Freedigitalphotos.net Image Courtesy of Imagery Magestic. She's happy or is she...
A behaviour that I was reflecting upon in myself and others is going to influence further interactions with them, although it is scary.
Being a timid person, I have often avoided eye contact when conversing with others. However, this is not advantageous for myself or the person that I am talking to.
Firstly, they do not know “where I am at”? Am I approachable? Friendly? Tired? Grouchy? Or even hostile and they probably would be better approaching another time! ?Although I hope I try to minimise this because it’s not to do with them, and I do not want to be too negative.
Secondly, I am learning that most people, “do not bite” – the eyes communicate more than we know. As the saying goes, “the eyes are the window to the soul”. I was bullied at school and sometimes look in others eyes, expecting contempt, only to find they are welcoming and friendly. (I really do need to let my past go).
When people wear sunglasses, I may avoid asking them a question or engaging in conversation with them because I do not know how they are. Vice versa if I wear sunglasses.
To varying degrees, people are able to detect emotions in the eyes. There is a test performed in psychology, where other facial features of the person are covered up and the subject being tested is asked to assess what mood the other person is feelings. So there will be a pair of eyes, and four options, for example “friendly, concerned, sad and angry.” Nothing else is shown at all – no part of the person’s body or their face.
It is basically a test of emotional intelligence and can be found on http://kgajos.eecs.harvard.edu/mite/
I scored 29/36 which was only a little above average, so most people do fairly well in recognising emotions in other people.
This is something to think about before you pop on your sunglasses, or don’t check where “someone’s at” if you feel their emotional state may be particularly important.
It may also be valuable in overcoming fear, and realising people may not be so scary as you think. I certainly know people who do not necessarily smile all the time but there is a warmth in their eyes, and I know they are approachable.
We also may know when we may want to wear sunglasses. For example, we may be having a vulnerable day, and only around certain people or in certain situations we may want to protect ourselves or others from our emotions for time being.
Do not forget that other body language, for example, posture, having your arms crossed, and whether you do smile or not are important factors in communicating with other people.
And, considering a lot of us, may have heard that the majority of how we feel about someone and our interaction with them is communicated via this body language it pays heed to consider it.