The Eye Roll

“The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and abounding in mercy and loving-kindness.” Psalm 145:8


If you had a teenager in your house you are familiar with the eye roll.  Maybe you were an eye roller yourself as a teen.  Have you noticed that this is a condition that can carry over into adulthood?  I decided to dig a little deeper to understand the eye roll phenomenon.

Here are some things that I uncovered in my research about eye rolling:

  1.  An eye-roll may say that the eye roller is an independent person but choosing to yield, for now, to your authority.
  2. People might roll their eyes when someone pokes a sore spot.
  3. An eye roll could be a way for the person to hold themselves together.  Instead of breaking down they simply roll their eyes.
  4. It may be a visual sign of disapproval of what has been said.
  5. It may mean they find you annoying.
  6. They may find what you just said hard to believe.

According to my research, eye rolling has been around since the 15th century when Shakespeare wrote about it as a way to express desire.  It wasn’t until the 1960s that eye-rolling fully acquired the meaning we associate with it today, and even then, it didn’t become widespread until the 1980s.  That explains one of the reasons I did not roll my eyes at my mother when I was a child.  The fear of getting slapped and not seeing it coming while my eyes were rolled back in my head could be another reason.  Lastly, the fear that my eyes might stuck back there, you heard it too, was yet another reason why I did not do it.

I must say that I have had a few eye rolls directed at me in my life time and my daughter was the biggest offender when she was a teenager.  I hoped, for the sake of all the young mothers, to uncover this was a medical condition that could be cured.  But, I am sad to say that it is a voluntary action that can actually be controlled.

I am so glad that God does not roll his eyes at us.  I know that at times, I have given God many reasons to roll his eyes at me, but He is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and abounding in mercy and loving-kindness to us.

If you are an eye roller, try to make a conscience effort to handle other people like Jesus would, with grace, compassion, mercy and loving-kindness not by rolling your eyes at them.  Pray today that God will help you control your voluntary eye rolling.  Then pray that until you get it under control that God would not cause your eyes to get stuck that way.

2 thoughts on “The Eye Roll

  1. Adults should show restraint and try to express an opinion if someone is causing them to want to eye roll at someone. It can be a simple phrase like, “Let’s agree to disagree.” Or, “I don’t see eye to eye with you.”
    My grown kids used to eye roll at me or walk away. Really funny thing I learned Mom: she told me when my kids started to do this, “Look away and pretend you didn’t notice.” She also added as a high school teacher she did this and students started acting more respectful. Crazy? Well, I looked away and when my kids found out I wasn’t going to get flustered or upset, they gave up eye rolling! 👏🙂

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