Skip to main content


Eye Contact and Relationships

By August 28, 2012Blog

Maintaining eye contact with someone can be the most exhilarating experience or the scariest experience; depends on who you’re looking at, right? 

The eyes have the power to say so much, to reach deep into your soul, and send shivers down your spine.  The eye contact you have with someone can make your heart skip a beat, make you feel calm, make you feel appreciated, make you feel hated, make you feel suspicious, make you feel heard, or make you feel acknowledged.  Yes, the eyes speak so loudly without uttering a single spoken word.

There are so many messages one’s eyes can convey quite precisely; how astute you are at picking up on the message is often determined by the relationship between yourself and the other person, the situation you are in and the level of attention you are giving to the eye-reading process.  A fourth factor is your ability to read this form of non-verbal communication rather than misread or make swift false assumptions.  This latter one is usually the one that trips people up.

If someone tends to look to the right when they are thinking, they are usually analysing information as this indicates the use of the left side of the brain, the analytical side.  If someone tends to look to the left when they are thinking, this normally indicates he is using creative thinking, associated with the right hand side of the brain.  An error in judgement might result in you deciding that a person is looking in a certain direction because they are lying but it may be that they are simply thinking, creatively or analytically.  For this reason, a good rule of thumb is to look for three to four signs of non-verbal communication that indicate a certain thought, emotion or behaviour, before you make any judgements.

When it comes to eye contact, the fact that you are making eye contact not only shows confidence in yourself, it also shows confidence in what you are saying, but it’s so much more than that.  It conveys respect and a desire to connect with that person, whether in your personal life or in business.  Think about how you know that someone is paying attention, it’s often the reconnection of eye contact that reassures you that the other person was listening all along.  Therefore, the mere fact that you are connecting gazes with another person will help you to build a bond.

Taking it further though, the look in the eyes is the key indicator of what’s really going on internally.

First of all, the pupils dilate when they see something attractive or interesting, so it’s not just a question of the pupils dilating due to dim lighting.  When the pupils contract, it can be due to a feeling of hostility, anger or aggression, not just bright lighting.

Have you ever looked at someone’s eyes and thought, wow, they don’t like me or they’re not happy with me?

The fact is that people do not control their eyes, their thoughts control their eyes.  So, if you have thoughts of disrespect, dominance, disagreement, self-confidence, frustration, contentment, happiness, arrogance, concern, approval, disapproval, worry, relaxation, attraction, repulsion, love or something else, your eyes will convert the message from your brain into physiological and physical responses.  It’s these visible responses that have been created out of your private thoughts that translate into so many words without you actually uttering a single one.  As the “the eyes are the window to the soul”, eye contact or a lack of can make or break trust (respectively) in a personal or business relationship, because it can suggest that you are open with or hiding your true thoughts.

To convey the message you want to convey with your eyes, you need to start with the thoughts you are creating.  So when you think someone knows what you are thinking, you might be right, they may well do!

For a more detailed look at how your eye contact can positively and negatively impact your relationships, grab a copy of my book, Relationship Remedies: Relating Better to Yourself and Others.  Available in Amazon, Waterstone’s and via various other major retail outlets, including eBook versions for all the major eBook readers.