World’s Greatest Smile


Blog / News

Communication tips







Help the WGS!



For kids




About us




Communication tip:

‘A mote it is to trouble the mind’s eye.’
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.’

The look of two people at each other’s eyes at the same time can be wonderful – or a horrible disaster… Probably you know both from your own experience. Flirting or aggressive starring, both is possible. Tricky thing. So unfortunately there is no easy “Do” or “Don’t” at this point.

(Move your mouse over the picture for a translation.)

“Schau mir in die Augen, Kleines!” is the very wild but in Germany famous translation of “Here’s looking at you, kid!” (in the script was written “Here’s good luck for you!”) said from Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca. “Schau mir in die Augen, Kleines” means “Look into my eyes, Darling!”

And it’s even getting worse: Frequency and interpretation of this nonverbal communication vary between cultures. In some parts of the world (parts of Asia for example) direct eye contact could express aggression while in some western cultures avoiding eye contact is sometimes understood as less trustworthy, shy or a sign of a lack of interest.
In some cultures it’s misbehave to have eye contact with someone of the opposite sex or with a dominant person - and in others it could be appreciated as an express of self-confidence.

So what can we do?
Here are my suggestions:

  1. Be aware of the culture and the religious background of your conversational partner. That makes it easier to interpret his behaviour and helps to adjust your own.
  2. If your partner answers your eye contact with a relaxed, open facial expression – go on like you did!
  3. If it is appropriate not to have a direct eye contact, show your interest with other verbal or nonverbal signs.

© Copyright 2000 - 2011 Meike Duch & Andreas Lietzow  All rights reserved.
Impressum   Sitemap   Translation