Bilateral eye rubbing virtually always is a signal of a disparity - disparity between what is known in the intellectual brain versus what the emotional brain is trying to come to terms with. In his appearance recently on The Graham Norton Show, Tom Hanks displayed a fantastic example of this nonverbal emotional dissonance.
When describing the thought process for origin of Forrest Gump's voice, Hanks recalls the director, Robert Zemeckis, initially wanting Michael Connor Humphreys (the boy who played the young Forrest) to alter the idiosyncrasies of his voice. It was Tom Hanks' idea however, that he should change his to match voice of Humphreys. This brilliant moment of insight gave the film one of its many endearing qualities. And it's in Hanks' recounting of these events, when he illustrates another emotional component often seen with the bilateral eye rub - that of suppressing frustration and suppressing impatience. (1:16 - 1:17).
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