Why Is Eye Contact Important Anyway?
“You’ve to look people in the eyes.”
“Always hold eye contact when you introduce yourself.”
“Eye contact is the key to a good first impression.”
By the time I was 21, I had heard everything self-improvement advice had to say about the importance of eye contact.
And even though it was repeated over and over, I still dismissed it. It just wasn’t a high priority for me at the time.
I see this same mentality in the guys who come to me for help. While walking around Barcelona, I encouraged a client to commit to making strong eye contact with the women he greeted. He was feeling a bit overwhelmed, flustered, and finally burst out, “What’s the big deal with eye contact? Why are we focusing on this so much?”
I thought about how to explain the deeper reasoning to him. I wanted him to know that eye contact is SO much more than just a skill to practice. It’s a heartfelt way of expressing yourself and meaningfully communicating with other people.
I wanted him to really understand the old adage, “the eyes are the windows to the soul.”
Looking someone in the eyes isn’t just a cool trick to appear more confident. It’s a fundamental component of human connection. It’s how you build trust, create intimacy, and reveal your inner strength.
Eyes aren’t just windows, they open doors
Eye contact is a form of nonverbal communication. Nonverbal cues speak volumes about us, whether we realize it or not.
When someone talks to you, they’re gathering information about you from multiple sources: the tone of your voice, the rhythm of your speech, the positioning of your body, and of course, the quality of your eye contact.
All of this plays a crucial role in how they perceive you. Are you friendly? Are you nervous? Are you dangerous? Are you honest
People decide how to feel about you based on your eye contact and facial expressions. These cues help them figure out your emotional state AND your intentions.
Remember that a new person doesn’t know you. They don’t have anything else to go on to make a snap judgement about you. So you have to make the most out of the initial moments you have with them.
Without solid eye contact, it’s difficult for them to come to a positive conclusion about you. They’re more likely to be suspicious, apprehensive, and closed off. They’ve got no reason to open their heart and take things further than surface level.
It’s your job to use nonverbal communication to show your best self. Without it, you’ve got no foundation for trust and therefore, connection.