In more intense or intimate conversations we naturally look at each another more often and hold that gaze for longer periods of time.
In fact, we judge relationships by the amount of eye contact exchanged: the greater the eye contact, the closer the relationship.
This is one of those things that can be extremely effective wielded properly – it can shoot through the roof, make you physically intimidating even to men twice your size, and communicate “I mean business” to anyone and everyone like nothing else really can (although it can also send you directly to creepy guy land if you aren’t careful how you deploy it).
One of the most powerful means of communicating with others nonverbally is by calling up your most piercing, incisive eye contact.
I sometimes also call this the “death stare” or the “predatory look.” It’s the ability to stare into someone else and make her feel as though you’re staring directly into her soul... preparing to DO something to her, though she can only guess at WHAT.
• We reduce eye contact when we are talking about something shameful or embarrassing, when we are sad or depressed, and when we are accessing internal thoughts or emotions.
• We increase eye contact when dealing with people we like, admire, or who have power over us.
• We avoid eye contact in elevators, subways, crowded buses or trains - in elevators we face the door, in the others we stare at our Smartphones - because it helps us manage the insecurity of having our personal space invaded.
Waiters may avoid eye contact to send customers the signal, “I’m too busy to deal with you right now.” Employees often keep their eyes down when the boss appears with a tricky question or looks like he’s going to ask for volunteers.
So unless you have in mind doing one of those things, it’s better to avoid too much eye contact.
Too little, on the other hand, can make you appear uneasy, unprepared, and insincere.
And the power of that infantile eye contact still retains its impact on the adult mind.
Whether it’s shifty-eyed guilt or wide-eyed innocence, we automatically assign enormous credence to the signals we give and get when we look into each other in the eyes."Did you know that eye contact is like Goldilocks and the three bears? Too much eye contact is instinctively felt to be rude, hostile and condescending; and in a business context, it may also be perceived as a deliberate intent to dominate, intimidate, belittle, or make “the other” feel at a disadvantage.
but I’ve heard that said about LOTS of things I’ve gone on to learn or teach, and I’d be surprised if this is any different.