Eye contact in communication

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Eye contact in communication

This article is part two of my article Eye contact in body language. In the previous article i said that proper eye contact shows interest, respect and reflects the presence of confidence.

In this article i am going to talk about more concepts that explain how eye contact affects communication between people.

More about eye contact in communications

People usually make the mistake of evaluating the effect of eye contact out of context of the situation.

For example a positive eye contact, which is usually 70-80% of the time, might show that someone is interested in you but if that same person had some anger towards you then the more he looks towards you the more this means that he is hostile.

A research has found that eye contact can also reflect the kind of behaviour the person expects from another one. For example it was found that people who were expecting to be criticized by others gave less eye contact than people who were expecting to be praised.

In another experiment people who were asked tough questions by job interviewers tended to look away more than those who were asked simple questions.

So before you can judge the effect of eye contact you first need to take the full context of the situation into consideration.

It was found that people give more eye contact to those who smile to them more often. Again this shows that personal goals can affect a person's body language. If a person found a rewarding action such as looking to someone who smiles back to him then he will certainly do it more often without noticing.

How eye contact affects communication between people

Based on this fact you can use eye contact to reach your social goals. For example if you wanted to show someone that you are interested in him then you must give him more eye contact.

If you knew for sure that someone needs approval, and most people do, then you can give more eye contact to this person so that you leave a good first impression. (see First impression psychology)

In the Solid Self confidence program i said If you are too shy to look at someone's eye directly you can just look between his eyes and he wont notice it.

giving more eye contact can also show that you are more in control, charismatic or dominant. In another study it was found that people tended to avoid doing more harm to others if they looked them in the eye.

This means that the person in charge of turning on the electric chair another person is sitting on is going to reduce the amount of torturing if the later looked him in the eye more often.

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