Side-by-Side Communication Style

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 17, 2008 10:27 PM GMT
    I attended a conference over the past couple days that was truly on the periphery of my profession, but I was bound to attend so I made the best of it. I attended a session on Male Identity Theory and how it could be applied on university campuses to address the 60/40 gender gap issue (more women on campuses). Anyway...

    What I found interesting was that 'men' in general prefer side-by-side communication vs. face-to-face communication. Examples included having meaningful conversations while walking, riding bikes, playing video games together, etc, versus just sitting at a table and talking about your feelings with eye contact. Do you think this holds true for gay men? I think I'm guilty.

    The presenters were stressing that all types of men were included in their research thus far, but that they had a ways to go.
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    Jun 18, 2008 1:13 AM GMT
    I haven't noticed the side-by-side thing, but I'm going to the SF Bay Area for 10 days that will include much gay male conversation, so I'll watch and report back.

    Charlie
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    Jun 18, 2008 2:31 AM GMT
    i havent noticed that with gay guys so much but that is because i dont have much contact with gay people. but i have notice its hard for me to look into another guys eyes when we are talking deeply, but on a place like the internet im pretty open
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    Jun 18, 2008 8:02 AM GMT
    Weird indeed, I prefer side by side too. icon_confused.gif Even at parties I notice that guys tend to form semicircles.

    Interesting to note though: in filipino culture it is rude to look at another person's face directly in the eyes, ESPECIALLY if he's of a higher rank/standing/age than you. The best is a quick direct eye-to-eye contact before dropping away.

    It's not taken as a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of respect.

    As such, I'd probably come off as shy or flighty when I meet foreigners. LOL.


  • iHavok

    Posts: 1477

    Jun 18, 2008 12:26 PM GMT
    You don't come across as shy or flighty. We just believe you dont' have a soul, so are unable to make eye contact.

    ^_^
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    Jun 18, 2008 12:52 PM GMT
    I like to look someone right in the eye so they know I'm talking or listening to him/her. Many find this disconcerting, but whatever.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Jun 18, 2008 1:01 PM GMT
    I truly enjoy talking to someone face to face. Eye contact is always something important in learning about the person across the table. 75% of the time the guy (if its a personal discussion) avoids eye contact to the degree I provide it. I'm impressed when I meet someone who appreciates it as much as I do.
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    Jun 18, 2008 2:16 PM GMT
    briarhawk saidYou don't come across as shy or flighty. We just believe you dont' have a soul, so are unable to make eye contact.

    ^_^


    BarneyKill.gif

  • Laurence

    Posts: 942

    Jun 18, 2008 2:21 PM GMT
    Isn't it human nature for people not to look directly into the face of the person they're talking to?

    When you have therapy, don't you lie on a couch and make yourself comfortable, looking away from your therapist?

    When you are being questioned by the police, they sit opposite you and speak to your face - that may be because it is intimidating, and not a comfortable position.

    I'm not sure it's a gender thing though.

    Loz
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    Jun 18, 2008 2:24 PM GMT
    Laurence said
    When you are being questioned by the police, they sit opposite you and speak to your face - that may be because it is intimidating, and not a comfortable position.

    Loz


    I am sure I will have to take your opinion on this ... tee hee hee
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    Jun 18, 2008 2:37 PM GMT
    In primates, doesn't staring into each other's eyes stir up aggressive behavior?

    I think that most people don't communicate side-by-side but rather face-to-face because that's what we've been raised to believe is the respectful way of communicating. However, this doesn't mean that it is the most natural way. I can see how side-by-side communication is preferable in males because in nature, at least in mammals, males tend to be the aggressive ones in MOST situations (not all).

    You'll find more people communicating face-to-face though just because that's the way we do things in this country.
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Jun 18, 2008 2:47 PM GMT
    There's a fine line between eye contact and the piercing stare of a psychopath.

    It's weird, I do think men are more comfortable talking side by side. Maybe the face to face becomes to adversarial?