Eye Contact Is Great, but Too Much Can Backfire When Making Your CasePsychology

Eye Contact Is Great, but Too Much Can Backfire When Making Your Case

Alan Henry , Gizmodo Media

Eye Contact Is Great, but Too Much Can Backfire When Making Your Case

Most of us are taught that when we want to be convincing in interviews or social situations, making eye contact is important-and it is, to a point. New research however points to the idea that too much eye contact actually comes off overly aggressive or dominant, and serves to detract from your point, not emphasize it.

The study, published in the journal Psychological Science, studied students who watched videos on controversial topics to see where their gaze set. Over two small studies with different groups and conditions, the researchers found that the students who held eye contact were less likely to change their opinions on a topic than students who looked elsewhere, like the speaker's mouth. Bottom line: Don't assume that strong eye contact means you've been persuasive-it's only a positive indicator if the person already agrees with you or is on your side.

So what does that mean for people in interviews, trying to convince their boss that they need a raise, or having a polite debate over dinner? Essentially your point will be better served if you don't try to stare down the people you're talking to. Light eye contact is important to show confidence, but going over the top will signal aggressiveness and defensiveness, so don't be afraid to break eye contact from time to time when you're thinking. Remember, body language is about more than just your eyes.

Why Eye Contact Can Fail to Win People Over | NPR

Photo by Empty Words.

Contribute to LifeHacker

Write for Us

Comments ()

X
Sort By:
Be the first one to review.

Suggested for you

  • Four Tips From Pediatricians to Teach Kindness to Kids

    Four Tips From Pediatricians to Teach Kindness to Kids
  • All the Days You Can Visit National Parks for Free in 2017

    All the Days You Can Visit National Parks for Free in 2017
  • How Hackers Really Steal Passwords, How Close You Live to a Nuclear Bomb, and the Zero Waste Challenge

    How Hackers Really Steal Passwords, How Close You Live to a Nuclear Bomb, and the Zero Waste Challenge
  • Laminate "Lost Pet" Flyers to Make Them Last Longer

    Laminate "Lost Pet" Flyers to Make Them Last Longer
  • A Crash Course In Finding the Right Foundation For You

    A Crash Course In Finding the Right Foundation For You
  • Base Your Pride On Your Effort, Not Natural Talent, to Avoid Arrogance

    Base Your Pride On Your Effort, Not Natural Talent, to Avoid Arrogance
  • Focus on One Resolution a Month to Accomplish More Overall

    Focus on One Resolution a Month to Accomplish More Overall
  • Why You Should Recognize Luck's Role in Your Success or Failure

    Why You Should Recognize Luck's Role in Your Success or Failure
  • Commit to Fifteen Minutes of Financial Literacy a Day to Get Your Finances in Order

    Commit to Fifteen Minutes of Financial Literacy a Day to Get Your Finances in Order
  • Suspension Trainer Showdown: TRX vs monkii bars 2

    Suspension Trainer Showdown: TRX vs monkii bars 2
  • CVS Introduces a Lower Cost EpiPen, Available Right Now

    CVS Introduces a Lower Cost EpiPen, Available Right Now
  • Use the Fibonacci Sequence to Quickly Convert Between Miles and Kilometers

    Use the Fibonacci Sequence to Quickly Convert Between Miles and Kilometers
  • How Sharing Your To-Do List Can Help You Get More Done

    How Sharing Your To-Do List Can Help You Get More Done

Editor's Pick

  • Unlock Your iOS 10 Devices without Touch ID or Home Button

    Unlock Your iOS 10 Devices without Touch ID or Home Button
  • ​ 5 Qualities Most Interesting People in the World Have in Common

    ​ 5 Qualities Most Interesting People in the World Have in Common
  • 'Fitbit for Alcohol' Will Tell You When You Have Had Enough Drinks

    'Fitbit for Alcohol' Will Tell You When You Have Had Enough Drinks

Subscribe to latest stories

Trending on social



Subscribe for latest stories