When you are talking to someone, make direct eye contact. In the Indian culture, we are discouraged from looking at some one directly, especially older persons. It is perceived as a sign of disrespect. Even more so, if you are challenging something that is being said. Think back to when you were a child. At some point, during a reprimand, you would have been told to “look down” or “don’t stare at me.” Or perhaps, as a parent, you have said that to your child.
As an adult, I would tell you that eye contact is the most important aspect of communication. When you look into a person’s eyes, it means that you are giving your undivided attention. You are indicating that the other person is worthy of your attention. Eye contact also declares your level of self-confidence. Some one who is shy or insecure will tend to avoid eye contact. Teach your children that making eye contact is a positive thing. Next time you talk to someone, are you looking into their eyes?