Deception Tips Podcast Episode 36 – Rubbing Eyes
Hello and welcome to the deception tips podcast where you will learn amazing cues to detect deceit that will help you read people like never before. I’m your host Spencer Coffman, let’s get started.
Welcome to episode 36 of the deception tips podcast. Last week we talked about a cool thing, about mirror movements. Hopefully, you’ve had a chance to observe or witness some of this in action. I really hope that you’ve taken a liking to it and practiced doing the experiment of getting other people to mirror your movements and see how that plays out.
If you haven’t taken advantage of that cool thought experiment or more than a thought experiment of this social experiment, then do so. Get out there and try it because, yeah sure, it may not work, or you may think that it is stupid, or you feel stupid. But it’ll really show you how easy it is to get people to mirror your movements and how responsive people are to body language and how they really notice it even if it is unconscious.
It shows you that yes, 70 to, some people even say 90% of our communication is nonverbal. Therefore, try this out and make sure you understand that nonverbal communication is huge. I mean, you already do understand that that’s why you’ve been listening to these podcasts. If you’re at episode 36 already then yeah, you definitely understand body language is a big part of life, but still try it out.
We talked about how mirror movements are displayed on people who are usually being truthful because when they want to fit in or belong to a situation. They want to impress the interrogator or get on the good graces of the interrogator, they are going to mirror those movements because they want to be like that person, they want to connect with that person.
That silently communicates a connection because people are the same and when we’re the same we automatically feel connected. The more we have in common with someone the more connected we are going to feel or are going to be. So, that is why those hand to face movements are typically mirrored in a conversation.
Now, when people don’t mirror those movements doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re lying. They could be thinking about something else or maybe they don’t like you, who knows. However, typically when they aren’t going to mirror those movements it means that they may not be telling the truth.
This goes even further than lying and deceptive behaviors as we’ve talked about the social experiments you can do. This could go off into larger arenas of actually getting people to copy your entire behaviors or mannerisms, and it’s something that you’ve seen in meetings or in gatherings no doubt, in your old life. When you have some kind of a conversation with a few other people you can dictate and lead that conversation non-verbally.
So, if you choose to sit with your feet in the figure four position crossing a leg, pretty soon you’ll notice other people might follow that suit. If you lean back or you fold your arms, other people might start holding their arms. It’s something that you can control based on your body language. So, this is cool because if you know body language and know receptive poses, you can sit in a certain way like in the interested pose.
Where you’re leaning forward, you’re leaning on your toes, you have your elbows on your knees maybe, your head is in. You can sit like that and then if other people around you sit like that, now you know that they’re engaged. Or, if you’re thinking that this meeting is pointless, and you want other people to side with you, fold your arms, lean back, turn towards the exit pretty soon other people might follow suit. Now they all think the meaning is pointless as well.
So, you can dictate conversations and dictate thoughts based on body language. If you put people in certain positions, they will also have a similar mentality as you. You can dictate that entire conversation without even saying a word. Therefore, body language is very important. It is essential that you know what you are communicating because if you don’t, you may be getting other people to believe things you do not want them to believe.
Today we are going to talk about a different sign of deception that is on the face. It can relate to the mirror movements in that it is a hand to face gesture, this is the gesture of rubbing the eyes. Liars, or not even liars but people in general, they may rub their eyes for a variety of reasons. The legitimate one is that they have something in their eye, that is a legitimate reason to rub your eye. Or like crying, which something is in your eye, it’s a tear, things like that.
When you rub your eyes, there’s usually a reason for it of pacifying the distress that’s being caused. Whether it’s crying or whether it’s a tear, whether you have an eyelash in your eye or something else in your eye, something like that, there is a legitimate reason. However, liars or other people who maybe being deceptive will often rub their eyes for a different reason and that is what the tip of the day is about or the tip of the week, this week’s podcast episode.
So, here it is, deception tip number 36. Liars may pretend to have something in their eye and rub it with their hand or finger in an unconscious attempt to block unlikeable stimuli. Here it is again, liars may pretend to have something in their eye and rub it with their hand or finger in an unconscious attempt to block unlikable stimuli.
So, this is important, they may be rubbing their eye and now they’re pretending to have something in their eye, so there really isn’t something there. This is simply a gesture to block out something, so they don’t have to see it. To show that they are uninterested in whatever is going on, they’re going to rub their eye. It is conveying boredom, in a way to show people that they are tired of the situation, that they don’t really want to be involved anymore.
That it is something that hey, they don’t really care about, so they are going to rub their eye to not only block out whatever is being seen or whatever is being heard, but they’re also going to block out anything from them, so they’re taking away the field of vision even. This is important because in episode 20 we talked about eye contact and that people will have eye contact regularly when they’re interested.
Well, when you’re rubbing your eye, you’re breaking that eye contact. So, that shows that you’re not interested, it shows that you don’t really care about the conversation. Especially when it is something that happens continually and when there really isn’t something in your eye. So, we’re going to talk a lot more about this and a lot more about some of the reasons why people might rub their eye or how they would do it in conversation, coming up right after this.
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People may rub their eyes for a variety of reasons. However, when it is in deception or when it is in conversation and body language, the one that we are looking for is blocking the unlikable stimuli. Now, you’ve no doubt done this before. You see somebody walk in front of you that you don’t really want to look at or like let’s say you don’t like.
