Our faces reveal much more than we think. Did you know that our personality, character, hidden talents, relationships and health can be discerned just from the lines and expressions in our face? Eric Standop is a Face Reading and Facial Diagnostics Expert who is the only face reader in the world who simultaneously employs facial diagnosis, physiognomy, Siang Mien (Chinese face reading), micro-expressions, Lectura del Rostro (South American Face Reading), and also body language. Standop shines a light on face readings and how it can help you better understand yourself.
Welcome back to Macau! It’s great to have you here – how often do you visit?
In the last ten years, I’ve been here four times but the last time I visited was four years ago and that’s quite a while. I have a special eight-year relationship with this city because eight years ago I wrote my second German book in Macau. I needed a place somewhere outside of Europe to write it down and I had a bit of work here at the time. I spent most of the time sitting in the hotel room writing this book so you could say my second child is from Macau.
How curious! How long did it take?
The research was already prepared, so altogether it took eight months but the writing here, in Macau, took 12 days in a row, just endless typing and typing.
What do you see in the people of Macau?
I wouldn’t say the people of Macau are particularly different. Macau people are from everywhere, especially the ones that I meet when I visit so it is a picture of the whole world that you can see here. They come with their hopes and dreams, a little bit like gamblers; I don’t think they’re so different. Rather, I think it’s just more concentrated. Maybe this is the essence of Macau.
In your recent TEDx talk, you advise that in a conversation. not to ask what people do but rather ask who they are. So who are you?
I am one who likes to play with and feed squirrels; I am one who jumps with a parachute but is afraid of deep water. I am someone who can be strong-willed and self-disciplined but rarely says no to a cappuccino. I love to be on stage but am very shy (something people would never expect!). I could go on… So, this is really Eric, and anything else is a role or for business.
Why is asking a stranger who he/she is the best way to get to know a person?
I don’t know if it’s the best way, but I think it’s an extraordinary way and therefore more helpful than any other question that one would expect. Usually, we expect questions like “Where are you from?” or “What do you do?” and we already have answers for that somewhere in our mind. So if you start to ask atypical questions you get the real essence of someone. You could also ask as a first question, “What do you love to eat?” Just imagine, you meet someone at the airport and your first question is “What’s your favorite color?”, you get a lot more from the person; a different kind of conversation, and you get to know the person a lot deeper.
What types of face reading practices exist and what readings do you do?
So far there is no specific research about it, from my experience there are around 20 to 30 different types of face reading and I’ve learned eight. Three of the eight techniques I’ve learned are Chinese. This is something I’d like to underline where people think there is only Chinese face reading, but this is not accurate. There are so many different types and styles and sometimes they focus on completely different matters.
I’ve learned three Chinese techniques, three European techniques that are mostly related to the Greeks (Aristotle and Hippocrates), and I’ve learned a South American technique and another one, more of a modern type, called microexpression reading which is scientific. Those are the eight techniques that I’ve learned but I would love to learn a few more, one is related to India and another one to Japan. The more natural the culture where people are less affected by the modern world, it is more likely to find another face reading technique we do not know of.
You’ve been coming to Macau and Hong Kong for ages, really getting to know the culture through people’s faces – what can you say about people in this part of the world?
Macau and Hong Kong are not so different. One thing is that everyone is always busy and short on time so as a face reader I am even more pushed to be focused and quick with my answers–it’s rather different from anywhere else on the planet. For example, if I work in Thailand, Indonesia or even Singapore, people are more relaxed and allows more time, but this challenges me in a good way where I’ll need to give advice in quick sentences with short words, being very focused. Not everyone is made for this place and I can see not only a lot of advisors and healers but also people who move here to live and work and it is just too much for them–the speed and the way of life. People get sick and stressed and, in this case, I would advise them to leave.
There is one face reading technique called the five-element technique that we know from Feng Shui. The face reading technique is related to five elements, for example, there is a water face, a wood nose, a fire mouth and so on. And there is also a technique that relates places to the elements and Hong Kong, and possibly Macau as well, are related to fire. So if you’re a person that is not related to fire, you might have a problem. If you are someone fully committed to fire, you will love it, but you would have to be careful not to overheat. To give you an example, I am fire, and I do well here but after three-four weeks I have to be very careful not to become too excited and be a volcano.
Some people might think that face reading is a bit pseudoscientific, but it is very real and has been established for thousands of years. What is some practical knowledge one can gain by reading his/her face?
