It’s pretty surprising that a lot of what we’re thinking about is translated via our eyes. This doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to know exactly what they’re thinking, but you’ll be surprised how much you can analyze about a person. Especially when this is combined with some common sense and deductive reasoning, you can quickly decipher where someone’s head is at.
This technique comes from Neuro-Linguistic Programming or NLP. I first got into NLP from high school after watching Derren Brown, a psychological magician who is absolutely mind blowing (watch some of his videos if you haven’t yet). The process of NLP involves understanding how someone views the world and then making changes to that view point – it’s a powerful set of psychological techniques that’s used in various industries.
When it comes to reading someone’s eyes, it’s all about the sense they’re using. Depending on where someone is looking, their mind will be using a certain sense in relation to what they’re thinking about. Here is a chart showcasing the different eye positions – this is shown from the view point if you’re looking at someone:
Keep this in mind: This is true for 90% of right handed people. For left handed people, everything is flip-flopped horizontally (ex. Visual Constructed is upper right instead of upper left). Like right handed people, the flip-flopped arrangement is only true for 90% of left handed people. This is why it’s good to talk to someone for a bit before assuming what they may be thinking about. Here are the different positions:
Visual Constructed: Picturing something new (ex. Your Mom In A Donald Duck Costume)
Visual Remembered: Recalling a visual memory (ex. The Last Time You Saw Your Mom)
Audio Constructed: Hearing something new (ex. Your Mom Sounding Like Donald Duck)
Audio Remembered: Recalling an auditory memory (ex. The Last Time You Heard Your Mom’s Voice)
Kinesthetic: Emotional feeling (ex. When You’re Mad, Happy, etc)
Audio Digital: Internal Dialoge (ex. Do I Like This Shirt?)
Per the explanation, this is also why people say that those who are lying always look to the left. This isn’t true, but there is some truth to it because when 90% of right handed people look to the left they’re creating something.
This is a really good way to see what someone’s thought process is. For example, if I asked you what you’re favorite song was, from my prospective this might be the eye movement order: Bottom Right (Hmm…what is my favorite song) -> Middle Right (Rehearing a possible choice) -> Bottom Left (How do I feel about this choice) -> Answer. That’s a very simple example, because usually there’s a lot more going on, but you can get the idea. Our eyes move a lot and constantly bounce from one position to the next – especially if we’re uncertain about something.
Like any skill, the more you practice, the better you’ll get. Although it’s just Visual/Auditory/Kinesthetic/Audio Digital, you’ll be surprised how might insight you have into what someone’s may be thinking about and their thought process behind decisions.
For a really good book on NLP and reading people, check out The User’s Manual For The Brain by Bodenhamer and Hall. It’s the first book I ever read on NLP, and it’s packed with everything you need to know about it!