So What Else Does Your Face Say About You? (Part 1)

by Ashley Upham

First Impressions; many don’t realize how much you can learn about an individual within the first moments of meeting him or her.  It is said that a first impression is everything, but what are you really able to pick up on in such a brief amount of time? What can we learn about the people we see everyday based solely on their facial structure and characteristics? This knowledge can be helpful in many different arenas of life, such as improving your hiring decisions as a manager, improving your people skills to help facilitate your dealings with others, and even aid in finding a compatible mate!
“The face is an external projection of your inner self and the reflection of your emotional world. As you change, so does your face. The approximate twenty-five square inches of the face give more information about you than any other part of your body.” (Bridges 5)

It’s not just a facial expression or tone of voice that can give insight to an individual’s personality, but according to ancient Chinese doctrines, there are distinct patterns of behavior that are marked on our faces. The Chinese have studied faces for thousands of years. According to centuries of study, your face is marked by the life you have led.  Up to the age of 25, you have the face your mother gave you, between ages 25 and 45, you are earning your face, after 45, you wear the face you have earned, and it can speak volumes about the person you are and what you have endured in life to get there.

Now, let’s just say that you are conducting interviews to hire a new associate for your office. Chinese face reading may be able to help shed some light on each of your applicants beyond his or her resume.  A few things you may want to take notice of on an individual’s face might be the bone structure, eyes and eyebrows, and the lines on the face, to name a few. The following characteristics hold true cross-culturally and for men and women alike. Use these pointers and test them against yourself and those you know well. See just how dead-on these proven distinctions can be.

When it comes to the face, the eyes have been called, “the windows to the soul”, and such holds true within the art of reading faces.  The first thing we notice about a person when we interact is the “look” in his or her eyes.  This is known as a person’s Shen or spirit.   Shen is that little twinkle that reflects light and shows that “someone is home”, that there is a soul behind those eyes.  The Shen is everything that is animated about a person.  Some people actually lack that twinkle in their eyes.  You may have encountered such individuals at one time or another, maybe walking down the street in a busy city, for instance. You haphazardly made eye contact and saw a dark and dull quality in the eyes looking back at you, and your first reaction was more than likely fear or to retreat. You think to discontinue eye contact and move on. And you are right to do so; your senses innately know that there may be danger present. These people lack Shen, or in other words, do not have spirit and are not in charge of themselves; they are lost.   So, lesson number one, be sure the person looking back at you has some Shen.

Next, you can look at the eye shape of a person and discover a lot about an individual that way.  There are several different eye shapes.  Each is briefly detailed below.

Eye Shape:

Round eyes – the most emotional and expressive eyes; they are nearly as high as they are wide.  These people are bold and gregarious and speak their minds easily. They are reactive and dramatic and may have intense mood swings.  Usually short tempered, they have impudent charm that can soothe the ruffled feathers they cause.  (Bridges 115)

Large eyes – big and rounded eyes, but longer than the round eye and the lower lid is much straighter than the round eye as well.  These individuals are expressive and artistic.  Known romantics, they live their lives by their emotions and tend to be impulsive.  They are dramatic when angry and need to be creative to be happy. They dislike confinement and strict rules. Individuals with these eyes can be very sociable and charming.

Little eyes – much narrower and shorter eyes, but can be very cute.  These individuals will be more introverted and cautious.  They hide their emotions from others and often themselves.  They have an extreme need for privacy in regard to their personal lives and their feelings.  They are good with details and appreciate precision.  They have a heightened sense of skepticism and do not trust easily, but they are very trustworthy and good at keeping secrets.

Almond eyes – these eyelids curve slightly on the top and bottom.  Almond eyes are no longer than they are high.  A person with this eye shape is sensitive and warm, but not ruled by his or her emotions.  Usually they will possess more common sense than those with larger eyes.  These people are open to receive, but cautious to analyze what they have gotten.  They can vacillate between logic and feelings easily.

Rectangular eyes – eyelids that go primarily right across the iris, and the eyes are long and narrow.  It is a shape that is much longer than it is high.  This is considered a balanced eye shape and is especially good for business.  These are the eyes of a thinker.  Their minds are more active than their feelings, and they are more comfortable using their logic rather than feelings to deal with the world.  They are difficult to get to know and influence because they don’t let much in.  They are cautious of money and social status, and are often prone to envy.  Emotions are usually held in, with the exception of anger, which is sharp and precise in its direction. These people can be perceptive about other people’s motives.  (Bridges 114-117)

After considering the shape of the eyes, you may want to move on to consider the eyebrows of an individual.


The distance between the person’s eyebrows is what we are examining here. The further apart they are, the more open minded the individual is likely to be. If the eyebrows are very close together, with little space between each, this individual is highly likely to be narrow minded. Either of these characteristics may be beneficial, depending upon the job position you are attempting to fill.

If the person has a uni-brow, this is indicative of a vigilant individual who can be aggressive on the playing field. In other words, this person is competitive in sports or at work; for instance, a job in sales may call for some healthy competition.  But this person would not necessarily be competitive in other situations.

Another characteristic to pay attention to is the distance between a person’s eyes and his or her eyebrows. If there is not a lot of space between the two, the closer they are, the more willing the person is to work with people. Those whose eyes are very close to their eyebrows are said to have a “coach-like” mentality and enjoy working with and helping others.  (Bridges 160)

The arch of the eyebrow also tells a tale. Those who lack much of an arch and whose eyebrows go straight across their brows in a straight line have a more difficult time making decisions quickly. This individual may be more apt to either go along with what others want to do, or just take his or her time and weigh all options before making a choice. For instance, in choosing a restaurant for lunch with a group of co-workers, the straight-browed individual would choose to let someone else make the decision for him or her, not because the individual cannot make a decision, but because he or she truly does not mind either way. People with significant arches that go up at a sharp angle from the center of the face and then arch back down make decisions very quickly. Again, either feature could be considered preferable, depending on the situation.

Brow Bone:

Another attribute to consider is that of a person’s brow bone. Generally speaking, people with strong brows are more dominant. Those with flattened brows are more passive.  Brow bones signify an automatic resistance to authority and being told what to do. Again, either trait has its benefits.

I hope you found part 1 interesting.  In  part two I will cover the other facial parts and features and then in the final segment talk about how this information can be helpful in your life.


About the author: Ashley Upham graduated from USF with a degree in Psychology.  She is currently pursuing her Masters in Oriental Medicine from Dragon Rises College of Oriental Medicine.   Ashley has previously worked in the industry for a roofing contractor during summer break from USF.