Human the movie by Yann Arthus- Bertrand
In Psychology a few years back we learnt about non-verbal communication and one part that really stuck out to me was the importance of eye-contact and how it makes you seem more trust worthy, engaged and confident.
Although it sounds effortless, keeping eye contact is one of those things that many of us struggle with. When you talk to someone and they look directly in your eyes there’s the tendency to look away or feel a bit awkward with your thoughts going a bit hay-wire (is there something on my face, in my teeth, there’s something in my teeth OH WOW THERE’S SOMETHING IN MY TEETH, look down, look away, fake call from mum- EVACUATE THE BUILDING RIGHT NOW!!!!) and it can all become very stressful.
Over the past couple of years I have had to talk to a variety of new people and every time I do, I get a little flashback of ‘eye contact is important Itunu’. Sometimes looking into someone’s eyes is really easy and you don’t even think about it, especially when you feel really comfortable with them, but other times it’s pretty difficult.
The weirdest thing is that sometimes you don’t realise how beautiful people are until you actually look into their eyes.
Forget the whole, eye contact makes you look engaged, confident blah blah blah, eye contact literally helps you connect with a person.It never fails to surprise me just how much you can get from a person by looking into their eyes; you can see that little sparkle, the colours, their emotions- it’s pretty amazing.
‘The eyes are the mirror to the soul’ is a well-known quote/proverb ,dating from biblical days, and it is one that I often disregarded, but now I think it is one the most underrated quotes ever (alongside ‘Your eyes water when you yawn, because you miss your bed and it makes you sad’).
Right, why on earth is Itunu writing about eyes? I hear you say It’s really not that serious, I hear you say. In fact, looking into people’s eyes is pretty weird, I hear you say. Well let me explain this sudden desire to write a whole blog post about eyes.
(and can I just award myself for the longest pre-amble ever- thank you x)
I stumbled upon something called ‘Human the movie’ by Yann Arthus- Bertrand a few weeks ago. There was a link to it on the Google home page, and since I have never seen Google promote something like that, I had to click on it. I was then taken to a YouTube video simply titled ‘Human’ and it had little snippets of interviews of people of all different ages and nationalities. These interviews consisted of the interviewee’s face of in front of a black screen; no distractions, just the person, their voice and subtitles.
After watching a few videos I did some research about ‘Human the movie’ and found this synopsis:
HUMAN is a collection of stories about and images of our world, offering an immersion to the core of what it means to be human. Through these stories full of love and happiness, as well as hatred and violence, HUMAN brings us face to face with the Other, making us reflect on our lives. From stories of everyday experiences to accounts of the most unbelievable lives, these poignant encounters share a rare sincerity and underline who we are – our darker side, but also what is most noble in us, and what is universal. Our Earth is shown at its most sublime through never-before-seen aerial images accompanied by soaring music, resulting in an ode to the beauty of the world, providing a moment to draw breath and for introspection.
HUMAN is a politically engaged work which allows us to embrace the human condition and to reflect on the meaning of our existence.
What I loved the most about the videos was the fact that you could see the faces of each person being interviewed so clearly; every wrinkle, spot, freckle- you could see it all. The thing that struck me the most, however, were the eyes of each person speaking.
When you looked into the eyes of every person interviewed, despite them being of different colours and on different people of various races, they were all the same. Every person had those sparkling pair of eyes that made you feel every word they were saying. It felt like you were alone having an intimate, deep conversation with each person, apart from you weren’t asking the questions and they were talking through a computer screen.
Despite all those boundaries, you felt what they were saying and you felt that they were speaking directly to you because you were close enough to see into their eyes. Close enough to see the pain, hurt and happiness and witness how the sparkle in their eyes dimmed and brightened depending on what was being said.
It was beautiful.
On a TV show Tamera Mowry said (and I’m paraphrasing) that one of the greatest lessons that she learnt was to look directly into people’s eyes, and since learning that every time she has an issue with her husband she will sit down, look into his eyes and speak to him.
Keeping eye contact does show confidence, and engagement etc. but it also shows I care about your feelings, and I want to understand you.
I am not saying that you should go around staring into people’s eyes, we’ve all watched far too many movies to know that someone may take you completely the wrong way, or think you’re creepy, but practice eye contact.
Practice actually looking at people when you talk to or simply smile at them, because it feels so much different from fiddling with your phone or bracelet or going into panic mode as mentioned above.
People will find you more approachable, because you look like you care and in a world that can feel very self-obsessed, caring is sometimes all you need to make the world, even if it’s your tiny little world, that little bit happier.
(and check out the Human a movie video below and subscribe to the channel on YouTube)