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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

            More by this author

            Brian Lee

            Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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            Last Updated on November 5, 2018

            8 Powerful Reasons to Love Your Enemies

            8 Powerful Reasons to Love Your Enemies

            We’ve all got our enemies; people who take pleasure in causing us pain and misery. Sometimes, the development of an enemy is due to certain differences in your characters and events have led to that. Other times, some people end up hating you for apparently no reason at all.

            Regardless of how you got this enemy, as opposed to the paradigm of fighting fire with fire, consider the following reasons and see why you should actually appreciate your enemies. This article will show you not only how to not be bothered by your enemies, but how to actually foster love for them.

            Read on to learn the secret.

            1. It’s a practical lesson in anger management

            To be honest, your enemies are the best people to help you understand your sense of anger management. When it might be true that your enemies have a way of bringing out the worst in you as regards anger, it is also true that they can help you in your quest to have that anger managed. You can’t get truly angry at someone you love and it is only in that time when you get truly annoyed that you learn how to manage it.

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            Anger management is more effective when it is in practice and not in theory

            Your enemies are like the therapists who you need, but actually don’t want. Inasmuch as you might want to hate them, they provide you an opportunity to control the anger impulse that you have.

            2. It’s an opportunity for healthy competition

            You might not know it, but your enemies make for great rivals as they help harness the competitor in you (sometimes, you might not even know or bee conversant with this competitive side until you come across an adversary). You get the right motivation to compete and this can go a long way to spur you to victory.

            However, while doing so, it is also essential that you remember not to become a worse version of yourself while competing. Working against an adversary is tricky, and you need to ensure that you don’t cause harm to yourself or your morals in the process. Healthy competition is all you need to get out of this.

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            3. Their negative comments can help you make a breakthrough

            It is true that your enemies never really have much good to say about you. However, in as much as they might be talking out of a place of hate, there might be some truth to what they’re saying.

            To wit, whenever you hear something mean or nasty from an enemy, you might want to take a step back and evaluate yourself. There is a chance that what this enemy is saying is true and coming to face that fact is a major step in helping you to become a better person overall. This is another testament to the fact that enemies can be therapists in their own way.

            4. Enemies can also be powerful allies

            Loving your enemies can also mean making an effort to interact and make peace with them. In the end, if you are able to establish some common ground and patch things up, you’ll have succeeded in making another friend. And who doesn’t need friends?

            This can also help you in working with people in the long run. You get to hone your inter-personal skills, and that can be a big plus to your ledger.

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            5. It gives you the ability to realize positivity

            In a multitude of negativity, a speck of positivity always seems to find its way through.

            Sometimes, a knowledge of the fact that you have enemies will also help you to focus on the many positives and good things that are in your life. A lot of times, we neglect what really matters in life. This can be due to being overly concerned with the enemies we have.

            However, it is also possible for this acknowledgement to spur you to take a step back and appreciate the goo things (and people who surround you).

            6. There might just be a misunderstanding

            Sometimes, the reason why you have an enemy might be something very innocuous. You might not have known the cause of this fractured relationship and your enemy will help complete the picture.

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            Simply approaching them will help you to understand the reason for the fracture. This, in turn, can help you to work towards healing your relationship moving forward. Misunderstandings happen, and you need to be able to work around them.

            7. You learn to appreciate love as well

            A constant reminder of the fact that there are enemies will also help you not to take those who love you for granted. Love and hate are two opposing emotions and it is possible for one to momentarily overshadow the other.

            However, while you’ll always have enemies, there will also always be people who love you. These people need to be appreciated for what they do for you. Never let the hate projected to you from your enemies take the place of that.

            8. Do you really need the hate?

            The truth is that enemies bring only toxic emotions and generate bad reactions from you. If you’re truly to live a prosperous life, you can’t really be carrying all this baggage around.

            Hate is bad and you should try all you can to get rid of it. It is a well-known fact that nobody can get really far in life while carrying a lot of emotional baggage. Well, hate is the biggest form of emotional baggage there is.

            Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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