of other supporting data. First, she could be extremely conscientious; having her purse handles potentially interfering with someone else's day by getting in the way would cause them grief. The second type is protective and possibly untrusting. Turning the handles inward thwarts the 'thieves' that surround her on a daily basis. All of their plans crumble at the sight of slightly inaccessible purse handles. The third possible option is possible to observe, but requires a baseline to be established about the normal way a woman would perform this small action; The handle placement would reflect how they view the person they are with. With more acute observation, and after reading the upcoming article on clothing and jewelry dissection, you should be able to get a trust baseline from that alone, so you won't have to 'know' people you're observing.
Chase is still on active duty in the US Military. Please share an article if it's interesting to you.