Why Is Eye Contact Important Anyway?
“You’ve to look people in the eyes.”
“Always hold eye contact when you introduce yourself.”
“Eye contact is the key to a good first impression.”
By the time I was 21, I had heard everything self-improvement advice had to say about the importance of eye contact.
And even though it was repeated over and over, I still dismissed it. It just wasn’t a high priority for me at the time.
I see this same mentality in the guys who come to me for help. While walking around Barcelona, I encouraged a client to commit to making strong eye contact with the women he greeted. He was feeling a bit overwhelmed, flustered, and finally burst out, “What’s the big deal with eye contact? Why are we focusing on this so much?”
I thought about how to explain the deeper reasoning to him. I wanted him to know that eye contact is SO much more than just a skill to practice. It’s a heartfelt way of expressing yourself and meaningfully communicating with other people.
I wanted him to really understand the old adage, “the eyes are the windows to the soul.”
Looking someone in the eyes isn’t just a cool trick to appear more confident. It’s a fundamental component of human connection. It’s how you build trust, create intimacy, and reveal your inner strength.
So today, my goal is to show you how a lifelong commitment to eye contact will profoundly transform your relationships.
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Eyes aren’t just windows, they open doors
Eye contact is a form of nonverbal communication. Nonverbal cues speak volumes about us, whether we realize it or not.
When someone talks to you, they’re gathering information about you from multiple sources: the tone of your voice, the rhythm of your speech, the positioning of your body, and of course, the quality of your eye contact.
All of this plays a crucial role in how they perceive you. Are you friendly? Are you nervous? Are you dangerous? Are you honest
People decide how to feel about you based on your eye contact and facial expressions. These cues help them figure out your emotional state AND your intentions.
Remember that a new person doesn’t know you. They don’t have anything else to go on to make a snap judgement about you. So you have to make the most out of the initial moments you have with them.
Without solid eye contact, it’s difficult for them to come to a positive conclusion about you. They’re more likely to be suspicious, apprehensive, and closed off. They’ve got no reason to open their heart and take things further than surface level.
It’s your job to use nonverbal communication to show your best self. Without it, you’ve got no foundation for trust and therefore, connection.
Look and you shall be received
So your eyes tell a story all by themselves. They have a powerful effect on the receiver and influence how they will feel in the moment with you.
I know it’s hard to imagine how something so subtle like eye contact can make such a big difference. Let me give you some examples of how it impacts your connections more than you think.
When you look at a woman while flirting, you demonstrate your natural leadership and sexual desire for her. This further arouses a woman who is attracted to you.
When you smile back at the woman across the room and don’t break eye contact until she does, you show your unshakeable confidence. She feels your boldness and becomes more intrigued because of it.
When your friend loses his job and you look into his eyes, put your hand on his shoulder, and promise him, “No matter what, I’m always here for you.” — you give him the security that he can rely on you, that you are loyal, and that you care about him. This builds a lifelong friendship.
When your employees are doubting a product launch because of some issues and you look at them and say, “This is just another temporary hurdle. We’ll overcome it like we always have.” — they can feel your unwavering faith in them. It reassures them that you won’t give up and you can all persevere together.
When you’re pitching a product to investors, your direct eye contact convinces them that you truly believe in your work. This builds trust in you and your commitment to the product.
When you smile and hold eye contact while inviting a new girl out, you show her genuine warmth and enthusiasm. This helps her overcome her fears and doubts about taking a chance with a stranger.
When your friend is struggling after a breakup and you look him in the eyes and say, “It’s going to be okay, man” — you give him hope that there will be more in life to look forward to.
When you’re interviewing for a job and maintain eye contact while they ask you challenging questions, it shows them you know your stuff. They’re more likely to trust that you are accurately representing yourself.
When you hold eye contact for a few seconds before going for a first kiss, you build sexual tension and communicate what you’re about to do. This gives her time to prepare and gets her excited about the big moment.
When first introducing yourself, strong eye contact helps women see your humanity and feel like you’re not hiding anything. It encourages them to drop their guard because they feel like you’re being friendly and not shady.
When getting into more intimate discussions, locking eyes shows a woman that you’re not ashamed of talking about these subjects. This makes her feel like she won’t be judged and she can openly talk about her sexuality, too.
