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Eye Contact?

Hey all, I’ve been on a bit of a body language kick, and I have a particular interest in eye contact. Some of this stems from my inability to sit still for very long (Tourette’s), and some of it comes from how uncomfortable eye contact seems to be for many people.

I’ve never had a problem with it.

How many of you have a hard time holding eye contact with someone? Does anything make it easier?

Just curious, for now.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Eric West | Friendship Society August 20, 2013, 5:03 am

    I used to have a hard time with it and got better through practice. To practice, I started maintaining eye contact during conversations. I’d have to pay attention to where my eyes were gazing as I was speaking with someone, and when I noticed that I wasn’t maintaining eye contact I’d redirect it back to the person I was talking to.

  • Jack M August 20, 2013, 5:32 am

    When I make eye contact, I tend to feel the effect of it very intensely, so I try to move my gaze around a bit or soften it somewhat. Too much eye contact almost feels like sex sometimes, but I suppose that’s because I’m an introvert.

  • Jennifer August 20, 2013, 7:30 am

    Great question! I have trouble making eye contact…but only with certain people. Perhaps those people are intimidating? Perhaps I’m a bookish introvert who prefers words to people? A little of both.

    • Josh Hanagarne August 20, 2013, 8:49 am

      What is an intimidating person, to you? Is there a type that feels intimidating? A set of behaviors? Just curious.

  • Carlie August 20, 2013, 7:47 am

    The only time I have trouble making eye contact is when someone has distracting facial jewelry/piercings.

  • Nicole August 20, 2013, 5:25 pm

    I have a REALLY hard time with eye contact. I can force it but it gives me the heebie jeebies. There is a theory out there that comfort with eye contact is established as a baby. So if a baby has people making lots of eye contact with it, the baby learns this is good behavior. Babies who do not have this behavior modeled for them can show distress when eye contact is made- this occurs most often in non-nuturing environments.

    • Josh Hanagarne August 21, 2013, 9:21 am

      That’s very interesting. In the animal world, eye contact can be hostile or challenging. Being stared at annoys me. Being gazed at doesn’t bother me.

      • Mitzi August 22, 2013, 10:09 am

        Therein lies one of the problems regarding eye contact: staring vs. gazing. It also presents a dilemma: to do or not to do. There are times when I become aware that my “gaze” has become too intense: i.e., I’ve begun to stare. Specifically, I’m listening closely to another’s talking, but without moving my eyes away even for a second. It does unnerve some, so I’ve been told. On the other hand, I find it VERY difficult to talk with someone who cannot look directly at me. Are they shy? bored? afraid? It’s as if he/she is being “polite,” but would rather not be talking to me at all.

  • Cathy N. August 22, 2013, 11:21 am

    There was a person I used to deal with regularly in the course of my job. I always could tell when he was lying to me because he would not look me in the eye. (On the other hand, I guess that meant he wasn’t an actual sociopath, right?)