Body Language 101: The Eyes

eyeWe’re going to continue our study of body language by taking a close look at the eyes. The eyes play a huge role in an individual’s ability to express himself. They send several different non-verbal cues and if you know how to read the eyes you’ll be better able to anticipate the needs of your employees and clients alike.

The eyes are really amazing. You can look at someone from across a crowded room and instantly know whether or not he is looking back at your, or making eye contact. There are very few other communication gestures you can make with that same type of power. From a distance you can’t see what a person’s eyes are doing, aside from looking at you, but if you get closer you’ll be able to learn a lot more about what they’re thinking.

Here are just a few examples of how people move their eyes and what those movements mean:

  • If a person’s eyes tend to look towards the right the person may be either guessing, creating a story, or formulating an outright lie. Children, for example, may be making up a fictional story, which is a sign of creativity. On the other hand, a person looking both to the right and down maybe thinking about how he feels about a situation – a response that may or may not be genuine.
  • People who look towards their left when speaking are often trying to remember facts. They’re attempting to access their personal memory banks in order to participate in conversation. Those who look down and to the left, on the other hand, may be having an internal conversation.
  • Those who shrug their eyes are typically frustrated with a situation. This type of shrug of the face may be accompanied with an upward eye roll, indicating a person is “looking up” for help or assistance.
  • What if you see a person blinking frequently? These people are generally either very excited or are feelings the pressure of the situation. The average person blinks between 6 and 20 times each minute while an excited person can blink up to 100 times in that same time period.

These are just few examples of the things your eyes can say to others as you speak – and what the eyes of others are saying to you. Pay attention to the way you react to others and watch their eyes as you speak to them. They may not be telling you something you need to know!

Thanks again,


Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training   | Image courtesy by Clare Bloomfield of FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

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Updated on: 26 November, 2009

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