There are a lot of reasons why maintaining eye contact is necessary. It is an essential aspect when it comes to communication, whether socially or professionally. Maintaining eye contact when talking to someone, whether if it’s a family member, a friend, a coworker, or your boss, makes you look confident, friendly, and engaged with the conversation. Keeping eye contact during conversations also makes you a lot more focused than when you don’t.
But, not everyone is used to or comfortable making eye contact. Fortunately, it’s a skill that can be quickly learned and apply. Here’s what you need to know about eye contact and how you can improve and be better at it.
Levels of Eye Contact
Not only in dating, but maintaining eye contact is essential in your day to day life. Aside from making you focused on the conversation, maintaining eye contact will also help you gauge the person’s feelings or attraction to you.
When it comes to eye contact on a romantic level, here are the different levels of eye contact you have to know about and what they mean.
No Eye Contact
The lowest level when it comes to eye contact is when someone you are talking to doesn’t make eye contact with you. Not making eye contact can be intentional or not intentional. Sometimes, people you are talking to lose eye contact because they have something on their mind, and they can’t focus on what you are saying.
Other times, they consciously try to do everything but looking at you. When this happens, it’s a telling sign that they are not interested in you or in what you are talking about.
It is why eye contact is essential. It sends a message to the one you are talking to if you are focused and engaged in the conversation.
Another level of eye contact is a glance, which can also be consciously done or not. A glance is when you look up at someone then look away immediately after.
Sometimes, you look away after making eye contact because you are shy, you feel awkward, or completely disinterested with the person or what they are talking about. A woman looking down suddenly after making eye contact might mean she is self-conscious by your presence.
Other times, you glance at someone at one moment, and then you have your eyes looking down the next, and you do this unintentionally. It often happens when you are looking at everything in your periphery at once, not focusing on one thing.
Another level of eye contact is the double glance. Most of the time, a second glance is made unintentionally. It is when something or someone captured your attention, and then you went to glance at it for a second time to see it more clearly.
A double or triple glance is usually the mind’s way to seek out what is interesting to you.
The fourth level of eye contact comes with intense eyes. Although the gaze is usually done consciously, it can sometimes, however, be done unconsciously. It happens when you keep looking at someone past two to three seconds, or the usual “look away” moment.
Sometimes, the gaze also comes with the fuck me eyes. It is when you make eye contact, smile, and never leave your eyes from where it has fixated on. Sometimes, if you don’t know the one who is giving you these fuck me eyes, it can quickly turn to creepy eyes in no time.
The dreamboat is on a deeper level of eye contact. It usually happens when you have fallen to someone, or they have fallen to you. It’s the fuck me eyes without being the creepy eyes after some time.
When it comes to a romantic relationship, the dreamboat is the most validating eye contact the other person can give you. However, if the feeling is not mutual, the dreamboat can also be like the creepy eyes.
Knowing the levels of eye contact can help you gauge the feelings of other people or the one you are talking too. At the same time, knowing these levels will also help you in projecting your feelings to the one you are talking to.
Why Do People Avoid Eye Contact?
Some people feel uncomfortable when making eye contact, and a lot of different reasons can cause it. Sometimes, avoiding eye contact is something that you do consciously or unconsciously. Some of these typical reasons include:
- If you are shy, you might find it intimidating or too intense when you look people in the eyes.
- Some socially anxious people get uncomfortable with eye contact. Instead, they try to avoid staring people in the eyes, so it is less overwhelming for them.
- Those with eye contact anxiety are also avoiding eye contact because they feel like they are being scrutinized or judged by the other person.
- If you are not used to making eye contact when you speak or listen to other people, it might take a little more effort for you to make eye contact when necessary. It is like a muscle that you have to train to do something.
- People sometimes tend to zone out while they are talking with others. They often get lost into something in their head or the surroundings, which caused them to lose eye contact with whom they are talking to. In this case, the loss of eye contact is made unconsciously.
- Other people don’t make eye contact, simply because they don’t know why they have to, or it has become their habit not to make eye contact. They might have been used to their eyes looking down when talking and haven’t had the chance or reason to change the habit.
Tips for Getting Comfortable Making Eye Contact
The trait of making eye contact can be like a muscle, and you have to ease yourself into doing it until it comes naturally to you. Before you become excellent at making eye contact, you have to be comfortable at doing it first, primarily if you weren’t used to doing it.
Here are some tips to help you feel at ease at looking people in the eyes while you are talking to them or vice versa.
1. Try making eye contact more gradually.
Nothing comes easy, and you wouldn’t forget about the anxiety of making eye contact overnight. If you weren’t used to looking people in the eyes, it could be hard to be consistent in doing it every time you are having a conversation with someone.
The key is to ease yourself into it and trying to make eye contact gradually. Don’t expect to improve your eye contact skills from 0 to 100 overnight. It would be much helpful if you work your way up slowly, but surely, until making eye contact comes naturally and effortlessly to you.
2. Start working on the easier aspects of making eye contact first.
There are different aspects of eye contact, some easier to do than others. And when you are easing yourself into making eye contact naturally, it will be much great if you can start with the easier aspects first.
For example, maintaining eye contact for short periods vs. Longer periods or looking between the eyes of the one you are talking to instead of looking directly into their eyes.
If it becomes a bit too much for you to consciously plan how you would improve your eye contact skills, focus on making eye contact as much as you can other than focusing in times that you can’t do it.
