The second day of my eye gaze challenge started off better than the first. As I was leaving my building the first person I clamped eyes on was someone that I knew so it was easy not to break our gaze first. That gave me the confidence that while I was walking down the street I could really go for it. Unfortunately no one else was playing my game. I passed 5 or 6 people on the way to the tube and not a single one of them made eye contact with me. This was rather frustrating.
I blew it on the tube. I managed to get a seat and I was so shocked when the two people sitting across from me made eye contact that my instinct to look away got the better of me. Damn, I was 1 for 2!
At Starbucks I fared better. I know those ladies know me and vice versa. The one who took my order looked away first. Now I was evening the score 2:2.
While at work I kind of forgot about the challenge. This was partially because I suspect I have an undiagnosed case of attention deficit disorder, or I’m a product of the times of being over stimulated by media, but partially I think I felt that I had made progress the day before with my colleagues so I wasn’t so conscious of needing to work harder at holding their gaze today.
Then it hit me on my way home, I still hadn’t felt like I’d had a proper go at this challenge. So I willed myself to try to make eye contact with every single person on the street. Same result as in the morning, no one was looking back at me. What am I, invisible? Seriously people of London, why so shy?
All in all, I would say this challenge was a bust. Did I make myself feel awkward and uncomfortable, yes. But more than anything I felt frustrated that I wasn’t better at it. Little Miss Perfect doesn’t like to be bad at anything. Maybe that’s an unintentional learning point in itself. What I’m calling the official learning points are as follows:
- I need to put myself out there more. If I had really wanted to do better at it, I’m sure that I could have.
- If I consider this a failed challenge, it’s not the end of the world.
- Get some perspective mate! There will be much more challenging things in the future and this task will seem easy then.
- I should have set myself more clear objectives (e.g. hold gaze of at least 5 strangers on the way to work)
If you found that challenge easy, you’re ready to move on to the next challenge which is asking strangers for their phone numbers. I’m ducking out of this one, I just can’t bring myself to do it. Instead I’m skipping ahead to saying no to people for 2 straight days. No to everything! (Except for things that might get you fired). People pleasers beware!