Body Language Skills: Know The Power Of Eye-ContactPsychology

Body Language Skills: Know The Power Of Eye-Contact

Eye contact is one of the strongest non-verbal communication tools. The right amount of eye contact makes others perceive you as a warm, confident and a trustworthy person. But if you go overboard, you may come across as hostile and intimidating. It is high time to know how much of eye contact is too much.

But how will you judge the right amount of eye contact? As quoted by Sharon Sayler, the author of the book, 'What Your Body Says', "the appropriate amount of eye contact should be a series of long glances instead of intense stares." As a general rule, 30 per cent to 60 per cent eye contact during a conversation, more when you listen and lesser when you speak should create a congenial atmosphere. The balancing act to a major extent depends on the context of the situation. (Also read: Does Your Body Language Make You Appear As A Closed Person?)

Here are some general eye contact rules that need to be kept in mind when you converse with people.

1. Eye contact with an interviewer: Eye contact is the best non-verbal way to create a rapport with an interviewer. If you are a person who speaks less, let your eyes do the initial talking. Take a few seconds to get familiarized with the new environment. When you introduce yourself to the interviewer, look into his eyes directly, without staring for too long. If there is a panel of interviewers, shift your focus to all. Don't restrict your gaze with the one who you feel comfortable around or the one doing the most talking, but look at all the panelists every few seconds. (Also read: 7 Quick Exercises To De-Stress Your Eyes At Work)

Too much eye contact is as bad as no eye contact. In some countries, such as Japan, constant eye contact is considered to be rude and hostile. In the United States, however, the appropriate amount of eye contact reflects your zeal and good manners. To make the right amount of eye contact, try this trick. Make an imaginary triangle around the nose, eyes and mid-forehead of the interviewer. Now, shift your glances regularly around this triangle every ten to fifteen seconds to avoid losing your focus from the point person and looking elsewhere.

2. Eye contact during public speaking: It is very important to look at your audience at a public forum to engage them in the ongoing discussion. Maintaining appropriate eye-contact gives instant feedback in the case of public speaking. Look into the eyes of an audience member for 4-5 seconds and you can gauge if the person is enjoying the speech or slipping into hibernation. Also, when you fix your gaze at a particular person, the people seated next to him on either sides, as well as the ones sitting behind him in that section, start acknowledging you attentively.

Try to shift your eyes from one person to another when you switch to your next idea. Keep your notes handy and refer to the pointers quickly whenever you feel lost amidst a huge audience. When you know what to say next, you are ought to feel confident, and the chances of avoiding eye contact becomes minimal.

3. Eye contact in personal relationships: When you try to initiate a conversation with your crush for the first time, it may seem difficult to maintain an eye contact out of coyness. The pupil of our eyes get wider when we look at something we like. So, the trick here is shift your focus from the eyes to the face to begin with. Look at her face if you feel your shyness is getting in the way of maintaining a good eye-contact. (Also Read: 20 Secrets Of A Successful Relationship)

Take it slow. In such a case, make your eye contact debut when the other person is speaking. Listen and look into his/her eyes. When you look directly into the eyes of a person, the body produces a chemical called phenylethylamine, which 'may' make the other person feel in love.

(Also read: ​If You Want To Mint Money, Take Inspiration From Business Magnate Mukesh Ambani's Life)

Image: Thinkstock

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