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Hello,

I have an awkward question that has been bothering me for some time. What is the proper way to make eye contact with someone and what is the best way to train myself? You are not in fact looking left eye to left eye and right eye to right eye correct? What do you look at exactly? Thanks in advance.

John



Dear John--

Making eye contact should not be a problem that requires a "how to" answer unless you are in the habit, for one reason or another, of avoiding eye contact. Sometimes such habits are formed as a result of deep injuries or fears, such as the fear of being seen into too deeply. If that is the case, I would suggest getting some professional psychotherapy to investigate further. But if you simply feel a bit uncomfortable in such situations, and if you feel that you would be able to work through your discomfort with a bit of advice from me, here it is:

There is no right or wrong way to "make eye contact." When you look at a tree, a mountain, or any other object of interest, you do not think about making eye contact, you just look at what interests you. I suggest you do the same when speaking with a fellow human being. Just look at that person's face with interest, particularly the eyes, which are "the windows to the soul," but do not feel obligated to maintain a steady gaze. You needn't stare or prolong your gaze. Just look naturally as one looks at that which one wants to see, and allow your companion to see you too. If you are with someone you trust, you might say, "You know, I have always struggled with making eye contact when I speak with another person. What do you make of that?

I hope this helps.

Be well,

RS











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page last modified February 28, 2006



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