How we communicate is sometimes involuntary. We reveal far more of ourselves through our eyes than we care to admit…so if you’ve ever wondered why people are responding to you strangely, it might be time to evaluate the way you’re looking at them.
Here are some interesting things you communicate just with your gaze.
Wide pupils means you’re looking at someone you’re attracted to
Our pupils dilate in response to stimulation—in situations where we enjoy what we’re seeing, our eyes will respond by letting in more light. Our eyes do the same thing in low-light situations, which might be why good date spots have “mood lighting.”
Blinking more than 10 times a minute also indicates attraction
Blinking is stereotypically a sign of flirtation, but it’s not far from the truth. Studies show that people who spoke to people they were attracted to tended to blink above the average amount. People blink once every 6-10 seconds, so if you want to know if the cute co-worker is into you…buy a stopwatch.
Staring between someone’s eyes and mouth means you regard them as a friend
Where we gaze at someone’s face is a great way to telegraph what we think of them. The area between the eyes and the mouth is the “friendly” zone—it’s where we tend to gaze at people in general.
Staring at or below someone’s mouth means you regard them as more than a friend
Attraction, however, draws our gaze toward the mouth. If you’re trying to hide your feelings for someone, try to keep your gaze at eye level. However, don’t go too high because…
Staring between someone’s eyes and forehead means you regard them as a rival
This is sometimes called “the power stare.” Looking at someone’s eyes and forehead can be seen as combative—even between humans and animals.
Eyes quickly darting indicates you don’t want to be there
If you’re looking around unconsciously, it comes across as shifty—or as an avoidance behavior. If you want to communicate that you’re present with someone, keep your gaze slow and consistent. Having eyes darting around makes it look like you’re looking for an exit, which (if you’re being honest), may actually be the case.
Excessive eye contact indicates dishonesty (or self-consciousness)
All liars know that the stereotypical liar will avoid eye contact. Here’s the truth, though: people who are thinking through their answers will also break eye contact—even if the answer is honest! In fact, habitual liars will often keep eye contact for well past the normal length of time. Why? Because they’re aware that they’re giving you a lie, and they’re closely watching your response (and making sure they look as sincere as possible).
However, staring into a person’s eyes for too long has the opposite effect. If you want to seem honest, take a break from eye-gazing after a few seconds.