What is eye contact?
Several popular definitions are:
1. Eye contact is one of the most important nonverbal channels you have for communicating and connecting with others.
2. Defined as a meeting of the eyes between two people expresses meaningful nonverbal communication.
3. Contact that occurs when two people look directly at each other or when two people or animals look into each others eye at the same time.
4. It is the condition or action of looking another human or animal in the eye.
Linda Eve Diamond:
“The cheapest, most effective way to connect with people is to look them in the eye.”
What does eye contact do?
Eye contact can trigger:
Eye contact is two souls touching. Imagine, all the power your eyes hold.
Of all the ways we communicate, eye contact maybe the most powerful. The first step in establishing communication is eye contact.
Communication with pets and animals is with eye contact, and depending on the animal you maintain or avoid contact.
Did you ever look at a horse and know that your souls had communicated?
Have you ever looked at your dog and known that the two of you connected at a spiritual level?
My best friend and I can communicate volumes with just a glance.
So are the eyes a window to the soul? I’d say so.
What is the power of eye contact?
Ralph Waldo Emerson:
“An eye can threaten like a loaded gun, or it can insult like hissing or kicking or in its altered mood, be a beam of kindness. It can make the heart dance for joy.”
Words will probably never be found to communicate what actually transpires when you are communicating with another living creature through eye contact. Maybe it should it be “I” contact?
Besides touch, eye contact is the most powerful way of delivering personal cues.
Eye contact shows personal involvement and creates intimate bonds. Mutual gazing narrows physical gaps. It brings people closer.
The eyes play an indispensable role in effective communication and the building relationships.
The look of love; remember that look and the physical wham when wordlessly you knew you were attracted.
What can you say with the eyes?
Eye contact says to the other person:
I am interested in you
I respect you
I trust you
You have my attention
I value you
Then there is the avoidance of eye contact like the elevator stare. Fear of making eye contact with strangers and wild animals. Eye contact can be perceived as a challenge a precursor to aggression.
We probe each others eyes for mood signs like:
Trust can be developed almost immediately through eye contact.
Flirting a coy glance can be the beginning of all sorts of things
Bonding eye contact immediately brings two people closer
Feedback on how others are receiving you.
Winking says you and I know.
Our eyes are wonderful gifts. They help us express our feelings of:
And much more, without a word.
Not maintaining eye contact in this country carries the connotation that the person is not trustworthy.
In other countries maintaining eye contact may be considered rude and disrespectful.
What does eye movement mean?
Eye contact gives you valuable clues as to what a person is thinking.
Kinesthetic people tend to look down
Visual people tend to look up
Auditory people tend to look sideways
People who look left to gather thoughts tend to be religious, artistic. They are most likely remembering.
People who look to the right tend to be scientific
People who look up and right may be constructing or making up an answer.
Eye contact can mean permission to speak or it can be a command; like when you say to someone “look at me when I’m talking to you.”
We’re demanding their attention; also, that they join us at a deeper level.
People who are autistic or have social anxiety problems experience trouble maintaining eye contact as do liars.
When might you want to make eye contact?
When you want to say hello without a word.
To exchange a warm greeting
In the store to brighten someone’s day
In an interview
At a party
Playing a team sport
When might you want to avoid eye contact?
Walking down a dark alley
Face to face with a bear or other predatory animal
Ralph Waldo Emerson:
“On of the most wonderful things in nature is the glace of the eye; it transcends speech; it is the bodily symbol of identity.”
You can learn to maintain good eye contact. Practice doing it.
Make eye contact and smile at a stranger, can’t hurt.
Maintaining eye contact helps keep you focused on what the other person is saying; rather than thinking ahead to what you want to say.
In Western culture a shifty eyed person is judged badly; they are suspicious, up to no good.
“An eye for an eye and soon the whole world is blind.”
“Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, and half shut afterwards.”
In our society there is an increased need for interaction. Think of the joy you can spread by making eye contact and a smiling at the checker in the store, the wait person, or a passer by on the street.
It sends positive vibes. It is a sign of a confident person
Build self confidence . . . Practice eye contact
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