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There is so much research on factors that explain dominant behavior, the kind of behavior we constantly talk about as a key component of success in social dynamics. There is some variation in social norms, but the evolutionary component is huge. Here is a paper on eye contact and testosterone.

The abstract appears below. It’s kinda crazy to think that something as basic as mating and courtship is better explained by cultural differences while public speaking is better explained by evolutionary psychology. Of all the things over which nature would never allow us to evolve completely consciously control, mating and courtship should be first in line.

Social anxiety is common. If the yardstick is approaching women, an overwhelming majority of men from all backgrounds and environments have social anxiety. Guys, stop feeling bad about this. What you have is common, and the way out is not endless self analysis. It’s practice, practice, practice.

From the abstract:

Throughout vertebrate phylogeny, testosterone has motivated animals to obtain and maintain social dominance-a fact suggesting that unconscious primordial brain mechanisms are involved in social dominance. In humans, however, the prevailing view is that the neocortex is in control of primordial drives, and testosterone is thought to promote social dominance via conscious feelings of superiority, indefatigability, strength, and anger. Here we show that testosterone administration in humans prolongs dominant staring into the eyes of threatening faces that are viewed outside of awareness, without affecting consciously experienced feelings. These findings reveal that testosterone motivates social dominance in humans in much the same ways that it does in other vertebrates: involuntarily, automatically, and unconsciously.