The norms for eye contact vary all over the world. Eye contact isn’t always a positive thing. It can be threatening, too. When you’re feeling safe, eye contact can seem friendly, but without a sense of safety, it can be perceived as aggressive. There’s good evidence that people who are depressed, anxious, or lonely experience fewer feelings of safety around others, and that starts a downward spiral in which they cut themselves off because any interaction, to them, seems threatening. They may want to connect, but their actions don’t support that desire, which reinforces their loneliness. Mindfulness meditation – in which the meditator is simply present in the moment without judgment – may help you begin to see a safe situation for what it is, instead of projecting your negativity onto it. After you’ve deal with some of that initial negativity and are feeling safer, lovingkindness meditation might help you experience more warmheartedness.
— Barbara Frederickson interviewed in The Sun