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Eye Contact: Romantic Interest or PowHERful Glance?

If you ask a child if she took a cookie from the cookie jar, how will she respond if she is indeed guilty of stealing an Oreo? Of course, she will avoid eye contact as she tells you that she was nowhere near the forbidden dessert.

This is similar to the response you will get from an adult who feels he has betrayed your confidence or has bad news to tell. People in Western Culture who donít make eye contact are viewed as untrustworthy, unbelievable, or unsure. Confident people make solid eye contact.

Be careful, however, not to overpower a shy person with too much eye contact. If you feel that you are conversing with an unsure or overly shy person, donít stare at them too much in an attempt to make eye contact. You donít want to overwhelm them.

Too much eye contact may also be viewed as a romantic interest. I recently presented a speech to an organization of executive women. One audience member, a tall, attractive, confident woman asked several questions about warding off unwanted romantic advances. Her eye contact was powerful and deep, and she held her eye contact longer than most people.

Studies of how people play the ďflirting gameĒ found that eye contact was the number one tool used (knowingly or not) when trying to attract a partner. The longer the eye contact was held, the strong each person felt the attraction was. So, like the woman in my audience, if you find that you are receiving too many unwanted romantic advances, you may want to reevaluate your use of eye contact. You could be sending out signals you didnít know you were sending.

SoScience Articles, the moral of the story here is to find a good balance of eye contact and understand the power of eye contact. Send the message you want to send and make sure you use the power wisely!

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Kirstin Carey is an award-winning speaker and consultant and Principal of Orange Tree Training & Speaking Group. She works with organizations on effective and persuasive communications. Her company also has a special division which focuses on helping women advance and succeed through more effective communication skills without having to communicate like a man. To find out how Kirstin can help you, call (800) 380-6520 or go to

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