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How to Make Eye Contact

Learn how to make eye contact from manners expert Faye de Muyshondt in this Howcast video.

Transcript

Hi, I'm Faye de Muyshondt from Socialskilz here to teach you about eye contact basics. So, as you're speaking to people, probably one of the most important aspects of you and how you come across is your eye contact, and there are quite a few important parts of eye contact. As you speak to someone, you want to make sure you're not staring at them the entire time because then it becomes a little bit uncomfortable for the other person. So make sure that you're keeping a natural eye contact and also blinking as you're speaking. Now, if you're blinking too much, that's going to come across as a little bit awkward also.

If you have a hard time making eye contact, keep this in mind. A lot of people have a hard time making eye contact, but you can actually look at the center point between someone's eyebrows if you have a really hard time looking into someone's eyes. No one will notice if you're looking between the center of their eyebrows at all. So that's just one tip if you have a hard time making eye contact.

You might look off as you're talking to people. So for example if you're thinking for a second and you look up at the ceiling, that's fine. But the problem comes about when you're looking off for a little bit too long. So if I'm thinking for a little while and I just keep looking up at the ceiling, then it becomes pretty awkward. So, make sure that as you gaze off, which is fine as you look off into another direction, it's just for a moment or for a second or two, but that you bring your focus back on to the person.

Now, we've all been in that position where you're talking to someone and something else is obviously going on behind your shoulder and there is some reason why someone stops making eye contact with you for a few moments. But, if you're in that position where something catches your attention off to the side, make sure that you re-focus on the person because you could give the impression that the person you're speaking with isn't very important that whatever it is that's happening on the sidelines is a lot more important.

A practice exercise that you can do at home is to have a conversation in front of the mirror. Now, as silly as this sounds it's really effective. So have a conversation with yourself in front of the mirror or tell a story in front of the mirror. And watch your eyes and watch how often they drift off and whether or not they come back pretty quickly.

So, once you get a little bit more comfortable with doing this by yourself in front of the mirror, have a conversation with someone who is close to you or someone who you love and ask them to give you really candid feedback as to whether or not they felt like you were paying attention or they felt like your stare was too intense. Ask them for their feedback and that's going to help you tremendously as you work on your eye contact.

This is probably one of the most important skillsets that you need for your life. Someone who doesn't make great eye contact is going to have a hard time gaining trust or building friendships or building relationships with people. Those are a few tips on how to make good eye contact.

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