General Question

judyprays's avatar

How do you feel when you discover you are being looked at?

Asked by judyprays (1309points) December 1st, 2008

All interpretations of this question welcome and discussion of depth and nuances of different types of being looked at appreciated.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

44 Answers

TheKitchenSink's avatar

It depends on how I’m being looked at and from whom.

Sueanne_Tremendous's avatar

Love it. Either I look good or my zipper is open or I have something on my face. Either way, the look tells me something positive.

Elumas's avatar

If it’s an I’m checking you out look and she’s attractive then I’ll smile at her.

bodyhead's avatar

My favorite is when a stranger catches themselves staring. Sometimes they are looking at my unkempt hair or the slogan on my shirt.

Mostly, I just start to feel myself up real slow. By the time I’ve gotten to my nipple area, I’ve dropped my gaze to give them a seductive stare.

Some people don’t even know they are staring. I help them figure it out.

If they’re still looking at this point, I give them an ‘Oh Yea’ in my best koolaid-man voice.

TheKitchenSink's avatar

I fully endorse bodyhead’s course of action.

SpiceLMF's avatar

Usually it’s an old weird man… and I’m freaked out. In the rare case that it’s a hot guy.. usually I start staring back and then their freaked out

TheKitchenSink's avatar

I know that my sister always makes it a bid for power. She’s made this a point. If she catches anyone staring, she will stare back until they stop.

laureth's avatar

I hate it. Hate! Even if it’s that they think I’m cute (which they don’t because I’m not), there are nicer ways than staring.

Being looked at makes me feel singled out, like prey. I just can’t stand it – no matter who it is.

andrew's avatar

Love, love love it.

queenzboulevard's avatar

Nice question! I’ve been doing this thing for about six months where I refuse to break eye contact with someone if I catch them looking into my eyes. It all started when this dude kept looking over at me. I could see from my peripherals that he would stare for like five seconds, then look away. I was like who does he think he is, so about the third time he did it I just stared back the whole time until he looked away. He never looked back again…I guess he realized he got caught, I dunno.

The majority of people look away really fast because they realize that they made eye contact and I noticed, then there are people who make eye contact and don’t stop for like three seconds! I think maybe they’re playing the same hilarious game as I am! I always laugh at how the uncomfortable people react lol

TitsMcGhee's avatar

Definitely depends on:

1. Who it is who is doing the looking (ie Are they a dirty skeezer or someone I would actually want to talk to?)
2. With what intention they are doing the looking (ie Are they admiring me or trying to look down my shirt?)
3. What I look like at that moment (ie Did I just roll out of bed or do I look bangin?)
4. What their facial expression is (ie Are they looking at me with a look of disgust or lust?)
5. In what context said looking is happening (ie Are they checking me out on the street or are they a peeping tom?)

If it’s some bitch staring me down, I’ll stare back and essentially say “Bitch puh-leeze” with my eyes. If it’s a creepy guy, I generally walk away quickly or flippantly. If it’s someone worthwhile, I have my flirty “Hey hey there” look. It’s all about the situation, on a case by case basis.

charliecompany34's avatar

i say “woo boy, i still got it.”

Bluefreedom's avatar

If I’m being looked at and admired, I feel good. If I’m being stared at with disdain, I have a problem with it but not enough that I’ll make a federal case out of it. If I’m being looked at with total curiousity, I’ll be amused because it means I’m being my normal but weird self. Keep people guessing, that’s my mantra.

amandala's avatar

Although I am totally creeped out when skeezy cabdrivers and weird guys check me out, a tiny part of me is flattered. To be honest, I like the feeling of being liked. So it’s nice to be checked out. It’s not so nice to be looked at contemptuously. I am so not OK with that.

answerjill's avatar

I feel like I don’t get a lot of attention from guys, so when I do, I probably feel a bit too flattered. A story: This one time, I thought that this guy was looking at me and I was flattered. That is, until he came up to me and whispered, “You have chocolate on your nose. Oh, well….

shadling21's avatar

I like to assume that most people look at me for reasons other than checking me out. That way, if it’s something embarrassing (like answerjill’s story- that’s hilarious!) then I won’t have my ego crushed.

It’s refreshing to think that some guys find me attractive (and girls, for that matter). For a few seconds, I feel powerful.

TheBox193's avatar

I use to get little boys about the age of 7 just staring at me. When I saw them, they just stared more… and longer. I never could figure it out. I’m a guy, I don’t understand it. I really am dumbfounded to this date. any ideas on why they did this would be much welcomed.
If it’s a kinda cute girl… my heart skips a beat… awww… I’ll keep looking her way to see if she is looking at me again. doesn’t reoccur often
if it’s a guy .. I figure it was something weird I was doing and disregard it.

MacBean's avatar

Generally, I have panic attacks. I don’t leave the house much…

susanc's avatar

Women my age are never stared at unless we used to be someone’s teacher.

EmpressPixie's avatar

These days it is usually my boyfriend and I smile at him.

When it is, oh, anyone else I generally blush which isn’t very useful.

wundayatta's avatar

Men my age and shape are generally never stared at unless they think we’re a perv.

I do, however, do my own share of staring.

augustlan's avatar

I’m pretty uncomfortable with it most times. However, if I have loads of self-confidence and a spring in my step on that particular day, it makes me happy and I smile at the ‘looker’.

cak's avatar

Like Augustlan ^^^, I’m pretty uncomfortable with it. I generally look down and away. Unfortunately, it can give the sense that I am a snob. I’m not, just shy.

