When’s the last time you really looked at someone? Really, really looked at someone – directly in their eyes? Not just pointing your head and its features in the general direction of someone… I’m talking about you making eye to eye contact – a connection. And with a total stranger?
What did you see? What did you notice? How long were you able to hold the gaze before you looked away? Was the ‘look away’ voluntary, or did it happen on auto-pilot?
More importantly, did you find it tough?
Eye Contact is Scary.
The truth is, eye contact is horrifying. Don’t feel bad if you found yourself looking away immediately, it’s not very easy, but unfortunately, you’re not going to be allowed to give up here. We’re going fix this up and get you looking at people, even strangers in the eye. You’ll be amazed at what will happen.
Being able to look someone in the eyes is a direct amplifier to your ability to connect with that person. Vice-a-versa, the person upon whom you are gazing is receiving an exponential amplifier to their impression of your confidence. Being able to give someone some good eye contact earns you points immediately – and is generally much easier than having to express your personality to win them over. Some people will even create an instant, unbreakable positive impressions of you based on your ability to hold a gaze.
So how can you improve your eye contact? Let’s try some things.
First, grab a mirror. Hold it close to your face and stare into your eyes. See if there’s anything natural you can do that makes your gaze more interesting. Perhaps casually raise an eyebrow, throw in a sultry smirk etc. See what happens to your eyes you smile. Noticing anything captivating? Remember this, you can use it.
Now, imagine yourself walking down the street, engaging everyone pleasantly with your eyes. Each person you’re passing gets a pleasant smile, and some direct eye contact. Maybe you’re even using what you discovered in the mirror. Where does that take you? What happens? Any interesting conversations begin to arise? Now imagine yourself at work, at a meeting, or at a conference doing the same. What about at night, in a bar, at a bookstore, retail store? Who are you meeting, are you finding it’s easier to connect? What is being said, where are things leading?
Moving on, you’re in a new setting. It’s a very nice public setting. You feel very, very comfortable and are in a very good mood. You look over and notice the most beautiful person you’ve ever seen sitting across the room. You’re engulfed by his/her beauty when they turn around and look at you, right in the eye, and smile.
Did you feel your eyes flutter – no worries. Remember that panic feeling. You’ll need to know it so you can identify it, and overtake it. Now mentally return back to that setting and you’ll now find its chock full of beautiful people you can make eye contact with. Keep trying person after person until you can feel yourself comfortably look at someone who catches you looking – without any feelings or fluttering. The fluttering is what needs to be stamped out. Once it’s gone, keep making eye contact with everyone until something interesting happens.
You’re now in a gorgeous board room. You just got that opportunity you’ve always deserved – your standing at the front of the room, and everyone in the room is staring right at you. Almost seems that they are staring through you, almost hostile. You get one shot to make your point to this group. What are your eyes doing? What is the room’s reaction, what happens? Replay it until you get the reaction you want.
Well done. You’re now ready for the field test.
Get ready world!
Next time you’re out, look at people, in the eye. Start with 3-5 seconds, and gradually move to 10 seconds. (If you’re struggling, just tell yourself you’re figuring out their eye color.) Keep adding seconds to that 3-5. Anything longer than 10 seconds, and you’ll need to include a smile, introduction or a conversation – which, is absolutely excellent. Way to go. You’re winning at the exercise.
You’re going to find you’re making instant connections with other people. Moreover, these people are going to look back, and likely pass you a smile. And all for just making some positive eye contact.
A free smile, just for looking at someone?
Imagine that. Everyone you look at smiles at you – you just have to look up, and there’d be someone beaming happiness and approval in your direction. It can happen, it will happen. Find some eyes to look into. Now go.