Eye Contact

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Kurtis
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Eye Contact

Postby Kurtis » Wed May 14, 2014 4:06 pm

Here's something I've been thinking a little bit about; 'eye contact.' Personally, I find eye-contact a bit of a nuisance and just a bit uncomfortable which makes the fact society expects it a darn site worse. People usually insist on eye-contact as a supposed means of 'friendliness' but I usually find it a little more aggravating and actually draining when I'm forced to do it in certain situations.

In a way, I'm more inclined to look away from the person when they're speaking; I'm much more relaxed when I do it that way and can usually uphold a conversation when doing so. I often get a little guilty however, knowing that people expect me to look at them so I force myself into glancing their way once in a while. Even with people I'm most comfortable with, I still naturally look away when they're speaking and shut off visually to simply listen, so I think the 'drain' comes from when I have to maintain two senses; site and auditory. I do understand a passive glance is expected (and if I forget to consciously think about the other person, I find myself doing it anyway), but consistently maintaining eye contact?

I can remember being curious when I was younger how you were expected to look people in 'their eyes.' I could never force myself to look at both eyes simultaneously, and someone mentioned at some point to look at the space between the eyes instead, which does work but I've often found myself directly looking a person in one eye which often ends up me wondering what they're thinking with my switching back and forth like that.

When people deliberately try catching my eye, I often get slightly annoyed or uncomfortable (depending on who) as well, especially when I'm trying to hear them and ignore everything else.

I don't lack any communication skills, I can easily talk to people and get to the point of a discussion very quickly, but I usually hate this enforced 'thing' of eye-contact. It's something that's drilled into you constantly so I can't be the only person who has this 'problem?'

As an aside, I actually hate looking directly at a camera for the exact same reason! When I've recorded myself in the past, I've often struggled to keep looking forward and into the camera lens. It's a little strange looking at the footage afterwards (for both that and I hate seeing myself anyway :idunno: ).

What're your thoughts?

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Mads
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Eye Contact

Postby Mads » Sat May 17, 2014 11:07 pm

Hey.

Funny thing, I can Totally relate to that feeling. I feel and do the exact same thing - struggling to look people directly in the eyes and when i do, i usually just focus on one eye, tho i never gave much thought about what the other person thinks about it, or if they even notice.

Personally, I have trouble focusing one two or more things at a time. For example, If someone is talking to me and I am paying attention to something else, I don't know what they're saying, even though I can hear them, does that make sense? Same thing with music and reading: if I am reading a book or an article and there's an album playing in the background, I am not really listening to the music.

Another: playing darts with friends, when someone says "oh, i love this song", and I'm like "song? oh, that song on the radio" (I didn't even realise there was a radio on). This happens a lot.

When I am on an interview for a job or internship, where it is usually best you make eye contact with the interviewer, I always have a hard time paying attention to what they are saying while staring at them.


Anyways, for me personally, it has to do with the fact that I am terrible at multitasking, plus I tend to overthink A LOT, and my mind goes crasy with random thoughts when I make eye contact in a conversation. Cuhrayzee really.

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Eye Contact

Postby brian189 » Wed May 21, 2014 5:42 pm

I don't like the idea of having to have eye contact with strangers. When listening to someone speak, I naturally make eye contact in order to focus on what's being said. Unless it's one of those people who don't stop speaking long enough to listen to me speak. Then I stop making eye contact as a way to let them know I'm no longer listening. Funny how many people don't notice and just continue talking. Sometimes even after you've left the room.

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Eye Contact

Postby Kurtis » Fri May 23, 2014 8:42 pm

Mads wrote:When I am on an interview for a job or internship, where it is usually best you make eye contact with the interviewer, I always have a hard time paying attention to what they are saying while staring at them.

It's this that made me wonder about the point in the first place. More specifically, I was at an interview training class and the tutor basically said that in a panel interview room you must make eye contact with all of the people in the room (and speak to them all), even if it's just one person doing most of the talking. I didn't agree to it and I still don't know (I think it's more important to acknowledge the other people in the room and include them in the conversation if they pop in, but if one person is doing the speaking, you generally answer them straight back).

