Have you ever found yourself endlessly staring into another person’s eyes? I don’t mean paying attention to their color, or how dilated their pupils are, I mean having a conversation with them through sight, as they endlessly stare into your eyes too.

The eyes are more than just a pupil and iris. Sight is a form of communication, kind of like that of art and music. One doesn’t learn how to look, just like one doesn’t learn how to listen to music or admire an art piece.

As strange as it may sound, your eyes have a voice. It’s the reason why making eye contact with a stranger is so awkward, but making eye contact with a friend is so comforting. There are people who can be incredibly loud and talkative with their mouth, but have the most quiet, reserved eyes. There is also people who can be extremely shy, but have the loudest eyes you’ve ever seen.

We all know the iris is the most captivating part of an eye: the various colors, patterns, and the way they look in different light. Stray away from it though, because everyone talks about the weather. Have a conversation about something new; about the veins, eye boogers, lashes, water content. Are those eyes tired? Excited? Scared?

An important aspect of talking with your eyes is that it requires minimal thinking. Just like talking with your mouth, there obviously is some subconscious thinking involved, but if we thought about every word we said before we said it, our conversations would be boring. Just open your eyes and look.

It is always a joy to observe the way people react when you stare at them, especially if you’ve never seen them before. Their facial expressions add to the content of the conversation, kind of like hand gestures in a regular conversation.

Talking with your eyes cannot replace vocal conversation, but it can certainly add to it. Take a look at someone’s eyes before and after you speak to them, kiss, hug, argue, sing, are sung to, watch a film, say hello, say goodbye.

Just like one can talk to themselves, they can also look. Next time you find yourself in front of a mirror, look at your eyes, come an inch away from the mirror, and see what your eyes have to say. I’ve done it, and I will say it can be scary sometimes, but other times i don’t feel anything at all.

Keep in mind that talking with your eyes is not another language, so you can’t translate it into words with your friends. Let the magic happen, believe that they understand what you were trying to communicate with your eyes. Look at how distorted your reflection is in their right eye, then their left. Try as hard as you can to look at both of their eyes at the same time, even though it isn’t possible.

It isn’t a staring contest, so remember to blink, but then think to yourself how much you missed in that split second that you weren’t looking.