Our facial expressions give away more of what we’re thinking than we thought. New research shows that people’s eyes, in particular, are a dead giveaway.
The function behind a facial expression usually mirrors the person’s emotional state. So if someone is narrowing their eyes as if they are scrutinising something they are likely to be feeling thoughtful; wondering about something. If you feel as though you are being scrutinised then you probably are. Be careful that the other person isn’t just screwing up their eyes against the sun.
Gollum famously spoke these words in Lord of the Rings while looking for the One Ring, which Bilbo – and then Frodo – carried with him.
The ring gave powers to the wearer and spoke volumes about the person who carried it. It was one of the defining things about the characters and told of their quest as well as their character and motives.
Dialogue is a wonderful tool for showing the nature of someone’s character in your story.
In real life we are constantly measuring and gauging the character and nature of people around us. From an evolutionary point of view this would be to assess safety and threat; how comfortable we are with a person, or people, or how threatened we feel.