How often have you talked with another guy who never looked you in the eye during the entire length of the conversation? Or perhaps he did meet your gaze a few times, but then his eyes shifted back to his shoes or to some point off in the distance.
I’d like to say that the ability to make good eye contact is one of the social skills a lot of young men seem to be struggling with these days, which would be true, but I’ve encountered enough gaze-averting middle-aged men to know that it’s a multi-generational problem. And actually, it’s probably something men have always struggled with—females are on average better at making and holding eye contact than males, and in fact, it’s been found that the higher the levels of testosterone a fetus is exposed to in utero, the less eye contact they make as infants—across genders. Interestingly, the exception to this rule are male babies who have the very highest levels of T; they end up being as adept at eye contact as their female counterparts—alpha babies aren’t afraid to look you in the eye!
But just because making eye contact doesn’t come naturally to us men, doesn’t mean you should just shrug your shoulders and accept this predisposition. The ability to make high-level eye contact is a skill every man should work on, as it has been shown to create some incredible benefits for the gazer. Numerous studies have shown that people who make higher-levels of eye contact with others are perceived as being:
- More dominant and powerful
- More warm and personable
- More attractive and likeable
- More qualified, skilled, competent, and valuable
- More trustworthy, honest, and sincere
- More confident and emotionally stable
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