SEA is an anagram that combines three very important things:
S = Smile
E = Eyes
A = Attitude
It’s about a genuine smile, eye contact, and a positive attitude.
Recently, I attended a business conference in New York City. While there, I met a woman named Rose, and we had a conversation about relationships. She wasn’t sure about something: should she wait to be approached by the man, or should she approach him?
I explained to Rose that in either case, she herself, must be approachable, and this can be actuated using the concept of SEA.
First and foremost, your smile must be a genuine smile – after all, do you really want to be around people who appear to be in a foul mood? What makes you think that anybody would want that in their life?
So, where does this smile come from? I have many people ask me “Why are you smiling?” as if I must have some outside stimulus – as if one can only smile if another person does something for them, or to them.
For me, nothing could be further from the truth. I smile because I choose to, it is just that simple. My smile is mine, and nobody owns or controls it. Another individual may be able to broaden and brighten it, or shrink and dim it, but the base, core smile is mine to display.
My smile emanates from a place of confidence, self-assurance, and comfort. No, I can’t do everything, I can’t solve every problem, however, I know that no matter what life throws at me, I can get through it. Tomorrow will be another day, and one day after another I will move further away from whatever might be troubling me – in other words, “this too shall pass.”
Making eye contact creates an instant connection, a bond. I am acknowledging that I see you; you exist in my world. I am not avoiding you or ignoring you, I am not afraid to look at you, and I have nothing to hide from you. There is nothing wrong with the way you look to me.
Coupled with my smile, eye contact says, “you are welcome with me.”
A positive attitude comes quite naturally when you flash your smile and look people in the eyes. And when they in turn smile and look back at me, my attitude improves. I too am noticed, I have been seen. In other words, it is a circular motion, a feedback loop, if you will. I welcome them and they welcome me back, and we both become more welcoming. Our energy plays off of each other.
And yes, this applies to both friendships and business relationships. It lets people know that they are your focus, that they have your attention.
This applies to all people, both men and women. It isn’t specifically intimate. When I smile and look men in the eye, they typically respond to me with a nod of the head, a “hey”, a “how ya doin’?” It’s all perfectly natural.
SEA in action
That very evening, after the conference, Rose and I went to a department store to do some shopping. On the way into the store, a young lady passing by said “hi.” Rose quickly turned to me, surprised, and said “She just said ‘hi’ to you!” Yes, Rose, I know. It happens more than you might imagine.
A few minutes later, while walking through the store, another young lady said “hello” to me. Again, Rose pointed it out. Shortly after, we got onto an elevator and Rose turned to me and said, “that man that just got off of the elevator winked at me, and all I did was smile and look him in the eyes!” I know, Rose, and don’t forget that this is New York City, where people are not known for being friendly or making eye contact!
Bottom line, you just never know who is waiting for you to give them an invitation to interact, to connect, and to begin a relationship. It all starts with a smile.
This week’s challenge, can you guess?! Try it out for yourself and notice the responses. Make a point at some point during your day to smile for no particular reason, then, while smiling, look someone in their eyes for just a second or two, and watch their reaction. And let me know how it works for you.
Good Together: your guide to healthy, happy relationships
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