Proper Eye Contact is a powerful body language tool that helps you with:
- Controlling the flow of conversation
- Keeping the attention of your listeners
- Signal interest and build rapport
- Help you stop someone from endless blabber
- Seduce with your gaze
- Intimidate with the eye glare.
- And use the wink to make the connection.
I’ve talked about the different types of gazes and their uses here, and I highly recommend reviewing it before you start, to have a better understanding of some key terms. If you’re ready, let’s start with:
How to Control the Flow of Conversation with Your Eyes
The conversation is more than just an exchange of syllables; a lot is said through nonverbal cues that set the ‘tempo’ and tone of the conversation.
Through the body language of eye contact, we instinctively understand whose turn is to speak and how interested the other party is in what we say. Let’s see some guidelines that can help you regulate the conversation:
Using Eye Contact as a Listener
To push the speaker to tell you more, you need to encourage him to do so. It’s easily done if you show interest in his words by leaning forward, nodding, and maintaining eye contact using the social gaze. It sends a warm and welcoming image that you like what you hear and see – you want more.
If you only want to pretend you’re interested, it’s important to nod or tilt your head a little to the side, blink often enough, and try to look engaged with your eyes. Blank unblinking gaze, with your head about to fall from your hand, won’t do you any good. Try to shift in your position and change your posture if nothing works.
If on the contrary, you’re just dying that someone will quit his blabber, you can try doing 2 things:
- Either stare him squarely in the eyes with an intimidating power gaze. Don’t move your head and keep your face expressionless as much as possible. This way you send a cold and unnerving message by avoiding showing any signs of feedback to them.
- Just generally avoid eye contact. Nothing says ‘ I don’t want to hear more’ than turning your head aside. Be sure you understand the consequences though, it’s a plain obvious sign that can easily offend the other party – make sure it’s worth it.
How Speakers Can Use Eye Contact
Keeping eye contact during your phase of talking makes the other person more attentive to what you say. With enough practice, you can make the listener feel as if he’s the sole person in the world, your full attention and message are targeted especially towards him.
What if your audience consists of two or more? What if it’s a crowd? It’s not easy, but do try to meet each face and hold their gaze for a moment – It’s like being a human lighthouse, with your gaze as the light sweeping the room.
When mastered properly – the effect can be tremendous – Imagine your feelings if, in a lecture, the lecturer, rather than staring blankly into space meets your gaze during his speech. Even for just one split second? You will feel more involved and perhaps even be on your toes. maybe his words are intended especially for you.
In my job, when I speak and need the full attention of my pupils (kids aren’t the most attentive and calm group as you can imagine.) I try to meet everyone’s gaze when I talk. I want them to understand that what I say at that moment is extremely important and I wish that each kid will feel that I refer to him personally.
Let’s continue with more info on the body language of the eyes. This time it’s about attraction and creating connections. The eyes, if you know how to use them, can be the most alluring tool in your arsenal, especially if you’re a female. Let’s see some tricks to mesmerize with your gaze.
The Sideways Glance
The sideways glance or a sidelong glance is a glance taken quickly from the side.
Depending on the context it can send 2 entirely different messages:
- One of hostility and suspicion:
- The head will turn away aside
- The eyebrows will furrow
- Lines may appear on the forehead
- The mouth will go sour.
- “Don’t get near me” is the meaning here.
- On a positive note, these body language signs will appear:
- The neck is exposed – the head may tilt to the side.
- The eyebrows raised
- A little smile or a pout appears
- The message is certainly a positive one, revealing interest and playfulness.
Let me elaborate:
For females, this glance can be very powerful because it displays 2 traits that attract men: submissive and yet teasing attitude.
- Revealing the neck, bowing the head lightly and the shy sideways glance make the eyes look bigger and used to show vulnerability and innocence – this has a strong psychological effect on men- encourages them to protect and serve this “damsel in distress”.
- The little smile and the frequent glances are used as a little game. “Come and get me if you can”.
The combination of these 2 quite opposing traits has a strong sex appeal; it gives the eyes a mysterious alluring aura. So, if you’re a guy, and ever wondered what is the best moment to approach a girl – this is your cue, don’t miss it!
If you have spotted her sideways glance and she looked away, don’t turn your gaze, wait. When she looks at you again – put on a little smile. If she’s returning the smile, you hit the spot – the game is on. You can approach her and do the talking.
Looking Up Gaze
Aka bedroom eyes – another high potential for seduction gaze that is often used by women.
In this gaze:
- The eyelids are lowered
- The eyebrows raised
- The lips parted
- The eyes look up.
- Just imagine the gaze women get pre-orgasm.
If you use it right, especially if you’re female, you can send a very attractive message – fun, mysterious, playful, and secretive. Not to mention that it also reminds orgasm – it’s the perfect cocktail for seduction.
Marilyn Monroe was famous for her seductive and playful eyes – she even shaped her eyebrows in a thin arch to emphasize the distance between them and the eyelids.
This gaze has its disadvantages however: it can be confused with a tired or lazy expression if used incorrectly – because it looks as if you’re about to close your eyes and go to sleep. Plus, I don’t need to tell you that using it inappropriately can lead to “interesting” results.
