8 Ways Eye Contact Can Change Your Life

People usually make eye contact 30 to 60% of the time they are in a conversation. But to establish a real emotional connection, it should really be about 60 to 70%. Using eye contact to your advantage is a skill that can be mastered with practice. Whether you are trying to get a point across during a board meeting or spending a romantic evening with someone, your gaze can say more than your words.

This Bright Side article will make you aware of and appreciate the importance of learning this important body language skill.

1. It keeps you more self-aware.

In a social setup, if you see someone staring at you, you may start concentrating more on your actions and mannerisms. It can be a positive thing if you take it in the right way. If you notice someone trying to lock their gaze on you, check to see if what you are doing is appropriate.

However, locking a gaze can sometimes be used to bully as well. So, if you find that everything is alright, but someone is still looking at you, you can just ignore this person.

2. It creates and deepens attraction.

Eye contact heightens self-awareness. If you romantically gaze into the eyes of your loved one, they will instantly have that nervous butterflies feeling in their gut. And that’s fun for both of you.

We all know that a smile is a great way to create and deepen an attraction. Coupling it with a deep gaze, is taking it to the next level. The good news is that we say this not just from our own experience, but with the backing of science as well.

3. It makes your words more memorable.

Whether you are talking to a prospective employer or your love interest, holding their gaze is a sign of confidence and sincerity. It is an effective way to ensure that they pay attention to and remember what you are saying.

This technique can be equally effective if you are giving business presentations or trying to make your child understand something. This was also proven in a study that was conducted at the University of Wolverhampton.

4. It helps people notice and remember you.

You may have noticed that successful people have a peculiar way of gesturing and looking at people while they talk. Their strong body language is the key to their success. Research has shown that eye contact, coupled with some sudden movement like turning your head while holding someone’s gaze or an unexpected hand motion, can make people take note of you and remember you.

Strong body language coupled with a deep gaze has a very strong impact on an audience.

5. It can be used to spot a liar.

We have often heard statements like “look into my eyes and tell me the truth” in movies, so it’s natural to assume that lying while looking at someone is difficult. However, it is a myth that people avoid lying while looking directly into someone’s eyes, and science backs this up. But this myth is not completely unfounded. Although it’s true that liars make more eye contact than truth-tellers, when confronted with direct eye contact, people tend to be more honest.

This is because of our internal makeup, which dates back to our days as hunters and gatherers. We subconsciously believe that our eyes give away more than what we might be saying, so we abstain from lying while looking directly at someone.

6. It can even make you fall in love.

Some of the most romantic scenes in movies are those where the lovers romantically gaze into each other’s eyes. In fact, there is some science behind this too. You can fall in love with someone just by looking into their eyes, but it might not be mutual, according to research. Researchers using hidden cameras found that if a man stares at a woman for over 8.2 seconds, he is more likely to fall in love with her, compared to if he looks at her for less than 4.5 seconds.

But this finding does not hold true for women. So, if you are a woman and see a man looking at you for over 8.2 seconds, just know that he might have feelings for you!

7. It shows respect and appreciation.

Establishing healthy eye contact while talking is a mark of respect and appreciation in most western countries, including the US. It also shows that you consider the other person to be an equal. If you shy away from it, people might perceive you as being incompetent or untrustworthy. But it is important to make sure that your gazing does not turn into staring.

However, various cultures in Asia and Africa consider looking directly into the eyes of someone who is higher up in the social hierarchy, rude and disrespectful. It is, therefore, necessary to know about the culture and traditions of the place you are in.

8. It can help you get along in a new social gathering.

We might sometimes find ourselves in social gatherings where we might not know many people, other than the host. These occasions are a great place to socialize and build new contacts. And locking a gaze can be a great way to start.

If you make eye contact with someone at a social gathering, it indicates that you would like to approach this person and have a conversation. This is a good way to break the ice and form meaningful relationships.

Are you someone who is a master of holding the gaze, or do you shy away with your eyes during a conversation?

Illustrated by Daniil Shubin for BrightSide.me