When you’re in the throws of intimacy with a woman, holding deep eye contact shows your immense pleasure and overwhelming desire. This drives her wild and makes it more likely that she will have a powerful orgasm.
When your wife has a bad day and you gaze lovingly at her and ask, “What can I do for you right now?” — it reminds her of the love and security she shares with you. This helps her feel safe to talk about her problems and then move on from them.
When you look your dying family member in the eyes, you show them compassion and comfort. They feel less scared of what’s to come.
In all these situations, eye contact is the difference between a passing moment or an unforgettable shared experience.
Medusa and the fear of the gaze
By now, you understand how vital eye contact is to emotional human connections. But that doesn’t make it any easier to put it into action…especially with certain people.
Fear not, because this struggle is as old as time itself.
The ancient Greeks told stories about the female monster Medusa. She turned anyone who looked at her into stone.
I think that accurately describes how a lot of men feel attempting eye contact with attractive women. God forbid they look them straight in the eyes, or else they’ll be completely frozen in place.
Often, guys don’t even realize they’re doing this. It’s such an ingrained response – usually out of fear or shame of revealing their romantic interest.
So when you know you have to look at a woman, you might feel your anxiety rise up in your stomach. To fight against this feeling, you either: break eye contact early and often, avoid it altogether, or do what I call “half-looking”.
By “half-looking” I mean when you’re facing towards a woman but you’re not really seeing her and her face. You’re almost looking through her. You’re not really aware of what you’re saying or listening to her responses in depth. You’re just waiting for when you can look away again.
When you do this, you’re treating a woman like an actual Medusa! You’re setting her up as a terrifying monster in your head. You’re treating her like she’s someone you shouldn’t look straight in the eyes.
You begin to lose the sense that she is another person, just like you. And you put her on a pedestal.
You’re sabotaging this human connection because you’re not allowing yourself to be present with her. You’re not really seeing HER facial expressions and HER nonverbal cues. You’re not feeling her energy or emotions to help you interact with her.
And that’s why your conversations end up feeling clunky and forced. You had to manufacture your responses in your head instead of vibing off the other person. You came across nervous, disconnected, and like you were putting on an act.
But once you really look a woman in the eyes, once you finally face the great Medusa, you will realize all your worries were one big fictional story.
Locking eyes with her allows you to read her and feel her warmth, kindness, and excitement. This, in turn, gives you the green light to dig in and actually enjoy talking to her. You get more fired up, more friendly, more natural with your facial expressions and gestures. You step into your most attractive self.
And all of sudden, you’re no longer a boy looking into the face of a scary monster, you’re a man gazing into the eyes of an equal.
The way you see others is how you see yourself
Most importantly, good eye contact not only tells other people that you are a confident, trustworthy person…it tells YOURSELF those things as well.
Every time you avoid eye contact with someone, you are subconsciously convincing yourself that you are not good enough. That you’re not worthy of connecting with them. That you should be ashamed of wanting to reach out.
I think that this is a HUGE part of why so many men never feel comfortable around attractive women. Or around anyone they perceive as higher value than them, like a superior at work.
These guys are destroying their self-esteem by training themselves to not feel like an equal.
Their poor eye contact results in weak connections and awkward exchanges. Because of this, they get rejected and treated worse.
This only serves to prove themselves right in believing they were unworthy and unappealing in the first place. It’s a vicious, self-defeating cycle that needs to be broken.
So it’s time for you to fully commit to facing people head on…forever.
I’m not just talking about practicing looking in someone’s direction a few times. I’m talking about fully accepting that you actually WANT people to look at you, look into you, and see you for who you are — faults and all.
This is the only way you’ll finally overcome your fears around high-value people. Because no matter how it turns out, you are still charging into battle. You are still willing to face Medusa.
It doesn’t matter if you lose a battle if overall you win the war.
You are in control of the message you send to yourself, about yourself. You’ve got to see yourself as a brave fucking warrior. You’ve got to see yourself as someone you can respect, admire, and love.
Don’t miss out on the life-changing chemistry you could have with people if you only dared to really look at them. Connections are about so much more than the words we say — so stop hiding and be bold with your eyes.
If you’re looking for practical eye contact tips, check out my guide to making strong, unforgettable eye contact.