Photo Credit: Martin Barraud/Caiaimage/Getty Images
Breaking news: If you’re trying to sway someone’s decision, don't look into their eyes.
A recent study published in the journal Psychological Science discovered that too much eye contact during a debate will actually turn people off and make them less likely to see things your way. The experts go on to say that eye contact can be tricky -- on the one hand, locking eyes continuously can signify trust among friends. Yet the same amount of eye contact during a heated discussion could indicate competition or hostility.
Men’s Health magazine spoke with non-verbal behavior expert Marc Salem, Ph.D., who said, "...staring directly into someone’s eyes without looking away is unnatural."
You don’t say!
Salem also offered tips for winning an argument, such as mimicking the body language of those you’re talking to (so if your boyfriend has his hands on his hips, you should do the same), speaking slowly so your body language can keep up with your words and putting your phone away since holding it in front of someone’s face can appear like a barrier.
These do-this-but-not-that instructions remind me of the movie Poltergeist. First it's, “Run into the light.” Then it's, “No, turn away from the light -- don’t even look at it!” Yes, there is definitely a skill to proper eye contact, but overthinking how much you’re looking at someone during a conversation could make you flub up or just leave you with a weird constipated-like expression on your face.