When you enlarge, flare will reduce the overall contrast, so you can't always compare a contact print to what will be a larger print.
I occasionally make reduced prints from 4x5 onto postcard paper. I have a different mentality when printing miniature. It is not easy for me to visualize dodging and burning at that size, so I wind up making straight prints.
I'm uncomfortable with the small prints, because after scanning a print to share here, it's not obvious what size the original print was. So it just looks like I was lazy and didn't use printing controls.
My solution to this problem is to make 11x14 prints most of the time. Many excellent photographers take the opposite tactic; they consider each print on its own merit and choose the appropriate size for each individual print.