Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Look Me In The Eye...Or Don't

Tuesday, September 4, 2012
When you are speaking with someone, do you prefer to look them in the eye or talk over the phone?

The answer to this is a good solid "it depends".

I don't do a lot of eye contact in general.  It's hard for me.  It doesn't come naturally and I honestly have to consciously be thinking about doing it to make it happen.  A character flaw, I know.

I think over the phone I am "braver" or more apt to say things more freely.  I don't have the paranoia that you are staring at me while I speak and I can't be persuaded to change what I'm saying based on my seeing your reactions.

In person, I am much more restrained.  I like to think of it as being wise after many lessons learned from saying things I wish I had never said, but perhaps it is more like one of my friends said, and I simply avoid conflict.  Maybe it's just the lesson of why keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result.

Honestly, I don't know how true that is, because I piss off plenty of people and fight with some of my closest and most loved people, so...

I do, however, keep a lot of things to myself because I don't see the benefit of saying them.

It's sort of like if your husband or bestie has a habit that bugs you, there is a choice.  Confront it, attack it, try to force them to change it, or have some grace and over look it.  I am prone to over looking and letting it go instead of letting it grab a-hold of me.  It feels like wasted energy to be stuck in that kind of stuff.

Even if a person asks me point blank about some thing, I may not give my most brutal honest truth or opinion about it.  Especially if I believe that saying it wouldn't change it.  

I am fiercely opinionated.  About a lot of things.  I am not going to shove it down your throat though.  I may not even ever share it with you.  

That doesn't make me bad or weak or a problem causer or delusional or whatever.  I simply don't like putting energy into conflict.  

Sometimes I keep my opinions to myself because I feel they won't be heard anyway.  There are those people in life, even in my life, that cannot hear in a conversation.  They speak and argue their points and facts and reasons until they win the conversation.  It continues until you give in, give up, bow down, say you win, you're right, I was wrong and the most important, I"m sorry.

I don't like to apologize for what I think.  Completely arrogant perhaps.  Completely foolish probably.  Definitely human.  

So eye contact, for me, minimal...less and less as I get older.  Conversations in person or by phone, I guess I'm a snob.  I want interesting people, growing changing people.  I don't like to listen to the same basic thing in your life with new settings week after week, year after year.  We aren't meant to stagnate but to flourish.

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