I am terrible at reading people’s emotions just by looking into their eyes. I attribute this to my poor social skills. However, once in a while I see someone and my gaze locks with theirs, and for whatever reason, it is not uncomfortable for me to maintain this eye contact for more than three seconds. No usual feeling of ill-ease or panic arises in me. Instead, it feels like the eye contact is akin to grazing a smooth marble in my mind’s eye. It is peaceful and gentle. I know that is a weird description but that’s the visual I get. I don’t know why this sort of perception only happens for me with certain people. Is it an emotional or psychological response? Am I perceiving something that is there for me in my mind but not for the other person? Is the response I have due to a chemical imbalance in my brain? Or am I recognizing a rare kinship with someone without even having to exchange words with them?
The last person I felt this way about was an older woman I saw some days ago. She had grayish hair and looked neither old or young. From the moment my gaze landed on her and she held my gaze, I couldn’t help but think, She has such sad eyes. I wondered if she saw the same thing reflected in my eyes. Is it really possible for emotion to transcend speech and for someone like me to guess, with plausible accuracy, that she had a sadness about her?
I’ve read lots of books where a character perceives how another character is feeling based on their own interpretation of the character. But perception is really subjective, especially if a person’s own emotions or feelings interfere with it. I could have thought the woman looked sad because that’s what I wanted to see. Or maybe I picked up on some emotion in her eyes that wasn’t sadness but I interpreted it as such.