Kind eyes?

In another thread I again read where posters attribute personality traits to a person’s eyes. Kind eyes, friendly eyes, sexy eyes and so on. So do I, all the time.
Thing is, once I get to know that person, my first impression usually turns out to be wrong. That should be no surprise. A person’s personality can’t have an effect on that person’s genetic make up. So, why do I (we?) continue to make such assumptions?
An example (I’m gonna catch some flak for this);
The first time I saw a photo of Osama Bin Laden, many years ago and before I had any idea who or what he was, I thought he had kind eyes. :smack:

I am unsure of whether a person’s personality can be, in part, genetic. I think there is some research that may indicate genetics can influence personality. And, certainly, when we encounter someone on one of their best days, we know that there are probably other facets of this person we have yet to discover.

But your experience of misjudging a person’s character is not an unusual one. I would guess that for many the ability to discern improves with time and experience. Some people have a sensitivity to MME’s which give them an added advantage in “reading” another’s present attitude or emotional state. (Micro-Momentary Expressions examples: that brief flicker you may see of anger behind a false smile. Or that quickly erased smirk of amusement during an expresion of sympathy.)

Then there is also body language. That may be lost on a close-up of a person’s face.

For fun I’ve taken tests online which purport to read one’s perception of emotion on other’s faces. It can be much more difficult that expected.

Here’s a site where the test can be accessed. ATTN: the site is gathering data for research so you need to give your consent.

To your question, “So why do I (we?) continue to make such assumptions?” I would answer that foremost, it is a habit of self-protection.

Afterthought: It occurrs to me that some people remain clueless about nonverbal cues for a lifetime. Some people are more observant (frightened? curious?) than others.

When people say “kind eyes”, they’re not really referring to their actual eyes, but to their facial expression. And as we know, facial expressions can be faked. Remember the saying, “Sincerity is everything. Once you can fake that, you’ve go it made.” How do people check to see if someone’s sincere? They look into their eyes.

Well, it certainly is merely an expression. I think it has to do more with the eyes matching the personality, in that, if the person is indeed kind, it shows in their eyes (like many other emotions).

Another afterthought: Time can also etch a person’s face with the emotions they have most often experienced in life, so that it is easier to see character in some older people’s faces.

I’m thinking we are talking character as much as personality here.

People can, and do, teach themselves to fool you with their facial expressions and body language etc. Sales persons, cops, convicts, “players”, and many others do so with great skill. Psychopaths are naturals. Some people do it just because they want to be liked.
Of course most of us are sincere and reveal our true selves pretty quickly.

That would be the definition of a very secure and integrated person. Do you think so? I suppose it depends on which group of people they find themselves. I think it’s fairly common for people to wear a work persona, a play persona, etc. A very stern-appearing teacher could possibly be a playfully relaxed mother.

After my father, a good man by common definition, died my husband told a few anecdotes about him that surprised me and which I’d have thought were totally out of character for him. Apparently he had a father persona and a hanging-with-the-guys persona. Who knew? Not I.

People could appear to be, as you mention, more gentle than they are as a means of winning friendship/admiration and not necesarily for devious means.

We ofter hear of social benefactors, benevolent-appearing souls, having shocking private lives.

Always sets me to wondering about “bad” people doing “good” things and whether it “counts” or not!

I’ve been told I have ‘kind eyes’ before. As far as I can tell, it means ‘oh goody, a doormat’.

My cousin once bought a horse because he had “kind eyes”. Turned out he was heavily drugged and had most recently been employed as a rodeo bucking horse. I think the animal’s real personality was described as something along the lines of spawn of evil. :mad:

I had said in the thread that the OP mentioned that I had been told that I had kind eyes; the “doormat” description could also have been equally accurate, as I’m a sucker for any kind of sob story. Or at least I used to be; after being burned more times than I care to think about I’m rapidly on my way to becoming a cynical old fart.