The Importance of Eye Contact

Have you ever Noticed what your instinctual response is when encountering a person Experiencing homelessness? Do you put your head down? Act busy?  Or perhaps LOOK the individual in the eyes, with a warm smile.    

In this piece, Kayla Robbins shares “The first time you see a person Experiencing homelessness as fully human, equal to yourself, and deserving of the same safety and security you enjoy is a unique Experience. It’s also an Experience that we need more people to have.”

This behavior translates so directly to health care. We are often too busy to LOOK at one another – racing down hallways, LOOKING at a phone, lost in the business of the day. And yet it’s amazing how much a simple and Intentional acknowledgment of another person’s presence not only helps that person feel seen and important, it allows you to slow down, be attentive and connect, even if only for a moment. 

Experiment with making real eye contract and see how it feels.  In The Experience Lab, one practice we employ to LOOK and SEE all people in our days is to strive to LOOK into the eyes of each individual we encounter, smile, and say to ourselves (in our head) “I see you.”  Try this simple practice and feel the difference.