One of the best and easiest to create understanding and start a playful connection is made by a simple act – the wink. The wink is a nonverbal cue to signal friendliness and to create a special kind of secret understanding between two people.
Between friends and relatives, the wink stands as a sign of empathy and association. For example, when you feel down and a friend wants to cheer you up he may use the wink to show that he gets you and it’s gonna be OK – lighten up.
Or, if you want to get some friend to cooperate with you secretly – you will wink at him to signal a subtle understanding between you – when playing a mutual joke, for example.
This is why the wink can be a useful and fun way to connect with strangers, especially in flirting and dating scenarios. It’s like saying “I think you’re a cool person and I get you”.
This kind of interaction makes the other party feel trendy and appreciated because it feels like you share a common secret. Of course, it doesn’t always work. If you spot the other person turning away or raising his eyebrow in question, then either she didn’t get it or she disagrees with you.
I’d like to talk about the use of the dominant gaze – Primarily from the male perspective, as the last post was focused mainly on the attractive body language of the female’s eyes. I also wish to speak about the meaning behind the eye glare– how to use it and to know what you can do to help you disarm it.
We talked mostly about seduction from the female’s perspective – submissive, secretive, and playful – these are the traits that can easily bring men to their knees. But what about us, men?
How can we use our eye contact to make a woman’s heart skip a beat? If women are expected to show teasing and submissive characteristics, men are usually expected to make the first move, to take action.
This attitude is also reflected through eye contact – it needs to show power, confidence and a hint of playfulness is always welcome. Let’s start with the basics – to project confidence in your eyes you need to be comfortable making eye contact and maintaining it.
Are you comfortable meeting strangers’ eyes? If you have trouble, it’s better to work on that first.
You won’t leave the best first impression if you glance right away when she meets your gaze – uncertainty and shyness won’t do you much good to impress her.
I know, it’s not easy to resist that urge to look away, and you’re not alone in this, most guys have more trouble making eye contact than girls.
But this is learned the hard way – you must practice creating and maintaining eye contact every day. Take this step by step and challenge yourself in this area of your life if you feel it’s lacking, believe me, it’s worth it.
When you’ve built up your confidence in making eye contact, you can feel comfortable enough to start slowly and smoothly scanning your surroundings and meeting gazes.
You don’t need to stare, but to feel comfortable enough to check your surroundings and the people around you. Tell yourself to be calm and easy, don’t try to impress anyone, but rather feel good in your skin.
This inner peace speaks volumes to anyone around you. Remember that women use their peripheral vision better than us, and they can check you out even if you’re not aware of that.
Again, I cannot stress enough the fact that to have a dominant gaze you need to feel secure and good about yourself; it’s very hard to fake these emotions through the eyes. Practicing making eye contact and working on your inner self to build confidence is the way to go.
Eye contact can be a scary thing.
I remember as I kid, when I wished to “blend in the crowd”, like when I forgot my homework, for example, I would stare at anything but into the teacher’s eyes so she wouldn’t ask me to the board.
Sure, it wasn’t the smartest thing to do, because as often as not it gave me away immediately, but it’s a natural response of hiding in children – perhaps if I don’t see “it”, “it” won’t see me.
The eye glare, an unflinching, squinted stare squarely in the eyes is a very powerful tool of intimidation even in adults.
Some have mastered it so well that it’s very hard not to submit and “lose” to them in this staring contest. Can you develop this kind of stare?
If your goal is to develop a more threatening reputation you can try to practice the power gaze with a mirror, or even better, with a friend as a sort of staring contest.
Gradually, start to do it with other people and see how they react. With time and patience, you will feel more relaxed creating and maintaining this kind of eye contact.
Like the dominant gaze, it’s more than just a physical “trick” – it has a lot to do with how you feel inside.
If you have fear or feel insecure at that moment, it would be extremely hard not to flinch at first.
Trying it with your boss, for instance, can be extremely hard because both of you understand the status difference and the possible consequences of your “defiance”.
I would generally advise against this kind of behavior because:
- A. It won’t make you the most popular person in the world.
- B. Sometimes It can lead to some real trouble if you don’t know what you’re doing.
In simple words – use it with caution!
If on the other hand, you need to deal with someone who likes to use this eye glare to intimidate you, remember that you got the option to avoid it.
Avoiding eye contact can send a variety of meanings – one of them is “I just don’t care or like you”, so by avoiding the glare you send the message of non-cooperation – simply don’t subject yourself to this bullying.
If you cannot avoid the encounter or cannot openly defy the other party – try to find some excuse to change the topic or to lead the gaze away – for example, using props or your hands for gesticulations can divert the gaze and disarm it. It’s like an elegant retreat; you don’t openly submit defeat but rather change the theme.
I’ve talked a lot about the body language of eye contact and the different uses it has in everyday situations – from casual conversation to intimidation techniques.
To sum it up: the body language of eye contact is your friend – learn how to use and read it. I know, it’s not easy, mostly because the eyes seem to have a mind of their own – either they just stare and you can’t get them off, or on the contrary, you are just unable to hold your gaze when it’s a necessity.
But once you can get past that wall. you will find yourself much more at ease in the company of strangers, you won’t feel the need to hide away your glance and others will start to trust and like you more.
You may also find it’s the type of communication you truly crave in a relationship. Just to dive deep into the eyes and communicate without a single word.