General Question

MrAnonymous's avatar

When talking to someone should you look into their eyes?

Asked by MrAnonymous (20points) May 30th, 2009

Simple question. When talking to women or people in general should you be looking them in the eye? At what point is this considered “creepy” or “stareing.” Is it better to look at the person, or other things when talking?

Fluther is so good for this kind of stuff lol

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26 Answers

applesaucemanny's avatar

I look at female’s eyes when I talk to them idk what else to say

aprilsimnel's avatar

You should only do that for a few seconds in North America, look away and then look again. Don’t stare. Anything longer than 4 or 5 seconds for someone who isn’t your intimate partner is considered creepy. Different cultures have different ideas about personal space, though, so I can’t say how it is elsewhere.

JONESGH's avatar

in some cultures looking into someones eyes is a sign of disrespect

Jude's avatar

Better looking into their eyes than staring at their jugs.

unless you’re eponymoushipster ;-)

MrAnonymous's avatar

@jmah. Haha true lol

@aprilslmnel. Ya i thought something like that but I was reading how looking away from people shows a lack of confidence, which obviously is not good. I guess it’s good to look in the eyes when you acknowledge them and then start looking away. I tend to look at what I am talking about. If it is about her drink, well I will look at the drink switching my gaze (not in a rapid or planned seeming manner) between her and the object. Repeating the process.

EDIT: Still starting people directly in the eye does make me kind of nervous and I like to look away.

cookieman's avatar

It’s only creepy if you don’t blink.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

Look into their eyes. What’s so creepy about being interested in what the other person is saying enough to pay attention?

A few lessons hold true from my childhood.
1. Have a firm handshake.
2. Look someone in the eyes when you are talking to them.
3. A man is only as good as his word.
4. Santa Claus is fake. God is real.

Clair's avatar

For a few seconds at a time or its either weird or intimate. Eyes are a big thing to me, they show everything.

aprilsimnel's avatar

If a guy I didn’t know all that well kept staring into my eyes for more than a few seconds, though, I’d find that a little creepy. Maybe in business, that’s one thing, I don’t know. But if you’re trying to have a woman reciprocate interest in you, that’s another thing all together. After all, if a guy is chatting me up at the bar, I’m taking it as read that he’s interested, you know?

And I’ve read that in some cultures, a guy looking a guy in the eye for too long is either a sign of sexual interest or a challenge to fight.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@chyna If you believe in the flying spaghetti monster than no… Santa Claus is definitely real for you.

cookieman's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater: I was right there with you until the end.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@cprevite Hopefully you’ll be with me in the end.

MrAnonymous's avatar

Hmm intresting thing about the business situations. I do tend NOT to look in my bosses eyes when talking at lunches or meetings. I assumed that guys are not suposed to do this to each other. But then again don’t want to look weak. A weak employee is a replaceable or stagnent employee. Good Point

Conflicting information dosen’t help lol. Natural says one thing and april says another. For the women I think I am going with april since she is one :).

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Eye contact is very important. When you make eye contact it shows the person that you are listening to what they have to say and are engaged in the conversation. Shift focus from eye to eye so it doesn’t look like you’re staring the person down.

chyna's avatar

There was a vice president in my company rumored to have a fake eye due to some type of cancer. After hearing this, everytime I got on the elevator with him, I found myself looking at his eyes trying to figure out which one was fake. I would tell myself not to, but I always did.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@MrAnonymous Fair enough. But I think it’s obvious that it depends on who you are talking to. One woman cannot possibly represent the entire gender anymore than I can single-handedly represent mine.

I’ve had no issues with looking someone in the eyes when they are talking to me… but that’s really beside the point. Being a good listener isn’t just about eye contact. There are many ways to be attentive.

cookieman's avatar

@The_Compassionate_Heretic: I like that approach – shifting eye to eye. GA.

@NaturalMineralWater: I hope you’re right. That is something I would gladly be wrong about.

asmonet's avatar

I’m a woman.

Whatever stare all you like. I gots pretty peepers. :)

Then again, when I get creep vibe from some guy, there’s a tendency for him to wind up on the floor crying shortly thereafter.

whatthefluther's avatar

There is reference above to looking into one’s eyes and confidence and that may be directed to my response on the question of self-consciousness, so I’ll pipe in here. In my opinion, eye contact is the proper method to acknowledge another person. When we first meet, I will make eye contact with you, IF you let me. It is an acknowledgement and forms a connection. If you don’t make eye contact and start talking to me, I’ll be looking over my shoulder wondering who the hell you are talking to. Eyes are very revealing and I respect your privacy so if I detect any uneasiness, I’m not going to stare you down . That’s plain rude and comes across as an attempt to intimidate and dominate, which I have no interest in, whatsoever. If there is a connection and we become friendly and you share personal stories and anecdotes and open up to me and I’m receptive, I expect we will have eye contact and there will be little to no reservation in doing so. We have all heard the saying that eyes are the window to one’s being (“soul” purposely not used lest someone try to spin this into a religious debate tangent) and I find that very true. When you share a story of sadness, I will see the sadness in your eyes. If you share a story of your kid that made you proud, I will see a genuine sparkle in your eyes. And if you are bullshitting me, I’m very good at picking that up, as well. Is eye contact a form of intimacy? Yes. Does your gender make any difference? No. Does it mean I’m trying to get you to fall in love with me or go to bed with me? No, under my current circumstances (I am taken and madly in love, thank you) and certainly not necessarily under other circumstances. Do I generally like and respect people and do I enjoy making new friends and like connecting and bonding with people with whom I share opinions or experiences or passions or whatever? Absolutely. Its what keeps my faith in what is good and possible in human beings despite all the news stories to the contrary and all the fucked up madness in this world.

BadPrices's avatar

If you look in between their eyes, you don’t have to look at their eyes, but they think you are. It will satisfy them, but it may freak you out.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

I’m sorry, what? I was staring at your boobs.

richardhenry's avatar

Heh. The crutch is that the eye contact has to be relaxed and natural. If you’re thinking about making eye contact the whole time you’re making eye contact, it won’t be.

DarkScribe's avatar

I only look into a person’s eyes when talking to them. It is the only way to gauge their response to what you are saying. I have a degree of distrust for anyone who won’t maintain eye contact in conversation.

gooch's avatar

Always look them in the eyes it let’s them know you are sincere.

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