This week focus on yourself in relation to connections. Do you make eye contact? How often? When was the last time you asked your partner or children a question that didn’t have to do with a daily task or your whirlwind schedule? Do you ask questions to get to know others? Think about what you bring to the table.
How do you feel about eye contact? How often do you look people in the eye? How about your kids? Cashiers? Servers? Doctors? Friends? Are you comfortable with looking people in the eye? Jot down your feelings about it.
Delve a little deeper…why do you or don’t you make eye contact? What causes you to avoid it? What influences this? Your personality? Regional or cultural influences? Self esteem? Worry? When was the last time you thought about eye contact? Is this your first time?
Affirmations are often inspiring and true. Give them a try…start off with this simple one. Because you are, please write or doodle: I am worthy of connection and acknowledgment.
Start with your family. Was it easy? Hard? Did they notice? Did it make you automatically smile more when you caught someone’s eye? How was this small gesture received. Write about it.
Was it easy? Hard? Who did you choose? Do you think they appreciated it? If you were uneasy about it, can you pinpoint those emotions?
Do you feel like the use of phones and computers has us looking down more than up? How about you? Do an honest assessment of your phone/electronics use as it compares to meaningful face-to-face interactions.
Eye contact can be easier with engagement. Add a smile or a question to your gaze. How did it go today? Was it easier to make eye contact? Still strange? No big deal?
Are you nervous about making more eye contact? Create smaller goals if it feels like too much – aim for one hour a day or a set number of people. Write down your goal.
Eye contact acknowledges a shared moment–a connection–even in passing. It dissolves barriers. It can show you’re listening with your whole being. It can show you understand without saying a word. Do you ever share knowing glances with people? Your partner? Best friend? Your children? Write about moments when you have spoken with your eyes instead of your lips.