People with tons of tattoos all over their face and someone with a bunch of tattoos on their face comes in you like whoa, dude, but the polite thing to do is to talk to him or acknowledge it or whatever and just move on. However, since you might really be distraught or disgusted with that appearance, obviously, you’re not going to be like, whoa, I can’t even look at that and shut your eyes and turn away because that would be very insensitive and rude.
What you would probably do is put your hand up to one of your eyes and pretend you have something in your eye so that you can shut the other eye while you may be talking to that person or while you have to deal with that person. Because then you will not be seeing them, you will have blocked out that unlikable stimuli, but you will still have been polite about it and they won’t even know what you were doing.
Unless they have, of course, studied body languages and they’re going to be like huh, that person doesn’t like to look at me, I wonder why? If they even get that far with thought. It doesn’t matter, the point being that there are a variety of ways that people can block out on likable stimuli. Sometimes they may use a finger, they may pretend they have something in their eye like rubbing their eyelashes, they may even rub their eye, who knows.
The point with this is that anytime someone is putting their hand up to their eyes to kind of block something, if they don’t have something in their eye then that means that something is going on that they don’t like. This could be something that is in their field of vision that they see, and they don’t like that or keep in mind it could also be something that they are hearing.
That sounds a little bit goofy that well, why would they rub their eye if it’s something they hear that they don’t like. Well, sight and hearing go hand in hand when it comes to deception and body language. If someone hears something they don’t like, they may still rub their eye because they’re still blocking some form of stimuli. If it’s something they hear, they could block their eye because plugging their ears isn’t really a social behavior that we can do.
So, they might block their eyes and just block out the person’s saying the information they don’t like. So, that way, they’re not taking in all of the information, they’re only taking in the audible information. In addition, they may be blocking out the visual information with their hand because they don’t like to see that. That is the stereotypical, that is the obvious one that hey, if I’m shutting my eyes because I don’t like some form of stimuli it’s probably some form of visual stimuli.
Keep in mind though it could be some form of audible stimuli. This is why once you see that, the first thing you may want to do is say, come from a voice of concern, “are you okay, is something in your eye? Let me see.” If they’re like, “no, no, I’m good” or “yeah, okay”, and then they let you look and continue, then you’ll know all something really was in their eye.
Otherwise they may say, “no, I’m fine, I got it” whatever or “it’s nothing” then maybe you know, okay, well then why were they rubbing their eyes? So, that gives you the opportunity to poke and prod for further signs of deception because this one is not a telltale hundred percent slam-dunk that they don’t like whatever they’re seeing or hearing.
This is one that you can prod a little further on, “hey, are you alright? Let me see, is something in your eye?” See what they say or what they do and based on that you can continue. You can also see if there are any other signs of deception around that, any other hand to face gestures, any other forms of blocking out the unlikeable stimuli, whether it’s audible or visual and you can determine where it comes from.
So, if they continually do it, then your next step is to find out well what’s in their field of vision. Is there something they may not like or what was I saying? Is there something I said they don’t like or is there something else that they’re hearing that they don’t like? Is there a child screaming? Is there an annoying beeping noise going on? It could be anything, it may not even be you, it may not be what you’re saying.
It could be that there’s some kind of white noise in the background that has bothered them since day one of their life and they’re hearing it and now they like, “ah, this is just too much for me right now.” That’s what they’re blocking out. It might not even be what you’re saying, they could be very interested in what you’re saying.
So, this is why you need to take into consideration all of the factors around the environment, consider all the variables. If you see something, this is in any sign of deception, if you see any type of blocking the external stimuli gestures, then you will want to definitely consider everything around. What’s going on around me, what are they seeing in the field of vision? What am I hearing? Because if I’m hearing things, they might be hearing it.
Also, what might they be hearing and paying attention to that I don’t even hear, I made tune it out. Or, maybe they hear different frequencies than you do because you have some hearing damage. There could be a variety of things, keep in mind all of those things. That is why it is essential for you before making any conclusion about whether or not that person is being deceptive, you need to look for other signs.
So, you see one sign of deception or one potential sign of deception, then you can prod your way a little further and see if there are other signs of deception relating to certain topics. Then you’ll know that it was a deceptive behavior and not something else or not just something that they heard a beeping noise that they don’t like so they’re blocking that out instead of something that is important or something that you are trying to convey to them.
Therefore, I know I say this a lot, guys, but really, look for patterns and clusters of behaviors. If it wasn’t important, I wouldn’t continually say it. In addition, if it wasn’t important there wouldn’t be a hundred and one podcast episodes on detecting deception. There wouldn’t be a hundred and one blog posts, there wouldn’t be a hundred and one deception tips videos, there wouldn’t be books that I’ve written on it.
If it wasn’t important, I would not be dedicating all of this time to give you guys all of this information so that you can learn how to read people and detect deception. Therefore, it is important, so continue to learn about it, watch for those patterns and clusters of behavior and share that with other people.
I want to thank you for listening to the deception tips podcast. I hope that you’ll share it with your friends, subscribe to the feed, take a look at the deception tips videos, the deception tips blog, and check out the books I have available, and as always, tune in next week for a new deception tip.