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Subtle Eye Gestures That Can Help You Earn the Trust of Others

Subtle Eye Gestures That Can Help You Earn the Trust of Others

Human beings are the only primates that show the whites of their eyes. This gives us a unique range of possible signals that we can communicate with just our eyes. By knowing what different eye signals mean, and how to make those signals, we can more effectively get others to trust us and like us instantaneously.

Contracted Pupils versus Dilated Pupils

    You may have noticed that your pupils contract (get smaller) or dilate (get larger) when your mood changes. When you get excited about something, your pupils can actually dilate up to four times their original size – that’s pretty drastic!

    Conversely, an angry or negative mood can cause your pupils to contract a lot. You probably have angry coworkers or friends who complain to you: next time they do, notice how their pupils become “beady” or like “snake eyes.”

    Say you want to dilate your pupils on purpose to convey your interest or excitement in what someone else is talking about. How can you do this intentionally? Thankfully there’s an easy trick: Un-focus your eyes, blurring your vision as much as you can. You’ll know you’re doing this correctly if your eyes feel very relaxed.

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    Make the “eyebrow flash”

      The “eyebrow flash” is an unconscious eyebrow raise that lasts about 1/5 of a second: it’s a subtle but effective gesture that signals a long-distance “hello!” Normally, you don’t raise your eyebrows to greet a random stranger you pass on the street. But if you do want to get to know a stranger, try this friendly and simple gesture! You’ll likely find that they’ll return the eyebrow flash and smile; some will even come over to strike up a conversation.

      Keep your eyes open and avoid frowning

      It’s easy to allow our resting eyes to half-close and our faces to droop into a frown, especially when we’re preoccupied with something. But recent studies have found [1] that these habits make us appear as though we’re tired and in a bad mood. People associate exhaustion with poor cognitive performance. So it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that if you don’t look alert, people will unconsciously assume that you’re less intelligent.

      Long story short: Keep your eyes looking bright and that face smiling!

      Use low OR high eyebrows to signal authority or submission

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        Low-set eyebrows signal authority. John F. Kennedy had what are known as “medially down-turned” eyebrows, which gave his face a permanently authoritative (and concerned) look that appealed to voters.

          If you don’t already have low-set eyebrows, but you want to project authority, you can make your eyebrows thicker. This will shorten the distance between your eyes and the eyebrows and thereby create the illusion you have low set eyebrows.

          By contrast, you can take advantage of high or arched eyebrows to signal submission or sexiness. Scarlett Johansson’s eyebrows, while thick, are high and arched. If you don’t already have high eyebrows and want to signal sexiness, consider getting them sculpted or shaped to achieve this look.

          Narrow your eyelids and focus your gaze to establish authority

          Many of us need to project our authority from time to time, whether it’s as a manager speaking to employees or a teacher speaking to a large class. If you have naturally soft eyes, but want to project authority, practice the “Power Stare.”

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          Try not to blink excessively while you maintain eye contact. Narrow your eyelids and focus closely on the other person. By doing this, you are demonstrating that you are utterly unintimidated, and that you are establishing your dominance.

          In fact, this is exactly what predatory animals do just before they strike their prey. While you probably plan to use this gaze in the workplace or in much calmer social scenarios, the effect can be useful from time to time.

          To signal submissiveness, lower the head and look up

            Just as it can be useful to establish power and dominance, it’s equally important to know how to signal submission. Animals do this too in different ways: dogs sometimes expose their bellies to show that they are not trying to pose a threat to other, larger dogs. Projecting submissiveness is a method of gaining another person’s trust.

            If you want to try it out, lower your head just slightly and look up. This makes your eyes appear larger and more “innocent” or “childlike.” It’s easier to do this if you’re shorter than the other person, but if you’re the taller one, you can also try it out while you’re seated. Just make sure not to overdo this one – it can look less than subtle!

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            Don’t blink too frequently or too slowly

            Both over-blinking and under-blinking can be warning signs to others. People under pressure will often dramatically increase their blinking rate, while people who blink very slowly are unconsciously signaling that they are bored or feel superior to you. Strangers and friends alike will pick up on these signals. If you want to gain someone’s trust and respect, blink at a regular rate to show that you trust and respect them too.

            To establish strong, peer-to-peer rapport, hold eye contact about 60-70% of the time

            More than this can be unsettling, while less than appear overly meek. 60-70% is the sweet spot for an extended gaze that creates intimate feelings. This will encourage people to like and trust you.

            This is why you might find it hard to trust a nervous person who meets your gaze less than a third of the time. Think about this for yourself: you might be the kind of person who avoid eye contact, but make the attempt to hold enough to gain another person’s trust.

            Consider avoiding dark-tinted glasses as well, especially when you’re trying to establish a strong relationship with another person – either business or personal. The sunglasses will make others feel you are either staring at them or trying to avoid them.

