Social Question

AdventureElephants's avatar

How comfortable are you with eye contact?

Asked by AdventureElephants (1397points) February 2nd, 2016 from iPhone

Do you look people in the eye when you speak? Does how well you know them or what the situation is impact how much eye contact you make?

I notice that sometimes I keep my hands busy or am looking at something else. I have a level of discomfort with too much eye contact.

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18 Answers

longgone's avatar

Not very. I have to remind myself to look for the eyes. This is why I prefer to take people for walks when there are things to discuss. Holding prolonged eye contact is almost impossible for me – when walking, there are other things to look at for both parties.

I don’t think I’m influenced by how well I know the person in question. I’m frequently amazed at the beauty of my family members’ or close friends’ eyes. Eyes are almost universally astonishing. I wish I would remember to look at them more often.

Mimishu1995's avatar

I thought I was the only one. I can maintain eye contact when listening, but when speaking, not so much. I can be mistaken for a deceptive person, but that’s just a strange quirk.

jca's avatar

I usually look people in the eye when speaking to them. I have no problem with it.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I have no problem with either. Although I tend to look at the speaker’s mouth since my hearing is starting to go a little. It really help me identify whether the sound was “f” or “th”, or a “b” or “v”. I hope no one thinks I’m being shy or rude by doing that.

marinelife's avatar

I’m very comfortable with eye contact. I like to look in people’s eyes when I am listening to them.

thorninmud's avatar

You know how if you take a wire and directly connect one terminal of a battery to the other (a short circuit), the wire gets hot and the battery drains quickly? That’s the way eye contact feels to me. Hot and draining. In a circuit, you avoid that by adding some buffers in the path between the two terminals so that the current is forced to slow down. In conversation, it helps make things less intense if the communication pathway is also buffered to some extent. That’s why online communication is easier for introverts; it’s highly buffered and comfortably paced.

It’s almost universally more comfortable to maintain eye contact when listening than when speaking. Speaking doesn’t come easily to me in any case, but I usually find that I can’t both compose my thoughts and maintain eye contact at the same time.

zenvelo's avatar

A lot better than I used to be!

I used to be a bit shy, especially when talking to a girl. A long term relationship with a particular woman I loved was able to change that. Having kids helped to, because it was so important for them to know I was paying attention to the when they were small.

LuckyGuy's avatar

For the “positive eye-contact” folks: Would you notice I was watching your mouth rather than your eyes? If you do notice would you think I was being shy?

If someone does it to me I notice and think to myself: “Aha! We have something in common already. He’s losing the top frequencies, too.”

ucme's avatar

I’m cool with it, unless you’re cross-eyed, that shit makes me dizzy.

kritiper's avatar

Lack of self-confidence contributes to no eye contact. I can look someone in the eye if I am positive of the position that I can trying to convey. Otherwise it feels as if I am being dissected by their gaze.

flutherother's avatar

I don’t like speaking with people wearing sunglasses and prefer eye contact.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Eye contact is important to know if the other person is interested in what you have to say etc
Initial eye contact especially when greeting with hankshake is very important to convey trust.
Untrustworthy people will not give any eye contact as they convey a mistrust.
I always like to know the colour of a persons eyes so I look for it.
I also do not like someone wearing sunglasses and NOT taking them off to talk to me.
I end up mistrusting them and move on.
If one cannot commit even to initial eye contact..there is something wrong.

longgone's avatar

“Eye contact is important to know if the other person is interested in what you have to say.”

I usually notice my lack of eye contact when I am with clients, or with my best friends. I guarantee – I am very interested in what those people have to say. I listen, and I think about their words. However: eye contact doesn’t come naturally to me, so it’s more than I can handle during conversations. I’m already overwhelmed by listening, thinking, responding, keeping my body language friendly, laughing in the right places, and gauging when I am expected to keep quiet. Meanwhile, I keep wondering whether I seem relaxed enough. Conversations are difficult.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

I’m very comfortable with eye contact. So much so, I need to remind myself to move my gaze occasionally and look up, down, or to the side. It’s very creepy to drill somebody with nonstop eye contact.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I’m fine with eye contact. The only time I find it a bit uncomfortable is when I’m interviewing older Indigenous people (where it might be culturally inappropriate to make eye-contact), and during interviews when we’ve been talking for a long time. I don’t want to not make eye contact, but it can start to feel a bit awkward to make strong eye contact. I’ll usually just take some notes for a while.

LuckyGuy's avatar

People, please note that sometimes eye contact, or lack thereof, is due to another reason.
I am sincerely interested in what you are saying. Therefore I am looking at your mouth so I can understand what you say.

AdventureElephants's avatar

I don’t think I have confidence issues. I don’t like to let people in. The eyes are the window to the soul.

Soubresaut's avatar

I love eye contact—I feel “plugged in” to the other person, I feel like I can better feel what they are saying as they are saying it. But it also often feels too close—like other people have described, “intense”—like I might be intruding, or they might think I’m too [whatever]. My eye contact is more steady when I’m listening to someone, but I’ll drop my gaze purposefully when it feels like too much, when it feels too close or too intimate.

When I’m talking, it really depends. If I’m trying to express something more emotional, I’ll tend to look right at the person, and rely on gestures and facial expressions to help my words. If I’m trying to talk about something I’m picturing in my mind, something more conceptual, I’ll look somewhere else to focus on the mental picture. Often I’ll find myself gesturing out into the world like I could point at the imaginary objects/locations.

I did go through a period where people were always commenting on my eyes, which gradually made me more self-conscious about it.

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