Tuesday, August 28, 2012
The Eyes are the Window to the Soul
First, let me say thanks to all the people who visited my blog this last week and read my very first post! I would never have believed that I would have over 70 people would find my blog this quickly - and one of them even got back to me to say that they read "What Every Body is Saying" on the strength of my recommendation and loved it. I would be happy for comments to be posted here, and that if you consistently like what you see, you can subscribe as well! To answer the question for those who asked it, I will update my blog each week on Wednesday.
And now, to this week's post (in case you couldn't guess based on the subject line, it has to do with understanding what a person's eyes are telling you):
In my opinion, a person's eyes give us more perspective into a person's actual thoughts than any other feature. As I referenced earlier, body language tends to indicate intention, but the eyes tell you what is actually going on in the mind.
I recently performed an experiment with a young couple, where I asked them to hide a coin and I would try to find it, using the clues given to me by their eyes alone. I told them that one of them was to always lie to me, the other to always tell the truth. The one who chose to be a liar was to hide the coin while the honest participant had their back turned. I gave them a nickel and left the room as they worked out their roles and hid the coin. When I returned, I was able to quickly ascertain all the relevant facts of the situation and announced who had hidden the coin and where it was - all by paying attention to the eyes.
Before I continue, I would like to explain briefly how the two hemispheres of the brain work. The left portion is analytical, factual, and tends toward the literal. The right side is creative, less anchored to reality and prone to imagination.
I recognize that this is only the most tenuous of descriptions, but it forms a sufficient foundation to allow this explanation of eye work to continue.
What I wish to discuss is how the eyes of the young couple in the anecdote above reliably conveyed everything I needed to know to deduce the location of the coin. In effect, their thoughts betrayed them.
Before we continue, if you are in a room full of people, I want you to ask someone to think of their home, and to visualize themselves looking for their shoes. If you are alone, you can do this yourself.
Take a minute and try it.
Now, if you were by yourself, notice what your eyes are doing - what direction did they move? And if you were with a person, asking them where they put their shoes, what did you notice about the direction that their eyes moved?
You should have observed that when someone was asked to visualize a real situation from their memory, their eyes will have moved up and to THEIR left (This will be the case for roughly 95% of people, with the remaining 5% shifting in the opposite direction).
From your perspective, they will have looked up and to the right.
What just occurred was that the brain went digging around the left hemisphere of the brain for the information that was queried. The eyes froze in position while that information was found. It is a little bit like when your mouse turns into a clock while the computer is loading something.
Because factual information was being sought, the eyes displayed that the left hemisphere was being accessed. Similarly, if you ask someone to hear something that they have heard before, like a song or a prior conversation with an individual, they will look to directly to THEIR left. From your perspective, their eyes will look to the right.
Interestingly, if someone is ever deep in thought and actually having a conversation with themselves, their eyes will present down and to THEIR left. From your perspective, they will be down and to the right. This will often be the case when someone is reflecting seriously upon an issue and could be in need of advice.
A quick recap:
Visualizing something that actually exists: Eyes move up and to their left. Hearing something that actually exists or occurred: Eyes move to their left. In conversation with the self: Eyes move down and to the left, using the analytical brain to weigh options, etc.
At any rate, the eye access cues used above are displayed when a person is dealing in the realm of reality, with things that are tangible and that exist.
The opposite eye movements are displayed when someone is creating or imagining. Eyes moving up and to the SUBJECT'S right indicate that they are creating something that does not exist. Similarly, eyes moving to the SUBJECT'S right are listening to something that does not exist in their realm of actual experience.
Not everything is opposite here, however - there is a difference. When someone has eyes that have shifted down and to THEIR right, they are FEELING something, rather than in conversation with themselves. They are accessing the kinesthetic storage vault.
At any rate, armed with this information, you can easily use a person's eyes to determine whether they are using the literal or the creative portions of their brain.
When I worked with the couple described in the experiment above, I knew that their eyes would tell me who was lying. I then had a casual conversation with them and watched their eyes. Despite a valiant attempt at subterfuge, it was apparent that the young gentleman was telling fibs and had hidden the coin. His eye movement was consistently up and to his right. He was using the creative portion of his brain and was not telling me the truth. Subsequent digging allowed me to determine the location of the coin.
It seemed like a miracle to them, but all I did was pay attention to their eyes.
Now, several of you have asked me about detecting dishonesty. You'll be pleased to know that over the next few weeks, we will dig into this subject a lot more.
Remember, pay attention to the little things, and you will have a much more comprehensive picture of the world around you.