A couple of years ago, there was a craze where teens/young people wore glasses, even though they didn’t need them. It was a fashion statement, however, they might have boosted more than their street credibility.
Wearing glasses could be a sign of success and also something that makes you more successful, at least according to the latest research. Simply appearing as if you need spectacles can help people take you more seriously, even if you don’t need prescription lenses.
Glasses were probably a mere utilitarian choice a hundred years ago. If you were short-sighted, then you needed them to be able to see correctly, and so bits of glass on the end of your nose were a necessity. But in the modern world, spectacles are more about style than ever before.
Part of this comes out of Hollywood. Famous stars wearing Persol glasses is now the norm, encouraging regular people to do the same. But part of it also has to do with how people perceive glasses in popular culture. Almost all connotations of wearing spectacles are positive and can influence how people interact with you.
So what are people thinking when they see you wearing glasses? And can it help make you more successful?
Glasses Reduce Your Threat Level
Several years ago, search engine Google did some research into what people most wanted in relationships with colleagues. The top requirement was something that the company later called psychological safety. Employees, it turned out, wanted to feel as though they could approach other people, without risking backlash.
Further evidence suggested that people who wear glasses appear less threatening, even if the content of what they say doesn’t change. This effect is particularly pronounced among men, with viewers perceiving bespectacled males as less dangerous than their counterparts.
Projecting a lower threat level is a great way to achieve more success. People are far more likely to approach you for answers to their questions and advice, allowing you to build solid networks. If you appear steely and aggressive, then colleagues may avoid you, and you could wind up missing out on valuable promotions.
Glasses Make You Appear More Honest
A person’s eyesight and their level of honesty have very little to do with each other in practice. But that doesn’t stop the general public from assuming that a glasses-wearing person is more honest than somebody who goes without.
The reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, but researchers think that it probably has to do with positive associations in entertainment. People who wear glasses tend to be upstanding members of the community, committed to virtue and integrity. Superman is an excellent example of this. Clark Kent made a habit of wearing glasses in the Teri Hatcher series in the 1990s, cementing spectacles as a sign of somebody with an honourable personality.
People who make hiring decisions are more likely to view you as somebody who can cope with a position of authority and trust if you wear glasses. You may find you’re more likely to be accepted for roles, especially in areas like banking and finance.
Glasses Make You Appear More Intelligent
For years, people have associated wearing glasses with intelligence, probably because of their association with reading. Wearing glasses makes you look as if you’re ready to open a book at any time and fill your mind with beneficial information.
Appearing more intelligent is a great way to get people to take you more seriously in the workplace, too, regardless of your raw intelligence. The simple act of putting on a pair of glasses sends signals that you’re the employee people need to listen to on important intellectual matters.
Glasses Can Make You Appear More Agreeable
Agreeableness is a vital workplace trait. It is your ability to get on with the people around you for the productive benefit of all. If you can resolve conflict and avoid being confrontational with people, you can usually progress rapidly through an organization.
Research shows that people who wear designer glasses fall into two essential categories. The first group are those who have what you might call positive personality traits. Those who choose top brands tend to have higher levels of conscientiousness, agreeableness and extraversion, all three of which researchers associated with better career outcomes. Workers in this category go for the top brands because they want their fashion choices to reflect their self-concept. And most of the time, this is positive.
The second group of people who wear designer glasses are those high on the neuroticism scale. These people tend to have a low opinion of themselves and wear designer glasses to accommodate the deficit.
Glasses Improve Your Social Class
Whether they realize they are doing it or not, people make unconscious guesses about your social class from the way you look.
All things held equal, the general public associates wearing glasses with being higher up the scale. And this fact can make it easier for you to progress through the ranks and move forward with your career.
What exactly underlies this observation of higher social class isn’t entirely clear. Some researchers believe that higher class comes from the idea that spectacles make people appear more intelligent. Others think that it might have something with being perceived as friendlier or more attractive.
It’s clear, therefore, that glasses make a big difference in how people perceive the wearers. For that reason, it is a quick and instant way to help boost your chances of success, even if you don’t need a prescription.
It is important to note that the science of wearing glasses is still being done. We still don’t have all the data yet for whether they help people get closer to their goals in the workplace. The early evidence, however, is compelling and suggests that it is something that more individuals should do to get ahead.
Despite the fact that millions of people wear glasses all over the world, there’s been a lack of research into the psychology concerning their use.
It is only really in the last ten years that scientists have given it any considerable attention.
And they’re discovering that it makes much more of a difference than they ever imagined, almost all of it positive.