It’s amazing how much communication is made through our eyes and our facial expressions. Eye intensity can communicate lots of things that we will cover in this article.
Most human beings are hardwired to look into each other’s eyes when they communicate. Prolonged eye contact is a form of nonverbal communication that can mean many different things; it could be anything from curiosity and interest to attraction and love.
Understanding the nuances of prolonged eye contact is a great way to read between the lines and decipher the true meaning behind it.
In general, as the length of and intensity of someone’s gaze increases, you are more likely to become more self-conscious or concerned about what it means if you don’t know the person well.
For instance, if someone stares at you like you are a piece of delicious dessert to be taken home and devoured, you may feel uncomfortable as heck (unless you are really attracted to them then that might be a good thing.)
On the opposite end of the spectrum, someone you know who maintains direct eye contact can signal trust and intimacy. So there is an inverse relationship with the length and intensity of eye contact.
Before we go any further, let’s look at what intense eye contact can mean.
Intense eye contact can communicate:
- and many other Emotions.
In a romantic setting, it means you have someone’s complete attention. Your partner’s eyes are focused on you. They are paying attention to what you are saying both verbally and non-verbally.
Eyes are known as the windows to the soul, probably because they are windows into our emotions and intentions. They can be a powerful tool in most any social interaction to help you form a deeper connection with another person.
“Direct gaze is related to approach behavior and averted gaze is associated with avoidance. It is demonstrated that people who looked at the observer were judged to be more approachable than those who looked away from the observer (Willis et al., 2011).” – frontiersin.org
Read the rest of this article to learn how to read, interpret, and react to different types of eye contact.
Paying attention to Your Own Intense Eye Contact
While you should always strive for steady eye contact, intense eye contact should be reserved for conversations with a romantic interest or partner.
You will use intense eye contact to show emotions such as:
The focus and amount of attention set intense or deep eye contact apart from other types of eye contact. Intense eye contact between man and woman – If a guy looks at you this intensely, it usually means he is interested in you romantically or sexually.
When a man stares at a woman intensely or seems to have lingering eye contact, it’s because he’s interested.
Think of intense eye contact as your secret weapon to show someone how important they are to you, how interested you are in them, and how seriously you are taking the conversation. It’s the same kind of look you give when you are eyeing that piece of delicious dessert.
When you deeply look into someone’s eyes, you can evoke romantic or sexual feelings. If you have ever experienced intense eye contact, it separates the two sharing it from the rest of the room.
How to Pull Off Intense Eye Contact (without being creepy)
Intense eye contact is like strong eye contact, but you break away from each other’s gaze less often. There is also an element of trust between two people who are deeply gazing into each other’s eyes.
How much eye contact is normal?
You don’t want to continue to stare deeply at someone who is not returning your gaze with the same intensity. Try to initiate intense contact, but as soon as you sense that the other person is uncomfortable then stop. Sometimes the mood, setting, or relationship isn’t right for that.
What Does Eye Contact Mean?
Eye contact is the term used to describe how someone looks into the eyes of another. Eye contact is one of the most useful forms of non-verbal communication. There is a lot you can say about yourself or your feelings with just your eyes.
Eye contact can cause an elicit reaction from another person. Your eyes can be used to make others feel understood, noticed, validated, or recognized. You can attract someone with the right kind of eye contact, or deepen a bond that has already been established.
The right kind of eye contact can help you with:
- Finding Love
- Creating Friendships
- Building Trust
- Establishing connections
- Increasing desire
- Asserting your dominance
- Conveying Confidence
- Holding someone’s attention
- Creating interest
- Seducing someone
No matter where you are and whom you are talking to, you should always be aware of the way you make eye contact. Since eye contact communicates our emotions, thoughts, and intentions on some level, you want to make sure you are sending the right messages.
Strong Eye Contact
Strong eye contact is an essential part of building connections with people in your professional and personal life. You can wear the right outfit, speak without stuttering, and not have a hair out of place, but what will leave the best impression is being able to keep eye contact with others.
Steady eye contact can captivate and show people they can trust you. Keeping eye contact helps you gauge the reactions of people you are talking to.
Good eye contact is a clear sign of confidence and respect, and it’s human nature to respond positively to someone who maintains steady eye contact. It shows that you’re paying attention, engaged in the conversation and interested in what others have to say.
Steady eye contact isn’t always meant for business meetings and friendly conversations; you can show a stranger interest with a healthy dose of strong eye contact. Letting yourself make eye contact with someone you are interested in for a second longer than usual will open the door for a one-on-one conversation.
Just like there are several different types of eye contact, you can use each type in your own way. Strong eye contact will be a must in all social situations and lay the foundation you need to make deeper connections and communicate with people by using your eyes.
