Whether you’re going on a first date, on a job interview, or just trying to have a meaningful conversation, you’re actions will speak louder than words. Of course, you’ll want to be engaging in any of these situations, but simply being witty or funny won’t cut it. Instead, if you want to make a great impression, you need to make and maintain eye contact. Read on and learn more about how (and why) we humans communicate through eye contact.

It’s Primal

Eye contact is extremely important in conversation. Not only does it make the person you are talking with feel validated, but it can cause a deep connection between the two of you. If you feel nervous when someone locks eyes with you, your reaction is normal. In fact, eye contact is completely primal.

When our ancestors were roaming the earth, they didn’t make eye contact to simply be polite. Instead, it was part of their communication. If they were trying to show who was the toughest caveman, they would make eye contact to assert their dominance. Similarly, if they wanted to woo a potential mate, they would make eye contact to establish a deep, emotional connection.

Modern Communication

In today’s world, we don’t have to rely on eye contact as much as our ancestors, but our eyes are still saying a lot. For example, if you look lovingly into someone’s eyes, you can create a deep attraction.

However, looking away makes just as strong of a statement. If you cannot maintain eye contact with someone, then you may seem timid or shy. That’s why keeping eye contact during important meetings – like job interviews – is so important. By maintaining strong eye contact, you are showing the hiring manager you are not afraid of what lies ahead.

Importance of Eye Contact

Aside from showing dominance and creating deep connections, eye contact is important for so many other reasons. First, it can help you show empathy. Our eyes are extremely expressive. By maintaining eye contact, you can say what you really feel, even if you can’t find the words.

Eye contact also makes your words more memorable. If you are trying to teach someone something new, making eye contact will help them remember their new skills. This same principle applies to children. As your kids grow up, you should look at them in the eye when you talk. It will establish your authority, help them remember what you say, and teach them that eye contact should be embraced, not avoided.

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