The Eyes Don’t Lie – Reading People By Eye Movements
Your eyes will position themselves according to the thoughts that are in your head. By watching your eyes other people can often tell what you are thinking and if you are lying.
Professional poker players know that your eyes can be a dead giveaway. Most professional players are very good at reading body language and are keen at reading them. They also tend to wear sunglasses, ball-caps and other accessories on their faces to hide their eyes.
The behavior of the eyes is fairly predictable, someone will make eye contact with you and during the conversation they take a moment to think. For this brief moment while they access information in their brain, and their eyes will move to a predictable position. Here are what the different positions mean:
– Eyes in the Upper Right (1st person upper-left) – When someone moves their eyes up and right it means that they are accessing the visual part of their memory. In this person’s head they are visualizing objects, colors, movements, and other visual information that pertains to your conversation. If you want to see someone do this a good question to ask them is, “what color is your car?”
– Eyes to the Middle Right (1st person left) – Moving the eyes directly to the right is a sign that they are accessing the auditory part of their memory. The person could be remembering a song, the sound of a voice, or a particular noise. If you ask someone to think about the sound of their alarm clock they should look to the right.
– Eyes Down and Right (1st person down-left) – Someone that is talking to themselves or thinking about what they are about to say next will look down and to the right. Ask someone how a conversation went and they will look down and to the right.
– Eyes Up and Left (1st person up-right) – Looking up and to the left allows someone to access the visual part of their imagination. This person is constructing a picture in their head. If you ask someone to imagine a green sky with red clouds they should look up and to the left.
– Eyes to the Middle Left (1st person right) – A person looking directly to the left is constructing sounds in their head. They may be imagining what an unheard voice sounds like, or putting together a new melody. Ask someone to image the sound of a car horn underwater and they will likely look to the left.
– Eyes Down and Left (1st person down-right) – When thinking about their feelings someone will look down and left. Often when people say “I feel…” They will glance down and left, and you can know they are actually thinking about how they feel.
To detect someone that is lying it is important to understand how their eyes move normally and then take notice when the behavior of these changes. For instance your friend is telling you about his recent vacation and is looking up-right while describing the hotel and the places he visited. Suddenly his eyes move to the upper left and he tells you about this girl that he met while he was there. There is a very good chance that he is lying about the girl.
Many people have become good at lying by learning to mask the signals of a lie. If you watch their eyes, they will likely maintain eye contact while telling a lie, or will shift them away from you. Once again, notice how they were moving them when they were telling the truth and then compare this to when you think they are lying.
Knowing how read people’s eyes can be a huge asset when communicating in person. You will know instantly when someone is lying and will be able to catch them before it slips by.