General Question

wundayatta's avatar

Cana you explain extended eye contact in a conversation?

Asked by wundayatta (58706points) May 2nd, 2009

I’m used to people looking at me, looking away, looking back, etc, etc, as we talk. I’m used to having extended eye contact only with people who are really intensely interested in me. This morning, I was waiting in a line outside the taco truck in the rain, and some woman asks to share my umbrella. We start talking, and she holds her eyes steadily on mine. I don’t know how to describe how it makes me feel. Her eyes look beautiful, and I have this feeling of sinking into them, and of course my mind is telling me that I don’t know this person, and this makes no sense.

This is the third time this has happened in the last couple of months. I don’t recall it happening before. The other two times were with clients. I found myself feeling this sense of connection with them that didn’t make sense, and seemed a little dangerous.

Does this happen to you? What is it like for you? What do you think this means?

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15 Answers

SeventhSense's avatar

I don’t know but I know that I hold eye contact with a woman that I’m interested in. If she is meeting your gaze and not looking away, she may be interested in you. Your feelings may in fact be confirming this. If you aren’t interested in pursuing anything I would create some distance and stop doing this. On the other hand you may want to.

casheroo's avatar

I try to maintain eye contact, but I do find myself looking away because I worry that the person I’m talking to thinks I’m staring at them. I’d say eye contact during a conversation is one of my least favorite things in life haha.
I don’t mind when people stare into my eyes, it makes me stare back and I feel that they must be really interested in whatever we’re talking about.

charliecompany34's avatar

some people just happen to look right into your eyes. some look into your eyes and look off occasionally. i think it depends on your geographics or how you were raised.

in the city or urban areas, we are distracted all the time. in rural areas, we tend to pay more attention to each other.

you know?

Dog's avatar

As a private person I avoid prolonged eye contact. However many business people consider it a form of business communication and even practice to develop skills in holding eye contact.

Here is a quote from above:
Eye Contact: When someone talks to you, do they look directly at you or look away? Maintaining eye contact when talking (or listening) to someone gives an impression that you/they are confident and honest. Making little eye contact can say that the other person doesn’t like you, is nervous or shy.”

That being said when I would meet a person I was interested in intimately even as an introvert I will hold eye contact. The eyes tell a lot about a person as you speak with a person.

So depending on her personality it could be her business manner or perhaps she is interested in you as a person.

arnbev959's avatar

I stare at people when they’re talking to me, and look at them frequently when I’m talking to them. If the person seems uncomfortable I try not to do it, but I don’t know what else to do with my gaze—some people are like that.

Of course, she may have simply been interested in you.

This question is like the sensible form of sparkle.

SeventhSense's avatar

And she’s so close that she’s sharing your umbrella and staring into your eyes. Game on on amigo. Or should I say duuuuuuuuuuude…

casheroo's avatar

@petethepothead omg. sparkle. i love it.

justwannaknow's avatar

Some people are not actually making the prolonged eye contact. They are looking at your forehead just above your eyes. It is an old trick when you feel uncomfortable staring at someones eyes but you want them to think you are really into them.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Some people do it as a trait of dominance to mask any of their fear of the unknown (you) while they assess you (attraction), both are likely in a person assertive enough to ask to share your umbrella. Watch out for those crafty womens!

electricsky's avatar

I really dislike any eye contact of any kind, but once I was forced into it, at a local fair where my mom paid for this guy to guess my age. He made me look into his eyes for about 20 seconds. I felt the exact same way you did with that woman. Only internally I was freaking out, lol.

Facade's avatar

I didn’t know that was “extended” eye contact. I always do that in conversations

SeventhSense's avatar

Led me on… tease…

veronasgirl's avatar

I’ve only had that happen to me with one person, We made direct eye contact and I just couldn’t look away…

flameboi's avatar

it happened to me once, i was walking by on the street and there she was, this beautiful girl, and she looks at me as I walk by her, and I also stare at her, then I walked maybe 5 or 6 feet and then I turn back and asked her “d’you wanna have a cup of coffee?” she says “yes of course” I stopped a taxi and went for the coffee, we got “involved”...
It only lasted 2 months but it was awesome, like driving a ferrari, super fast super hot but it was over before you could even notice :D

cyndyh's avatar

I think there are a load of cultural differences between who tends to keep eye contact, for how long, and why. There’s too much variation to make a determination based on that alone.

I tend to like eye contact with people. I think it’s often polite, a way of showing someone you’re listening and sometimes a way of including someone in the conversation you’ve been having with someone beside them.

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