How To Learn Strong Eye Contact (The Right Way)
Learning how to keep steady, confident eye contact is easier than you may think. Confidence is key when making strong eye contact, so try to stay as calm and self-aware as possible while implementing strong eye contact.
There are just three basic rules you need to know:
Relax your eyes
You don’t want there to be any tension in your eyes when you make eye contact with someone. This may look like you are critical or that you are angry. Tension in the eyes also makes eye contact more difficult because you are straining the muscles around the eyes.
Soften your gaze, so you appear open and friendly. Relaxed eyes always display positive emotions and put others at ease. It will feel more natural to keep eye contact with your eyes relaxed.
Focus on one eye at a time
Weirdly, focusing on both of someone’s eyes at once will make it seem as if you are looking through them. Your eyes also struggle to focus on two separate things. Think about it; how often do you try to look at two different things at once.
When you focus on one eye at a time, it will make the other person feel seen. You should alternate between both eyes at steady intervals. Take your time, so you really appear focused and attentive.
Look away briefly, but always look back.
You don’t want to stare someone down when attempting to learn strong and steady eye contact. Staring is not the same as making eye contact by a long shot. Eye contact is a mutual exchange.
Once in a while, you will want to break eye contact, and you should do so for just a second or two. Strong eye contact means that for the majority of the conversation, you are returning someone’s gaze. So, don’t get stuck staring off into space.
Never look down when you look away. Looking down will come off as if you want the conversation to end. Just look off to sides and then shift your eyes back.
When you return your gaze back to someone remember to keep your eyes soft and take the opportunity to show them you are listening by nodding your head or giving a short response.
Do’s and Don’ts of Steady Eye Contact
- Meet eyes with people you walk past, don’t stare down at the ground or past people. This will make you seem more approachable and is basically an invitation for others to contact you.
- Eye contact is most crucial the first time you meet someone. You want the first impressions someone has of you to be positive. You want to show that you are trustworthy, interested, considerate, and confident.
- Don’t forget to blink! Blinking is an important part of maintaining healthy and balanced eye contact. You don’t want to look like a robot or stare someone down into submission, blinking lets you break the gaze while still holding it.
- come off confident, considerate, interested, or trustworthy, don’t miss out on those first few moments.
- Make sure you don’t just look at someone you don’t know without a genuine smile. It could come off as creepy or awkward.
- Be aware when you are having a conversation. It’s not enough to just be focusing on someone’s eyes; you should also be focusing on what someone is saying. Be actively listening so the conversation can progress.
- Don’t get distracted. If you are periodically staring into the distance, you will leave a poor impression on someone. It is rude and awkward not to listen and keep eye contact when someone is speaking.
- Don’t forget to let your personality shine through. Your eyes can express surprise, interest, playfulness, or disbelief. So, you don’t want these to seem forced or acted out. Just do what feels natural.
- When eyes meet, your heart rate may instantly increase. It’s a natural reaction to the rush of emotions that you may feel when locking eyes with someone else. That momentary connection can be powerful and exciting, so it’s important to take a deep breath and stay positive in order to make sure you’re giving off the right kind of energy.
What Does Strong Eye Contact Mean
Strong eye contact shows interest. That interest can be professional, romantic, friendly, or sexual.
If a guy you are interested in holds eye contact with you, it’s still a good sign. It shows there is some kind of interest there, and you can look for a clue in how he feels by the intensity of his gaze.
To men, eye contact is also a show of dominance, so try if you are attracted to a man it’s okay to make the first move to break eye contact. If you are nervous and tend to keep looking away, a man might read this as if he is creeping you out.
Lack of Eye Contact
When someone has a hard time with eye contact people may assume they aren’t interested in the conversation or that they are hiding something. They often don’t think how others may be shy or intimidated.
The same thing applies when someone looks down quickly after making eye contact. This usually means a person is uncomfortable, not necessarily with the person they are talking to, but with the eye contact in general.
If you come across someone who is struggling to meet your gaze or looking down at the ground as they talk, don’t always assume it is because of you. You shouldn’t ever take lack of eye contact personally.
When it comes to extended eye contact, things are a bit different. Eye contact that lasts a while and is overt and obvious or that could be considered gazing. There are several possible meanings. I cover those in the next section. What to think when a female coworker stares at me or what does he mean when he looks at me longingly?
Spoiler Alert: I go into more details below, but essentially here is what it means.
Extended Eye Contact Meaning:
- Triggering Memories (you remind the person of someone else)
- May Signal Desire or Longing for Intimacy
Prolonged Eye Contact
Prolonged eye contact can be a mutual gaze between intimate lovers or a way to show someone you are interested in them. This eye contact is often seen between couples who are head over heels for each other. Consider it 3-second eye contact and above.
This type of eye contact:
Just like steady eye contact tells people you can be trusted, so does prolonged eye contact. Trustworthiness is established through eye contact because it shows you have nothing to hide. A girl can trust a guy that gazes into her eyes because you can’t fake that level of interest and attention.
