Eric Standop says he can speed read someone's face in 30 seconds.
Face-reader Eric Standop will reveal what your face says about you
He even had a wager with his friends that he could show that the man was fooling everyone. To prove his point, Standop asked the man to read his face - and the results blew him away.
"First, he said I was intolerant and ignorant. But then he told me about the skin problems on my back, a hernia, asthma and several allergies. His results were so shockingly accurate, I quit my job as marketing director of an entertainment company and, at the age of 37, set out to become a face reader."
In those days, face reading was practically unheard of and it took Eric many months of searching to find someone back in his home country of Germany who could train him. The man in his 80s, who he finally tracked down, was a teacher of the ancient European technique of facial diagnosis. Standop was one of the teacher's last students before he died a year later, after teaching Standop everything that he knew.
Since then, Standop has spent years mastering the art practised by different cultures, particularly in Colombia and Hong Kong, where he gained privileged access to a closed circle of Chinese practitioners. Nowadays, he combines these ancient techniques with modern, scientific interpretations of micro-expressions and body language.
"Facial diagnosis is evident in ancient cultures throughout the world - in the Arab world, too," he says. "When a doctor wanted to find out what was wrong, they would first check the face.
"What's amazing is that every face is like a different book - you can read 600 pages, depending on what you want to know. Very often, we read only 20 or 30 pages of someone. I can 'speed-read' someone's face in two minutes, which is like reading the index page of a book. In an hour or two, I can give a clear reading.
"When I first started, I was inspired to read faces all the time, but nowadays if I did that I'd go crazy, so I don't do it when I'm out socialising."
"Face reading has given me a lot of tolerance. The first thing I learnt was not to judge someone based on what they appear to be on that day. That person might be a completely different personality under different circumstances."
Standop says of his own face that the furrows on his brow are what he calls "thinking lines", as they're related to being more conscious, and about 80 per cent of Europeans have them. Standop also says that he has a rather large nose: "There are 600 different kinds of noses. The nose is all about work and how you deal with money. That's why in English, you have expressions such as 'paying through the nose' and in Chinese, 'He earns himself a golden nose'. My nose shows that I work like crazy, but then I need to stop and take time out."
These days, Standop is hired by chief executives of companies at interviews, to give them a better idea of the personality of prospective employees. Standop also runs a face-reading academy in Hong Kong and plans to open more in London and Zurich.
. Eric Standop will be at Talise Spa, Madinat Jumeirah from December 29 until January 9. An 80-minute consultation costs Dh750. To book an appointment call 04 366 6818 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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