Today as I was running errands, I walked into a business where I know most of the folks by name. I almost always speak, call folks by their name, share a joke or two and hopefully leave folks with a little encouragement.
I noticed that one of the workers seemed a little off today, so before I left, I was going to try to give them a lift up and some encouragement, but when I went to speak to them, they turned their back on me. I continued trying to open the door, so that I could leave them with an “up” feeling, but they continued to give me the “back” treatment. I walked out the door wondering what in the world is their problem?
I must admit, at first it made me mad, but then I started asking myself what could be going on in their life and mind that would cause them to not want to look me in the eye and I have to confess that while I came up with many possible scenarios, I never came up with the answer to my question???
So, I turned it around on myself and began to think about how and when I may miss opportunities to look someone in the eye and really see them. This got me to thinking about some of the different reasons why eye contact is important…
The first reason is it COMMUNICATES RESPECT! When you look at someone in the eye, it is a way of saying you trust them and they can trust you. It’s a safe space, level ground and trust is a foundation for us to build on.
The second reason is it EXPRESSES INTEREST! We pay attention to what we are interested in. We look at what matters to us. We fix our focus in the direction of the things and people we really care about.
The third reason is it CONVEYS APPRECIATION! When we are truly grateful to someone for something, we want to make sure they know it. We have to look at them and see them to know for sure.
The fourth reason is it REASSURES UNDERSTANDING! The eyes often say so much more than words can convey. With them we can express positively or negatively exactly how we feel and what we understand.
The fifth reason is it OPENS FRIENDSHIP! Someone said the eyes are the windows to the soul. One of the reasons I hate texting is because I communicate with all of my senses, both in how I express myself and how I receive the expressions of others.
So open your eyes, look at me, I see you and appreciate you seeing me…