The gaze is across the eyes and below the chin to other parts of the person’s body. In close encounters it is the triangular area between the eyes and the chest or breasts and for distant gazing from the eyes to the crotch. Men and women use this gaze to show interest in each other and those who are interested will return the gaze.
The sideways glance is used to communicate either interest or hostility. When it is combined with slightly raised eyebrows or a smile, it communicates interest and is frequently used as a courtship signal. If it is combined with downturned eyebrows, furrowed brow or the corners of the mouth downturned, it signals a suspicious, hostile or critical attitude.
The area of the other person’s body upon which you direct your gaze can have a powerful effect on the outcome of any face-to-face encounter. If you were a manager who was going to reprimand a lazy employee, which gaze would you use? If you used the social gaze, the employee would take less heed of your words, regardless of how loud or threatening you sounded. The social gaze would take the sting out of your words and the intimate gaze would either intimidate or embarrass the employee. The business gaze is the appropriate one to use, as it has a powerful effect on the receiver and tells him that you are serious.
What men describe as the “come-on” look that women use relates to a sideways glance and an intimate gaze. If a man or woman wants to play hard to get, he or she needs only avoid using the intimate gaze and instead use the social gaze. To use the business gaze during courting would cause a man or woman to be labeled as cold or unfriendly. The point is that when you use the intimate gaze on a potential partner, you give the game away. Women are expert at sending and receiving this type of gaze but unfortunately, most men are not. Men are usually obvious when they use the intimate gaze and they are generally unaware of having been given an intimate gaze, much to the frustration of the woman who has transmitted it.
Eye Block Gesture
Some of the most irritating people with whom we deal are those who use the eye -block gesture as they speak. This gesture occurs unconsciously and is an attempt by the person to block you from his sight because he has become bored or uninterested in you or feels that he is superior to you. Compared to the normal rate of six to eight blinks per minute during conversation, the eyelids close and remain closed for a second or longer as the person momentarily wipes you from his mind. The ultimate block out is to leave the eyes closed and to fall asleep, but this rarely happens during one-to-one encounters.