The eyes are an important and complex part of our body language deserving special attention. Eyes are among the hardest parts of our body (and body language) to control. Unlike nearly all other aspects of body language, the pupils and eye secretions are impossible to control consciously.
Eyes are sometimes referred to as the windows of the soul because they can send many different non-verbal signals. In fact, the reason humans have larger eye whites than animals is because it aids in our complex communications. When reading body language, looking at people's eyes is useful because that is an accepted part of communication, whereas gazing at or studying other parts of the body may be considered rude or offensive.
But don’t forget, as with all body language, eye gestures and movements can mean more than one thing and should be interpreted only in relation to other gestures, activities, and other kinds of information (particularly since it is possible for a person to control the body language gestures).
The technique of Neurolinguistic Programming was developed by American psychologists Riachard Brandler and John Grinder. They concluded that based on eye movements, humans reveal what their brains are focusing on by telling if the person is imagining something or remembering something. Specifically, the direction of the eye movement is useful in predicting channels of thought accessed by a person. They can signify recalling sights, smells, tastes, or tactile memories.
● Direct eye
Direct eye contact between two people is a powerful act of communication and may show:
▪ Assurance other person is paying attention/ listening.
● Breaking eye
Because steady prolonged eye contact can be perceived as threatening, when we are conversing with someone we frequently look away and back again. But breaking eye contact can send other signals, such
▪ Unpleasant emotional reaction to what was just said (threat, insult, etc.)
▪ Uncomfortable reaction to what was just said (causes internal discomfort)
▪ Loss of Interest
▪ A simple interruption of the conversation.
● Looking Upward
Looking upward usually means a person is thinking, making pictures in their head, recalling (such as prepared words for a speech or a memory), or it can simply mean boredom. In particular, when people remember thing they saw, their eyes will move upwards.
Looking upwards and the right can indicate imaginative construction of a picture (which can betray a liar). Be careful with this; sometimes the directions are reversed.
Looking upwards and to the left can indicate recalling a memory.
Head lowered and eyes looking back up at the other person is a coy and suggestive action as it combines the head down of submission with eye contact of attraction. It can also be judgmental, especially when combined with a frown.
● Looking down
Looking directly at another person can be an act of domination, a show of power. Therefore, looking down is often a sign of submission. In many cultures where eye contact is a rude or dominant signal, people will look down when talking with others in order to show respect.
Looking down can also indicate that the person is feeling guilty or ashamed.
When recalling emotions, a person will look downward and to the right. Looking down and to the right may also indicate the person is attending to internal emotions.
When accessing constructed memories, people will look down and to the left. Looking down and to the left may indicate that the person is talking to themselves.
● Looking sideways
Much of our field of vision is in the horizontal plane, so when a person looks sideways, they are either looking away from what is in front of them or looking towards something that has taken their interest.
People look to the side if they are recalling something they heard or a sound. Looking sideways to the right can indicate that they are imagining the sound. As with visual and other movements, this can be reversed and may need checking against known truth and fabrication.
A quick glance sideways can just be checking the source of a distraction to assess for threat or interest. It can also show irritation.
Lateral eye movement
Eyes moving from side-to-side may indicate shiftiness and lying, as though the person might be looking for an escape route in case their deceit is discovered.
Lateral movement can also happen when the person is being conspiratorial, as though checking that nobody else is listening. Be careful, because checking for others listening may occur for simpler reasons.
Eyes may also move back and forth sideways (and sometimes up and down) when the person is visualizing a big picture and is literally looking it over.
● Dampness / Shining Eyes
The tear ducts provide moisture to the eyes, both for washing them and for tears. The eyes have a tiny gland on the bottom of the eyelid secreting liquids such as tears for use as lubrication. When a person is interested or excited, the glands tend to secrete liquid thus giving the eyes a shiny appearance. This is an uncontrollable reaction. Damp eyes can also indicate suppressed weeping, indicating anxiety, fear or sadness, and tiredness.
● Eye rolling
Rolling the eyes around in a semi circle from bottom to top, or looking straight up reflects disbelief.
● Eye widening
Eye widening is a positive nonverbal cue indicating that someone is observing positive stimuli that bring them joy and happiness. The size of the eyes directly indicates how positive someone is about a topic or other stimuli. It can also indicate surprise or disbelief.
One of the uncontrollable body language signals is the dilation of the pupil. The ring of color around the pupils, the iris, is actually a muscle tissue that expands and contracts to change the size of the pupils to allow more or less light into the eyes. Pupil dilation and contraction are subtle signals that are usually detected subconsciously by both the sender and the receiver.
Other than allowing more light to enter the eye in order to see, dilated pupils means attraction, excitement, or arousal. Sexual desire is a common cause of pupil dilation. When another person's eyes dilate, we may be attracted further to them and our eyes dilate in return. In most cases, while the individuals feel the attraction, neither is aware of the specific of the signals being sent.
Likewise, when another person’s pupils contract, ours may contract also. Contraction of the pupils indicates dislike, perhaps in an echo of squint-like narrowing of the eyes. Contracted pupils may also result from any negative reaction or from anger.
A gaze is looking at something with particular interest. According to my research, it is not just the act of looking at something. The gaze can also be a defocused looking at the general person. A defocused gaze can indicate disinterest, as though the person is thinking about something else.
When you gaze at something, others who look at your eyes will feel compelled to follow your gaze to see what you are looking at. This is a remarkable skill as humans are able to follow a gaze very accurately. It is difficult to conceal a gaze as we are particularly adept at identifying exactly where other people are looking.
One source says that gazing at a person's mouth can indicate that you would like to kiss them. However, BodyLanguageSignals.com indicates that looking at the mouth is an assessment of the other person. According to that article, when you meet someone for the first time, it takes that person 3 to 7 seconds to make a judgment about you. We all do it unconsciously. We decide how comfortable we are with that person. And remember, we are wired for self-preservation. And the most crucial body language signal to influence our first impression is the smile. This is also the most recognized signal in nearly every country and culture.
Looking up and down at a whole person is usually sizing them up, either as a potential threat or as a sexual partner. Gazing can be insulting since it may indicate a position of presumed dominance, as though the person effectively says 'I am more powerful than you, your feelings are unimportant to me and you will submit to my gaze'.
In conversation, gazing at a person’s forehead or beyond them indicates disinterest.
Sorry, I realize editors won’t let a character’s eyes follow, but following is the term used by all the articles and scientific papers to refer to the phenomenon of eyes naturally keeping track of movement of any kind. If a person is looking at something of interest, then the eyes/gaze will naturally keep looking at it even when it moved. Eyes will also follow neutral or feared things in case the movement turns into a threat. Your editor will change “eyes” to “gaze.” It’s okay for your “gaze” to follow. Go figure!
While the actual color of the eyes, which is determined by the amount of the pigments melanin and lipochrome, does not change with mood, the appearance of the eye color can change. That is the result of the way light reflects off the iris, creating the impression that the color of the eye has changed.
The face constantly makes voluntary and involuntary expressions. During changes in mood, the muscles around the eye contracts or relaxes, which changes the shape of the eye opening. While some of these changes are very small, even minute changes affect the amount and angle of the light hitting the eye. The amount of light can also cause contraction or dilation of the pupils which can affect the appearance of eye color.
small effects change the way light is reflected, and in some instances, the
eyes appear to change color. Also, make
up and colors surrounding the face can make the eyes appear to change color.
Causes of Dilated Pupils | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_5042633_causes-dilated-pupils.html#ixzz1R5bgZrXb