Did you ever meet someone who just couldn’t look you in the eye? Made you a little nervous, didn’t it? That’s because it’s hard to trust someone who can’t look you in the eye when they speak to you.
#Eye contact is one of the most important facets of confident body language. The inability to look at someone, to hold their gaze – well, that just makes most of us pretty nervous. The reason for that may be that, when we were children, we were often told of those “shifty-eyed thugs” or something to that effect, causing us to fear anyone who won’t look directly at us when we are in conversation.
Think about it: Someone comes up to you on the street, asking for help perhaps, and won’t look you in the face when they are talking with you. How likely is it that you will help that person, just because they couldn’t look at you? Lack of eye contact sinks more relationships, be they business or the friendly kind. We just can’t trust someone who won’t look at us.
When you meet those future in-laws, or that new boss, or perhaps a new neighbor, greet them with your eyes and a huge smile, and see what happens.
Their eyes lit up and they smiled back, right? Because by looking at them, you were saying “I see you, I acknowledge your presence, and I want to engage in conversation with you.” Also – they could trust you. You looked right at them, greeted them with a smile and direct eye contact, and gave them a reason to smile and be happy. Now they WANT to talk with you!
If you run into an old friend on the street, and you ask them how things have been for them, pay attention to what their eyes do. If they can’t look at you when they answer, you can be fairly sure things are not going well for them. When things are going well for people, they have no reason to look downcast. Watch others respond to you when you look at them, see how important it is to THEM to have you make direct eye contact.
Finally, and this may sound silly, when you are on the phone with someone, smile. It lights up your face and brings a twinkle to your eye that the person on the other end of the phone can feel. Your eyes are the window to your soul; use them to your advantage!