Looking "past" something, though can be problematic. We have (of course) binocular vision, and when you focus at a different distance, the angle between your eyes changes. They experience a parallax effect at the closer and farther distances. For an extreme example of this, I'm sure you've done the whole "look at the far wall and put your finger in front of your face" thing as a young kid. Well, the doubling of your finger while you look at the distant wall, or the doubling of a distant object while you focus on your finger is an example of that parallax difference between your eyes. But when looking at something farther than your fingers, the angle of your eyes does not have to change quite as much, and the parallax effect is less -- but still present.
Looking "near" the person, but focusing at (or near) the same distance will help reduce that effect.