What is good eye contact and how can you improve your eye contact skills?
It’s something that most of us don’t think about but it can be a powerful communication tool. How you handle eye contact can be very important in everyday life. If you want to be an effective communicator in business and your personal life it’s an important skill to master.
Too much or too little
If you are listening to someone and you’re not giving them enough eye contact they may interpret that as if you’re not listening or interested in what they are saying.
Too much eye contact can be seen as aggressive or could result in someone feeling uncomfortable. Too much is normally seen as socially unacceptable and it can be taken as an evasion of privacy.
Eye contact can be an indicator to a person’s level of confidence, concentration and even whether somebody is being genuine or whether they’re interested in something.
Paying attention to someone’s eyes can give important clues. Good sales people are aware of the power of good eye contact, they know that maintaining strong eye contact with a potential buyer can often be the difference between making a sale and not.
You have probably already heard that when somebody is interested romantically in somebody else their pupils dilate. This clue is not just restricted to romantic interest but other forms of interest as well.
Strong eye contact can also be a sign of confidence, while breaking eye contact or avoiding it can suggest a less confident or timid individual. However this is not always the case, some people constantly seek eye contact for validation and approval seeking behavior, while others can find eye contact distracting which can break concentration.
Improve your eye contact skills
When talking to more than one person always remember to give eye contact to everybody, ignoring someone in the group can lead to certain members losing interest in what you are saying which could filter and affect everybody. If you ignore someone it may also lead to them becoming offended and possibly alienated.
One on one
Don’t stare! you may of heard the saying “it’s impolite to stare” it can be impolite, uncomfortable and even creepy. If you start to see signs that they’re feeling uncomfortable break eye contact, try noticing things around you as a distraction. When you look out for the signs of discomfort you should be able to prevent it from happening again. However too little eye contact can be a sign of a lack of interest in that person which can be taken as an insult. Tip try holding eye contact for 3 – 5 seconds and then break it, or look long enough to notice the color of their eyes before looking away.
When you’re arguing with somebody it sends a powerful message if you maintain eye contact, it shows strength, confidence and conviction in what you are saying. Not maintaining eye contact with someone while arguing has the opposite effect, your points are less likely to be taken seriously.