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Eye Contact

Eye contact is one of the most important components of body language.  More than any other part of our body, we use our eyes to convey our feelings, intentions and emotions.  Eye's truly are the "windows to our soul" and how we handle eye contact can massively impact both our business and personal lives.

Body Langauge Eye Contact / CC BY-NC 2.0

Think about the "eye roll". An eye roll at the worst possible moment can destroy a conversation, a relationship or even a career. The eye roll is a symbol of distain, disrespect and disinterest, and this is just one thing that your eyes can communicate.  This is also an example of the importance of managing our own body language and of what we can learn from understanding other people's body language.

Making Eye Contact

Making eye contact with someone shows them that you are interested in what they are saying, so making the effort to look into someone's eyes is part of being a great conversationalist and communicator.  At the same time strong and intense eye contact can be intimidating to a lot of people.  It's a good practice to make eye contact for a few seconds, then look away for a bit and then make eye contact again.

Making eye contact with someone is a good way to show them that they got your attention and that they are keeping it.  Try to avoid looking around the room when someone is speaking to you because even the most minor glance away is easily detectable.

Picture yourself in a conversation with someone at a party or social gathering.  Imagine that while you are speaking with them they are continually glancing around the room to see what is going on.  Bothersome isn't it?  This is a great example of why eye contact is so important.

You can use eye contact to show others you're attracted to them by looking at them, glancing away for a few seconds and then looking back at them, making eye contact and smiling.

Excessive Eye Contact

Staring into someone's eyes for a long period of time can be an intense experience.  Sure, it can indicate that you are totally enthralled with what the person you are staring at is saying, but it can also be interpreted as a form of aggression.

You need to be aware of how people are interpreting your eye contact.  This is a form of social intelligence - being aware of how others are interpreting your actions and mannerisms, so look for feedback on how others are reacting to how long you are looking into their eyes.

Excessive eye contact is not always bad.  Lovers can gaze intensely into each others eyes for hours.  In fact, numerous studies have shown that prolonged eye contact actually makes people more attracted to you.


Interpreting Body Language and Nonverbal communication

By Noted Body Language Authority Kevin Hogan

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