Eye Contact: A discouraged habit.

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    Sep 02, 2012 3:58 AM GMT
    There appears to be a trend nowadays where people are loosing the habit of making eye-contact as a form of friendly gesture. I grew up in a family that stressed this very simple habit . When someone approaches you, proceed to make eye-contact and recognize them with a nod or smile ( at least ! ). It was an expression of general respect! The only reason I'm fuming about this is because I happened to make contact with a guy this morning and he avoided looking at me in fear as if he would catch a disease! I bluntly greeted him with a "GOOD MORNING" but didn't offer him much time to respond.icon_evil.gif

    So I question the nature of this very simple courtesy. Has this form of greeting come to its demise amongst younger generations? If so why? It baffles me. Share your thoughts/experiences.
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    Sep 02, 2012 4:00 AM GMT
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    Sep 02, 2012 4:01 AM GMT
    Yeah, I've noticed the same too. Not sure what it is. I'm guessing poor social skills, too much internet, etc.
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    Sep 02, 2012 4:02 AM GMT
    Ant94538 saidThere appears to be a trend nowadays where people are loosing the habit of making eye-contact as a form of friendly gesture. I grew up in a family that stressed this very simple habit . When someone approaches you, proceed to make eye-contact and recognize them with a nod or smile ( at least ! ). It was an expression of general respect! The only reason I'm fuming about this is because I happened to make contact with a guy this morning and he avoided looking at me in fear as if he would catch a disease! I bluntly greeted him with a "GOOD MORNING" but didn't offer him much time to respond.icon_evil.gif

    So I question the nature of this very simple courtesy. Has this form of greeting come to its demise amongst younger generations? If so why? It baffles me. Share your thoughts/experiences.


    It's a generational and cultural thing, I believe. Here, Americans don't really prefer being super close and talking inches away from each other faces. In Brazil, shit is different. icon_smile.gif

    Where I come from, Arabs generally talk with their eyes (something about the eyes seems to convey a lot more than the mouth). It's all about communication and the generation these days are becoming increasingly hooked on multimedia in order to convey themselves. It has become extremely impersonal and lacks the substantive content necessary to it. icon_confused.gif

    You know what I think it is? People are afraid of being seen outside of their shell and comfort zone.
  • spacemagic

    Posts: 520

    Sep 02, 2012 4:05 AM GMT
    I probably make a little too much eye contact with strangers. I like to meet a person's eyes as a sort of greeting or acknowledgement.
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    Sep 02, 2012 4:09 AM GMT
    spacemagic saidI probably make a little too much eye contact with strangers. I like to meet a person's eyes as a sort of greeting or acknowledgement.


    Agreed. *Stares and nods*
  • AMoonHawk

    Posts: 11406

    Sep 02, 2012 4:21 AM GMT
    They're still friendly in smaller cities ... only in the larger cities everyone has gotten cold.
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    Sep 02, 2012 4:35 AM GMT
    McQueen said1180076243-lyrics17.gif
    why bother posting you asshat..
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    Sep 02, 2012 5:59 AM GMT
    Eye contact has cultural variation. What's regarded as respectful and attentive in some cultures can be interpreted as threatening and shameful in others.

    Just everyone is different, I suppose.
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    Sep 02, 2012 11:40 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidI'm noticing this is the way that people are becoming. This is especially the case in professional settings. Whenever I walk into a store or even my gym most of the staff greet me with their head turned away from me. They don't smile, the almost never look at me so if I look at them and see that they're not looking at me I just ignore them. I only acknowledge people who who look me in the eye.

    Our culture is going to pot. Everyone's text messaging everyone, hiding behind phones, behind computer screens and now when they greet you in person they can't even look at you.

    Once in a blue moon, when I ignore someone for not looking at me directly they'll exclaim indignantly, "Hey! I said hello!" To which I swiftly retort back with, "I had no idea you were talking to me since you couldn't make the effort of looking my way while you were speaking."


    This !

    Eye contact is so vital when making any kind of connection with another human being. I actually tell people off if they don't look me directly in the eye when they are talking to me. So annoying !!!
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    Sep 02, 2012 12:08 PM GMT
    I was never raised to make eye contact with people AT ALL. But one day I decided that I would look at someone simply because they looked at me. I made direct eye contact with them and it didn't seem to bother them. So, today, I make it a habit to make eye contact with people I talk to simply because it's just something I do with ANYONE really.

    The standard for interaction is different with teenagers & young adults these days. My students always deluge me with a ton of greeting handshakes that I will never ever remember or use icon_confused.gif
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    Sep 02, 2012 12:18 PM GMT
    Maybe it depends on cultures also.
    I came to think that in Paris (maybe it is different in the rest of France), it's rude to stare at someone, so we avoid eye contact and we don't greet each other as much as in America.
    When I am in France, I only say hello to people I already know. I tend to ignore completely the others, even in places like the gym or an elevator. I just glance at them discretely when I am sure they don't look at me. I think that is the reason why people think Parisians are rude and disdainful.
    It may seem cold but that is just the way we are raised. On the other hand, when someone I don't know smiles at me or says hello to me, I feel really uncomfortable and I don't know what to do.
  • Bicuriouscool

    Posts: 233

    Sep 02, 2012 12:27 PM GMT
    In india its ok to look at people, walk hand on shoulder wid yor friend. But being gay is tabooed. You cant even joke or say something which implicitly implies you are maybe gay. People look at each other, random guys, the random guy mostly takes it as a complement, smiles back(no homo on either side). But yep i find it difficult to look into other peoples eyes while talking, maybe coz im guilty of liking guys. Dont even make contact with teachers real awkward but that may also be coz im most of the time programming(im still at college but ijust like that thing) or texting(i m more comfy doin this than talkin) or slight physical excercising or some logical abstract thinking. Im good at this shit too. But may b coz of social isolation im not used to eye contacts
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    Sep 02, 2012 12:39 PM GMT
    No.
  • Bicuriouscool

