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(NPR)   This just in: people are intimidated by eye contact   (npr.org) divider line 61
    More: Obvious, pop psychology  
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3949 clicks; posted to Main » on 03 Oct 2013 at 3:23 AM (42 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-10-03 12:02:51 AM
wonkette.com
 
2013-10-03 12:10:42 AM
The secret to avoiding the intimidation that comes along with eye contact is to look at a person's lower ear lobe instead. Not both earlobes, that's pretty much impossible, just one. Just focus both eyes on, say, the left earlobe. The person who's trying to trap you in his gaze will not realize at first that you're not making eye contact and will continue speaking as he otherwise might. This will be enough to get you through most conversations.

Unfortunately, some people can be long winded. In these cases, the speaker may eventually realize that your gaze is off by a few degrees. You've been listening attentively, though, nodding at appropriate moments and verbalizing a few agreeable uh huhs or yeahs, and what he'll think is that it's actually his gaze that has shifted. And so what he'll do is lean ever so slightly sideways to make eye contact again. When this happens, what you need to do is smile and nod (this distracts his attention; the smile along with the nodding affirmation makes him believe that he's made an exceptionally good point) and then once more shift your gaze to his ear lobe.

This will usually work, in the end. In rare circumstances, with especially long-winded speakers, you may find that you've had to adjust your gaze enough times that you and your conversation partner are actually facing each other with your heads on the table, ears pressed against the surface as a result of all the subtle sideways shifts you've needed to make. This is problematic in that you have no further room to lean and his earlobe is now out of sight. No worries; the escape here is to act as though something has just bitten your ankle. Yelp in surprise, make a stammering apology, and escape. Winner: You.
 
2013-10-03 12:46:53 AM

Pocket Ninja: This will usually work, in the end. In rare circumstances, with especially long-winded speakers, you may find that you've had to adjust your gaze enough times that you and your conversation partner are actually facing each other with your heads on the table, ears pressed against the surface as a result of all the subtle sideways shifts you've needed to make. This is problematic in that you have no further room to lean and his earlobe is now out of sight. No worries; the escape here is to act as though something has just bitten your ankle. Yelp in surprise, make a stammering apology, and escape. Winner: You.


Hang on a minute! Can't you just switch your focus to their other ear lobe and eventually return to your original position, if not come all the way around to resting the other side of your head on the table?
 
2013-10-03 01:17:39 AM
Crap. Now I've got that old Edwin Starr disco song going through my head nonstop.

/linked so it will get on your nerves, too
 
2013-10-03 02:32:32 AM

Joelogon: [wonkette.com image 575x484]


What the hell is wrong with you? Now my kids can't get to sleep.

/That was worse than what shows up in an insect/spider thread.
 
2013-10-03 03:28:41 AM
Be glad you're not schizoid.
 
2013-10-03 03:31:54 AM
People still make eye contact?
 
2013-10-03 03:32:01 AM
but you said you like it when i stare intently into your eyes while i'm faping furiously
 
2013-10-03 03:32:52 AM

Yes this is dog: Joelogon: [wonkette.com image 575x484]

What the hell is wrong with you? Now my kids can't get to sleep.

/That was worse than what shows up in an insect/spider thread.


Here's something much less frightening than Michelle Bachman to help your kids get to sleep:

i.dailymail.co.uk

You're welcome.
 
2013-10-03 03:32:54 AM
That whole eye contact is not for one-on-one conversations, it's for public speaking. Those researchers wasted a shiatload of everyone's time. Eye contact in a one-on-one environment is intended to intimidate. Eye contact as a public speaker is used to engage the audience, because if you mill around on stage staring at your shoes or their breasts, they'll assume you have autism. A member of an audience wants to feel like they are the most important person there, the reason why the whole presentation was arranged in the first place. The only ways to accomplish that from fifty feet away are to either go one by one calling people out, or subtly making eye contact with a new random person every few seconds.
 
2013-10-03 03:36:25 AM
pix.echtlustig.com
 
2013-10-03 03:38:19 AM
I only really look at someone's eyes if they are especially pretty.
 
2013-10-03 03:40:17 AM
Bingus Mcgillicutty
 
2013-10-03 03:40:55 AM
I find eye contact is very important when you're a single woman who lives alone in a bad neighborhood. There are way too many people who try to take advantage of you, thinking you're naive, not fiscally responsible, easily manipulated, etc., and I make direct eye contact with strangers to remind them that I'm not someone they want to fark with. It's sometimes very surprising how the most confidant guy who's 2 feet taller than me gets backed into the proverbial corner because of that.

/sometimes I have to do the crazy Michelle Bachmann eyes if they feel like challenging me

//but not often
 
2013-10-03 03:46:19 AM
img.ibtimes.com
half credit?
 
