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About eye contact

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About eye contact

Postby blindwanderer » Sat Apr 08, 2017 10:01 am

I know you're supposed to look at people's eyes when they're talking to you, and that's something I need to work on. Could anyone clarify, are you supposed to look at the eyes the whole time or do you alternate between the eyes and elsewhere? It just seems to me that staring at someone's eyes for the whole time they are talking would be uncomfortable for both people. Maybe I'm wrong?
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Re: About eye contact

Postby shock_the_monkey » Sat Apr 08, 2017 10:56 am

actually, if you'll forgive me for saying so, you're completely wrong. in normal conversation, the party doing the talking looks directly and the party doing the listening looks indirectly. direct eye to eye contact is generally uncomfortable. the only exception to this is during courtship and romance (or with babies, however, even this can be uncomfortable for those other than a mother or similar carer). otherwise, direct eye to eye contact is perceived as threatening. the purpose of directly looking is to gauge the reaction of the party that is being talked to, or listening (if indeed they are). the party listening usually averts their gaze slightly downwards. this can be particularly difficult for men when speaking to women, because some women then get the impression that the men are staring at their breasts. as such, some men may look just over one or other shoulder of the woman talking to them in order to avoid this unfortunate impression.
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Re: About eye contact

Postby blindwanderer » Sun Apr 09, 2017 3:08 am

Ah, I see. That does make sense. Thank you, it's really helpful.
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Re: About eye contact

Postby Afterimage » Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:38 pm

2 year old post, but I usually look at people's mouths when I'm talking one on one, and occasionally glance at their eyes.
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Re: About eye contact

Postby Lucid » Tue Apr 07, 2020 4:22 pm

When I speak to people, I will look at them intensely, but then my gaze seems to move if there is a window near by. I often do this and gravitate my eyes to the window. Nobody ever questions why or takes offense so it seems to be okay. I think often just nodding the head gives a greater confirmation of listening than eye contact. It is something i use a lot more these days.
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