Ask What You Want Wednesdays, Readers Questions
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Ask What You Want Wednesday | Mastering Eye-Contact

I have a really hard time making eye contact when I’m talking to the guy I have a crush on. How can I get better at making eye contact?

Eye contact is something a lot of people struggle with, even those without anxiety. I have a dear friend who is wildly extroverted and comfortable in social situations, but when we talk one-on-one she tends to close her eyes while talking. I’m always like, “Claire, what are you doing?”

It is especially challenging to our generation who communicates so much through texts, or instagram, twitter, etc etc…fewer and fewer forms of flirting are face to face interactions.

Here’s what I always remind myself: you don’t have to stare forever. Eye contact doesn’t have to be constant. In fact, it’s better if it’s not. Imagine someone staring into your eyes without blinking, for an entire conversation, forever and ever. Awkward.

This is what I do. I make eye contact briefly, usually when I start saying something, then look at what’s in my hands or I look somewhere over the persons shoulder. Try and make eye contact again when they start talking, too. This is yet another reason why I have always loved taking walks when you’re first dating someone. It’s completely natural NOT to make eye contact when you’re walking beside someone.

The truth of the matter is that first impressions are so important. And so much of how we feel about someone is based on body language. Eye contact is a vital part of making a good first impression. But what if eye contact is near-impossible for you? You gota practice. Start by practicing on good friends, or a parent…anyone you talk with on a regular basis and are fairly comfortable around.

If you’re really uncomfortable with eye contact try looking at the skin right between their eyes. At the bridge of the nose.
If nothing else, do your best to make eye contact when greeting someone. When you first say hello or are meeting up. This goes a long way. It’s a way of connecting at the beginning of your interaction. Those first few minutes are the most important.

Go forth, practice making eye contact with the person taking your money at the store. With the person serving you coffee. With your mom. Brother. Teacher. Best friend. You can do it. Make eye contact. It’ll be over before you know it.

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