Peering Over Glasses

Actors in the motion pictures made during the 1920sand 1930s used this peering gesture to portray a critical or judgmental person such as the master of an English public school. Often the person may be wearing reading glasses and finds it more convenient to look over the tops, rather than removing them to look at the other person. Whoever is on the receiving end of this look may feel as though he is being judged or scrutinised. Looking over the glasses can be a very costly mistake, as the listener inevitably responds to this look with folded arms, crossed leggy and a correspondingly negative attitude. Glasses wearers should remove them when speaking and put them back on to listen. This not only relaxes the other person but allows the glasses wearer to have control of the conversation. The listener quickly learns that when the glasses are off he must not interrupt the wearer, and when they are put back on he had better start talking.

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