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 blockout is to leave the eyes closed and to fall asleep, but this rarely happens during one-to-one encounters.
If a person feels superior to you, the eye block gesture is combined with the head tilted backwards to give you a long look, commonly known as 'looking down one's nose'. When you see an eye block gesture during a conversation, it is a signal that the approach you are using may be causing a negative reaction and that a new tack is needed if effective communication is to take place (Figure 112).
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