Communication: Is Eye Contact Important?

By Oliver J R Cooper in Attention, Awareness, Success, anxiety, attitude on December 17th, 2013 / No Comments

When one experiences eye contact from another person it can cause them to feel: acknowledged, respected and important. And yet when this doesn’t take place, one can end up feeling: ignored, disrespected and unimportant.

Eye contact could be seen as something that is relatively effortless and takes very little energy to apply. It doesn’t cost anything and one is unlikely to run out of energy through it. But while it can be easy to do, and the impact it has can be monumental, it doesn’t mean that everyone utilizes this power in their life.

This can mean that not only do other people lose out on what they would have experienced from maintaining eye contact, but one will also lose out from how others would respond to them if they had experienced it.

Trust

To receive eye contact from someone can create the impression that they are trust worthy. Of course people can have really good eye contact and still have something about them that makes one wonder if they can be trusted.

So it is not everything, but it is going to play a big role in if one thinks someone can be trusted or not. One can end up feeling more at ease and safer through it being there. Without it, one can appear shifty and deceptive. It could be due to shyness or low confidence, but this is often overlooked and labelled as one being rude or even ignorant.

Connection

And as it can lead to trust being formed, it therefore means that it will play a big part in how connected one feels to another. When one talks to someone and eye contact is there, each person can come to conclusion that they matter and they could even end up feeling special because of it.

The absence of this is going to stop one person from being able to feel connected to the other person. Perhaps they are a bit timid or have something to hide, but with these assumptions aside, one is going to feel that they can’t quiet connect to them.

And unless one has the desire to dig deeper and find out, it might well mean that this person is overlooked and not given the chance to explain why they are like they are. So through one having bad eye contact, they will have lost a potential friend, lover or client for instance.

First impressions

Once a first impression has been formed, it is often too late for one to change it. And this is why it is vital that one has good eye contact from the beginning of an interaction. To not look at someone in a shop is unlikely to create too many problems. As human beings we can end feeling up tired or exhausted after a long day or due to a certain challenge in our life, so there will be moments where eye contact doesn’t take place.

This is understandable and it is not something that one should feel bad about. However, what matters is that one generally gets it right around their: friends, family, potential lovers or partners or in a business setting for example. This is when it truly matters.

Different Approaches

There is naturally going to be differences in how one uses eye contact around different people. When it comes to friends or family, one may well have a fairly balanced approach. So looking at them for a fairly short time and then looking away. Eye contact won’t be held for too long, but it won’t end too soon either.

If one was speaking to someone in a shop or on the street, eye contact might not be maintained for as long. To keep it there for as long as one might do with their friends or family, could give off the wrong impression and all because the comfort and familiarity has not been developed.

And then there is going to be a different degree of eye contact when one is speaking to their partner, lover or someone who they would like to be more than just friends with. In this context, keeping eye contact can allow attraction to develop or to be maintained or for one to be able to take things further.

Avoidance

There can be times when eye contact can be dangerous and avoiding it completely is the best possible option. If some kind of violence or crime is taking place and one looks at the person or people who are committing it, it could cause them to be agitated and even more hostile.

So avoiding it could save one from being injured or mugged or even from losing their life. This relates to what could be an extreme example for some people and a fairly regular occurrence for others.

Action

Discernment is therefore vital in knowing when to use it and for how long. And if one is unaware as to how or when to use eye contact, then observing others can make a big difference. And there are now numerous books out there on this subject as well as videos and audios.

One can start to look at people for longer during certain situations. However, if maintaining eye contact is overwhelming for someone, then it might be necessary to look at what is going on at a deeper level.

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