Eye up   Leave a comment

What’re you looking at?

The most interesting occurrance of Tuesday – from my point of view, and it stands out enough to get its own post (besides, the previous one was long enough) – was one of those accidental, chance encounters. I was buying a few bits and bobs in the Eden Project shop. The assistant was quite pretty, and as she was serving me something unusual happened; I made eye contact.
As the transaction was finishing, it happened again.
See, I don’t usually make eye-contact with people. I tend to look at people’s mouths (that’s the bit that’s moving, and it makes hearing what they’re saying easier. It’s always made sense to me), and I’ve always considered staring at people rather hostile. The notion of “eye-contact” is one I’ve only occasionally heard mentioned, and never – that I recall – explained; it’s never occurred to me to take “looking straight in the eye” literally.

I wonder why they don’t teach, or at least mention, that sort of thing in school? You may think it’s obvious, but the problem with obvious things that’re never explained is that, if you do miss them, you can’t learn. Except entirely by chance.
It’s also odd that nobody’s mentioned it specifically over the last thirty years. Maybe they just didn’t notice, but I’ve been trying it out over the past week or so, and watching other people and myself, and it seems to make a surprising difference. Maybe, one day, I will learn to talk to the humans after all.

Who knew that the relative orientation of four little not-spheres could matter?

So thank-you, unknown shop-assistant girl.

A few hours after writing this, WordPress asked me: “When it comes to eye contact, where are you on the spectrum between Shifty-Eyed Evader and Unblinking Intimidator?”. Fools seldom differ.


Posted 17 August 2011 by Colthor in Diary

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