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| By Wellvyl Media Editorial

For me, the ease with which we access Facetime feature on our devices will always feel “futuristic”. The person on the other end of the call is no longer a disembodied voice. Our interaction is richer and more personal. With Facetime, not only can I view the one whom I am communicating with, I am able to see them. The gift of making eye contact.

However, there are times when the thought of making eye contact with another living soul feels as awkward as having two left feet. No matter how extraverted or friendly we believe ourselves to be, at some point we have all faked being preoccupied with our phones just to avoid the possibility of uncomfortable eye contact.

Eye contact is one of the most powerful forms of nonverbal communication and there is no shame if we find it awkward at times. Because it can be a source of emotional stimuli, it can prompt deep feelings of self-consciousness. Who hasn’t felt judged when a pair of eyes were staring into your own? Research shows that we avoid eye contact to mask feelings of our vulnerability. Our aversion to eye contact could perhaps stem from a need to maintain personal boundaries or a sense of privacy.

Because eye contact has the potential to create energetically potent connections between people, its avoidance eats away at our overall social wellbeing. Over time, we do ourselves a disservice by becoming unable to read facial expressions which in turn contributes to decreased arousal capabilities.

Locking eyes for a healthy (non-creepy) length of time with another during conversations conveys attentiveness and empathy, all which strengthen communication resulting in better social connections rooted in sincerity and trust. When you purposefully disengage from eye contact, it tends to depersonalize the one whom we are interacting with.

If your eyes start wandering in any situation with another set of eyes, be it meeting new people or interviewing for a job, consider doing the following:

Tip: Make eye contact long enough to register what color the person’s eyes are before shifting your glance.

Tip: Allow your eyes to let go of focus, this will soften your gaze, smoothe your facial expressions, as well as relax your eye muscles.

Tip: Experiment with the “triangle technique”. Draw an imaginary inverted triangle on the other person’s face around their eyes and mouth. During the conversation, change your gaze every five to 10 seconds from one point on the triangle to another. This will make you look interested and engrossed in the conversation.

Tip: Establish eye contact when you begin or end a sentence or thought.

Tip: Use your Facetime more often.

Face to face interaction renders more depth for any connection because of eye contact, not despite it. To engage in eye contact is to acknowledge the sacred aliveness within someone. With such a gesture, they become not so “other”, but another you.

So go out, meet, mingle and be well.


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