            Reference

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            Brian Lee

            Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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            Last Updated on May 7, 2019

            How to Detect a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

            How to Detect a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

            Work in any competitive field long enough, and you’re bound to run into a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It’s a powerful image. A shepherd watches over his flock to protect them from harm. He’d chase away any predator that tried to make its way into the flock. A clever wolf wearing the skin of a sheep as a disguise can sneak by the vigilant shepherd and get into the herd undetected.

            The story isn’t just a colorful description–it’s a warning to all of us to beware the wolf in sheep’s clothing. They may seem innocent, but they have ulterior motives. They’ll use different tactics to camouflage their intentions.

            The person who is kind to you, but undercuts you when you aren’t around is a wolf in disguise. A wolf in sheep’s clothing might pick your brain for ideas and then pass them off as their own to get a promotion. They’re always looking out for themselves at the expense of everyone around them.

            Wearing a Disguise Has Its Advantages

            People don’t go out of their way to manipulate others unless they’re getting something out of it. Hiding their intentions gives wolves the chance to manipulate other people to advance their own agenda. They know that what they’re trying to do wouldn’t be popular, or it might cause struggle if they presented themselves honestly.

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              They’ll be able to do what they want with less interference if they put on an act. By the time people figure out their true motives, the wolf has what it wants.

              Signs That Someone Is a Wolf in Disguise

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                  1. They live to take power instead of empowering others. A wolf uses people as stepping stones to get the things that they want. They don’t care what happens to anyone else.[1] A wolf at work might make you look bad during a presentation to make themselves look amazing in front of the boss.
                  2. Wolves seem sweet on the outside, but they’ll show you their teeth. If wolves revealed their true identity, people wouldn’t associate with them. They develop a friendly or kind persona, but they can’t keep up the act 24/7. Eventually, they’ll reveal their aggressive tendencies. A wealthy person who likes to break the law may make sizable charitable donations to convince people that they are kind and thoughtful. These donations largely keep them out of trouble, but if someone calls them out, they destroy that person’s reputation to stifle the criticism.
                  3. They manipulate through emotions to get what they want. Wolves know that they can get ahead by appealing to your emotions. They find out what you want and need, and they give you just enough to keep you quiet and compliant. Imagine that your boss is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and you want to ask for a vacation. She might try to play on your guilt and feelings of insecurity to get you to skip vacation or take fewer days off.
                  4. A wolf will charm you first. Wolves are experts at manipulating the people around them. They appear interested in whatever you’re doing, and you’ll get the impression that they care. After they get you where they want you, they do just enough to keep you on the hook. This is the coworker who may start out being your friend, but they end up dumping responsibility onto you. When they see that you are growing frustrated, they’ll surprise you with something to charm you some more. Then, they’ll continue to do whatever they want.
                  5. Their stories are full of holes.  Calling a wolf out is the surest way to make them squirm. When this person tries to come up with a story, it won’t make much sense because they are improvising.[2] The classic example of this is the significant other that you suspect has cheated on you. When you ask them why they came home so late, they’ll either become upset with you, or they’ll make up a weak explanation.

                  How to Spot a Wolf

                    Know What’s Real So You Can Spot the Phony

                    Do some homework so that you have as much of the story as possible before you work with them. Research how they respond in certain situations, or give them hypothetical problems to see how they respond.

                    A job applicant might tell you that she’s always positive and thinks of herself as a team-player. That’s what every employer wants to hear. During the interview you ask applicants to work in groups to solve a problem to see how they handle the situation. The applicant “positive team-player” is bossy and negative. You’ve spotted the wolf.

                    A wolf will tell you something that ultimately benefits them. Gather evidence that proves or disproves their position, and see what happens. Chances are, when you choose the side that supports their agenda, they’ll act like your best friend. If you disagree, they’ll become aggressive.

                    Spotting a potential wolf–especially if you are one of the sheep–can present you with some challenges. If your gut tells you that a wolf is lurking among all the other sheep, pay attention, and make sure you take the next step.

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                    Ask Questions, the More the Better

                    There’s nothing wrong with asking questions to uncover the truth. The safety of everyone in your group is at risk. Since wolves often make up stories, you may be able to call them out when their tales lack details.

                    When they state an opinion, ask “Why do you think that?” or “How do you know it’s like that?” They’ll have trouble coming up with enough information to pull off the lie.

                    Since wolves are always pretending to be something they aren’t, they don’t usually have a clearly thought-out reason for what they say. In a debate, they won’t understand the root of an issue.

                    They may also tell you what they think you want to hear, but when pressed for more information, they won’t have anything to add. Their knowledge is superficial. No matter how much you try to encourage discussion, they will not be able to carry on a conversation about the subject.

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                    Wolves Are Everywhere

                    As much as we want to believe that everyone has the best intentions, it isn’t always the case. Some people only do things to benefit themselves, and they don’t care who they hurt in the process.

                    Wolves in sheep’s clothing can be found in almost every setting. You can’t get rid of them, but if you can spot them, you can avoid falling into their traps.

                    Reference

                    [1] Association of Biblical Counselors: Three Ways to Spot a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
                    [2] Power of Positivity: Beware of a wolf in sheep’s clothing

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