Eye contact…this is a “topic” that comes to the forefront of my mind when someone does NOT look me directly in the eyes when I’m speaking with them. I see it as a way of saying, “I’m not just HEARING (words going in one ear, out the other) what you’re saying, but I’m LISTENING (taking in, analyzing, trying to understand) what you are saying.” This does not happen to me very often, but when it does, I get the impression that the person is intimidated by me for some reason. I find it hard that anyone would be intimidated by me, since I’m just a tall, lanky guy that is always smiling. I find that smiling while I’m talking puts other people at ease and kind of makes them smile back. Of course, I don’t ALWAYS smile, I mean, you don’t want to be talking about the death of someone or some horrible event and then have this goofy grin on your face. Anyway, eye contact is very important to me…the most recent time I actually noticed someone NOT making eye contact with me was about 6-10 months ago…one of our product vendors (for the local cable company) was talking to me about something, his name was Chris. This guy seemed pleasant enough over the phone and in person, but he would not look at me straight in the eye for more than a fleeting glance, then shift this way and that. It was kind of annoying, because I swear I was gonna start getting dizzy soon, heh heh! I thought to myself “Never trust a guy with shifty eyes!” I brought this up to my supervisor, Eric, who mentioned that he noticed the same thing. I finally decided that maybe he was just uncomfortable in the unfamiliar surroundings…maybe he had issues, or something. He was over-weight and had to walk with a cane, maybe it was an embarrassing kind of thing for him, I don’t know. I’m not one to judge others, as we all have our faults, Lord knows I have enough of my own.
Someone mentioned that body language is bunk? I think not…I would have to say my opinion differs about that. When someone furrows or arches their brow, can you not tell that they may be puzzled about something? How about when they turn red and ball their hands up into a fist, get all rigid and have their eyes bulging…don’t you think that they’re mad, maybe? Either that, or they’re seriously constipated. If I’m speaking with someone at close proximity and they fold their arms over their chest, I think to myself “Hmm, maybe I’m too close and I should back up a bit.” When the person is sitting back in a chair, relaxed, with a grin on their face while they’re talking to me, I think that they’re comfortable in what we’re speaking about. When they say the word “Yes.” and shake their head “No.” or vice versa, then something is not right. I’m no psychologist, but you don’t have to be one to plainly see that body language is definitely real…otherwise, they never would have made a game show named after it, heh heh!