Connecting with the eyes

importance of eye contact

Nuanced enough to occur as awkward if one does not manage to attain the optimum level of it yet basic so much so as to be a necessarily ordinary activity of considerable significance, the crucial consideration in what has found coining as the very evident identity in eye contact is one of balance indeed. Too intense and too extended a length of time one bores their eye into another and they risk sending out rather uneasy vibes. Tend however to flicker after just a fraction of a second and there you are, written off as not confident or not comfortable or not genuine and what not. Mastering then this important means of communicatory leaning should be considered therefore as no less than art itself even when the achievement of that balance adheres to a field of study more identifying as science and interestingly in both medical and social basis of it.

As something one innately, subconsciously tends to yield oneself to the power of, this contact established between two sets of eyes makes for a phenomenon that is intriguing as well in the dimension and range of its happening. From love and trust to confidence and engagement, the successful establishment of eye contact entails the possibility in manifestation of a large number of attributes that are of diverse interest in the human scheme in living. And why exactly this immense potential that the eyes bear in something as natural as communication is rested on the area of interest from where they started out.

eye contact in business meeting
Source: iStock

Resident in the scheming necessity of survival through which children more capable of holding eye contact standing a greater chance in being taken care of, it is inevitable indeed that communicating directly through the controlled gaze of the eye should come to so essentially define the business of human existence. Across different societies and in different religions, through different traditions and along its unfurling in diverse customs, the importance of eye contact has been maintained even when these notions need not exactly converge with one another in the distinct regard of them. But even in such multifarious considerations, the manifestation in essentialism of the eye contact exercise never loses precedence.

And that’s because sufficient establishment of contact between the eyes speaks in itself a language that occurs as much lucid an assertion in communicating even the words left unsaid. That might occur as quiet poetic a rendition in the eyes being the mirror to the heart leading thus to allusions of its exclusive importance in emotional expression. But while the holding of eye contact between lovers and soulmates and close folks is indeed a very universal feel in comfort and warmth and belonginess, the intensity and extent of that gaze pervades well into areas more ‘strategic’ as well.

Rather well known happens to be such awareness that dictate the establishment of eye content as a means in asserting and affirming one’s embodying of all attributes desirable. For some reason best explored by the intricate workings of psychology, maintaining that gaze for the right length of time and in the correct extent of it has been tied to prideous possession of confidence and competence and worthy harborings in trust and sincerity or even assertions in undaunted resolve and sure performance, as established in eternal summing up of empirical evidence. But beyond these numerous traits recognised as dwelling along the definite horizon of what communicating through the eyes eke out for itself, there also tend to be some other ’empowering’ realisations that establish even further the essentialism of the eyes being so absolute a medium of efficient expression that has us eyeing indeed with much envy those availing of the enigmatic experience that the locking of eyes lead them to explore.

Source: Tom LaForce

For one, the very essence of eye contact as a means in engaging makes it foster a connection in much emphasis, that arises thus as a powerful even when subconscious assertion in doing much more than what it is purported to be. The basis of eye contact as a form of non verbal communication stands still but what accompanies this notion in ‘speaking’ is also a certain elevated awareness in correspondence that translates in both emotional and practical terms of living.

Associated with this strong sense in connection would also be a similar awareness that need not always involve in this regard the identity of the other. A surprisingly emphatic realisation in self awareness is what establishing eye contact with others can lead one to experience, though in all physicality of it. Even as a not fully conscious exercise in communication, holding our gaze helps us be better cognisant of our own behavior and body language at that specific period of time when we are indulging in one of the most interesting ways in interacting. Particularly in considerably cutting off our attention thrust upon external stimuli in general, eye contact leads us to be more aware of our own person instead for an experience that can be highly introspective or mildly insinuating as might be the scope allowed in that case.

Another much helpful scenario that the eyes can lead us to conjure is one of information retention. Maintaining eye contact with others when engaging in talks about something important somehow leads us to better remember things and not just in a one way assertion as well. Those who return your gaze in equal importance tend to also retain more of whatever it is that you had been seeking to establish, perhaps because of the increased assertion in which the engagement intensifies due to the mutual and proper occurrence in the vision based form of valid communication.

This so potent means in communicating that eye contact has established itself to be means that one can rely upon this premise to considerably improve their understanding of each other, perhaps due to the increased focus and clearer relaying of what it is they intended to do and help thus also to strengthen one’s case through clever persuasion. On the other hand though, maintaining optimal eye contact can also express as a very effective agent in avoiding the tactics of persuasion and even coercion, mainly drawing upon the undaunted and/ or defiant impression that the eyes help to establish. As such, choosing to deploy this non verbal mode in human communication can be very convenient a way in both accepting and rejecting the advances of others while even making one’s own advances in the desired direction and in the exact way that suits you best.

As a tool so crucial to and in communication, it might be only natural that maintaining eye contact leads such awareness to follow that plays upon really the innate conscience in which the human mind dwells. But as relevant can be the basis on which eye contact is sought to be established in the first place. It is but again a working of the subconsciousness that we tend to be more inclined in holding our contact of the eyes with those who we regard in deep reverence and respect or whom we look up to in regard and of course also in romance or even when we really admire them.

More obvious would be such cases of not letting our eyes wander when we are communicating with someone we recognise as yielding a certain authority and power or someone who happens to have considerable importance ‘in our eyes’, quite literally. And contrary to the common belief that liars are those who largely avoid eye contact for fear perhaps of having their eyes let out their dirty secret, they happen instead to hold it longer perhaps to prove their ‘truth’. Residing therefore in considerable irony as well is this business of the eyes that indeed fleets through so many of them but come to rest only in some chosen ones as what manages to catch the eye.

What strikes though as even more assertive of the differently manifesting power resident in the human eye is the fact of its dumbfounding universality. Consider for instance such very personally as well occurring experiences in what is only a projection of reality, that is to say eyes that express eloquently from across the photographic frame or even less real a stroke of paint played upon a canvas and one would find themselves drawn even in that gaze of not exactly physical being, at least in that moment of their gazing. And that itself speaks of the immense power and intensity rested in that organ of what renders us aware of the world, and intensifies as well as our perception of its (fore)sight through that characteristic human experience in a profound meeting of the eyes.

It also is this occurrence in remarkability of the contact through the eyes that lend itself as absolutely to the one from whom it derives. Maintaining eye contact with someone helps in retaining not just the content of the communication but also presents the beholder in memorable indeed a long held awareness of them. In other words, this gaze of much instinctive stemming also considerably influences and interferes with the human memory and by extension dictates and/ or distracts to sufficient extent the working of even the most important organ called the brain, accomplishing therefore in that line of happening a certain something that boasts indeed of the definite- and infinite- power that the soul delving capacities of communication through the eyes entail. That’s quite some eye opening information for sure!