A Clumsy Way of Getting to Know Someone You Barely Know When You Walk By
You walk down the street and you see that friend of a friend you met on this thing. You don’t want to stop and chat awkwardly , but you also don’t want to be rude. Here’s a simple eye contact trick that works every time.
According to Ronald Riggio , a professor of non-verbal communication at Claremont McKenna College, avoiding eye contact completely when you know someone is disingenuous, but it’s also weird to look too much in the eye. So, as Riggio explains, it is best to give a few quick non-verbal cues, such as a slight nod, smile, or a flash of eyebrows (raising the eyebrows), using this method:
Make eye contact from 30 feet, break eye contact, brief eye contact and eyebrows flash from 10 feet, then look straight ahead.
You won’t look like a jerk trying to ignore them, you won’t look like a git looking at them, and you won’t have to say a word if you don’t want to. In general, less inconvenience for you and them. It may seem silly to have a method for such basic social interaction, but as social psychologist Jeremy Nicholson explains in the Science of Us article linked below, having such a method in your mind can help reduce any anxiety you may have about such meetings.