"She sent me a signal; just a subtle one, that someone not used to reading verbals would miss. Most people are terrible at reading verbals."
Verbal vs nonverbal communication
Until fairly recently, I had little ability to read nonverbal communication, which meant that I had little wiggle room on one of the principal axes of communication. But I still needed to communicate with people. So I looked for patterns in their behavior. Tried to remember explicit preferences they’d stated, notice when they responded positively or negatively to a thing, and infer the preferences revealed by the things they sought out or tried to avoid. I formed explicit mental models of how people behaved, which were generally modifications of my model of how people in general behave. This is the story of how I learned that this ability is not universal.