The team at Kovert Designs, a mindful technology company, recently set out to ask the question: "When was the last time you really looked into a stranger's eyes?" But they also wanted to reveal the beautiful connection that can be created when you choose to do so.
As part of the exercise, they asked eight strangers to pair off into four couples and stand across from one another -- at first with their eyes closed.
"I was feeling a little bit anxious about what I would see when I would open my eyes, because I wasn't prepared for what was going to happen," one participant says in the video.
On cue, the pairs opened their eyes and stared at each other in silence, cataloguing any thoughts or feelings that arose in their minds. Each participant later divulged their first impressions, hesitations and thoughtful questions about their partners in one-on-one interviews with the camera. Some of their comments expose how this new connection can actually teach us quite a lot about ourselves.
"I think when you let down all the pretenses and your ego drops away, you recognize in other people your own vulnerability, your own higher self, all the good qualities." says one participant. "Because that's what you're actually connecting with -- all the goodness in somebody... You're not frightened anymore, you're not running from them, you're looking at a reflection of your inner state."
Sometimes the outcomes of these interactions are well worth the initial anxiety and discomfort they create. And, at least in these circumstances, they aren't nearly as dangerous as our parents once made them out to be.
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