Eye contact: three rules of etiquette

Eye contact is the fastest and most effective non-verbal signal that can be transmitted to another person.

So, if a person does not look into the eyes of the interlocutor, then this, in the opinion of others, may indicate his unreliability. On the other hand, too long eye contact is considered unacceptable in many professional fields.

“Eye contact can be direct or subtle, and understanding how they can be combined is an essential foundation for creating any human relationship, ” says Sharon Sayler in her new guide “What Your Body Says About (and How to Control It signals) ".

But how do you know when to stare at another person and when is it better not to look up at all? And where exactly should you look when trying to establish eye contact with a person? According to Seiler, it would be much more expedient to make a series of prolonged cursory glances than to constantly stare at the interlocutor. Below are a few guidelines for eye contact etiquette to remember each time you look at someone else's face.

1. Eye contact with a business partner

The most acceptable method of visual contact for business communication is to fix your gaze in the center of a kind of "triangle", the lower edge of which is located just below the eye level of your colleague, and the upper point is located in the middle of the forehead.

2. Eye contact in personal relationships

And if you know the person well, turn over the above "triangle" and visually position it so that its peak now falls on the interlocutor's mouth, and set your gaze again in the center of the resulting imaginary geometric figure. Most likely, your gaze will now be directed to the bridge of the interlocutor's nose. However, remember that looking at the lower part of a person's face for a long time can be unambiguously perceived by him as a desire for intimacy or as a manifestation of aggression.

3. Eye contact with controlled blinking

We unconsciously blink more often when we are under the destructive effects of stress, so we need to learn how to control the frequency of blinking, ”says Seiler. If you want to convey a serious message to the interlocutor with the help of a glance, then you should practice mastering direct eye contact without blinking, since "limited blinking allows your visual signal to inspire confidence in others."

Controlling your own gaze is important, since it is through it that people receive the lion's share of information about your feelings and thoughts. In business communication, you need to control your eye contacts and eye movements, since it is these non-verbal signals that most of all give out your intentions and state.

It is also worth remembering the importance of eye contact among representatives of different nationalities.

For example, a direct and prolonged gaze directed at the interlocutor is usually perceived in Western culture as a sign that a person can be trusted. And in eastern countries, a defiant, piercing gaze indicates a disrespectful and insolent attitude, especially when it comes to the relationship between a boss and a subordinate.

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