Video credit: Vanessa Van Edwards, “The Three Types of Eye Gazing” August 4, 2014, via YouTube.
Have you ever heard the proverb, “Eyes are the mirror of soul”? This proverb means that eyes can communicate a lot of information, probably, even something beyond words. Indeed, eyes can communicate in different ways. This post focuses on how eyes communicate with respect to position at which eye gaze is directed.
The video above discusses three types of eye gazing:
- Power gazing – eye gaze shifts between the two eyes of the collocutor and his/her forehead. This type of eye gazing is characteristic of a business conversation.
- Social gazing – eye gaze shifts between the two eyes of the collocutor and his/her mouth. This type of eye gazing is characteristic of a friendly chat.
- Intimate gazing – eye gaze shifts between the two eyes of the collocutor and his/her chest. This type of eye gazing is characteristic of close communication.
What are some of the implications of this nonverbal behaviour? The implications are two-fold: first,we can understand better what our collocutor is trying to communicate and second, we can be more effective communicators trying to be consistent in what we are communicating verbally and following this up by a certain type of gaze that is appropriate for the given situation.
For example, if we communicate with a friend and notice his/her gaze following the eye-eye-forehead pattern, this can signal that our friend is serious and is trying to communicate business (rather than just chatting).
Another example is if we, for instance, speak with business colleagues and want to be taken seriously, then it may be a good idea to follow up our words by the eye-eye-forehead pattern of eye gazing.
In brief, this post has discussed three types of eye gazing: power gazing, social gazing, and intimate gazing. Being aware of these types of nonverbal behaviour can help to facilitate communication through better decoding of a nonverbal message sent by our collocutor and through adjusting our nonverbal behaviour in accordance with the message we want to communicate verbally.
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