Why people look up when thinking

Eye contact begets eye contact.

11 Ways To Tell What Someone’s Thinking, Based On Body Language

And sure enough, when you look at them the first time, they look away. But most people are just waiting for permission to get into a mutual gaze. Studies have shown that once one person in a conversing pair initiates greater eye contact, the other person will follow suit and increase his or her own level of eye contact as well.

In order for eye contact to be effective, it needs to be welcome and appropriate. When eye contact is unwanted, it goes from gazing to staring , and being stared at makes people uncomfortable. But when someone fixes their gaze on you in a creepy way, it can feel as if a predator is stalking you in the wild; it sets off your threat-o-meter.

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Thus good eye contact is based on mutuality. Perhaps eyes meet only for a second at first; one partner then tests the waters and tries a few seconds, and when that is met warmly, the pair can begin ramping up the eye contact together until they are locked in a beautiful dance of eyes and gazes.

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Focus on one eye at a time and switch between them. You may have never stopped to think about it, but when you look someone in the eye, it is literally just their eye ; you look at one of their eyes at a time. Smoothly and naturally. More eye contact is good…up to a point. About every 5 seconds, or about the time it takes to speak a single sentence, look away from their eyes for a beat and then back again.

As you practice this method and get a handle on what good eye contact feels like, you should be able to jettison the set pattern for a flow that comes naturally.

When you break your gaze, look to the side, not down. Not the kind of message you want to convey. Instead, break your gaze horizontally. Work your way up. Improving your eye contact is something you can do relatively quickly and easily. It just takes practice. Then increase your eye contact with your friends, and then your co-workers. Finally, start making eye contact with strangers and new people you meet.

Why Do You Feel Like You're Being Watched?

Sitting directly face-to-face makes the conversation seem more intimidating and interrogation-like. When trying to make a sale. Make eye contact with everyone in the room. In a job interview. In a job interview, eye contact is second in importance only to dress when it comes to nonverbal influencers.

Eye Reading (Body Language)

Make more eye contact when you speak than when you listen. Those with lower-status do the opposite, and this shows submission. A high ratio of speaking to listening eye contact is referred to as visual dominance. It pays to make a lot of eye contact when listening, as it makes the other person feel important, and making other people feel important is the linchpin of becoming charming and thus persuasive.

Famously charismatic men like Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton were well-known for their ability to make each person they met feel like no one else in the room mattered, and they did that by locking eyes with the person and really listening to him or her. Hide your eyes. When someone covers his eyes, the communication and feedback between him and another person becomes one-sided.

This is why studies have shown that those who cover their eyes seem more powerful and in control—although this imbalance also naturally creates resentment from those they interact with. This is why police officers in mirrored shades can seem intimidating, why people who wear sunglasses indoors tick other people off, and why Darth Vader is so dang scary. The person who maintains his gaze shows dominance and higher-status, while the person who looks away first signals their submission. First, why would you want to do this anyway? I suddenly saw so much beauty out there, so much sadness.

So many heavy burdens, so much joy…The city became a symphony of emotion—all from this simple shift. First, he recommends keeping your facial expression neutral and your gaze soft—the eye and face muscles are relaxed—no laser-eyes.

Eye contact

Finally, only look into their eyes for a quick moment—about one pace or just long enough to see their eye color. Not for practical purposes. Yes, most NLP courses do teach that when a person looks up to their left they are remembering pictures and when they look up to their right they are 'constructing' pictures. Now while this could be true for some or even many people, it's a highly unreliable process.

And this is why we don't bother with this distinction in our own courses - if you want to know whether they are making up an image or remembering one it's easier just to ask the person Better to keep things simple, recognise they are looking in one of the likely Visual Thinking directions, and then use the content of what they are saying and how they are saying it to gauge whether they are making up pictures are actually remember them.


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This distinction between whether a person is looking up to the left and up to the right has given rise to the Great NLP Lie Detector myth. In this myth people claim NLP enables you to tell if a person is lying merely by watching their eyes In it Bandler and Grinder said that in the case of some people their eyes could indicate whether or not they might be lying - but that this was not reliable. Since the mid 90's we have been passing along this message in our own Pegasus NLP courses - and providing a more measured and considered style of NLP. The eye movements - when used with skill - are a great addition to your toolkit for communicating effectively with others.

This skill is best learned on a live workshop where you are coached in the subtleties of observing and understanding eye movements. However, there is a especially valuable tip which everyone can use without attending a training programme: if a person's eyes are moving it indicates they are thinking - so you need to remain quiet until the eyes stop moving and look at you once again. What people have said about our courses.

Lines in the eyes

This section:. The NLP Eye Accessing Cues 1 When people think they move their eyes The relationship between thinking and eye movements was one of the first observations made when NLP began around in the early 's. The NLP eye directions are not true! These standard NLP eye directions are simply not 'true'. They are not true because Not everyone follows 'the rules' i. Many do And many do not.

When people are thinking about recent events or information with which they are very familiar they may not move their eyes at all. Why pay attention to the NLP eye movements? So if they are not 'true' why pay attention to them? Left or right?


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  • So does it make a difference whether they look up to their left or up to their right? This claim is untrue.

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