We’ve all probably heard how wearing a mask makes you feel less inhibited. Just think of your school mascot jumping up and down and acting goofy. There’s a person inside that costume. A person who very likely wouldn’t be doing that if they were in just a shirt and jeans. But, if they were wearing sunglasses? They just might.
Masks offer a degree of anonymity. Or, at least, you feel anonymous. It’s unclear whether this is because wearing glasses makes it tougher for people to read your emotions, and you’re picking up on that disconnect; or if it’s because you convey your emotions in a more neutral way because so much of your face is blocked.
The ability to read and show emotion is about 1/3rd through your eyes, says psychologist Paul Ekman who is considered an authority on facial expression. This can be a positive or a negative, depending on you as a person and the situation you’re trying to take advantage of. Are you trying to approach a girl for a date but tend to be nervous? Wear glasses. Are you an animated person who does comedy? Definitely leave the glasses at home. That is, unless you’re worried that you’ll bomb, and that you’d rather an anonymous person bomb than your own ego…
The study linked to above is very interesting. I believe that it ties into the idea already mentioned that has sunglasses acting like a type of mask, but I may be wrong. In this study, people were setup to either be in dark rooms or wear sunglasses (or be part of a control group) to see if they would act more selfishly, and they did. The interesting part is that a control group with clear lenses did not experience the same level of selfishness.
How can you take advantage of this? Well, think of a situation in which you must win. Perhaps it’s a quick negotiation, or you’re about to be punished. In both cases it generally pays to feel a little bit more anonymous and selfish.
And, in the final summation, a Dr Glenn Wilson, a researcher for the University of London who studied the psychology of wearing sunglasses, came up with this solution that we perhaps already had an inkling of. We had previously discussed on our Facebook how there was a study showing people who wore doctors coats actually did better on intelligence tests (compared to those wearing identical coats that were called artists coats). That experiment offers some insight into how thinking something makes it true. Wilson states his hypothesis for why sunglasses increase your confidence and attractiveness to others is simply because we associate sunglasses with the high life or luxurious life, and thus take on that personality and actually become that.
Be careful though, as another study shows that people who tend to get expensive glasses with big brand names tend to do so because they’re anxious and putting on a front. So, don’t over-think on it, or as we vouch for with our services on The Loaded Vault, don’t over-spend on it. What’s the result you’re doing for today, and will sunglasses help you achieve that? If so, grab a pair and have a great day.