“Your eyes are the mirror of the soul.”
That’s a Yiddish proverb. (I love Yiddish proverbs; for more, see here.) That’s why when you look people in the eye you can make a serious, simmering, solid connection.
You can reveal everything with your eyes, even if you reveal nothing. But you have to be brave enough to look out at the world to reveal your soul. As I shared in my post here on how we’re walking around turned inside out, our inner beauty is revealed through our eyes.
Did you ever talk to someone who didn’t look at you? And you felt like he was hiding something? If his door is closed, then you’ll never make a connection.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to transform ourselves in the little things. This is a little thing that is really a big thing. You might feel uncomfortable at first–holding someone else’s gaze is a little disconcerting at first–but it’s a life-changer. You become like a big plow charging through the snow.
Tool For Tuesday: Look That Guy in the Eye.
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Diana Bletter is the author of several books, including The Invisible Thread: A Portrait of Jewish American Women (with photographs by Lori Grinker), shortlisted for a National Jewish Book Award. Her novel, A Remarkable Kindness, (HarperCollins) was published in 2015. She is the First Prize Winner of Moment Magazine's 2019 Fiction Contest. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, tabletmag, Glamour, The Forward, The North American Review, Times of Israel, and is a reporter for Israel21C, and many other publications. She is author of Big Up Yourself: It's About Time You Like Being You and The Mom Who Took off On Her Motorcycle, a memoir of her 10,000-mile motorcycle trip to Alaska and back to New York. She lives in a small beach village in Western Galilee, Israel, with her husband and family. She is a member of the local hevra kadisha, the burial circle, and a Muslim-Jewish-Christian-Druze women's group in the nearby town of Akko. And, she likes snowboarding and climbing trees.
So true, Diana. When I was coaching Cross-X debate, one of the most difficult things to teach teenage speakers to do was look up and make eye contact with each of the judges at least once. No stare-downs, just a brief connection. When they learned this, their scores improved, but more importantly, their confidence improved, along with their genuine interest in the judges as people.