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Thread: Eye contact

  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcda View Post
    Wierd thing is after reading this thread it occurred to me to try out eye contact, which it hadn't really before.

    When you're conscious of doing it and know how long to do it for, and initiate/end it at your own will, it's quite fun.
    Yes! Welcome to the grand experiment!

  2. #102
    Senior Member proximo's Avatar
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    As a child and still to this day, to a smaller extent, I've always found eye contact uncomfortable. I've felt angry at the common received wisdom that people avoiding eye contact is always to do with dishonesty or deceit of some kind.

    I went through a period of my life when I was undergoing long-term, extensive psychiatric observation and counselling - not because there was anything wrong with me, but because I was going through experiences beyond my control that were potentially highly traumatising, so it was a sort of damage limitation thing.

    We spoke about my avoidance of eye contact and the shrinks all reassured me that it's bullshit that "everyone" prefers or needs to make it when speaking with others, and it's bullshit that not liking it automatically means a person is in some way being dishonest. It can be about "hiding" something, but not anything that you don't have every right as a human entitled to privacy, to hide if you want. Nothing that the shrinks would class as "deceit".

    My father was a high functioning autistic and my daughter has Aspies, they said maybe the autism stick passed over me but I still "saw" it and it left an impression - that's the way they put it. Autistic people very often don't like eye contact.

    For me, the best I've been able to figure out as to why, is that it makes me feel "invaded". When people insist that I look into their eyes, I feel literally like I'm being mentally and emotionally raped. I feel highly pressured and panicky, and it makes me lose my thread of thought, and puts me totally on edge. Then, whatever I respond to what they're saying is the least likely to be authentically "me" or anything like what I actually want or mean to express - it'll be whatever I feel that person wants me to say, or expects me to say, or whatever will end this situation quickest and get me away from them. And I'll often be wrong about that.

    Also, I'm often very out of touch with my own feelings and subconscious, so I panic that the person might "see" something in my eyes that I'm not even aware of myself, and attribute everything I say or whatever, to that. or give it more significance than it really has, so that the true reasons that I know I'm saying what I'm saying, will become lost in that. I try not to make my choices and decisions based on emotions, so if a person wants to look into my eyes as a guide to "seeing" the "true" motives etc behind what I'm saying or proposing to them, they'll be led up the garden path to bark up the wrong tree.

    I don't feel like I need to see a person's eyes in order to "read" them as much as is necessary for conversations about most things. Their general body language and voice patterns and choice of words is enough for me. I wish other people would give me the same privacy. I've had to learn to deal with it in everyday life, and cope with it, and to seem to not mind it, but I don't like it, I don't like that I have to. In a way it's ironic that I resort to a form of deceit to cover up the fact that I have an aversion that gives the impression of deceitfulness when I'm actually being honest.
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  3. #103
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    This whole thread is so funny to me.

  4. #104
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    Eye contact is reserved for special instances. I don't make eye contact with everyone, but when I do it's usually because I want them to see something that I can't speak.

  5. #105
    Senior Member InsatiableCuriosity's Avatar
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    I prefer to make eye contact when I am talking to people - it generally gives me an idea of whether they are genuine or not. That being said, indigenous Australians have a cultural thing about eye contact particularly with the opposite sex, and I have a friend I ***know*** is not telling all when he looks at a point over my head instead of making eye contact.

    I also had an instance where I made eye contact with a past manager during a one on one meeting and it felt like I was falling into his eyes - it was so surreal!!:eek:
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  6. #106
    meinmeinmein! mmhmm's Avatar
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    i make eye contact when i speak.
    or when i'm listening to someone.

    it's more of a manners thing for me.
    i feel like it's rude to not look at someone
    when you're in a conversation.
    every normal man must be tempted, at times,
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  7. #107
    Lungs & Lips Locked Unkindloving's Avatar
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    I make eye contact very frequently. It's my way of being direct and finding a connect in the interaction. There is a happy medium, because it can be rude to make no eye contact at all or stare someone down so hard they feel your gaze in their soul .

    The only times where i won't make eye contact are if i'm avoiding a topic, preoccupied, embarrassed, or around a couple. Making a lot of direct eye contact with someone's significant other can feel a bit wrong if you don't have a handle on them and their relationship.

    Do i expect eye contact? Not necessarily. It's a definite bonus and allows me to feel i'm tuned into, but it's not a requirement. I can tell if someone is listening or not, regardless of eye contact.
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  8. #108
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    I can't make eye contact. At least not for very long.
    It made my parents think I lied, even though I didn't.
    And it made them think I was guilty, even though I wasn't.
    I'm not exactly Stevie Wonder, but, I gotta look past & at the side of people.
    It goes away when I'm drunk, like so many other things I suppose.

  9. #109
    From the Undertow CuriousFeeling's Avatar
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    I make eye contact whenever someone is speaking to me, but whenever I'm talking, I'm looking elsewhere, usually in the general direction of the person, but not right at them. It's more because I'm searching for the words to say to get my point across. At the end of a phrase, or sentence, I return eye contact with the other person.

    Now if someone is scolding me, or accusing me, or in a confrontation, I tend not to give eye contact. It really makes me feel uncomfortable, like I'm leaving myself easy meat for them, if you know what I mean.
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  10. #110
    Junior Member Labyrinth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unkindloving View Post

    Do i expect eye contact? Not necessarily. It's a definite bonus and allows me to feel i'm tuned into, but it's not a requirement. I can tell if someone is listening or not, regardless of eye contact.
    I agree with the above...

    I don't have a problem with making eye contact but I also look at over all body language, if I think a person is uncomfortable with eye contact, I try to follow their lead on how often I look at them... then again I would just up front and ask about what I observe just to get it right, most people I have encountered appreciate it instead of me jumping to conclusions about them based on my perception of the situation...

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