Of all the nonverbal communication signals, eye body language is probably the most fascinating. They say the eyes are “the windows to the soul.” I agree, since your eyes pretty much reveal your inner thoughts and feelings.
Even more amazing is the fact that you can use eye body language to build trust and make people like you. Here’s how:
Making eye contact is the key.
You must make eye contact around 70% of the time if you want to convey your sincerity and respect. Avoiding eye contact unconsciously gives the impression of dishonesty, shyness, anxiety, or humiliation.
If you continuously avoid making eye contact, you might be perceived as someone who is insecure, unreliable or even deceitful. Although that may not be the case, that’s the normal impression that people have of someone who can’t look at them straight in the eye.
If you’re too timid or are afraid to make eye contact, just look at the bridge of the nose or the portion between their eyes, and they’ll think that you’re looking at them.
Be aware of your eye body language.
Some people unconsciously send body language signals that offend other people, so be sensitive to your eye movements. Don’t roll your eyes, as this indicates irritation.
Your eyes glow if you’re in a pleasant or joyous state, and they look dull when you’re lonely or depressed. So if you’re having problems or in a bad mood, it might be a good idea to re-schedule your appointment with an important person. Your eyes will unconsciously send signals of your mood or state of mind.
Reveal your eyes.
Avoid wearing sunglasses, because covering up the eyes might give the impression that you’re hiding something. Since eyes are very expressive, not allowing people to see your eyes’ implies that you don’t want them to know how you feel or think. It also makes the other party feel uneasy because they don’t know if you’re looking at them or not.
Know what people’s eye body language means.
How do you know if people are paying attention to you? You’ll know it when they establish eye contact while either nodding their heads, smiling, and/or leaning closer.
If they raise their eyebrows, they might want to say or clarify something, end the conversation, or have disagreed with something you’ve said.
People who deliberately evade your eyes and show no intention of giving you a glance are probably not interested in talking to you, so it may be a good idea to keep away from them.
Don’t look if they don’t like to be looked at.
Be aware of people who might get offended by looking at them. Some people avoid eye contact because of extreme shyness; so don’t add to their discomfort by staring at them.
Some cultures may consider eye contact as a negative or disrespectful act, so be sensitive when you’re meeting people of different cultures and adjust accordingly to their beliefs.
Aside from reading eye body language, check other nonverbal signals so you’ll have a more accurate assessment of what they’re thinking or feeling.