3. Give yourself time and your eye contact muscles.
Making eye contact naturally and effortlessly takes time and a lot of practice. Plus, it can be a bit of hard work to train your eyes to maintain eye contact instead of wandering at other things while you are in a conversation. So, give yourself time to master this skill and your eye muscles to ease into maintaining eye contact.
You might find your eye muscles tired after making eye contact for too long, especially if you are not used to it. Hence, it’s essential to take it gradually.
4. Practice with the TV.
If you are not confident with your eye contact skills yet, you don’t have to practice it with other people if you don’t want to. You can try using the TV for practice. To do this, try making eye contact with the characters you see on the TV screen and focus on them like you are talking to them in real life.
Also, this practice can help you study how people use the way they make eye contact to communicate with other people.
Simple Practices for Better Eye Contact
There are a lot of effective, but simple to do, strategies that can help improve how you make eye contact with other people. Whether you are talking to one person or a group of people in a casual or professional environment, these tricks can help you in making eye contact with them.
- Practice making eye contact before you strike up a conversation with someone. Otherwise, it would be much harder to look in their eyes if you’ve started to focus on talking with your eyes looking down.
- To avoid giving the creepy eyes, maintain eye contact for five or so seconds at a time before you break it out by glancing at the side, and resuming eye contact.
- Make use of the 50/70 eye contact rule. Make eye contact 50% of the time when you are speaking with someone and 70% when you are listening to them.
- When breaking eye contact, do it slowly. Darting your eyes a little too quickly can make you look shy or nervous.
- Avoid looking down when breaking eye contact, or it will make you disinterested or has a lack of confidence.
- Instead of looking away from their face completely when breaking eye contact after a few seconds, you can look at other spots of their face instead. Just imagine an inverted triangle. Look at one of their eyes than the other and then their mouth. Rotate at which point of the triangle you are looking at every five or so seconds.
- If looking directly into their eyes can make you feel a bit anxious, awkward, or uncomfortable, you can move your gaze on their nose, chin, or mouth instead.
- You can also break your eye contact by making gestures with your hand or a nod. Doing this can make you look more natural and engaged in the conversation. Plus, it’s also a subtle way to get yourself out of the awkwardness of making too much eye contact if you are still not used to it.
Extra Tips for Better Eye Contact
You use eye contact every day, whether you are talking to a friend when you hang out or with your coworkers at the office. But, it’s time to bring a simple eye contact to your advantage, that is, if you do it right.
Different eye contact is necessary for different situations. Check out how to improve your eye contact skills for specific circumstances and avoid your eyes looking down when talking to someone.
When Talking to One Person
When talking to a person one on one, it is crucial to maintain eye contact without giving them the creepy eyes or the super intense eyes. Otherwise, it might make them more uncomfortable than make them more at ease.
To avoid giving the creepy eyes while maintaining eye contact, you might want to break out from looking at their eyes every five seconds or so. However, you should avoid having your eyes looking down. Otherwise, it would seem like you are already dismissing the conversation. When you try to break eye contact every few minutes, try to hold your head in place and let your eyes look to the side or up.
When Talking to a Group
Compared to when you are listening to one person, a conversation with a couple of people or a group can be a little daunting when it comes to maintaining eye contact. Naturally, people are going to speak one by one. The key is to listen and maintain eye contact with the one who is talking at the moment. The easiest way you can do this is to not think of the group as a whole. Instead, think about having individual conversations with people one at a time. This way, it will be much easier for you to focus your listening skills on the person currently talking.
A glance at other people from the group will also get you out of giving the intense eyes or staring too much.
When Arguing with Someone
Even when arguing with someone, it is still essential to make eye contact. Eye contact makes you focus during regular conversations. During an argument, on the other hand, maintaining eye contact helps you make your point as well as show your strength.
Usually, when you have your eyes looking down while arguing with someone, it seems like you’re admitting you lost the argument. While it mostly depends on who you are arguing with, it’s a better practice to hold someone’s gaze while you are stating your point or when you are listening to their positions.
Also, you don’t even have to say a lot during an argument. Just stare at them without saying anything, and it’s the easiest way to win the case without uttering any word.
When Listening to Someone
Eye contact is necessary, not just when you talk to someone, also when you are listening to what they have to say. Lacking eye contact with someone who is talking to you might make them feel like you are not interested or invested in the conversation. On the other hand, if you stare at them too hard while they are talking, it can be a bit awkward and off-putting.
To find the balance of eye contact when listening to someone without looking disinterested or giving creepy eyes, you might want to pause a bit from staring at their eyes every few seconds. You can look at their mouth instead, to still seem focused on the conversation.
Eye Contact and Attraction
A stare is sometimes worth a thousand words. You can make active eye contact to show you are attracted to someone without having to say anything. When they are talking, look at their whole face in general, not just the eyes. If you think you’ve been staring at them for quite some time, avoid giving the creepy eyes and move your gaze into the other features of their face. Listen to what they are saying and smile when necessary, and your eye contact will send them the message you don’t have to vocalize.
It is not easy, but completely necessary, to maintain eye contact when talking or listening to someone. Eye contact is an important aspect of communication. Lack of eye contact or too much of it can give off your feelings towards the person you are talking to.
Meet with other people now and check if you have excellent eye contact skills. You can use our app to meet with friends, and while you might not be excellent at maintaining eye contact, this article should help you with that.
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