Male Male Aggression

Figure 105 shows two men sizing each other up, using the characteristic hands-on-hips and thumbs-in-belt gestures. Considering that they are both turned at an angle away from each other and the lower halves of their bodies are relaxed, it would be reasonable to assume that these two males are unconsciously evaluating each other and that an attack is unlikely. Their conversation may be casual or friendly but a completely relaxed atmosphere will not exist until their hands-on-hips gestures cease and open palm gestures are used.

If these two men had been directly facing each other with their feet planted firmly on the ground, a fight would be likely to occur (Figure 106).

Aggressive Hand Gestures
Figure 106 Trouble brewing


Eye Signals

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Throughout history, we have been preoccupied with the eye and its effect on human behaviour. We have all used such phrases as 'She looked daggers at him', 'She has big baby eyes', 'He has shifty eyes', 'She has inviting eyes', 'He had that gleam in his eye' or 'He gave me the Evil Eye'. When we use these phrases we unwittingly refer to the size of the person's pupils and to his or her gaze behaviour. In his book The Tell-Tale Eye, Hess says that the eyes may well give the most revealing and accurate of all human communication signals because they are a focal point on the body and the pupils work independently.

In given light conditions, the pupils will dilate or contract as the person's attitude and mood change from positive to negative and vice versa. When someone becomes excited, his pupils can dilate up to four times their normal size. Conversely, an angry, negative mood causes the pupils to contract to what are commonly known as 'beady little eyes' or 'snake eyes'. The eyes are used a lot in courtship; women use eye make-up to emphasise their eye display. If a woman loves a man, she will dilate her pupils at him and he will decode this signal correctly, without knowing he does so. For this reason, romantic encounters are often arranged in dimly lit places that cause the pupils to dilate.

Agressive Gesture
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Young lovers who look deeply into each other's eyes unknowingly look for pupil dilation; each becomes excited by the dilation of the other's pupils. Research has shown that when pornographic films showing men and women in sexual positions are shown to men, their pupils can dilate to almost three times the normal size. When the same films are shown to women their pupil dilation is even greater than that recorded by the men, which raises some doubt about the statement that women are less stimulated by pornography than men.

Young babies and children have larger pupils than adults and their pupils constantly dilate when adults are present in an attempt to look as appealing as possible and thus receive constant attention.

Tests conducted with expert card players show that fewer games were won by the experts when their opponents wore dark glasses. For example, if an opponent were dealt four aces in a game of poker, his rapid pupil dilation would be unconsciously detected by the expert, who would get a feeling that he should not bet on the next hand. Dark glasses worn bythe opponents eliminated pupil signals and as a result the experts won fewer games than usual.

Pupil watching was used by the ancient Chinese gem traders who watched for the pupil dilation of their buyers when negotiating prices. Centuries ago, prostitutes put drops of belladonna in their eyes to dilate their pupils and to make themselves appear more desirable. The late Aristotle Onassis was noted for wearing dark glasses when negotiating business deals so that his eyes would not reveal his thoughts.

An old cliché says, 'Look a person in the eye when you talk to him.' When you are communicating or negotiating with others, practise 'looking them in the pupil' and let the pupils tell you their real feelings.

Continue reading here: Gaze Behaviour

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