They say the eyes are the windows to the soul. If that really is the case, we can be forgiven for insisting on curtains.
But there is a little nugget of wisdom in there. Eye contact is incredibly powerful. And we know that intuitively.
Next time you are out, look around the room. Do a little experiment. Try to make eye contact with someone and note what they do.
You will probably find that their first instinct is to look away. Removed from context, that is an incredibly strange reaction.
The truth is, eye contact does make us feel vulnerable. It makes us feel both exposed and like a voyeur at the same time. Making accidental eye contact with a stranger can feel the same way.
Like we have been busted for intruding.
Now, not all eye contact is accidental of course. When we are with someone who makes us feel comfortable and able to be vulnerable, suddenly the act of eye contact is absolutely fine. With someone whom we love, it might even be desirable.
Let’s talk about that.
Intense Eye Contact
There is a common practice among couple’s therapists that involves the couple in question airing their grievances and having an argument, all while maintaining unbroken eye contact.
The purpose is apparent – we are forced to see the humanity in someone’s eyes as we criticise them, and we alter our actions accordingly.
We see the damage we cause to someone we love and we remember our own vulnerability, and we do what we can to not do that damage.
This has applications in our lives. A direct one for couples, but even more when expanded to the rest of us.
In fact, intense eye contact can give us a lot of information. Let’s talk about what unprompted intense eye contact between a man and a woman might mean.
What Does It Mean?
Intense eye contact between strangers in this context most often means mutual interest.
It might mean sexual interest – simply, there might be a sexual attraction and physical chemistry present that both parties are interested in pursuing.
But it might also just mean interest in each other as personalities. Maybe we have connected on a personal level, with a shared interest in prolonging the interaction.
Good conversation usually involves periods of extended eye contact.
It could also mean interest in the sense that both parties are trying to work the other out.
When we cannot work out what someone’s motives or thoughts are, we instinctively look into their eyes to try to work that out.
It is information gathering.
But at the end of the day, we all know what intense eye contact means in each situation.
The trick is to understand the situation, and to listen to your intuition. Intuition is the most powerful tool we have to judge a situation and, like the spirit guides responsible for it, we should learn to trust it.