Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Eye Contact

The summer before my 8th grade year my mom got a coupon in the mail for some discount karate lessons.  I am sure she thought it would get me exercise and learn to be self confident.  I thought it would be awesome to be a power ranger. So we both totally agreed I should take classes.
In one of the self defense lessons sensei told us that a great way to keep from being bullied was to walk with our head up, and eyes forward.  Making eye contact was a way to communicate that you were confident and not someone to be picked on.
Look, I trip up the stairs and over my own two feet walking on flat surfaces.  The reason I don't get hurt when I fall is because I have fallen so many times that I actually know *how* to fall. My looking down and around is more of a safety precaution than a statement about my self confidence.
Though, to be honest, I don't like to look people in the eye.  For some reason people have taken looking someone in the eye from meaning "I see you there and will not run into you/hit you with my car you jaywalking fool" to "Lets start a long conversations!".
No... no.  Looking you in the eye means we mutually acknowledge each others relative position in space and will not attempt to violate rules of physics by being in the same space at the same time.  It does NOT mean I want to talk to you and hear all about your week, your life, your...whatever.
However, because some people have gotten the rules mixed up I now get to play the "don't make eye contact" game when I am feeling anxious or depressed.  Namely because I am so busy focusing all my energy on acting "normal" that I really don't have much left over to be "normal AND in conversation".  Sorry.  But my output is only so much.  Plus, I am *really* trying not to trip over my own two feet.
In that same self confidence lesson we were learning how to get out of wrist grips.  I was paired with the teacher.  And I totally hit myself with my own fist getting out of a wrist grip.  See, I am a self hazard.

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