Eye contact is a crucial part of our non-verbal communication.
Our eyes can tell others we’re listening, interested or not paying attention.
In North America – eye contact is often associated with trust.
People who avoid eye contact can sometimes come across as deceitful. On the other hand, it can also indicate shyness or intimidation.
Looked at differently, someone who nevertakes their eyes off of you may come across as a bit ‘creepy’ or aggressive.
So if you’re intentionally trying to communicate your trustworthiness, be sure you glance away now and then…or at the very least, blink.
In some East Asian, African and Native North American cultures it is considered disrespectful to look a more senior or dominant person in the eye.
And as a sign of respect, some Middle Eastern cultures also feel there should be limits to the amount of eye contact made between members of the opposite sex (with the exception of spouses and family).
If ever caught face to face with a bear, giving it the ‘evil eye’ may not help you…
Many mammals including bears, dogs and chimpanzees, instinctively interpret direct eye contact as a threat.