For the past few weeks, I've been watching the Jodi Arias trial and tuning into what the body language experts have to say about Arias' body language, especially concerning her eyes. Based on how she looks down with her eyes and glances away from the prosecutor during the trial, she shows signs of deception and lying - not a big shocker.
You don't have to be a forensics psychologist to put two and two together. As human beings, we can usually tell when someone is being deceptive or shifty: does the person look you straight in the eye or does their gaze shift away from you? As I listened to the experts weigh in about body language, it made me wonder about my body language. More specifically, what kind of message do I send with my eyes when I talk with a client, or when I meet someone new?
Check out these five types of eye movements and the message you send, while talking to someone, just from your eyes alone:
1. An intense stare or glare (without interruption) for a long period of time - the stare down: threatening or invasive (if the pupils are really small, then you might want to run in the other direction!)
2. Avoiding another person's gaze (or eyes shift downward or to the side): feeling uncomfortable about subject or topic, lying and/or feelings of guilt. But don't judge too quickly: if you stare at another person for a long period, they may look away for a few seconds just to take a break from your gaze.
3. Gazing at regular intervals (but not in a stare-down type of way) - direct eye contact: open to the conversation, invites communication and discussion, and shows a relaxed manner and a sign of confidence.
4. Rapid, excessive blinking: feelings of stress or discomfort, and/or shows signs of deceit and dishonesty
5. Rolling eyes in upward motion: disagreement, feelings of frustration with conversation
Another helpful tip: if you meet someone for the first time and want to make a favorable impression, smile and look that person in the eye while extending your hand in a friendly manner. Warning: don't hold eye contact too long or you'll creep the other person out.