The Windows Into Our Souls

Holding eye contact works best for 7 to 10 seconds in a one-on-one conversation, and for 3 to 5 seconds in a group setting, says Ben Decker, chief executive officer of Decker Communications, a San Francisco-based training and consulting firm. Mr. Decker, whose company has been in business for 34 years, says that people who avert their gaze too soon, or avoid eye contact altogether, are often seen as “untrustworthy, unknowledgeable and nervous.” Someone speaking to a group needs to look at many listeners so that no one feels left out or singled out.

This WSJ article made me self-conscious about how much eye contact I make at the office. Am I being too aggressive with my eye contact? Am I even making eye contact? I am making eye contact. I know that because I avert my gaze after a while so it’s not uncomfortable. Or am I just perceiving the amount of eye contact as uncomfortable? I’m being neurotic, aren’t I?

Also, that thing where you have to make eye contact while clinking drinks.



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