"You have no doubt heard the American phrase, 'Talk to the hand' which is simply a way of Jeremy Kyle devotees saying, 'Don't talk to me because I'm not listening to what you say.'
Well the 'Bronte Way' is to look people in the eye when we talk to them as it places them at their ease in our company. Or as we in Haworth say, 'Speak to the eye', which means, 'I am listening, because what you have to say matters to me, because you matter.'
During my many years as a Relaxation Trainer and group worker, whenever attempting to coach the improvement of one's social skills and reduce the stress level in any interpersonal situation, my advice was always to look the other person straight in the eye when talking to them. Indeed, the more delicate, embarrassing or fearful the communication was I would tell them, the more important it was to maintain eye contact. This simple act makes it more difficult (not impossible, but infinitely more difficult) to tell a lie and it makes it harder to evade the situation altogether without being visibly seen to 'bottle out' of the intended act.
So the very next time your partner asks, "Did you like that pie I baked you for tea, Darling?', if you can simply look her straight in the eye and say without choking, 'I loved it, sweetheart. It was the best pie I ever had,' then you know you've cracked it!" William Forde: January 13th, 2015.