Ask any body-language expert, and she would confirm that eye contact is one of the most effective forms of nonverbal communication. There is a dedicated branch of study known as Oculesics, which analyses it.
Socially, it is a channel to establish the first level of contact among unknown individuals. At times, it enacts as an indicator of a person’s mood. When someone sees the other person in the eyes, it also implies that the person may wish to start a conversation.
In a group of more than two, the direction of eye contact can indicate who a person is (mentally) attending/listening.
Besides Social Indicators Mentioned Above, Eye Contact Is Broadly Used To Express The Following:
(1) Attention or respect (such as in meetings or at work-place)
(2) Keen interest or inclination (such as in one-to-one conversations)
(3) Understanding (such as in classrooms, sessions, etc.
How Powerful Is Eye Contact?
It is very powerful like it can be the reason for someone’s life & death. It shows confidence or fear. It can be welcoming or intimidating. Eye contact makes people trust you. It can show love. It shows you are open and have nothing to hide or be ashamed of.
When Do You Purposely Avoid Eye Contact?
Isn’t it awkward when you make eye contact with a stranger? Especially if you stare a millisecond too long, it just feels strange. You don’t even know the person!
With Someone Who Likes You
It’s also an awkward circumstance. They can be found staring at you, and when you make eye contact with them, you don’t want to get them to get the wrong idea.
Employees Of Some Sort
For example, when you’re ordering at Starbucks, I avoid eye contact with the cashier. I don’t want to look into their eyes while ordering, it pressures me to order faster. Especially when they’re in a bad mood. *Shudders*
Especially when you’re in trouble, it’s hard to keep eye contact. You don’t want to look at their angry eyeballs. Not the best thing to look at. Also, it’s awkward. Even if you aren’t in trouble, if you make it with a teacher, you are 10 times more likely to get called on or get in trouble.
With Anyone Basically
If you hold eye contact with anyone for too long, it gets awkward. It doesn’t matter if you’re close, it’s just strange. Especially if you don’t have any romantic feelings, it can be a little uncomfortable.
When I’m sitting in the front of the classroom and listening to the professor while trying not to make him/her uncomfortable. My stare can last forever (can seem penetrating), and I am aware of it.
When I am talking to someone and I start to feel a little awkward—avoiding eye contact briefly helps me to feel less awkward about making it with the person.
When I am scanning my surroundings or the buildings that I just entered to find a spot to study, do homework, projects, etc, my eyes flicker everywhere so that I can get a clear picture of the room/area as well as the people around me.
When I get the chance to ride a bus, train, subway, etc. because nobody likes to be looked at by a stranger not using their electronics but staring at the scenery and the people within it.
When I am people watching and the people see me. I have to pretend that I’m either waiting for someone, thinking about something deeply, etc. to not have them be suspicious that I’m curiously watching them. Your eye contact will provide you a better connection than before.