The more you look at something, the more interested in it you are. It shows you aren’t distracted by other people or anything else going on. Most people consider staring off into space during a conversation rude and looking at your phone too often a conversation killer.
Eye contact shows that you are interested in what they have to say and prolonged eye contact shows that you are very interested in anything they have to say.
Since eyes show emotion and attraction; it’s easy to see why prolonged eye contact makes people feel more connected to each other. With each passing moment, passion and attraction are deepened through eye contact.
Gives Time – When we stare into someone’s eyes for a long time, everything else seems to fade into the background. Appreciating the moment and sharing it with another seems to make it feel as if time is slowing down.
Increases Self-Awareness – Being comfortable being seen by someone makes most people feel validated and brave.
They see someone looking at them with wonder, and it helps them see the things about themselves that are worth staring at
Prolonged eye contact is quite a natural thing between two people in a relationship to get lost in each other’s eyes while they are communicating.
The reason this eye contact creates so much intimacy is that the people who have prolonged eye contact don’t look away often. Even when they are interrupted, they will only slowly snap back to reality by looking away from each other.
What Does It Mean When A Guy Stares At You?
When we use eye contact, we naturally give ourselves a break every so often. The general rule for this is 70% of the time you are listening to someone else talk you use eye contact, and 50% of the time you are speaking, you use eye contact. We usually follow this rule naturally in most conversations.
This is an indicator of interest, a sign of attraction. He is trying to tell you with his eyes that he likes what he sees. He probably wants the conversation to go somewhere, whether that’s a future relationship or the bedroom is another question.
Here is an article that is dedicated to what it means if he is clearly staring at you intensely.
If you’re thinking he keeps looking into my eyes or he looks into my eyes when he talks to me in a way that is more than what you are used to, he’s gazing into your eyes.
A gaze is a series of looks that tell someone you’re interested from across the room or during a conversation. When a guy gazes at you for a long time, this means he can’t take his eyes off of you. The main thing a gaze will display is an intense attraction.
What does constant eye contact mean?
When a guy locks eyes with you and doesn’t look away he is signaling he is really attracted to you. Although there is a small possibility that you remind him of someone.
If you catch someone gazing at you and want to send them a message non-verbally that you are equally interested, then all you have to do is return eye contact and smile.
If you want someone to stop gazing at you from across the room because you aren’t interested, then you simply need to make eye contact, and immediately look down pointedly. This isn’t rude; it’s just a simple no thank you with the eyes.
Note: Extreme eye contact body language attraction signals should not be confused with anger or rage. If you think to yourself, “he looks at me with angry eyes,” it may be best to create some distance between you and him.
How to Gaze the Right Way
Gazing can be one of the most difficult forms of eye contact to understand and implement. Some people try to gaze, but instead intensely stare at someone like a murderous stalker.
Follow these steps to master a powerful gazing technique:
- Soften the eyes
- Slowly look around someone you are interested in but not directly at them.
- When the other person looks over at you, make eye contact.
- They will break eye contact and look away embarrassed.
- Keep briefly looking in their direction this time actually looking at them before looking away.
- If they give you an inviting smile muster up the courage to walk over and start a conversation
- If they give you a perplexed or annoyed look, then you should find someone more friendly to gaze at.
You may give someone a dreamy gaze unconsciously a few weeks or longer into a new relationship. This gaze is intimate and usually only happens between two people who have had sex.
When the gaze is shared between two people equally as enamored by the other, it can be a wonderful thing. Its the most validating and flattering eye contact out there.
It’s the look you give your partner in the morning when you wake up or while cuddling. It communicates love and appreciation.
If someone starts giving you this stare too early on, then, you might be dealing with someone who is idealizing the situation. It might be time to let them know where you stand gently.
If you feel as if someone isn’t returning your dreamy gaze, then that should be of equal concern. This is a tell-tale sign that you are more invested in them and they might be using you.
Seductive Eye Contact
Seducing someone with your eyes isn’t easy, and there has to be an immediate attraction to them on your part for it to work.
Seductive eye contact requires the ability to have steady eye contact and a high level of confidence.
To show them how attractive you think they are using just your eyes, you just need to follow a few keep points:
Smiling with your eyes
Keep steady eye contact
Hold eye contact for a second longer than you usually would
The Triangle Gaze
The triangle gaze is a technique you can use to keep steady eye contact that is also a little flirtatious. This technique is where you look into one of someone’s eyes one at a time. You should transition between both slowly, and then you move your eyes to their mouth. You repeat this process, which follows a triangular direction on their face.
Looking at someone’s lips suggest sexual intent and perhaps even the want to kiss someone. Lips are a naturally attractive part of the human body, so don’t hold back from gazing at them with a hint of a smile on your lips.
