Use Your Eyes to Hear ‘Yes’ More Often

Considering how many scientific studies have been devoted to eyes over the past three decades, perhaps they truly are the windows to our souls.

As far back as the 1980s, researchers have claimed that people perceive individuals who engage in eye contact as more trustworthy and likable than those who don’t. When you’re in the process of persuading someone, making eye contact with that person helps him or her better process your sales pitch, your terrific idea or your request for more time off.

Research reported by The New York Times and Psychology Today suggests other reasons why, when it comes to persuasion, the eyes have it:

  • A genuine smile can be detected by the narrowing of the eyes, creating lines at the outside corners. People who “fake smile” don’t have crow’s feet.
  • Dilated pupils indicate interest. When dilation happens in the person your attempting to persuade, you’ll know you’re closer to hearing “yes.”
  • Eye contact clears the path to enhanced and more meaningful conversation, because the two of you are now connecting on a stronger level.

Two caveats:

  • Some scientists claim the use of smiley faces and other emoticons in email and text messages is an attempt by the sender to make “eye contact” with the recipient. Scientists also say that approach doesn’t work.
  • Sometimes when engaged in the process of lying, people try too hard to deceive and make too much eye contact. When telling the truth — which should be all the time, especially when in the act of persuading — look but don’t stare.

Remember: The eyes really do have it.

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