Trustinglife's avatar

Ooh ooh ooh, I have a different interpretation of the question…

My 4-month-old nephew! Over Thanksgiving, I got to hang out with him and be Uncle Adam. My nephew just stares at me! Like it’s going out of business. I absolutely love it. Makes me think I’m special. Oh, and he smiles and laughs when he looks at me. Melts my heart.

augustlan's avatar

@Trusting: Oh, I know what you mean! I’m a step-grandma, and that baby boy’s big blue eyes on me, oh it does my heart good!

Babies know a good thing when they see one : )

Trustinglife's avatar

@Aug, ha! Here’s a pic, if you want to see what I mean.

wundayatta's avatar

How many times, as a child, did you hear, “It’s not polite to stare?” We know that the steady gaze of another can be discomfiting. What does that gaze mean? Does that person mean harm or admiration?

I think that for some, perhaps many women, a stare, especially when coupled with a whistle or a suggestive comment, is an aggressive and threatening thing. Could this guy be over the edge? Will he follow me? And not in a good way?

In my mind, this feeling probably spills over into ordinary stares. The woman will walk by and say, “Perv!” I guess some or most women don’t want to be thought of as sex objects, and perhaps they assume that’s what is happening when a guy stares.

Others, perhaps more confident, might revel in the attention. It might make them feel good that men like the way they look.

I am not sure of what women stare at. Do they stare at men that look attractive to them? If I catch someone staring, which hardly ever happens, I don’t know what it means, because it almost never happens. I often wonder in my head if the woman likes me for some reason. Of course, it could easily be that they know me and I’ve forgotten them or they know me from a presentation I’ve given and I never actually met them.

I’ve always wanted a certain kind of staring. It’s the positive kind, like when I perform, and everyone loves what I’m doing. Those stares give me energy and confidence. That allows me to try stuff I’ve never done before. It also allows me to set up a kind of feedback loop, where I take their energy, and reformulate it, and send it back to them in a focused and cohesive way.

That’s about loving attention, and feeling good about myself. At any rate, it’s the only way I know to make myself feel okay. Feedback is key, and those stares are good. Mostly, though, I have no idea how to interpret any look that a random stranger might give me. It would be nice if it happened more often.

TheBox193's avatar

Youtube. Why is it so awesome? Why do we return, why do we love it. Somewhere someone explained a possible reason to me. We are free to stare, free to connect, free to watch. People upload a video of themselves, thousands may watch the video. Why can we connect? We can look into their eyes with no discomfort because you aren’t look at the real them, just a video of them. They can’t react to your glare, they just keep talking. Does this actually allow us to connect differently? Connect in a way that is generally not acceptable/awkward in society? Maybe this allows us to understand someone better, something that we are robbed of in real life.

some physiologist or sociologist would love this

TheBox193's avatar

As a child I remember bing brainwashed not to stare…. I never listened, I figured I was above the rule. I never understood it. I figured there was a difference between staring and looking. Maybe that’s just different words for the same thing, but I think they imply different modes of looking. In society do we really have to be embarrassed of looking at each other? What is wrong with it? It causes awkwardness for the other, why is that? Is that because we were told when we were young we couldn’t look at each other and therefore why would they be looking at me?
Different degrees of the same thing.

shadling21's avatar

@TheBox – Not just Youtube. The birth of film led to theorizing about what it is to be a spectator of a film, where one can’t influence the action on screen and can watch without being seen. Before film, theatre audiences had a very different type of relationship with the subjects being viewed.

The popularity of movies, television, and the Internet in general indicates that many people enjoy staring. Adapting to these (still new) forms of entertainment includes the acceptance that people are more and more accustomed to staring.

We are all peeping toms.

laureth's avatar

The Youtube effect could explain pornography, too. If you walk in on people having sex, you’d probably be embarrassed, avert your eyes, apologize, walk out and be moritified. Not so, when it’s just a video…

Trustinglife's avatar

True, but if someone walks in on me while I’m staring at others having sex…mortification ensues.

wundayatta's avatar

@trusting, that’s because, in most cases, it’s like the case laureth described. It is walking in on someone masturbating. I’m sure that in the case walking in on people actually having sex. the people who are walked in on, in most cases, are as mortified as the walkers-in.

Trustinglife's avatar

Hmm. I wonder who is more mortified: the walkers-in, or the walkers-in-on?

wundayatta's avatar

I don’t know, but I sense a screenplay!


Sort of a trainspotting for sex.

90s_kid's avatar

I once asked a girl in my class out and she said no but because she was already going out. That day was a friday so the monday i came back to school i tried not to make it awkward. Now to this day, we have these solemn moments where we just stare at eachothers brown eyes and after literally 10 seconds we just look away like nothing happened. It’s a sad story.

There is a parent I know from my parish (im tryin to go to church every sunday now) and he always stares at me. He has a son whom i talk a lot with and he’s like “yeh my dads scary”. But im scared because he always says to me “I know things you dont know” and “im always keeping an eye on you…dont forget it” and one time he said “i know where you live” NO JOKE. so yeah im scared.

onesecondregrets's avatar

If I’m being looked at as in the “there’s something about that girl” way…I feel amazing and give the “yes there is something really good about this girl” look back, haha.

wundayatta's avatar

I wish I could feel that. [daloon says wistfully]

tb1570's avatar

I usually just say something like “ok, honey, what did I do wrong this time?”

ShauneP82's avatar

Pretty Damn good either way. If it were bad I would go out of my way to annoy that person for the fun of it. If it were good I would be high on my horse and not easily knocked off. lol. wahaha.

monkeygirl's avatar

well it depends how the person looks at you

Rarebear's avatar

I stick out my tongue.

philosopher's avatar

Some Men stare to the point were it is uncomfortable. It depends on the situation.
At the gym some guys have really annoyed me.
I currently work out at home.
I like my own space. Staring can be an intrusion. I sometimes think these people are disturbed.
When someone always stares at me but says nothing I find it very annoying.

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