This technique says I’m attracted to you physically. It is even a good technique to use before you go to kiss someone.
Watch out for cues that someone might not be interested in being looked at this way. If they look down uncomfortable, then it is likely they don’t want to be kissed or flirted with.
How to Interpret His Stares
It can be difficult to distinguish between a menacing glare and a flirtatious gaze. You don’t want to read his stares and assume the wrong thing. You can do this by seeing if he blinks or shows signs of friendliness such as smiling or waving.
If you feel uncomfortable by someone who is staring at you and you are in a vulnerable position, then don’t look down. This will make you seem submissive and like an easy target. Keep an eye on them without engaging and keep your head high. Predators are less likely to attack someone confidently looking ahead and being aware of their surroundings.
Now if he is showing signs that his staring is because he thinks you are beautiful, there is a way you can test that out. All you have to do is look. If you make eye contact with him and he doesn’t look away embarrassed then smile. A smile in this kind of situation is a non-verbal invitation. Don’t forget to look at which way his/her feet are pointed. It can be important. Here is an article on Foot Pointing and Attraction.
Getting Used to Eye Contact
Eye contact is not always easy. People who make eye contact on a daily basis can sometimes feel overwhelmed or annoyed by having to keep steady eye contact all the time.
This is because it takes more effort to communicate with your eyes and voice. When you look someone in the eyes, the conversations become deeper and require more energy. You are communicating and interpreting non-verbal communication while also listening and talking.
To avoid becoming overwhelmed, relax your eyes. Keeping your eyes squinted and widening your eyes for an entire conversation will tire the muscles around the eyes.
Ever wondered how some women just own the room? Here’s an article on How to Be the Most Confident Woman in the Room. (and this one is on mastering the Confident Woman’s Walk).
People also struggle with eye contact when they try not to blink, or they blink too often. This can kill your chances of keeping strong eye contact with someone.
Try to relax and just blink naturally.
Not blinking at all can be intimidating. It’s a dominant action and can result in making others feel vulnerable. In fact, a popular interrogation technique is infrequent blinking. It says I see right through you.
You may think your communicating attraction or interest, but if you are blinking, it will come across completely different. Imagine the face you are making when you don’t blink, and you will see you are actually staring someone down.
Blinking too much is a sign of nervousness. Blinking is used to protect our eyes from dry air or the harsh environment. When we frequently blink during regular conversations, this is also a protection mechanism.
Some people subconsciously read blinking too much as untrustworthy because you naturally get nervous when you lie or are afraid.
To reduce the amount of blinking, you do just relax both your eyes and your breathing. Breathing more will allow your body to respond more calmly to a calm situation. Relaxing your eyes will make them feel less dry and tense; thus, you will naturally blink less.
Eye Contact Anxiety
For some people, eye contact is a difficult and sometimes scary thing to master. This is usually due to childhood experiences, lack of social life, insecurity, or anxiety.
The good news is, there is a simple fix for anyone struggling to make eye contact and keep it up during a conversation. All you need to do is practice, practice, practice, and once you feel confident, practice some more.
With lots of practice, you will eventually become a master at any type of eye contact you try to pull off. You won’t learn if you never try.
What Does All This Mean?
Who knew the eyes could say so much about how we feel, whom we like, whom we love, and what we want. Since eyes communicate so much, we might as well learn to use them to our advantage.
Different types of eye contacts and their interpretations:
Intense Eye Contact- Shows more attraction and interest then regular eye contact. This type of eye contact will show someone you are into them completely
Strong Eye Contact – Shows confidence and interest. This type of eye contact can be use in professional or personal conversations.
Prolonged Eye Contact – Means long lasting eye contact between partners or between potential love interest. It creates intimacy, trust, and self-awareness. This is typically the lovey dovey stare you see between two people in romantic movies. People engaged in this type of eye contact are hard to interrupt.
Glancing – can be a type of prolonged eye contact. It is a useful technique to use when you want to non-verbally tell someone you like them.
Seductive Eye Contact – Evokes sexual tension between too people. It creates intense feeling when looking into eyes or making prolonged eye contact. It is an intense look that says you are extremely attracted to someone. This look is pulled off by looking someone in the eyes and also their mouth. You will want to smile coyly with both your mouth and eyes while doing so.
You really need to start implementing engaging communicative eye contact in your day to day life. If you ever feel as if conversations don’t go your way or that you aren’t making deep enough connections it may be your eye contact.
Make sure you aren’t blinking too much, not blinking at all, or seem to be avoiding eye contact. Refer back to sections of this post to get more do’s and don’t of eye contact.
If you struggle with eye contact the best thing to do is practice. Even if you aren’t great at first you will eventually master strong and steady eye contact. Once you feel comfortable enough refer back to this post and try out some of the other kinds of eye contact.
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