I love eye contact.
Now I know that’s a pretty strange thing to say, but I do. We as humans should use it on a daily basis, but with our busy lives, our constant need to multi-task, and of course the increasing amount of time we spend looking down at our devices, eye contact gets forgotten.
Using more eye contact with the ones who are important to you will create more meaningful relationships and here’s how.
1. Your Boss
I was always told that first and foremost, strong eye contact is the number one way to landing that dream job. Eye contact in the professional world is critical.
When you can maintain effective eye contact with your boss, it says a number of things about you. It says you are serious, committed, and most of all confident. Ah, confident.
There is just something about the fierceness of eye contact that screams, “I can perform this job better than anyone and I can prove it.” If looking away is the number one tell-tale sign of lying, shouldn’t we all want to make eye contact instead?
Let’s say your boss is the customer. Many customers will refuse to be helped by a professional who cannot give them eye contact.
Avoiding eye contact in any professional setting makes you appear uninterested. Use eye contact to show that you are interested in what they are saying, dedicated to the solution, and pleased to assist them. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you land that job promotion.
2. Your Significant Other
My husband and I know that if we want to have a serious conversation with each other, we make eye contact.
It sounds odd saying it out loud, but all too often we talk from across the room, while cooking, cleaning, feeding the babies, or any number of daily tasks we do around the house.
This is fine for a “how’s your day” talk, but if we want to say something important to each other, we make it known.
Eye contact is the first level of body language that says “Yes, I am listening”. Eye contact makes you feel important. Especially during an argument or negative conversation, eye contact shows your significant other that you care.
A lack of eye contact portrays that you are still angry/upset and not ready to move forward. When you stop and give your full attention to your significant other, first with eye contact, you’ll find that problems are resolved much more quickly.
You make the other person feel like they are being heard, and sometimes that is all that matters.
3. Your Child(ren)
Finally, my favorite way to use eye contact. Yes, even your three-year-old deserves a little extra eye contact. As parents we learn how to give “the look” and our children learn how to fear it.
You know, the look. The glare. The one-stare a parents needs to tell their child “no, stop, don’t you dare” or any variation of those basically negative remarks. Once your child hits the terrible twos, just think of how many times a day you’ll give ‘the look’.
Now think about how many times a day you’re running around, yelling from across the room, or simply looking down at whatever game you and your child are playing. Not a lot of eye contact right?
When it comes to our children, it is all too easy to use eye contact as a negative reinforcement, and miss out on the opportunities to give them positive reinforcement.
So, with my two-year-old and even my 7-month-old, I make it a point to look them in the eyes as much as possible when I give positive praise, and to say at least one powerful, positive reminder once a day.
By this I mean, whenever my babies and I have down time together, or just whenever I think of it, I remind them to look at me, we make eye contact, and then I give them a positive reminder such as “I love you” or “You were a super good boy/girl today”.
For me, this creates a stronger bond with my two littles because I am able to show them that the deep connection of eye contact is not a negative one. This is a skill that will be even more meaningful as they grow up. Plus, I hope it just makes them feel a little bit more loved.
If you feel that many of the relationships in your life are lacking a personal edge, try practicing more eye contact. The number of distractions in this day and age are growing.
Not only do we have to worry about TV screens, but almost everyone has a little screen in their pocket. Don’t let modern technology eliminate this simple, yet meaningful skill. Eye contact is the first level of showing you care and we all deserve a little extra caring.