I personally don't struggle making eye-contact persé, but I do think that outright staring people is rude and a bit obnoxious. I do feel slightly nervous when forcing myself to do that kind of thing, my natural instinct is to look away and simply listen like I said in the OP. If I'm speaking, I'm a lot more likely to (comfortably) make eye-contact with people.

brian189 wrote:I don't like the idea of having to have eye contact with strangers. When listening to someone speak, I naturally make eye contact in order to focus on what's being said. Unless it's one of those people who don't stop speaking long enough to listen to me speak. Then I stop making eye contact as a way to let them know I'm no longer listening. Funny how many people don't notice and just continue talking. Sometimes even after you've left the room.

I must differ somewhat then, because for me it's the other way round. I look away when someone's speaking, especially if they've been talking more than about ten seconds for me to concentrate and take in what they're saying (and trying not to get bored in the process in some cases). If I wanted someone to stop speaking, I literally catch myself sometimes going 'can you let me speak for a minute?' or simply 'hang on, I'm thinking!' If I have to stop listening completely, I think I would just zone out completely and only reland on Earth when someone prods my shoulder or something... rude or not it's not that unusual! :D

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SandWshooter
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Eye Contact

Postby SandWshooter » Sat Aug 02, 2014 12:28 am

Hard time with eye contact because ADD, and need to look at everything
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Eye Contact

Postby Lasair » Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:42 pm

When eye contact becomes too much I usually look at the person between the eyes.

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Tsuki
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Eye Contact

Postby Tsuki » Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:59 pm

I don't deal very well with that either, if anything it makes me feel really uncomfortable, mostly because I know I gotta look people in the eyes but at a certain point I can just become fixated and get a blank stare so it's not like I'm really looking at them anymore, its just weird, so I just keep looking at them and the anywhere else in the room back and forth, in hopes it'll end soon or they look at something else. I also have the habit of not looking people in the eyes when I talk but look away instead so there's that, it's not that I do it on purpose, it just feels more natural somehow, maybe a glance at their face once in a while whilst talking but not constantly as we're suposed to do.

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Sylan
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Eye Contact

Postby Sylan » Thu Aug 28, 2014 5:44 pm

I feel like eyes speak for a person and I realized how often I can easily tell what a person is feeling just by paying attention to their eyes. There's a lot of involuntary, natural reactions of people's eyes to different situations. I think it's about how much intensity you want to give off. If you're on a job interview you aren't going to stare at the interviewer for too long otherwise it will feel really awkward for both, it's like you're blatantly telling him you want to get into his pants or something. If you're on a date, knowing how and when to maintain eye contact is a powerful tool.

I used to feel incredibly awkward because I felt like when I looked someone in the eyes I'd be essentially bothering them, but I worked to control myself and I learnt that it is exactly the opposite. It's all part of human nature; cats communicate with their eyes, too; like slowly blinking them while staring at you or another cat, as a sign of trust.

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Postby Kurtis » Fri Aug 29, 2014 12:39 pm

Sylan wrote:I used to feel incredibly awkward because I felt like when I looked someone in the eyes I'd be essentially bothering them, but I worked to control myself and I learnt that it is exactly the opposite. It's all part of human nature; cats communicate with their eyes, too; like slowly blinking them while staring at you or another cat, as a sign of trust.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've read up somewhere that the Japanese people don't really 'look each other in the eyes,' in fact I think they said it was politer to look away a little and just listen. It made more sense to me anyway. You could be right though in that it's possible to learn how to control yourself, but I still hate it personally when I'm being looked at or the situation requires 'formal' interaction which usually comes with some kind of forced eye-contact.

As for cats, you're absolutely correct that they communicate with their eyes, but I'd say they communicate more with their tails. They only use their eye in that instance when they feel they could be threatened by another animal they don't particularly know. I suppose it's the human equivalent of winking.

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Eye Contact

Postby Aryvandaar » Fri Aug 29, 2014 1:10 pm

Keeping constant eye contact is very uncomfortable for me , specially with strangers. With people I know well it goes better, but it can still be very uncomfortable for me if I have too much eye contact. I'm the most introverted person that I know of, exept my best friend, or at least, he comes very close to my extreme introversion.

One of the reason that I'm a misanthrope is that most extroverted people don't show any respect towards introverted people, and I feel like I'm always the one who used to accommodate them. There's also a lot of people in my life who just don't understand me, not even my entire family, even though I've tried to explain my introversion. On top of my introversion I'm very sensitive to mass input of different sound sources, as well as being able to pick up what is going on around me very quickly. Being around a lot of people and at bars and such places is extremely tiring.


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