Psychology of sunglasses, a mask for the soul

Wearing sunglasses changes our psychology and the quality of our relationships.

Don't store avocado like this: it's dangerous

Spring, sun: and it is immediately time for sunglasses. These "personal protective devices" (as they are defined in terms of the law) of sight, absolutely necessary for some, for most are above all a fashion accessory, capable of giving the idea of ​​an extra pinch of intelligence. Especially if the model is large, they make the female face look younger and more attractive. Regardless of gender, they make everyone a little mysterious and increase sex appeal. But it does not end here: wearing them can lead us to change some of our attitudes and sensitivities.

What happens when we wear a pair of glasses with dark lenses? What everyone can easily see: in the first place the face is partially covered, it is not perceived well in its totality; going even more specifically, our eyes are hidden, therefore they do not allow direct eye contact.

These are not minor details. As the psychologist found out Paul Eckman, about one third of our 23 facial expressions involve the eyes; for example, we can understand if a smile is authentic only from the imperceptible movement of the eyes that accompanies it, due to a particular muscle, the orbicularis oculi. If those who smile at us do so by circumstance, he doesn't move.

The eyes are therefore truly the "mirror of the soul": a true source of information on what people are thinking and feeling.

As a filter, dark lenses on the one hand - symbolically - can take some of the positivity out of our worldview (of course it depends on the amount of time you spend wearing them; but it is evident that they allow you to collect altered information, always a little more "dark" than what contexts and situations actually are); on the other hand they allow us not to reveal too much about ourselves. In other words: sunglasses are a kind of mask. The mask hides and, in the greater - albeit small - anonymity that follows, it facilitates the expression of morally less edifying behaviors.

A 2010 study, for example, showed that people, when they wear sunglasses, become less generous and in general more suspicious; if they are mirrored, then, they favor a greater emotional distance with interlocutors. They give security to whoever brings them. They make it easier to tell lies. On a subconscious level, they immediately put them in a position of greater power on someone who, on the other hand, does not have them.

There is a bon-ton of sunglasses? Common sense and education can guide us. During a conversation, especially if not formal, it is better to take them off, to be able to look at each other's face: the exchange will be more "intimate", authentic, based on trust. Dark lenses represent a barrier: removing it is a gesture of openness, interest, availability as well as attention and respect for the other.

In any case, please, when you are indoors, sunglasses… even no.

Anna Maria Cebrelli

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