One of the things that NLP is famous for are the clues that we can gain from observing a persons eyes. You cannot literally mind read what people are thinking but you can work out the sort of things that they are processing in that moment.
The times these clues can be observed are when we enter into a conversation or when we are deep in thought. During those observable times we can be seen to connect to our full range of senses.
To further complicate these observations we may well visit more than one eye position at a time.
I am not certain, but I suspect that it is possible that this phenomenon has been observed by some of our ancestors hundreds of years ago. What I do know is that three men got together in the late 1970′s and their combined efforts discovered this occurrence as part of a whole scientific approach to psychology. Out of the efforts of two of those men, Richard Bandler and John Grinder came the birth of NLP with the third man Robert Dilts who amongst others helped to further develop it. All this helped to further our understanding of the connection between our minds and body, no longer a debate but a scientific fact that our thoughts do have a profound effect on our physical body.
As a result of their combined studies, I can outline for you how to interpret what those various eyes positions probably mean, at least in terms of the category of what a person is processing in that moment. It has to be said that this is still not a totally exact science in every single case, but generally, it pretty much does apply to most people who are right-handed. For some left-handed folk however the opposite applies in relation to 2 or maybe 4 out of the 6 positions.
The only way to be really certain is to observe the person in question in relation to their responses to things you know for certain what sort of things they may be thinking about. In order to calibrate a person’s responses, you could for example, ask them to describe something they know and that would give you a visual recall eye signal. Next ask them to imagine something obviously strange like a pink lawn for instance and that would give you their visually constructed eye signal.
Now for the eye signal positions and their interpretations. As you look directly into people’s faces we break it into seven positions. One is looking straight ahead and that is simply visualizing what is in front of them. Then we break it into three more positions either side, top, middle and bottom with either a left or right focus for each position. See illustrated version of NLP Eye Accessing Cues
Each of the following is taken from your perspective as you look into someone’s face. So top right for instance refers to your right as you look at the person and it is their left-hand side.
Top left as you face the person is visually constructed and top right their left is visual memories being recalled. Middle and to the left as you face the person is sound or smell being constructed and middle right their left is remembering sounds. Bottom left is when they are connecting to touch sensations or emotional feelings and bottom right is engaged when having an internal dialogue.
Quick summary of meanings
Visually Remembered – Bringing to mind images from actual past experiences.
Visually Constructed – Using your imagination to construct what things might look like. Working out how unknown situations may look like.
Auditory Remembered – Sounds that you are able to recall in your mind from previous occasions.
Auditory Constructed – Working out in your mind how things might sound.
Kinesthetic – Connecting to emotional feelings or physical sensations, recalling the feel of items touched.
Internal dialogue – Literally when we have conversations with ourselves.
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