Glancing through the comments on the Art of Manliness post on eye contact, a number of people commented that other cultures see eye contact as dominant or aggressive. Our culture sees it this way too! This is just socially acceptable in America. Asserting dominance is part of the American Dream, because it is the way you get ahead. This can clearly go too far, so we need to figure out how to rein it in in order to be a good citizen.
I learned early on that eye contact was a way to get ahead, and I find it pretty easy, but I also found out that sustained eye contact makes many people feel uncomfortable. Fortunately, I had my taekwondo instructor to balance out the naive motivational speakers who thoughtlessly recommended eye contact heedless of the potential consequences. I had to learn to moderate my gaze to my purposes. That does occasionally include making people feel uncomfortable