Following on from my previous blog regarding reading people, I’d like to write a little bit about the one part of us that can give so much away silently. Eyes (this would have been the shortest sentence ever if i hadn’t added this bracketed bit). Funnily enough, my “lamps” are not what they were. In fact the last time I was at the opticians, he said, “Have your eyes ever been checked?”. I said, “No, they’ve always been blue”. He went on to say, “Well how far can you see?”. I said, “Well i can see the sun. How far do you want me to see?”. Anyway, enough of the side-splitting hilarity, although i will anectdotalise (new word?) my favourite optician story at the end of this blog.
I’m sure we are all familiar with the phrase, “the eyes are the windows to the soul”. And while we might not be able to pick up the person’s innermost thoughts, we seem to be born with the ability to pick up people’s moods by looking at their eyes, even without them saying anything. Uncannily, we are aware when we have eye contact with someone even if we are so far away from them that we couldn’t possibly be able to see their eyes in detail. This is demonstrated a lot in football matches where teammates will give each other “the eyes” to let them know where they want a pass to go. This can happen when they are 20 or 30 metres away. We can see if people are angry, happy, upset, worried etc all through their eyes.
Eye Accessing Cues
There is a slight misconception in that a lot of people believe that if someone is telling lies they cannot maintain eye contact. In fact, in a lot of cases, the opposite is true and a number of people will stare straight ahead or maintain eye contact when lying. However, generally our eyes do move in different directions in order to access different parts of the brain. For example if you ask a person to visualise something in their mind, their eyes may move up and to the right. If you ask them to think of a sound, their eyes may move to the left. If you ask them to think of a certain feeling, such as being soaked in a rainstorm, their eyes may move down and to the right. Try it with a friend. Ask them to think of the colour of their front door and watch where their eyes go. Then ask them to think of the sound of a bell ringing and watch their eye movement. Then ask them to think of getting into a red hot bath. If you then ask them to choose just one of those thoughts and think of it again, you should be able to know which one they chose as they will replicate the eye movement they did originally. Thus reading their mind!
For those of you interested in checking to see how good you are at reading a person’s emotions or mood through their eyes, here is a psychological test. There are 36 pairs of eyes pictured with a choice of four emotions or moods for each one. You have to choose the one which you feel is most closely represented in the eyes. As the test says, don’t think too much about it, just go with your gut instinct. you might be surprised at the results. If you are doing the test, you do need to populate the male/female tick box, but you can leave the “Name” field blank. http://www.glennrowe.net/BaronCohen/Faces/EyesTest.aspx
So how did you do? Modesty forbids me from revealing my score, but between you and me, it was between 31 and 33. Anyway, I’ll finish by recounting my favourite optician story. A friend of mine (who is not the sharpest tool in the box) visited the optician as he felt that one of his eyes had deteriorated quite badly. The optician told him to cover his right eye and read the chart which was up on the wall. At this point, my friend became confused, as he struggles with the concept of left and right. The optician told him to cover his left eye instead. Again this caused a major problem. Becoming slightly frustrated, the optician decided to make it a bit easier. He had a cereal box on his desk. He emptied the contents into the bin and tore one single eye hole into the front of the box and then placed the box over my friend’s head so his left eye was directly in line with the hole. “What’s that like?” asked the optician. To which my friend replied, “Well……….I was hoping for a gold-rimmed pair like my dad’s”