July 14th, 2016

I listen

Eye Contact

Yesterday, while talking with someone I've known (and had good dealings with, in person and online) for years, I realized I was not making much eye contact. We were in the shop she manages, catching up on work news; we can find a decent number of subjects to talk about. There was a lull in business, so we weren't going to get interrupted and I wasn't too much of a distraction from her duties, some of which she could carry on doing while we talked. It was a comfortable chat, which didn't get uncomfortably long...

...and one during which I had to tell myself: It's OK to make eye contact.

I was surprised I had to think that.

I've known people whose eye contact was almost scary, it was so intense. I don't think I have that kind of look, let alone that kind of stare, but I was acting like I did. I know intense eye contact can be scary, can be disconcerting; I don't want to cause that feeling. But I'd overcompensated.

I was talking to someone who's attractive, it's true. I'm lucky to know many people who are attractive, in a wide variety of ways. But I don't want to be a jerk about that, or to take advantage of that. I know I can. I try not to. That whole "ever trying to be a better person" thing: it's a good habit.

Plus a reminder to myself: with too little eye contact, I could possibly have missed cues that any chat was going sideways on us. That didn't happen this time, but it could have.

I paid attention to my eye contact when I visited with people today. Made sure I was doing it in a comfortable way, for me and for whomever I spoke with. Felt like brushing-up. Felt right.