You might find yourself getting eye contact from someone and it can sometimes be unclear what to do with it. The first thing to put on the table is that, if you are getting eye contact from someone, it is an indicator of interest. This means that this could be signal that the other person is interested, but it does not confirm that they are interested. It is more so just one clue and you have to piece that together with other information before you can be confident in confirming that they have interest.

But before we look at what you can do when you get eye contact, let’s look at three things you should not do:

  1. Break eye contact: If you get eye contact from someone else, the absolute worst thing you can do is quickly break eye contact. This is looking away in another direction immediately when eye contact is made. This is not good as it can communicate that you are either not interested or that you have a high level of insecurity.
  2. Do nothing: The second to worst thing that you could do is to do absolutely nothing. You could be missing an opportunity and not fully taking advantage of a situation.
  3. Stare: Do not stare back at the person trying to get eye contact again. This is fairly passive action and it might not position you to be presented in your best light. A strong person will take action in some sort of way with eye contact. A weak person will not take action and continue to stare back trying to get more eye contact.

But before we look at what you should do, let’s identify what the goal of any action should be. Your goal should be to find yourself in a conversation with that person. If that is the goal, then the key to success is to bridge the gap between eye contact and a conversation. Below are some actions that can help to bridge that gap.

  1. The head nod: This is a simple nod of the head either up or down during eye contact.
  2. The raise the glass: During eye contact, you raise your glass in a cheers type of gesture to the other person.
  3. Slight smile: A slight smile back to the person during eye contact.
  4. Casual wave: A casual wave could during eye contact.

If you notice with all of these actions, you will be forcing some sort of action from the other person. If they correspond in a favorable way, you then have another indicator of interest. Once you have that second clue, you are closer to confirming interest on their side and this should provide you with the green light and confidence to either approach and walk right over for a casual introduction. If the response from any of these actions is not favorable, you then have good information that may allow you to identify that they are not interested and you can then move on in your effort of meeting new people.