Last week I officially started a new habit that I intend to use to improve on my "relationships" domain.
It consists on connecting with random strangers in public settings by looking at them straight in the eye and smiling politely. The goal is to do this with at least 5 random people (who are complete strangers to me) each day.
Eventually, I envision this evolving into a practice of striking deep conversations with random people that I find intriguing or interesting and to get to know more aout them and their lives.
The current aim of eye contact is my way to break this into the smallest and easisest possible step I can take to get going, and I'm surprisingly finding that even seemingly small step proving to be a stretch for me.
Why am I so nervous about looking at people straight in the eye? I don't know... maybe it is some sort of complex that I need to meditate and reflect on.
Since I started this new habit, it has been difficult to be consistently hitting the 5-people goal. I know it sounds messed up; but as someone who spends most of his time sitting behind a computer all day, having a specific and measurable way to track progress is crucial. It adds an element of accountability and a sense of urgency to the endeavor.
A couple of things I've noticed when I go about trying to get my reps in:
1. More people than I'd like to admit actively avoid making eye contact with those around them (or at least that has been my experience). I find this particularly interesting and wondering why this may be...
2. Social settings (like bars and restaurants) have been unsurprisingly more conducive to achieving the goal in a shorter amount of time, and even move forward with next steps (starting conversation).
Anyways, I'm just starting with this habit, I have not even achieved a streak of two of more days when I've been 100% complete with the goal. However, so far I have been consistent in showing up and putting in at least one rep. I'm really enjoying getting to practice this habit and learning so much about human interaction in the process.