Warning! Reading body language is like listening to someone. Listed here are the possible meanings of many different body language signs. To avoid getting it wrong, please start with the short section “How Can You Read What People Think?” at the bottom of this page.
The Eyes (Part II)
- Squint during a conversation
–> showing interest
- Looking away
–> possibly shy
–> curious about the surroundings (some people naturally observe their environment more than others)
–> showing interest in your other movements. This would be natural if you’re carrying out an activity or using your arms and hands to express yourself.
Otherwise, it may be a sign that this person is attracted to you… Basically, looking at other parts of your body is part of the unconscious assessment people make about how suitable you are as a mate…
Whether you like it or not, we all do this. We are simply wired to put ourselves in optimal conditions for reproduction of our species.
How To Read Eye Directions
Without going too deep into neuroscience, let’s look at how a person’s eye directions can tell you what they are actually thinking.
You have probably heard that there are two main parts to the brain:
- the right side: the emotional side, and
- the left side: the logical side.
When we look right or left for a period of time, one side of our brain gets activated more than the other.
This is predictable for right-handed people: When a right-handed person
- looks to the right, their left logical brain is dominant
- looks to the left, their right emotional brain is dominant.
How can you use this?
When dealing with a right-handed person, you’re more likely to make the person feel relaxed and comfortable if you activate their logical side. That is: if you place yourself to their right.
Because doing the opposite activates their emotional brain… which is home to their emotional and stressful memories. Doing this makes it much more likely they’ll feel nervous, anxious, and uncomfortable.
What if the person is left-handed?
Well, there’s no predictable rule in this case unfortunately. I’m currently researching the best way to deal with this and will let you know when I find something that works.
But there’s more to know about eye direction.
The field of NLP also observed that, depending on the conversation’s context, the position of someone’s eyes can give you clues of where her words are “coming from”.
Here is a simple way to illustrate this:
Body Language: Visual Cues
- Looking to their right or up and to their right:
–>Using their imagination – watch out for exaggeration of the truth or for complete lies.
- Looking down and to their right, or to their left, or up and to their left:
–>Using their memory – they are being honest and truthful.
- Looking down and to their left:
–>Deep in thought.
IMPORTANT NOTE: There is some controversy about this model.
My view is that it is a model that “works” some of the time, but that it is very difficult to use anyway – because people’s eyes rarely remain in one position. My best advice is: use it to potentially confirm meanings you have deducted from several other physical cues – not as a main reference to judge what someone is thinking.
What Can Their Pupils Reveal?
- Wet eyes
–> crying, painful memory, emotional
- Excessive blinking
–> showing romantic interest (if their pupil is dilated)
–> sign of stress
–> could be lying
- Enlarged pupils
–> if in broad light, the person is either experiencing deep satisfaction, or is interested in you
–> in darker environments, it is a natural physical reaction
- Widened pupils / eyes
–> seeing something pleasant – this a sign professional poker players look out for as a giveaway that another player may have a good hand…
Want To Know For Sure…?
The Golden Rule of Reading Body Language: Look for at least
another 2 or 3 signals with the same possible meaning – in
different areas of their body or communication.
Want to be even more sure?
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*** How Can You Read What People Think? ***
A single word, by itself, has many possible meanings. In the dictionary, you’ll find several likely meanings for each word.
To know the correct meaning, you simply look at:
- other words in the same sentence and
- the context of the sentence.
Reading body language is as simple. A body language signal by itself can mean many things.
To know which meaning is correct, you need to look at:
- other signals that could have the same meaning (at least 2 or 3) and
- the context of the situation (environment and conversation).
This is the golden rule of reading body language.