Look them in the eye!
By Jim Fannin
My father always told me to look a person in the eye and then tell him or her what I wanted. Be direct while holding their gaze. Of course, this is not for the faint of heart.
If the eyes are the windows to the soul, why can’t I take a peek? What are you hiding from me? Is it me? Or is it everyone that you meet? If the eyes are the windows to the soul, what am I hiding? What am I afraid to reveal?
When you look another person in the eye long enough to discern eye color, a small bond occurs. One moment in time says I want to know you and you can know me. Maybe you won’t know me totally, as in all of my private thoughts, but it is a good start. Eye contact comes from the heart and soul. It is usually genuine. Eye contact takes trust. Eye contact takes confidence.
Now…if you look into someone’s eyes longer than to discern eye color, they may think you’re a little freaky. Don’t push it. Stalkers, listen up! Stop doing this!
Eye contact in today’s society is increasingly rare. We are fast becoming a distrusting nation. The media and our experiences have embedded a fear of the unknown. What is the unknown? Another person’s hopes and dreams are unknown to most. Only one’s intimate family or friends get to peer behind the drawn curtain of the mind. Even then it can remain closed. Is the unknown a hidden agenda? That can be scary. Especially if they don’t know they have one.
It is the unknown reaction to our concealed thoughts and feelings that causes eye contact trepidation. We’ve been burned before. We’ve walked down the short path of trust only to find a dead end of scorn, doubt, ridicule and abandonment. No way I want to walk into that alley of never-ending false hope again.
Some eye contact is only fishermen or fisherwomen’s lures. They cast their bait into the waters of loneliness and try to tug the unsuspecting eyes into their boat of lies and deceit. It makes one want to never venture into the sea again. “Don’t look him in the eye,” our inner voice pleads and begs. “Look away,” says the whisper from within. It counsels us on the “hunter with hidden agendas.” We’ve waked away with deaf ears from the intuitive voice of reason on many an occasion. “I knew it,” we later acknowledge to no one in particular.
Eye contact, however, has so many great benefits. It can uplift a senior citizen lost in an airport terminal, unsure of their departure gate. It can encourage a young athlete as you tell them “you can do it.” It inspires a team as you sweep the assembled participants with a one-by-one look of hope and possibility. It can soothe a loved one as they crumble to the news of a fallen family member. It can caress a significant other with a blanket of knowing that all will be good again. Yes…eye contact is something to wield like a wand of positivity.
Know when to look. Know when to look away. Listen to your gut. Then peer into the soul behind the eyes in front of you.
Come on. Be bold. You have an army of positivity ready to unleash its power through the front window of your soul.
Look them in the eye!
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