The face may be where our senses end, yet a lot begins. The eyes, nose, mouth, and ears speak volumes about us. Eric Standop knows exactly what they are saying. The face reader, who was born in Germany and works actively in over twenty countries, has examined, analyzed, and read more than 30,000 faces. We met him in Munich and talked to him not only about his work, but also about what our faces and senses can tell about us.
“The most entertaining surface on earth is the human face.” (Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, 1742-1799)
Eric, how did you become a face reader?
Eric Standop: I was in the German entertainment industry for twenty years. In management, the typical “career tiger”. I had my first burnout spell in my mid-30s, when I took a short break and although I wanted to change a lot when I came back, I went on as before. At 37, the second burnout came, with some illnesses in tow. So I packed my things, went on trips. And then one day, at a beach bar in South Africa, I met an old man in ragged clothes, who read my face. I was quite skeptical then. As a “numbers-data-facts-man”, I thought it was all hocus-pocus. But because he described my character and my illnesses so accurately, I thought, “This is what I want to be able to do!” Initially, I wanted it only for my job, so I could know more about my coworkers or negotiating partners. At one point, though, it just took a hold of me.
What happened then? Where and how does one learn to read faces?
E.S.: I traveled through Europe, South America and Asia for more than ten years to learn different techniques from the masters. I studied with them, studied countenances in kindergartens, schools, prisons, public areas, everywhere. Finally, I met my teacher in Hong Kong, who taught me the basic meanings of energy, purposes in life, and fate over about six years – without allowing me to write a word or ask questions at any time. That’s how I got started. And that’s just the shortest short version.
Is face reading a technique or a kind of clandestine science?
E.S.: Forms of face reading exist in all world cultures – in Egypt, Greece, India, South America, China and so on. In terms of techniques, there are around 20 to 30 ways to read faces, including eye diagnosis, countenance diagnostics, facial analysis, physiognomy etc. I myself combine eight different techniques.
Anyone can learn to read faces. We all do in a way. We can tell if someone had a late night, if they’re likable, sad, or shy. The more empathy we show, the more is revealed to us. The fact that our faces reveal a lot about us is expressed in our language i.e. “keep your chin up” or “by the sweat of your brow”.
How does a face reading actually transpire? What is your approach?
E.S.: There are two approaches. First, there is speed reading. I look you in the face, pay attention to features like face shape, eyes, nose, chin, ears, or hairline, and then express what I see. The second approach is even more thorough. On a “face template”, I write down features of your face that are relevant to the reading topics or subjects. It also depends on the aspects themselves and on the context,
in which the face reading takes place. Because if you wanted to know, for example, what your purpose in life was, I would pay attention to other factors than if I were doing a reading about your love life. When I do employee readings for a company, I read differently than when I read during an interrogation with the police. And as I read, I talk to the person to see how the facial muscles move when they speak. That too says a lot about the face, and about the person.
And then I put it all together in about 10 to 15 minutes. In a session of around an hour, I present my findings and I consult the person on the topic or subject in question.
What do you read in a face?
E.S.: Everything. That’s what the face is made for. Everything ends or begins there, because bodies, organs, and senses are connected with the face through nerves. Depending on the reading, I can recognize life purposes, talents, and information about their love life, diet, any illnesses, their personality, their character, and even their fate.
Tip: Eric Standop is coming to Austria! See Eric Standop live at a workshop on face reading on March 23, 2019 at Mödling Yoga Center.
You may obtain additional information and register at www.yogazentrum.md.
To what extent do personality and character differ?
E.S.: I read basic aspects of the personality, with questions like “Why am I here?”, “What are my strengths?”, “Why do I feel unhappy?” I read character in current situations, during interrogations or interviews. You could say that personality is chronic, while character is acute – it can change very quickly.
But can I really draw conclusions about a human based on a forehead feature? Is that not tantamount to stereotyping, because there are certain cultural differences?
E.S.: Everyone knows from their own life experience that people cannot be categorized. Once again, empathy helps – empathetic involvement with another person and the perception of his uniqueness, even if certain facial features resemble those of other people. And as for the cultural aspect, I always say: we are all the same and yet very different. No matter where we come from. We all have 43 muscles on our faces, all of us have eyes, a nose, a mouth and are capable of anger, rage, and grief. When I consult, I am well aware of cultural specifics, but facially, we are more similar than we think.
To what extent do intentional or unintentional interventions in the face play a role?
E.S.: The more interventions a person has undergone, the bigger the challenge. This is especially true for plastic surgery. I have to read in a mirror-image way and analyze what that, which you have done means. With Botox, it is different. First, Botox only eliminates wrinkles, which figuratively means that someone has torn pages out of her facial book. But I still have enough reading material left.
Is it possible to go through the world as a face reader without always reading everyone?
E.S.: I advise my students to learn to keep facial reading “in check” at the latest after the first year. Otherwise, it will get exhausting. The face is a book, which we write our whole lives. We can’t constantly be reading books! That’s why I’m not reading all the time. Sometimes I catch myself observing a face more closely, for example when I’m waiting at an airport gate. It’s out of sheer boredom.
Often, people also ask me if a face reader can fall in love. I usually tell them: 1. Love is blind. 2. Even if I notice a pancreas problem in someone’s face, it won’t stop me from falling in love with them.
This yoga.ZEIT edition is about our senses. What do our sensory organs say about us? Can you give us a few examples?
E.S.: Well, I have to try to be brief, because one could lecture about the eyes alone for years. The eyes are the windows to the soul, as you’ve heard. I agree and often say that the eyes are definitely the window to the soul or the emotional world, and I also like to say about overly intellectual people that “the eyes are the windows to the brain” because, after all, our optic nerve connects directly to the brain. That’s why we can tell a lot about what’s going on in the brain by looking at the eyes. That’s why vision is so important. I believe that if you ask people what sense they would be most willing to go without, sight would be at the bottom of the list.
The eyes reflect the intimate and the profound, the spiritual and the private. That’s why the eyes change depending on what I am thinking, how I tick, what’s going on inside me.
The nose stands for work and prosperity. You can read work behavior and work approaches into it. The ears tell me all about matters of early detection. The Chinese always associate the ears with childhood, because ears have something to do with the processing of childhood. The ears also stand for perseverance, for decision-making, and for inner restlessness. The mouth represents kisses, communication, and creativity. It also expresses feeling. Children put everything in their mouths to feel it, because the sense of touch in the fingers is not well-developed at an early age yet.
Please do allow young children to discover the world through their mouths. I tell many parents that they should let their children put sand, little shovels etc. in their mouths not only because this strengthens their immune systems, but also so they learn to feel. What is more, (developing this sense will help) children become good kissers later. Kissing is a skill that needs to be learned too.
Even our sixth sense is visible on the face. It is a very clear wrinkle over the eyebrows, but it cannot grow, because it is more like a part of a facial expression, a “mimic wrinkle.” Face readers describe intuition as “the sensory recognition of the beyond.” Instinct is the “sensory recognition of what does me good.” Those who have both have high potential to show empathy.
Thank you very much for this interview!
Eric Standop lives in Hong Kong and Germany, consults and teaches people all over the world as a face reader, and has written numerous books on the topic. He is the founder of the “Face Reading Academy” and teaches relaxation techniques at Karlsruhe University of Education.