One of the most outstanding qualities of an individual would be their eyes. Another quality would be in their ability to make eye contact with people and feel comfortable in doing so. Most individuals find it difficult to master eye contact, but why? Are we afraid, shy, intimidated or have we been told it isn’t the polite or acceptable “thing” to do? As a patient counselor for many years, I’ve noticed, first hand, the difficulty many people have with this seeming simple exercise.
You have, no doubt, heard the old expression, “The eyes are the windows to the soul”. But in more ways than one, they are. One of the biggest tools we have in building rapport with people is with our eyes. Through our eyes we can convey almost every emotion and feeling we have. Equally our lack of eye contact can provide a wealth of information to others.
Do you remember when you were a child and your parents always knew when you weren’t telling the truth? The giveaway was in your inability to maintain eye contact. If you stop and think about it, the eyes are the first things we notice about some ones face. Eyes have a mesmerizing quality about them.
When you look at someone who is going through a difficult time, the first thing you may notice is that their eyes look sad. It’s hard for someone to hide their unhappiness. The eyes are capable of telling stories that were never meant to be told. Eyes can decipher thoughts and insecurities which are engraved in the deepest recesses of the mind. This is not just a phenomenon characteristic to Homo sapiens. Have you ever had a dog that has done something he/she didn’t want you to know about? It’s very difficult for them to look you in the eyes.
Realistically many people are unable to obtain eye contact for long periods of time. It makes them uncomfortable, but the advantages of having good eye contact are immeasurable. Making good eye contact is an essential tool in expressing oneself and in opening the door to responses from others. Remember, however, that there is a large difference between staring and in having good eye contact. Staring can be very intimidating to another person.
There are many areas in ones life that will demand the ability to have and maintain strong eye contact. Making eye contact can begin a social relationship, grantee a successful job interview or provide the foundation in being able to carry out successful public speaking presentations.
Being able to maintain eye contact will let every one know you are a confident and caring individual. With honesty and a sense of confidence people will enjoy their pleasant interactions with you. Remember good eye contact conveys to the other person, or groups your interest in them and this makes them feel important. Who doesn’t enjoy feeling important at times?