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Avoiding Eye Contact

Avoiding eye contact. It’s a human nature thing I suppose. I mean, if we were all open mouthed in complete astonishment with full face stares at everyone that passed by – it’d be the biggest floating psychiatric planet in the Universe. If we took a little time to avoiding eye contact, life might be easier. No wonder there’s never been major ‘First Contact’ with alien life – they keep landing in the country side, where all our country cousins find them first, and then it’s a case of a huge red-cheeked yokel sticking his face into some bewildered alien’s visor with a: “Howdy partner! Mighty fine vee-hickle you got there. Mind if I take alook see inside?” If only Billy Bob had taken the time to avoid eye contact with E.T.... And before he knows it, the poor alien has had his stabilisers ripped off his spaceship and spot-welded onto the side of a rusty old Toyota Camry.

Take the ‘Toilets By The Locker’ scenario, as happened to me one day. Minding my own business…..actually I was heading towards the toilets to ‘do’ my ’business’, avoiding everything, and avoiding everybody, I spied a young lady by her locker, right by the gents toilet door. Okay – what goes through your head at this point? Avoid eye contact! There maybe only a few steps before you’re safely behind closed doors, but what of the potential psychological trauma that could unfold before you get in there. I needed to avoid this girl at all costs! She put her coat in her locker and looked up when she saw me. ("Avoid eye contact!") I wanted to go to one place only, there was no other reason for me heading in that direction – so what could I say “Hi – I’m going for a crap, how you doing?”. ("No! Just avoid eye contact!") I looked at her – eye contact! Damn. Gotta say something now, otherwise she might think I’m being rude.

There were only a few steps to go…… I could have coughed, perhaps clutched my chest and staggered through the toilet door, or merely just looked at the ground and shuffled my way in there, by way of avoiding her. But no, I thought I’d best engage in a little ‘Passing Conversation’ – throw away lines to get through embarrassing social situations. I couldn't avoid it - I said – “Hello”. Now I really didn’t expect a reply here. In this particular social context, having recognised the accepted situation the recipient of the ‘hello’ would understand that we shopuld be bothe "mutually avoiding each other", and respond with a nod, grunt or equally non-engaging ‘hello’…ah ha – but she didn’t recognise the situation. Damn. She could have also tried to avoid eye contact with me - but she didn't. She looked up from her locker and said “Hello” – with that bright cheery ‘Lets-have-a-conversation’ type ‘hello’. This is the result of not avoiding eye contact.....

Oops. The appalling cappuccino from the Kenco coffee machine did to allow me to stop when it's so close to it’s overall victory - passage through my system in record time. The "avoiding eye contact" point had passed. So, I stopped momentarily in the doorway of the toilet & weighed up the situation. It didn’t take long. I looked up at her…paused….thought ‘F**k it’ – and opted for bowel relief as opposed to casual conversation. The strange thing is……I’m sure she saw on my face what I thought. Now, in her eyes I’ll be forever the ‘guy-who’d-rather-s**t-than-talk-to-me’…….. So, much for avoiding eye contact, right?

Avoiding Eye Contact - Lessons Learnt In Avoiding Eye Contact
Lessons learnt? When you think avoiding eye contact is a good idea - just do it. And....don’t drink cappuccino from a Kenco coffee machine if you want to be a chick magnet……:)

So, have you avoided eye contact with anyone recently? Tell me all about it here: |

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