Body language can speak volumes. So, let’s look at some of the ways making eye contact can improve your life:
First: It’ll make you more popular. Executive speaking coach Mike Landrum says that people who make eye contact are consistently rated as more likeable than those who don’t. That’s because our brains are wired to subconsciously evaluate a stranger’s intentions by seeing the subtle changes in the muscles around their eyes. So, when you meet someone’s gaze, you literally send the message, “I have nothing to hide.”
Another benefit of eye contact: It’s good for your relationship. Studies show that eye contact releases the bonding hormone oxytocin. In fact, looking your partner in the eye is more effective than gifts and flowers for reconnecting after an argument.
Eye contact is also good for your office charisma and reputation. Eye contact commands attention. So, people are less likely to daydream or check their phones when you’re making a presentation.
Of course, all this research doesn’t mean you should get into a staring contest with everyone you meet. Body language expert David Alssema says that, just like in the animal kingdom, too much eye contact can be perceived as threatening. If you’re in doubt about how much is too much, follow the other person’s lead, and don’t look at them more than they look at you.