The first problem with eye contact is that we all know that it is A Good Thing which we should all practise, but we don’t know how to do it without looking and feeling awkward and just a bit creepy.
The second problem is that we all know a little bit about how eye contact works, just enough to nudge each other and say things like, ‘Did you notice, no eye contact? Shifty or what!’ ‘Never trust anyone who looks you straight in the eye. I read that somewhere.’
And so we make instant judgements without checking the accuracy of our perceptions, while hoping that our own mismanaged signals will be correctly interpreted.