Monday, June 30, 2008

Eye Contact, Psychopaths, and Poles

Eye contact has always been important to me. Early in my life, Dad the banker always stressed, “Look a person in the eye when you shake hands with him.” And, of course, it was always the right eye, because my dad had only one functional eye (see “Here’s Lookin’ at You, Kid,” April 23, 2008).

“And make sure you grasp firmly,” he’d add. Like when I used to milk beef cattle. Right, Dad?

Good eye contact might indicate trustworthiness, unless the person is a psychopathic liar. I’ve known four: three males, one female.

One, a lawyer, held his hand in front of his mouth when he spoke. He may have been covering up bad breath, bad teeth, or bad words. In his case, it was bad faith, deception, his intent to deceive, which was most apparent on stage.

He’d slip into his fat-man lawyer garb, snug up his belt, and prowl into the theater, ah, courtroom. His eyes would shift right and left, never sustaining eye contact for longer than a nanosecond, unless he was lying.

Illogical, fallacious detritus would spew from his diabolical, egotistical mouth, at which his friend, the judge, would applaud and say, “I know this weasel, ah, man to be honest. And therefore, whatever he expels is gospel. You owe him several thousand dollars, even though he conspired against you. Case closed. I’m going fishing.”

If you don’t have to work with poor-eye-contact people, don’t. And don't deal with psychopaths (or lawyers or judges if you don't have to).

One day I was walking downtown with a friend, frequently turning my head to look into her eyes to affirm my attention. Being a gentlewoman, I walked closer to the street, weaving between pedestrians, parking meters, and postal collection boxes.

Mesmerized by her story, I fixed my eyes on her too long and whap! I crashed directly into a street light pole.

I firmly believe in maintaining good eye contact—with a little foresight and a metal detector, of course.

But sometimes I walk into nonmetallic substances.

copyright © 2008 by Auntie Eartha. All rights reserved.

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