Have you ever felt that strange, unsettling sensation that someone is physically invading your space? Even though no one’s laid a hand on you, you distinctly feel that someone is, in fact, touching you? Have you ever fought the uncomfortable desire to shy away, to recoil from the gaze of the person in front of you, even across a crowded room?
Of course you have — that’s why it’s called eye contact.
There’s something unexpectedly intimate about looking someone in the eye. As the old saying goes, “The eyes are the window to the soul.” Yes, looking into the eyes of the person you’re confronting or communicating with can give you insight into the mind of that person. But that “window” happens to be a two-way mirror.
Want to provide an air of confidence about you? Make eye contact. Want to arrest someone’s attention on you? Make eye contact. Want to build someone’s faith in you? Make eye contact. Want someone to see the real you? Make eye contact.
It’s a dangerous thing to reach out to someone with such a simple gesture. It’s almost as powerful as putting your hand on them, and often people react as though your really have put your hand on them. You find out about them, and they find out about you.
Have you ever needed to reach into, without the threat of physically invading their space? Make contact. With your eyes.