Ah yes. This is one of the things Ive found myself becoming more and more conscious of lately. Before, I never really gave it any thought but now I find myself asking why I can't seem to look people in the eye when I have conversations with them. Even with friends. And then I wonder why it is even important or neccesary to do so in the first place.
Some of the reasons I came up with regarding the latter was of course that eye contact is a measure of intimacy or familiarity. We're definitely less conscious of this while we're with people we've known for a long time and are relatively more comfortable with.
So perhaps not being able to look friends in the eye is a sign of dwindling intimacy? Perhaps it shows that on a level there is something fishy going on with you and your friends. And you're not as comfortable with them as you used to.
Which is another aspect where eye contact is important. It serves as a way for you to examine people's feelings toward you; "troubleshoot" your relationship in a way. Which is why in any intimate situation you'll see the parties involved requesting eye contact. Perhaps when making a promise you'd have heard people say it means nothing without eye contact, or when having a toast or when shaking hands, it is mostly regarded as not conveying the genuine feeling of comradeship that such acts are supposed to portray without the parties involved looking each other in the eye.
Again it us also a measure of self onfidence, to be able to look people in the eye when you talk to them. It shows that you're calm and collected and are not intimidated by that person's presence--which is another It can also a very useful tool for intimidation.
Most contract signings and negotiations of big co-operations and most questionings by lawyers and law officials seem to be sometimes nothing more than a game of staring to see who literally blinks first. Being able to hold your own in such cases could turn out to be of great importance.
As for myself I'm still working on this, because I realize that making eye contact is important but not being able to sometimes can also have its advantages. It generally conveys an air of humility in a way, and people might take your inability or unwillingness to look them in the eye as a sign that you're very defrent. This may cause them to take a liking to you, thereby giving you the advantage of one more friend to look out fo you.
Another way it could serve as an advantage is by making people have generally a wrong idea of you. And yes this can work to your favour in the end. An example is where your unwillingness to maintain eye contact is taken as a sign of weakness by an adversary. This perceived weakness of you then causes he or she to grossly underestimate you in important situations, where you can then pull a shocker and surprise the hell out of them.
And then again not maintaining eye contact means you're less liabilie to wake up one day feeling super cocky that you decide to exercise your skill of looking people in the eye and do it to your superior. Of course of that doesn't get you fired it may also lead to your boss taking a dislike to you, which In the end will one day or another still lead to you getting fired!
As a conclusion though I'd like to say that it all comes down to our individual dispositions. Not just in deciding to maintain eye contact, but in choosing the way we react to it in our fellow humans.
Some people appreciate it in and regard it as a sign of energy and self coincidence while some people scorn it and regard it as a sign of pride and hubris. And the same goes with displaying, some people are shy and reserved and would rather not, while some people are forward and confident and will always do it.
Cheers and have a good day!
Actually, its a complicated gesture. It can be really straining and sometimes embarrassing. I've had too many embarrassing scenarios to the extent I'll say I don't find it comfortable. Times where you have to communicate with elderly persons like in this part of the world where everything is under scrutiny to know if you're from a "respectable home" or if you have a "good upbringing" it tends to be stressful. Most elderly person see it as "disrespectful" some see it as a "challenge". I remember growing up; when my mom scolds you and you " dare" look her in the eyes? You're in for a long speech if not spanks and hits. Even when your teacher spanks you in school for something wrong, it's recommended that you look down and return to your seat else, you might even end up at the headteacher's office or worse staff room; where different teachers will "discipline" you for something they know nothing about.
Imagine visiting an old lady and she's instructing you, it is advisable to keep your head down otherwise you'll be seen as rude. It turns out that this is actually more confusing than I initially thought it out to be.
Imagine again in an official meeting with someone of a high rank or someone that might actually "decide your fate" ,yes, I know they tell us looking at their eyes exudes confidence but what if the person is old-fashioned and think you are been rude but then again in that kind of situation nobody expects you to keep your head down like a freak and nobody expects your eyes never to leave the persons face.
To really answer the question is to say situations are different ; you meet different people, different cultures and of course different relationship.
Your body language or gesture tends to be involuntary depending on the situation at hand. For a formal meeting or discussion, we tend to be on the alert looking for the best position and very conscious gestures to come out best but for an informal meeting where you are very comfortable with the person in question, we want to look into their eyes, drink up all the expression in the person's eyes,savor every moment spent,you want to try and discern the person's feelings when various ideas are brought up or passed.
Some say from the eyes you see the soul, well, I haven't noticed or can't say for sure.
All things being equal, I am comfortable looking at people in the eyes when speaking in person.
This is what I have difficulty since I was high school. My teacher noticed that kind of trait in mine and she wants me to conquer that fear. I was asked why did I look at above whenever I explained something or talk something.
Then she found out that I lack self-esteem. So whenever she discusses in our subject class, she always want me to participate and wants me to look into her eyes. It took a lot of years before I conquer it and it was in college that I finally get over that. Sometimes I still do this kind of trait if I feel uncomfortable with person I speak.
As of now I can say I am finally over it. Thanks to the environment that I lived in. I was a working scholar under Guidance center, the deparment that changed my life. It empowered my soul and how I look and reflect with life now.
I was thankful to our department head for the constant coaching, counseling and mentoring sessions to make me the best version of myself. It was at that time I can finally look at people's eyes. Confidence boosting thing and indeed it boosted my self-esteem.
It all depends on the situation and the person I am speaking. During conversation especially with someone we are not so used to each, I read their body languages instinctively. It is easier to know a shy person or a confident person that way.
