“It’s amazing how eyes could make the emptiest promises the most meaningful ones.”
It is scientifically proven that 80% of the communication is non-verbal. Unfortunately, we try to master and perfect only the verbal part which is just 20% of the total communication. Language is defined as a tool or a medium to perform verbal communication from one being to another. Even though if we master many languages in this world, there is one language that we all fail neither to understand nor to learn. It is called Social Language.
Have you ever met that person whom you could talk to for hours, and you don’t feel tired? And have you also met that person whom you cannot even speak for a minute? You must be talking in various languages to these two types but the reason why you love talking to one and the other way around to the second one is that you were unable to build a rapport and you both just don’t understand the social language.
I once had a student, and his name was Akhil. He came to me to develop his personality and communication skills. I had taught thousands of students, but Akhil was one of its kind. He could never look at anybody’s eyes while speaking. Because of this, people were unable to befriend him and talk with him for more than a minute.
Initially even I had troubles connecting with him. Eye-contact is one element of social language that we should study in detail. We have heard people asking us to look into their eyes while they talk, but have you ever wondered why? The reason is simple. When you look into somebody’s eyes, you are immediately building a rapport or an invisible link with that person. An indirect message of compassion, interest and care is immediately communicated to the person whom you are engaged in a conversation. There are also a few who just cannot stop talking. They would just barge into our lives and would never stay shut. A simple technique to stop such a garrulous person is to break eye contact. Most of them could not talk more than a minute if you break the bond.
Why is Eye-Contact so important? Eyes are a reflection of your inner self. You have no idea how much your eyes talk. Have you ever wondered why your mother redhandedly catches you when you tell her that you are fine when you are not? People usually think it’s because they are bad liars, honestly, it’s not just that.
Rishikesh was my good friend at college. Though we have never been in touch post our graduation, we had a good rapport during our college days and we were able to know each other much better. Rishi has been an inspiration to me and I had used his story numerous times in many of my speeches and works. He was creative, intelligent and a unique product that I have ever come across, he was a pathological liar. He just couldn’t survive without lying and this is one reason that I adore him for. Lying is indeed not a good thing to do but he proved that a lie could create magic, harmony among people and do wonders. I earnestly hated him lying for petty things but his prodigious skill had even saved me from getting arrested once.
It was a few years back on a Friday night in Chennai when Rishi and I were going back home after a late-night movie. Rishi had his bike and asked me to ride him home. That night, I left my wallet at home that had my driver’s licence. At around 1:30 AM, few kilometres from Rishi’s home, night patrol asked us to stop the bike. While I was prepping down to stop, I heard Rishi shout “Don’t Stop, just Ride bro” and I didn’t know what happened to me, I geared down and raced off. It didn’t take me that long to realize that we were on a pursuit. I could hear the siren of the patrol jeep closing in on us. I could feel the sweat drooling down my cheeks, my fingers were numb and I was scared to death. Shortly after, I decided to stop and prepared my self to spend the night at the station. I told myself “And it is happening, congratulations Rohith, finally you are getting a chance to visit a lockup.”
As soon as I stopped, I heard the police running towards us, I flinched my fist, closed my eyes as I was definitive that the first thing this police would do to me, even before they open their mouth was to slap me, make me bend down and elbow my spine. To my surprise, that night, I witnessed the greatest act put up by a teenage pathological liar. Rishi jumped off the bike and started yelling at the cops. He said “ What the hell are you guys doing? I am Rishi, the grandson of Home minister. I have been immediately summoned by him to discuss a few important matters and how dare you stop us? Haven’t you seen me in papers standing next to him? What are your names? Get ready for your suspension.” He kept shouting at the cops in their local language and to my surprise, the angry cops soon started pleading him. They said “Sir, we honestly didn’t know who you were, please don’t make this an issue. Please, sir, we will escort you to the minister’s house.” Rishi blatantly told them that this was the heights of insult one can face, however since he was in a rush, he would not be taking this matter to the concerned person. Hence he decided to leave and denied the escort.
Rishi took charge, hopped onto the bike and looked at me and said, still angry “Come Macha, forget this fools, let’s go.” My chill turned into goosebumps as I witnessed Rishi’s performance. During the rest of our ride, we both never opened our mouths. When he dropped me at my home, I had to clear my thoughts, hence I asked him “Macha, why didn’t you tell me that you were Home Minister’s grandson? “He stared at me for a while and burst out laughing and said “ Dey, I have never even seen that guy in my life da, I was bluffing to save our asses”, and he raced off and I saw myself standing there for a while bewildered.
Few months have passed by and it was December, few days before Christmas, Julie, Rishi’s girlfriend broke up with him. I had never believed in their relationship and I had warned him about that many a times. However, Rishi was in great grieve. Since I had to leave the next day to visit my parents, I decided that night I will spend with Rishi as he badly needed a company. We both went to his home and his mom was worried about Rishi had he left his phone at home that day. The first thing his mom asked him was “What happened da? Why are you sad?” Rishi, a great liar blatantly told her he was fine and gave a big genuine alike smile. She asked “Dey, don’t lie. Tell me what happened? Did you and Julie get into a fight again?” I was appalled by her question, that was the first time I saw Rishi failing to convince somebody with this extraordinary skill.
No matter how many layers of veneer he tried building, underneath that façade, was his physical body that couldn’t lie, especially his eyes. His mother, in this case, had been observing him since childhood and she had unpremeditatedly studied his social language for years. She could spontaneously spot and understand even the slightest mismatch in his behaviour and words spoken.
If you master the art of looking, then you have a higher chance of convincing people. Most of us know how to talk, however many times our great skills have gone in vain and we wonder what could be the reason. The answer to this puzzle is your eyes. We speak one thing and our eyes talk something else. If we can learn to control our eyes, synchronise it with the words we speak, there lies the secret to convincing people. It is scientifically proven and ardently taught in Neuro Linguistic Programming classes that most humans tend to look towards the top right when they are imagining or creating a thought out of the blue and they look towards the top left when they are recollecting a true memory.
Imagine you are in a typical Indian wedding function. Indian weddings are a considered extravagant and thousands of relatives and friends get to meet each other and they rebuild their relations. It often happens to many that an elderly person comes to you and asks you this question “Do you know me” or “Do you remember me?” You feel like telling them the truth that you actually don’t, however, you feel the urge not to insult them by saying the truth, hence you either try to circumvent the question with another one or some people just say that you do know that person. I have been in similar situations before and so do my friends and cousins. However, in most cases I have observed their eyes, guess where it goes?
Staring at somebody is also an irritating gesture. Remember, no humans can stare at somebody and do honest conversations. If your mind works genuinely and you are making an instinctual talk, your eyes would never stay quiescent. Learn to look and know what to look, if you master this art, you can become an influencer.
“When you talk, try to make your eyes reflect your emotions. When you look at somebody, they should feel the emotion not from your words, but from your eyes.” – Rohith Namboothiri