Eyes have such a huge importance in any conversation or interaction that if the language of the eyes go wrong, the entire conversation and the repute of the person goes wrong. Eyes speak a language that is inescapable from others’ eyes.
Eye contact regulates conversation and hints about submission and dominance as well. What people notice about another when they meet for the first time are the eyes. And hence, both the parties involved make quick judgments about each other based on the eyes. Eyes are hence, the medium of conveying information about other people’s attitudes and thoughts.
Let us look at some of the messages conveyed by the eyes.
When someone gets excited, the pupils get dilated and can actually dilate up to four times the original size. Conversely, when a person is angry or in any other negative mood, the pupils contract. Hence, if you find that the other person’s pupils have dilated, it means the person is interested in you or in your talk. But if the pupils have contracted, then it is better to understand that the person is not interested.
In almost every culture, a long distance “hello” is conveyed by the quick rise and fall of the eyebrow. This is called as the eyebrow flash. The split second movement of the eyebrow is a way of greeting each other. However, in Japan, it has a negative connotation and hence, must not be used with Japanese people.
The raising of eyebrows during conversation implies submission. On the other hand, the lowering of eyebrows signifies dominance. Those people who intentionally raise their eyebrows are found to appear submissive and those who lower their eyebrows are generally considered to be aggressive.
There is one catch here. When ladies lower their eyelids and raise their eyebrows at the same time, it conveys sexual submissiveness. This expression must, hence, be avoided in formal and corporate environments.
It is always recommended that a person must maintain eye contact with the other person to show a level of interest and intent. However, if you keep on looking at the other person for a long time, it may put the other person at some discomfort. The other person may be intimidated by your gaze. In most cultures, it has been found that to build a good rapport with the other person, your gaze must meet the other person’s gaze for about 60% to 70% of the time. If you keep gazing at them with interest, the other people will think that you like them and hence, they will reciprocate with their gaze as well.
However, if you find that the other person is not looking at you for a certain period of time and is rather looking away from you continuously, then the conversation needs to end or the topic of the conversation has to change.
If you are unsure of how long you must look at the other person, the safest bet is to look at the other person for the time he or she is looking at you. Looking away during an interrogation also gives away the cue that the person is lying.
The sideways glance can be perceived as an expression of interest or even hostility. When a sideways glance is combined with a smile or slightly raised eyebrows, it can communicate interest and is also a famous courtship signal. However, if the sideways glance is combined with a frown, downturned eyebrows and downturned lips, it can convey suspicion, criticism, or even hostility.
The rate at which your eyes blink is also a conveyor of valuable information. If you are interested in someone or someone’s talk, you will not bat your eyelid as often. However, if you are not interested in someone, your rate of blinking the eyes will increase dramatically. Increase in the blinking rate of the eyes conveys disinterest or boredom.
If the eyes of the other person begin to dart from one side to the other, it implies that the person has lost interest in you and is looking for escape routes to get rid of you. This reveals the other person’s insecurity.
One way to exude authority is to lower your eyebrows, narrow the eyelids and focus closely on the other person. This gives an impression of what predators do before attacking their prey. The blinking rate has to decrease and there must be a constant focus on the other person’s eyes.
Eye contact and eye movements are an important part of our communication skills and also our body language. Hence, it is of utmost importance to maintain a decent eye contact with the other person, without intimidating him or her. Eye contact plays a significant role in sales interviews, job interviews, and in casual conversations as well.