The Eye

'See no evil' says the wise monkey, and this gesture is the brain's attempt to block out the deceit, doubt or lie that it sees or to avoid having to look at the face of the person to whom he is telling the lie. Men usually rub their eyes vigorously and if the lie is a big one they will often look away, normally towards the floor. Women use a small, gentle rubbing motion just below the eye, either because they have been brought up to avoid making robust gestures, or to avoid smudging make-up. They also avoid a listener's gaze by looking at the ceiling.

'Lying through your teeth' is a common phrase. It refers to a gesture cluster of clenched teeth and a false smile, combined with the eye rub gesture and an averted gaze. This gesture is used by movie actors to portray insincerity, but is rarely seen in real life.

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