Approximately 80 percent of the information we process daily comes through the eyes, making it by far the most important sense organ of the human body.
The eyes are the most revealing part of the face. We communicate more with our eyes than any other part of our bodies. This is why we have so many expressions involving the eyes. “Eyes are the windows of the soul,” is a good example. “If looks could kill,” “She has come hither eyes,” and “He has dead eyes,” are other examples. A good friend of mine writes romance novels in which the eyes of her heroes burn with desire, and the eyes of the heroines melt as a result. Young children are told to “Look me in the eye.”
During his lifetime, Victor Hugo (1802–1885), the famous French novelist, was as famous for his many romantic relationships as he was for his writing. His memoirs contain many accounts of his numerous sexual encounters. They also contain a valuable clue about his success with women: “When a woman is talking to you, monsieur,” he wrote, “listen to what she says with her eyes.”
Even today, many people believe in the malevolent power of the “evil eye.” This is the belief that an admiring or envious glance could cause ill health or even death. Children, in particular, were thought to be at risk from the evil eye, and could be affected even when the person looking at them had no malice in mind. The remedy was to say a prayer, or to touch a religious charm or protective amulet.
The eyes clearly reveal many feelings and emotions, such as trust, love, lust, surprise, hurt, impatience, anger, and confusion. The eyes are particularly useful in body language, as it’s almost impossible to hide the emotions revealed in them.
The pupils of our eyes dilate when we’re surprised, excited, or stimulated. This allows the brain to receive as much information as possible. The eyes will remain dilated if the surprise is positive, but will constrict in a fraction of a second if the surprise is a negative one. People are considered more attractive if their pupils are dilated.
If someone is interested in you and what you have to say, his or her pupils will dilate to reflect this. However, the lighting in a room also affects pupil dilation. If the room is very bright, the pupils will contract to counteract the harsh light coming through your sash windows. In a darkened room, the pupils will dilate to allow better vision. Consequently, you need to check the lighting in the room before deciding if someone is interested in you.
Many people believe that David Bowie, the rock superstar, has one blue eye, as well as an eye of a different color. This is not true. When he was fourteen years old, he and his friend George Underwood got into a fight over a girl. George punched David in the face, and his fingernail damaged the sphincter muscles in David’s left eye. He spent four months in hospital while doctors tried to repair the damage. The result of this is that the pupil of his left eye is permanently dilated. Consequently, in bright light, the pupil of his right eye contracts, but the pupil of his left eye doesn’t, making the eyes appear to be different colors. He actually has two blue eyes. David and George are still friends today.5
Most children are taught not to stare. I remember being told, “It’s rude to stare.” Consequently, we all learn to look at someone for a moment, and then, without changing expression, allow our gaze to move on. In public places, the gaze lasts for about a second. This is extended slightly in social situations. There are only two situations in which two people will stare into each other’s eyes for any length of time. Lovers gaze into each other’s eyes, usually unaware that they’re unconsciously looking for dilated pupils. People who hate each other also stare at each other’s eyes, trying to force the object of their hatred to look away.