What is eye contact?

  • Soft gaze at the entire face – watch the eyes, brows, cheeks, nose, mouth
  • Don’t stare directly into the eyes
  • Don’t focus on one part of the face
  • Practice a conversation from a distance at first with a friend or someone you’re comfortable with

Simple rules for beginners:

  • Always make eye contact when greeting someone or asking a question.
  • Never interrupt someone without first making eye contact.
  • Don’t smile, laugh or joke without watching the face. People think that’s really weird.
  • Maintain eye contact through the entire transaction: both the question and the answer. You can look away briefly to consider your response, then return to the face.

If you violate these rules, people will mislead you and insult you to your face and you won’t notice because you’re not looking at them. But your social anxiety will escalate.

Advanced rules:

  • Keep track of things people say to you that stump you. Then you can consider responses when it happens again – because it will.