How Can I Make Eye Contact with a Girl Without Feeling Scared About It?

As a society in general we are very out of touch with well, being human. We have these five incredible senses and how many do we really use to their fullest each day? We spend so much time looking down at a phone, tablet, or laptop, that we miss what is happening right in front of us.

No wonder it is a scary thought to have to make eye contact with someone, let alone the cute guy or girl you’re crushing on. And even more so, science says that eye contact actually has the ability to “increases affective arousal, and more importantly, that eye contact automatically evokes a positively valanced affective reaction”, according the a study from the NIH.

If you’re no good at eye contact, we have good news. This is something you can change and we’re going to show you how. Read on to find out how you can build up to gazing into those gorgeous peepers.

How to Make Eye Contact with a Girl Without Feeling Scared

Have you heard the saying practice makes perfect? Well, we aren’t big fans of trying to be perfect, so we prefer to say practice makes permanent. When we practice certain things over and over again we get better and better at those things until they just sort of become a part of us, right?

Practicing making eye contact works the exact same way as practicing how to play the guitar. It’s a skill, that with time you become better and better at the more you strum the strings. So how do you practice making eye contact?

Start with yourself

Look at yourself in the mirror for at least 10-15 seconds every day and look into your own eyes. Actually gaze into them and try to make it seem weird! If you get to that point, keep going. What will happen is that it will gradually get less weird as you become desensitized to it.

Then, up the amount of time you look at yourself by a few seconds every day. When you can look at your self for 1-2 minutes straight without breaking eye contact, you’re golden.

Take the show on the road

After practicing this on yourself, take it out for a test drive with people you aren’t romantically interested in. When you stop into the grocery store or farmer’s market, look up at the cashier, look into their eyes for at least a couple of seconds, then ask them how they are doing. While you walk down the street, hallway, or shopping mall, look up at the people you are walking past and try to make eye contact with a few people. You could even follow it with a polite nod.

Pro Tip: If you’re still struggling, you can practice at home with pictures. Find pictures online of people staring directly at the camera and make eye contact with them. Allow yourself to get comfortable with it. Practice on multiple pictures, and then again, take it for a stroll. Here’s a picture to get you started.

person staring at the camera

You can also practice with a friend.

Got a friend that you’re comfortable with? Let them know you’re struggling with eye contact. Ask them if they’d be open to letting you practice desensitizing yourself to the awkwardness you’re feeling with eye contact.

If they say no, no worries! If they say yes, practice the drill you were doing in the mirror with yourself with them. The big win is that it will help both of you to get better at this.

Too much eye contact can be creepy, and not enough can be cause for trust issues or a lack of connectedness with the other person, so you want to meet somewhere in the middle.

A good rule is to make eye contact for a few seconds and then every 20-30 seconds, break eye contact briefly. You don’t have to be scientific or robotic about this. Just make sure you’re not breaking eye contact every 5 seconds or staring at them for 5 minutes straight.

If you’re really worried about it, you could mention to the other person that you are nervous, and sometimes this helps the nerves to calm down as well.

So much of our communication is nonverbal, and eye contact is an important part of that nonverbal communication. Remember that the most important feeling to any person is to feel important and to feel noticed.

When you look someone in the eyes, it is a way of showing people that you care about them, respect them, trust them, and care what it is they have to say. If you don’t look someone in the eyes, they may have a hard time trusting you.

Additionally, the article from the National Institute of Health (NIH) that we linked in the first paragraph says it’s incredibly important to building a connection.

affective eye contact from NIH

And they’re not the only ones….

eye contact article from nature com website

Source: https://www.nature.com/articles/s42003-022-03352-6

discover magazine screenshot of eye contact article

Source: https://www.discovermagazine.com/mind/were-beginning-to-understand-the-power-of-eye-contact

eye gazing article from better humans

Source: https://betterhumans.pub/eye-gazing-the-surprising-power-of-prolonged-eye-contact-based-on-science-8e63bb62730a

Other forms of non-verbal communication can help

Utilizing other forms of communication, for example holding hands, can help you to feel more comfortable and connected to that person. Using other communication forms, or talking with your hands, can help calm your nerves so you can look them in the eyes without feeling scared. Imagine there is a mirror right in front of you and you are looking at yourself if that helps.

Photo of author

Author: Matt Seymour, MSF

Matthew J. Seymour is a dating industry expert with over a decade of experience coaching singles, reviewing dating apps, and analyzing trends within the industry. Matt is a published author with his most recent work “Get More Dates: How to Master Online Dating Apps” that hit shelves in 2023. With a Masters of Science in Finance (MSF) degree from the University of Florida and extensive knowledge of the innerworkings of the online dating industry, Matt frequently serves in an advisory role to some of the largest dating apps on the market. In Matt’s current role with Healthy Framework, he leads the interview team that regularly interviews key dating industry leaders, and leverages his financial knowledge and dating app experience to review and share what singles need to know to get the most out of dating online.