Well, anyone who has a problem with face reading might have a problem with his/her own face. Everyone is a face reader, we all look at faces every day. The reason is not to be polite but to obtain information, otherwise, we would look at their knees, shoulder or at nothing. You can definitely see emotions, feelings and thoughts and everyone would agree on this. You can also read health such as when people say “Oh, you don’t look well. Are you alright?”. You can see when somebody is in love which can be seen right away. Anything in your life can be seen in your face–love, personality, nutrition and more. A simpler explanation is that your face is connected to your nerves, brain, and organs which then creates output on the face. Then it’s the matter of what we see and what does it mean.
What about cosmetic procedures, such as botox, fillers and plastic surgery – how do they affect one’s face and face reading?
If someone is a believer in face reading, their biggest fear is changing their fate by changing their face. But that’s not the case. You can’t change fate by removing a mole. But by changes like this, you delete messages to the face reader, you delete information. If the message is removed in one place, there are other parts of the face where it can be read. Botox is not a big problem, neither is removing a mole or wart. For a face reader, the bigger problem is plastic surgery as it changes the whole structure of the face. When I look at someone’s face that’s been changed with plastic surgery, I have to rethink the whole thing; why did this person want this kind of face; what personality do you have to want to change your face from this to that. It is very complicated and I have to look behind the mirror. Sometimes the plastic surgery is subtle, but usually, there are classic signs that are obvious and I can tell. It’s a challenge to read a face with plastic surgery and not as easy as a natural face.
When we meet someone and want to get to know them – what should we pay attention to?
It depends on what you want to share or experience with this person. When it comes to love life, I would guarantee you that no one is looking at chin, ears or hair. We fall in love with the eyes and, sometimes, with the mouth. Nobody has fallen in love with their future husband because he has the most dominant chin or a special nose. It’s always the eyes because eyes are the windows to the soul. In other words, eyes are the window to the brain–they tell you what’s going on in the brain and in the mind. So we should definitely look at the eyes and mouth, and should not overrate anything else.
How has your practice been evolving over the years and what are you focusing on now, when reading a face?
I’ve been doing it for 15 years now, and looking back at how I did it 15 years ago, sometimes I judge myself very hard and think, “Wow, that was poor”, (laughs) but, on the other hand, it wasn’t. You get clients just at the right moment for the right kind of reading. 15 years ago no one left the reading saying it was poor.
Now with learning eight techniques and having many reading experiences, of course, it’s different. In those days I was more pinpointing and giving the clients more space to develop their own views, and maybe even develop their own advice. I do not try to manipulate people with my advice–how I see the world–but that was not the case 15 years ago. 15 years ago I had just left my job as an executive in computer gaming, so I still had this kind of mentality to tell you what to do. My life purpose is to be a “messenger”, so I was upset about people who didn’t get my message. Nowadays it’s more like if they do not want my message it’s alright, it’s not my job to manipulate them to finally live that message. Now I deliver the message and it’s up to them how to live it.
These days, my interests are more varied. In those days I was totally interested in the personality of someone and how to get to know that person, but now it depends on the person. It could be that in one person I am interested in their health situation and in others in their personal potential. There are three types of clients. The first type is people that know who they are and they want confirmation. Second is the people that have no idea who they are and they think that their life is a mess and want to know why. The third type are people who know who they are but want to know who they could be and this one is the most challenging but also the most interesting.
What makes people beautiful? And where in the world have you seen the most beautiful faces?
The first question is very easy to answer. What makes people beautiful is when they live in the most authentic way because that is the greatest balance that you can have. And authenticity is, subconsciously what everybody wants to live. But, interestingly enough, we all live playing roles. Authenticity is often seen when people laugh because laughing is a sign of emotion, or when people love because under the influence of endorphins the face is totally different than a stressed face.
Where on Earth are the most beautiful faces? Definitely not in the modern industrial cities that we all know because here, we are too influenced by many kinds of roles and necessities. It is more likely to find authenticity in people in the middle of the rainforest although I have never done a face reading there. I am always surprised and happy to meet an authentic person, and it is a goal for me too because maybe sometimes I am authentic but also have my own roles to play.
Eric Standop is a regular visiting practitioner at Mandarin Oriental, Macau
Eric’s first English book is coming out in October 2019, “Read the Face: Face Reading for Success in Your Career, Relationships, and Health”, pre-order it here
*Photos credit: Eric Standop