Ask the Experts

Improving Eye Contact

“My eyes tend to wander during conversations. How can I get better at maintaining eye contact?”

Whenever possible, position yourself so that you face away from windows, hallways, and other potential distractions. You might say something like, “Can we sit over here?” or just turn your body to gradually reposition the folks you’re talking to.

You might also tell close friends and family members that you’re trying to get better about maintaining eye contact during conversations. Let them know they have your permission to cue you to re-focus if your eyes wander. One of my clients tells people, “Feel free to let me know if my mind appears to go somewhere else. It’s not fully trained yet, and sometimes it leaves without my permission.”

If you take ADHD medication, consider whether your dosage regimen needs to be adjusted (for example, extra doses for “coverage” during evenings and weekends when you have social engagements).