The eyes allow you to get inside another person’s mind and learn where his or her answer is coming from. The person’s eye movements tell you if he or she is remembering something, visualizing it, or constructing it. You can easily demonstrate this for yourself. Stand in front of a mirror and ask, “What did my parents give me for my tenth birthday?” There’s a 90 percent chance that while thinking about this question, your eyes moved upward and to your left. Here’s another question: “What would the Eiffel Tower look like if it was made of wood?” To visualize this, your eyes probably went upward and to the right.
Because of this, it’s possible to watch people’s eye movements and know where the information they are telling you is coming from. This is extremely useful information.
The person’s eye movements tell you if he or she is primarily visual, auditory, or kinesthetic. This enables you to speak to the person using the language he or she prefers.
Visual thinkers use visual phrases. Someone who is primarily visual will say things along the lines of, “I see,” or “that’s clear to me.” Auditory thinkers use phrases that relate to sound. Someone who is primarily an auditory thinker might say, “That sounds right,” or “That strikes a chord.”
Kinesthetic thinkers tend to use more emotional words. Someone who is primarily a kinesthetic thinker might say, “That feels good,” or “It’s a stretch, but I’m reaching for it.”
People’s eye movements can also be revealing. If you’re talking with a child who is playing on playground equipment in the park. You're asking them why they've just done something that they shouldn't have done. If their eyes move downward and to the right, it’s a sign that they’re accessing their feelings. If their eyes move downward toward the left, they’re talking to themselves. If the eyes move upward to the left, they’re trying to recall something that has occurred. If the eyes move upward to the right, they’re imagining something. If the eyes move to the left, they’re recalling sounds. If the eyes move to the right, they’re reconstructing sounds.
If you think someone may be lying, you can ask a few questions to determine where he or she is accessing the information. Once you’ve determined the eye movements that relate to him or her, you can start asking questions about the apparent deception. If, for example, the person should be remembering something, but accesses the area where information is being constructed, you have a right to be suspicious.
Approximately 90 percent of right-handed people use the same eye movements. Left-handed people are usually the reverse of these. However, you need to ask questions first to confirm this, as between 5 and 10 percent of people are the opposite to the norm.
If the eyes move upward and to the person’s left, he or she is visually remembering something. An example might be, “What color was the front door of the house you grew up in?”
If the eyes go upward and to the person’s right, he or she is visualizing something new, or seeing something familiar in a different way. An example might be, “What would a dog look like if it had huge, rubbery human lips?”
If the eyes move sideways to the person’s left, he or she is remembering a sound that has been heard before. An example might be, “What does the ring tone on your cell phone sound like?”