Making eye contact while speaking to someone is considered very important because it shows confidence, persuasion, and honesty. However, recent studies have revealed otherwise.
This might come as a shock to many who have always advised and have been advised to make eye contact that eye contact actually has negative effects. Making eye contact, it has been found, actually makes the listener unresponsive. If you are trying to convince someone about your views, looking them straight in the eye may work against you because being gazed at actually makes him or her have trust issues. In fact, the studies reveal that the longer you stare/gaze at someone, the less likely it is that they will believe you.
Researchers tested this using tracking technology and found that especially while convincing someone a locked gaze will not help. However, if the person has same beliefs as you do, simply talking to them with direct eye contact will have positive effects. Therefore, you should be careful about when you make eye contact and when you look away. It all depends on the situation.
In the same study it was revealed that looking anywhere except the eyes is acceptable while trying to convince someone. Focusing on the mouth of the speaker is a good idea or focusing anywhere else, based on your preference.
Thus, this study reveals that making eye contact can’t be generalized. It doesn’t always have a positive effect and it would be wrong to advise people to ‘always’ make eye contact. A better way to put it would be to think about the situation and then make a call. The same goes with body language. A gesture that seems friendly between two people who are close can be deemed as bullying between two people who are against each other.
Next time you have a conversation, be careful!
Think twice before you make eye contact from now because it may not go down well with the person you are talking to. Eye contact, is has been revealed, is not beneficial when you want someone to believe what you believe in. Therefore, assess the situation you are in before making a call.