I am definitely going to test this out at my next Christmas party….apparently a study has found that the duration of individual blinks by listeners during a conversation serve as a subtle signal, to tell the person they are listening to that it’s time to change the subject. Or move away.

Apparently the 13,500 blinks we do a day are not randomly distributed – they often appear in “feedback slots” – the natural pauses where people who are talking make eye contact and provide social cues. A longer blink, together with a nod signals that the message has been received. If you blink for longer – like for two thirds of a second, you can curtail the conversation more quickly. How brilliant is that?

I will be armed with a secret weapon next time I get talking to someone boring. Long, long, blinks. ┬áThen, maybe if they don’t notice I will take this one step further and try closing my eyes and not opening them again until they have moved on.

Genius. Can’t wait to try it out. If that doesn’t work I could just put my eye mask on, just to make it really clear.


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