Sometime back, a sudden craze for staring contests swept across the United States. Staring competitions were held on a large-scale almost everywhere. Some youngsters went on to host websites dedicated to staring contests, and there were more than a few talks about a new reality show based on staring competitions. While this might seem immature to some, staring competitions have been around for well, longer than anyone remembers. Schools, colleges, camps and even at an ordinary sleepover with friends, a staring contest is one thing that is guaranteed to bring excitement and fun for everyone, including (actually more for) the non-participants.
So, if you have never tried or have lost staring contests until now, here are some tips that will help you win a contest and acquire that bet you made.
How to Win a Staring Competition
Prepare for the Battle
Don't think that staring into someone's eyes or an object without blinking is very easy. You need to prepare yourself before the match so that your eyes don't fail you, literally. Avoid using eye creams or face creams or any oil that might get into your eyes during the contest. If you have red or itchy eyes, it is best to postpone the match. Keep your eyes clean and free of any irritation. In other words, keep your hands or anything else out of your eyes as far as possible.
Advertise Your Prowess
Letting your opponent think that you are a pro at winning staring contests (doesn't matter even if you haven't participated in one), is a good way of instilling the fear of your eyes in him/her. You could ask your friends to boast about how good you are at staring or you could do it yourself.
Name Your Strategy
Another way of making your opponent think twice about competing with you is by declaring that you know an excellent 'strategy' or an expert 'technique' that makes it easier to win a contest. If they ask you what that is, you could cook up any name that sounds scary enough, but just don't go overboard - you might land flat on your face!
Moisten Your Eyes
Right before the match starts, shut your eyes as tight as you can. This will loosen the muscles and skin near your eyes and also moisten it. You can use artificial tear drops, if you are sure that you are not allergic to it, but limit it to a few drops only.
A stressed out person is very unlikely to win a staring contest. Don't be over conscious of the surroundings or the result of the contest. Nip nervousness and fear right in the bud and remind yourself that it is a staring contest, not a game of life or death (though losing might seem the death of your ego).
Have you ever found someone so lost in thoughts that you have had to physically shake them to bring them back to planet earth? Well, you might want to take their advice on how to be there and still not be there. One trick is to plan about doing something you want to do. Mentally plan out the theme and decorations of the weekend party you will be hosting. This will also save you the 'thinking' time you would have had to spend on planning that activity. If you are not much into planning, here's an option you might want to try: daydream!
Open Your Eyes Wide
Begin the competition with normally opened eyes and gradually widen your eyes as the match progresses, but don't do it so much that you strain them within a few minutes into the contest.
Don't Get Distracted
Stay focused. Don't let your line of vision wander over your opponent's shoulder. It is likely that you might see something pleasant enough to make you blink in surprise or disgustingly enough to make you shut your eyes in shock. In both cases, you will find yourself with the loser's trophy.
Squint Eyes, Furrow Brows
If at some point in the contest you feel that your eyes might blink, squint your eyes or furrow your eyebrows. This will cause your eyes to tear up, thus moistening them and allow you to stare longer. You could make funny faces, albeit discreetly, to make your opponent laugh.
Practice Makes Perfect
Like for every other skill, staring is something at which you will get better with time, practice and patience. Stare at your cat, or your dog or even your own mirror reflection, when possible. Ask those who profess that 'staring-without-blinking' is an art, and they will tell you how important it is to practice before a staring contest!
After you are done with the match (hopefully as a victor), be sure to massage your eyes with a warm towel, to prevent injury because of the strain caused. Now that you have gone through all the tips and followed them, you are as ready as you will ever be, to win a contest. In case you still lose, don't worry, it was just a fun-loving game anyway. For those who are about to enter the staring contest 'arena', here's a thought: looking into someone's eyes for a long time without blinking, makes you love them (or at least that's the reason my friend gave, when she didn't want to compete with this guy she disliked!).