Quiz question: What do the following people have in common?
- A politician giving a speech while watching the reactions of the audience.
- A student who gives a presentation and uses gestures to emphasize his arguments towards his fellow students.
- An employee who smiles and gives a friendly smile to his colleagues on the way home.
The answer: They all seem self-confident – because they seek and keep eye contact with their audience.
Eye contact is a strong sign of self-confidence
According to body language expert Lillian Glass, the only way to tell whether a person is self-confident or not is by eye contact. “Confident people never look at the table, the floor or their feet”, says the author of the book “The Body Language Advantage”. “They always look other people in the eye, regardless of whether they are talking or just walking through the office.” In this way, they establish a connection between themselves and the other person, captivate their attention and at the same time exude honesty, says Glass.
Researchers from the University of Leuven in Belgium also found in a study that people with high self-esteem are more likely to keep eye contact. On the other hand, less self-confident people would tend to let their gaze wander around instead of focusing on the conversation partner.
Scientists at King’s College in London have turned the tables and researched what qualities we associate with people who often look us in the eye. They found that this behavior is associated with strength and high intelligence. Often, these people are even said to have the ability to lead others particularly well, according to the British researchers.
With this trick you can keep eye contact better
So there are some advantages to looking others in the eye. Nevertheless, it is difficult for many people. For everyone who feels like this, body language expert Lillian Glass knows a trick. With him, you seem to be able to keep eye contact all the time without actually constantly looking your opponent in the eye and – now the best is coming – without the other person even noticing that you are looking somewhere else every now and then. And this is how it works: First look your opponent in the eyes for two seconds, then two seconds on the nose, two seconds on the mouth and two seconds on the entire face. Then you start again with the eyes and repeat the whole thing – and the other person will be surprised how well they keep eye contact.
But even though there are such tricks, you should still practice daily to really look others in the eye. You can do this anywhere: on the bus or in the subway, walking the dog with a dog or talking to colleagues. You will be surprised how this affects your self-confidence and how much more confident you will soon appear to others – and how it really is.
This article was published by NewsABC.net in November 2019. It has now been checked and updated again.