    Posts: 233

    Sep 02, 2012 12:42 PM GMT
    LIEV saidNo.

    i beg yor par... Oh fuck that.
    Wot? What do u mean no?
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    Sep 02, 2012 1:03 PM GMT


























    "What are YOU lookin' at?!?" icon_twisted.gif
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    Sep 02, 2012 1:12 PM GMT
    I'm generalizing here but it's called people fatigue and population booms are the cause. Some see people as opportunities whereas others see people as obstacles to getting stuff done. People are in the way. You've got to get up early to "beat the traffic", or go around the line", hurry home from work "to avoid the rush", or get to the bar to grab a table before it gets mobbed.

    People end up moving out of the big cities into the small cities because of it and they bring those attitudes with them. If you're looking to make friends you're more likely to be bothered by this, especially if you've moved to a new city. Have you tried "Meet up" to find people who are open to socializing?
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    Sep 02, 2012 1:24 PM GMT
    whateveryo said
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidI'm noticing this is the way that people are becoming. This is especially the case in professional settings. Whenever I walk into a store or even my gym most of the staff greet me with their head turned away from me. They don't smile, the almost never look at me so if I look at them and see that they're not looking at me I just ignore them. I only acknowledge people who who look me in the eye.

    Our culture is going to pot. Everyone's text messaging everyone, hiding behind phones, behind computer screens and now when they greet you in person they can't even look at you.

    Once in a blue moon, when I ignore someone for not looking at me directly they'll exclaim indignantly, "Hey! I said hello!" To which I swiftly retort back with, "I had no idea you were talking to me since you couldn't make the effort of looking my way while you were speaking."


    This !

    Eye contact is so vital when making any kind of connection with another human being. I actually tell people off if they don't look me directly in the eye when they are talking to me. So annoying !!!


    I'm going to have to go with the cultural suggestion that it varies from culture to culture. But even beyond that, there are other factors that play into eye contact or lack thereof. Personally, I've never found eye contact (or even smiling in response to certain cues) to come very naturally to me. Incidentally, I happen to fall on the autism spectrum and this is typical among manifestations. I know explicitly by cultural expectations that it is polite to make eye contact, and I will take the effort to do it where it's necessary (e.g. at work) but in general social situations, eye contact makes me uneasy. It can seem particularly threatening, and may overload my physical senses. (Speaking of sensory overload, I used to have a phobia of balloons because the popping noise was so disturbing to me). Telling me to "get over it"...right. Just like you can get over being gay and turn straight. I can't shut off my sense perception, I can't stifle adrenaline rushes no matter how hard I try to calm myself down.

    Eye contact is a cultural hypocrisy due to a double standard. If someone were blind and you were talking with them, you'd understand that those who couldn't see anything would not understand the nuance of eye contact. They may face in your general direction from hearing, but they won't make eye contact.

    I'm not angry that it isn't understood to most people when I may lack eye contact in social settings. What angers me is this Western implication that not making eye contact indicates dislike, indifference or disrespect. The Western World does not know who I am, how I function and interpret the things I witness, it cannot explain my vivid perceptions, memories and absolute pitch. A musical pitch is like a color, and it seems second-nature for me to tell pitches apart like colors. But most people can't. Why is it so uncommon to distinguish pitches by hearing alone, but universal to distinguish colors by sight alone? It is clear I function mentally very differently, and I fear it will be both my success and my ruin... icon_neutral.gif
  • Aodhan

    Posts: 3828

    Sep 02, 2012 1:31 PM GMT
    I live in Ireland and I know it's different in other parts of the world but we look everyone in the eye and be polite!

    I can talk to anyone who makes an effort like, and its simple here because of our friendliness icon_biggrin.gif
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    Sep 02, 2012 1:33 PM GMT
    'LOOK AT ME WHEN I"M TALKING TO YOU!' - my mother
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    Sep 02, 2012 1:36 PM GMT
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    Sep 02, 2012 1:38 PM GMT
    In spain eye contact is alive, everybody use it and most the gay people.
  • FitGwynedd

    Posts: 1468

    Sep 02, 2012 1:42 PM GMT
    aodhan saidI live in Ireland and I know it's different in other parts of the world but we look everyone in the eye and be polite!

    I can talk to anyone who makes an effort like, and its simple here because of our friendliness icon_biggrin.gif


    So true! But in England people avoid eye contact at all costs, even if it means crashing into each other.
  • Import

    Posts: 7190

    Sep 02, 2012 2:17 PM GMT
    ummm, i just think it depends on the individual person.
    Just because some dude didn't make eye contact with u this morning doesn't define the decline of manners or politeness IMO.

    Some morning, I'm super chipper and saying good morning, etc. . to strangers.

    Other mornings, I'm in a rush, contemplating things, whatever...and i dont say good morning or make eye contact with people. it really depends. usually on the weekends I'm generally more open to eye contact and small-talk with strangers because im not as rushed....getting to work, running to the bank, picking up my dry cleaning, dropping the kids off at school, paying the bills, u know...the usual things a girl on the go does...


    honestly tho, i think today;'s society is so rushed, so busy, so caught up with their own thang, that people dont have time for eye contact and small-talk, and everything else. i dunno...I blame America.
  • AMoonHawk

    Posts: 11406

    Sep 02, 2012 2:20 PM GMT
    Maybe we are turning into a culture of deception. I say that because I feel that is someone does not look you in the, they are usually trying to hide something. It is also a becoming a culture where the only people that approach you with a friendly smile are those that are trying to sell you something you don't want.