A self assured and lively person often has no problem with some eye contacts during conversation. It can help create a bond between you when it is not overly done.
When having a conversation with a shy person and he/she often look away quickly, sometimes awkwardly. It is a clear sign they may not be comfortable with me looking into their eyes. To enjoy a good conversation with such person without them having voices in their heads, i only look into their eyes when it is absolutely necessary.
Also when speaking to someone in a corporate environment, a boss or negotiation table. Looking into someone eyes may take a different meaning like arrogance or threat. Looking to some eyes during tense situations or conversation is never a good one.
Other than that. There should not inhibition when speaking to a friend or family. Whether I look into their eyes or not will depend on the type of conversation and moments. With those ones, I will not get a body language I am not used to.
I think when you are talking to someone to not look at them in the eyes is rude. It shows you are paying attention to what they have to say.
I notice some work colleagues when you talk to them they tart to look away as they feel uncomfortable with me looking them in the eyes. If you are comfortable with the conversation it is easy but if it is an uncomfortable situation and someone has to think they tend to look away.
It is true that if someone doesn't look you in the eye then they are not telling you everything or are hiding something. Body language gives a lot away and if someone is not being straight with you it is the first sign to look for.
Honestly, I do not feel comfortable when people stare directly into my eyes. I feel like they are peeking into my soul and is silently judging me and my character. I don't like that! And so I almost always do not look directly at people's eyes.
I do look at people's faces when talking to them (it's rude not to) or just simply face them but never stare or look directly into their eyes. It's even more awkward when you look directly into the eyes of someone you are familiar with, it creates tension. XD
I personally think that facing at people and simply looking at their face is enough, no need to directly look them in the eyes. Well probably for a good 5 seconds every now and then but never ever focus solely on their eyes.
Personally I don't feel comfortable looking straight into the eye of a person continuously. Its awkward. I can do that only with people who are close to me. I do make eye contact in the beginning of the conversation and later it shift to forehead. I do make a lot of eye movement. That way its less creepy for me.
I don't believe the saying if you don't stare into the eye you are not making a meaningful conversation or not paying attention. It doesn't even feel lively when you have to stare straight into the eyes. Just look in their face anywhere. Need not stare into the eye all the time.
Yes. I do that habitually and I have no trouble at all doing that. It doesn't matter if that person is high-ranking or low-ranking.
I do look them in the eyes but to be honest it makes me uncomfortable. I just do not like it. I hope that does not make me seem scammy but I do not like it.
Personally, I don't, but that is probably just me. I am a bit of an introvert and I find it uncomfortable to look in someone's eyes.
They may not feel that way, but to me it just feels creepy.
I also feel there is an intemacy in looking someone in the eyes that I save specially for my wife.
You can read so much about a person by looking in their eyes and I don't feel it is right for me to see something that they wouldn't just tell me outright.
I was told once to find a spot just below someone's eyes and focus on that. That way you are still showing you are attentive but you are not being creepy.
Great question by the way.
YES I feel comfortable looking into the eyes of the person I'm talking to the same, I like the other person to have eye contact with me.
However, we must clarify that one thing is visual contact and another thing is a look of a psychotic. There are looks to looks.
On the other hand, the look between two people is interpreted differently between different cultures, countries and even religions and customs. There are some of these in which it encourages and recommends eye contact and others where it is virtually forbidden to be considered disrespectful or daring.
In western, Latin American culture it seems to me that a direct, but moderate, visual contact without exaggerated stares is the customary. It is a warm, inviting visual communication that generally inspires feelings of trust, of comfort among the interlocutors.
Something totally different would be this look, I would run out.
IN summary Sometimes yes and sometimes no. Depends on the person. If it is a very dear friend or a friend I have no problem, if it is a known only because I do not like it very much, if it is a stranger I find it very uncomfortable and if I like the person I am not able to maintain eye contact.
Do I feel comfortable ? yes , generally speaking.
Do it too much and you come off creepy and avoid doing it at all you come off as not confident at all , there is a magical balance to it , like everything else in life.
Transition To A Perfect Conversationist.
Someone once said, if you want to dominate in a conversation, maintain eye contact. However when you do this without caution, it becomes awkward staring into people's eyes.
Eye contact are important, most especially when you want to make a lasting Impression in an interview or when you are given an opportunity to make a first impression. Unfortunately most people have problems staying calm when they are introduced to a hiring manager, they try to make eye contact in this kind of space but they are not just comfortable doing it and what they should have earned by applying this simple action, they lost because they applied it inappropriately.
The question is, is there an appropriate way to maintain eye contact during conversation and not appear awkward?
Of course Yes, the first thing to do to ensure that the first crucial minutes of a conversation goes smoothly, is to ensure that you don't stare deeply into the interviewers/contact eye. You can achieve this by constantly looking into their eyes every five seconds and look away. Too much eye contact is bad and can make the person in contact feel uncomfortable.
Another way to maintain eye contact during conversation, is to first stare into your contact's eyes long enough to see or observe the color of their eyes before you look away. The amount of time spent gazing into your contact's eyes feels natural.
Lily Zhang wrote in one her post that "if you feel a bit awkward staring into someone else’s eyes, try this little trick: Draw an imaginary inverted triangle on the other person’s face around their eyes and mouth. During the conversation, change your gaze every five to 10 seconds from one point on the triangle to another. This will make you look interested and engrossed in the conversation".
If you struggles with eye contact, with a little practice, you can transition from active avoidance to being a perfectly present conversationalist.
Thanks for reading...