What can YOU say in six sentences?
As people pass by, you wonder if there is a right or exact amount of time you should spend regarding the faces of strangers. If you don't look at them at all, there is no risk of anyone taking offense at your potentially intrusive gaze; however, in this act of avoidance, you run the risk of experiencing diminished self-esteem as the following concerns begin to hatch—Why can't I look up; Why must my eyes be locked to the sidewalk; Why do I contort my face in feigned rumination, hoping that if this stranger looks at me, they will be given a favorable impression of a thinking man who has some idea of how the world works. If you look for too long, the stakes are raised even higher. If, for instance, you look at this woman—elegant and stern in her navy suit—with the right smile on your face, a smile that conveys success and confidence, then the woman's austere morning visage might just un-edge itself and melt away into a curious smile. (And boy, only the Lord knows how deeply men like you are yearning for the curious smiles of women to look upon them.) However, if the woman doesn't return your gaze, or worse, responds to your eye gambit with contempt, then there is failure.