They say not to judge a book by its cover, but that's what facial reader Jean Haner does professionally (well, sort of). Haner, who married into a Chinese family, adopted the practice of physiognomy, a traditional principle that analyzes the personality of others based on the intricacies of their physical appearance. This ancient method, dating back to the Northern Song period, could determine a person's inner personality, including how they think, feel, behave, and what they need to be happy in life by their physical characteristics. That's right—by studying even the smallest details in your face, Haner can tell whether you're impulsive or a perfectionist (among many other things)—specifically by studying the shape of your eyebrows. Not buying it? We recently sat down with Haner to explain what each shape means, so keep scrolling to see how accurate her analysis is of your own brow shape!
"If someone has rounded eyebrows, that's a sign that they're a very kind person and that they're always thinking about other people's needs," says Haner. "When they're making a decision, it'll be based on what they want and what everyone else might want to try, resulting in a win-win for everybody."
"If someone's eyebrows grow in a straight line, that means that they're a very logical person—they value logic and think that you should think things through very carefully. They're not impulsive," she explains.
"People with peaked eyebrows make decisions based on their emotions—they make them quickly. They're very reactive, so if there's something they're trying to make up their mind about, they do it very quickly, but it's not necessarily based on logic—it's based on their emotion at the moment."
"Then there's some eyebrows that, when you look at the person's face, they're placed very high up. In Chinese face reading, those are called "Queen's Eyebrows." They're a sign of someone who has excellent taste—a real sense of style and beauty, but they tend to be a perfectionist. They can struggle with decisions because in their mind, there's only one right decision. They're can be self-critical and worry about making the wrong decision, and can be hard on themselves."
"People who have long eyebrows tend to be the kind of people who have a lot of friends. There's a reason for this: They have extra strength, so they can deal with all of their friends' personal drama without feeling overwhelmed," she says.
"People with short eyebrows don't like to deal with drama. They tend to have fewer close friendships. They're not drawn to reach out to people to ask for help."
"If someone has really full, thick eyebrows, it means many things—they're very decisive, they have a natural self-confidence—they feel like they can figure anything out. They're very logical people and tend to be kind of linear in how they do things. They also really like to be physically active."
"People with thin eyebrows—even if you started out with naturally thick eyebrows but they became thin from tweezing and waxing—that affects your self-confidence, or if you just have naturally thin eyebrows, you generally have low confidence. But the good side is you're not pushy or overly aggressive." she explains.
"The harder the angle, the more extreme the emotions are, and the more reactive a person is. If you're born with an angle naturally, that's fine. But if you try to create it, it's kind of like going against your own nature. It can cause an imbalance in your personality and cause you to have difficulty making decisions."
Learn more about face reading in Haner's book, The Wisdom of Your Face: Change Your Life with Chinese Face Reading! ($13).
Ed. note: Quotes have been edited for content.