Prolonged eye contact is a powerful feature of body language.
It particularly powerful in flirtation and the building of intimacy.
Body language gives so much away about us. But no aspect of body language is more remarkable than the eyes.
The ability to maintain prolonged eye contact shows that you are socially comfortable.
The eyes give away everything about a person. You cannot hide when somebody looks into your eyes. It has often been said that eyes are the window to the soul.
If you are nervous and weak people can tell. Your eyes will spend most of the time looking at your shoes.
Likewise if you are strong and powerful others will notice. If you are calm and in control the slow movement of your eyes and the ability to hold someone's gaze will communicate the message that you value yourself and are ready to interact.
Check out these excellent articles on the power of eye contact:
- Look Em In The Eye: The Importance of Eye Contact by The Art of Manliness
- Look Em In The Eye: The Astonishingly Simple Power of Eye Contact by Primer Magazine
Why Men Struggle To Make Prolonged Eye Contact
For many men making eye contact is not something that comes naturally. It makes them uncomfortable so whenever someone holds their gaze they look away.
It's almost an apologetic act. As if to say, "Sorry I noticed you there, I'll just go back to being invisible and unimportant."
The root of this cause is insecurity. Men who don't value themselves don't want others to see them. Obviously they can be seen physically, but they don't want people to see inside their mind or soul. They are afraid of what people might think, so they shield their eyes.
By improving confidence and overcoming insecurity the desire to always avoid eye contact can be overcome.
Yet practicing prolonged eye contact is also a method to build confidence and self esteem.
By getting used to holding someone's gaze you learn how to be comfortable with someone looking deep within.
You realize that it's not so bad if someone sees the real you.
Using Prolonged Eye Contact To Flirt
Eye contact is a very normal way you build connections with new people all the time. By looking someone in the eye upon first meeting them you gain an impression into their character.
Using eye contact for flirting is just an extension of what we normally do anyway.
It is a low risk, high reward play. Low risk in that the flirting can get started without you having to talk or without you having to approach. It is high reward because it is a very effective way of assessing whether a woman is open to being approached.
Women can use eye contact as a quick filter. If you avert her gaze more than once then she isn't going to give you another thought. Avoiding her eyes shows that you aren't comfortable with the sexual tension and that you won't be able to handle her.
If you hold your gaze when a woman looks at you then it opens the door. You have demonstrated your confidence and character and shown that you are in fact comfortable with the sexual tension.
She will either approach you, or if she doesn't she has given a non-verbal signal that she is open to being approached.
With flirting, eye contact will never be the whole interaction, but it is a very powerful opening interaction.
These are some useful articles on using eye contact to flirt:
- Eye Contact: The Secret Language of Attraction by Evolution Male
- Eye Contact Flirting by Girls Chase
- Eye Contact Flirting For Shy Guys by The Art of Charm
Using Prolonged Eye Contact To Build Intimacy
As well as flirting eye contact is a powerful way to build intimacy between lovers.
Lovers who stare into each others eyes for long periods of time increase their feelings of connection, intimacy, love and affection.
There's an excellent viral video by Soul Pancake that demonstrates this phenomenon. They get six couples to stare into each other's eyes for four minutes.
The results are pretty amazing and it's well worth a watch. I'm sure it will inspire you to give it a go with your girl.
I also recommend reading the analysis of the video on Mic.
Using Prolonged Eye Contact To Show Confidence
Eye contact is a way of showing confidence when flirting, but it is equally applicable in non-romantic settings.
In the corporate world eye contact is an effective way to show confidence, sincerity and build trust. This might be in sales, a job interview or just business in general.
Eye contact is a way to build charisma. You can make people feel incredibly valued by looking them in the eye when speaking with them. It demonstrates that you really value what they are saying and that you are genuinely listening. Charismatic people are skilled at being able to really engage people and prolonged eye contact is one of their tools.
Eye contact can also be used to intimidate. We don't bash antlers or swing clubs but a stare down is a classic way for men to determine who ranks where on the alpha male pecking order.
How To Engage In Prolonged Eye Contact
1. Practice If It Doesn't Come Naturally
Some men naturally make eye contact all the time. Others don't do it naturally, but if they think about it consciously they can make it happen. For others the idea of making eye contact is quite scary as their default position is to avert their gaze.
If it doesn't come naturally for you all you have to do is practice. Use your partner, a family member or a close friend. Just get used to looking them in the eye. It will be uncomfortable at first but you can build up to looking at strangers.
2. Look Between The Eyes
Looking straight at the eyes can be difficult. It is intimidating and you have to look from eye to eye. One common tip is to actually look between someone's eyes. It will appear to them like you are looking straight at them, but it is much more comfortable for you.
3. Break If You Have To
While you are getting more comfortable with prolonged eye contact don't be afraid to break early.
The idea isn't to engage in a staring contest with everyone.
If you get out of your comfort zone all you have to do is look away. It also helps to break contact to the side rather than down. Looking down is a sign of guilt or submissiveness, which is the opposite of the confidence you are trying o build.
4. Relax And Smile
Eye contact is a powerful communicator but it is not the only body language signal. Make sure you are relaxed and smiling when you make eye contact, otherwise it can come off as creepy or confrontational.
5. Gaze But Don't Stare
A gaze is where you look in a general direction. A stare is when you look directly at a point. When you look make sure you gaze, but don't stare.
Prolonged eye contact is not staring, it is just holding contact longer than usual. and forcing the other person to look away. Don't stare at people because it is rude and comes across as creepy. If you are trying to flirt with women and you stare at them, they will think you are strange or even dangerous.
6. Overcome Insecurity
The struggle to engage in prolonged eye contact often has insecurity at its root. Becoming more comfortable with eye contact is one way of helping insecurity, as you get more comfortable with people looking at the real you.
At the same time working on your insecurity will help you become more comfortable making eye contact with people. You will have less reason to fear the intimacy that eye contact creates.
7. Use Self Hypnosis
There is an excellent resource available called "Make Eye Contact - Your Eyes Speak Volumes." It is a self hypnosis mp3 that helps you develop the confidence to look people in the eye without fear or shyness.
Hypnosis can be a powerful way to overcome many anxiety and confidence issues. If you aren't confident looking people in the eye then this will help.
Eye contact is a powerful and remarkable aspect of your body language.
It is the most genuine and authentic way to communicate. Words and other aspects of body language can be manipulated but it is near impossible to fake it with your eyes.
If you want to be more confident, particularly with women then learn to engage with more effective eye contact. Whether you are dating or with a partner improving your eye contact can work wonders.
Image credit: Simon