2013-10-03 03:55:17 AM

AverageAmericanGuy: I only really look at someone's eyes if they are especially pretty


Nothing conveys interest quite like the piercing stare of a maniacal stranger.
 
2013-10-03 04:01:31 AM
Look at people's cheeks. Polite, and non-aggressive.
 
2013-10-03 04:03:04 AM

sendtodave: Look at people's cheeks. Polite, and non-aggressive.


What if they're sitting down?
 
2013-10-03 04:10:05 AM
Eye contact is creepy. I try my best to avoid it. A subtle sneer usually helps things, along with a well practiced thousand yard stare.
 
2013-10-03 04:12:03 AM
No pic of Marty Feldman? Bummed...
 
2013-10-03 04:14:03 AM

haolegirl: No pic of Marty Feldman? Bummed...


Go up 5 from your Boobies.
 
2013-10-03 04:19:04 AM
i632.photobucket.com
 
2013-10-03 04:20:55 AM
I guess eye contact is intimidating if your interactions with others are innately confrontational, but it's also a natural and positive part of many a shared, empathetic moment.
 
2013-10-03 04:22:06 AM

Danger Avoid Death: haolegirl: No pic of Marty Feldman? Bummed...

Go up 5 from your Boobies.


And there it is! (to be honest I didn't see it because I was looking for Igor, silly me) and who told you those were MY boobies...farkin big-mouths!
 
2013-10-03 04:24:15 AM

Danger Avoid Death: Yes this is dog: Joelogon: [wonkette.com image 575x484]

What the hell is wrong with you? Now my kids can't get to sleep.

/That was worse than what shows up in an insect/spider thread.

Here's something much less frightening than Michelle Bachman to help your kids get to sleep:

[i.dailymail.co.uk image 468x339]

You're welcome.


It's the same damn picture, just greyscaled.
 
2013-10-03 04:25:52 AM

haolegirl: Danger Avoid Death: haolegirl: No pic of Marty Feldman? Bummed...

Go up 5 from your Boobies.

And there it is! (to be honest I didn't see it because I was looking for Igor, silly me) and who told you those were MY boobies...farkin big-mouths!


LOL. Gotta love that filter!
 
2013-10-03 04:29:02 AM
Really? I was taught that it's very rude NOT to make eye contact. One of the reasons I dislike video Skyping with people is that it throws off the natural dynamic - to make eye contact you have to stare at the camera, not their eyes.
 
2013-10-03 04:33:13 AM

wademh: [img.ibtimes.com image 660x495]
half credit?


Someone needs a thyroid check.
 
2013-10-03 04:37:36 AM

Danger Avoid Death: [pix.echtlustig.com image 414x620]


It's like they're staring right at me!
 
2013-10-03 04:37:43 AM
img10.imageshack.us
 
2013-10-03 04:40:57 AM

albuquerquehalsey: [img10.imageshack.us image 800x396]


OH shiat! TITAN!

operationrainfall.com
 
2013-10-03 05:08:45 AM

andynz81: I guess eye contact is intimidating if your interactions with others are innately confrontational, but it's also a natural and positive part of many a shared, empathetic moment.


Who says I want a shared, empathetic moment?

I always find that I think people are convinced I'm lying, even if it's stupid. By then I've already gotten flustered and look worse. Look, just give me the damn two fives and a ten so I can get out of this line.

/Yep, I'm awkward.
 
2013-10-03 05:28:51 AM

Shadowtag: andynz81: I guess eye contact is intimidating if your interactions with others are innately confrontational, but it's also a natural and positive part of many a shared, empathetic moment.

Who says I want a shared, empathetic moment?

I always find that I think people are convinced I'm lying, even if it's stupid. By then I've already gotten flustered and look worse. Look, just give me the damn two fives and a ten so I can get out of this line.

/Yep, I'm awkward.


I understand that. I have social anxiety and it has been incredibly debilitating in my life. But for me I didn't have that till my 20's - it was sort of self created and from there it really spiralled. Thankfully though it isn't all encompassing, and to some extent I'm learning to deal with it through various means and through a greater understanding of life in general. But anyway, through it all I still have terrific one on one moments with people, and I live for them. Empathy can be powerfully positive.

Actually, I'm not sure if I had a cohesive point in this second post, so, er, yeah. Bedtime for me.
 
2013-10-03 05:50:30 AM
Yeah, well, gazing at their feet while knocking a claw hammer against the wall has always been persuasive enough for me.

/F*cking bozos intimidated by eye contact.
 
2013-10-03 06:17:30 AM
www.wingsdailynews.com
 
2013-10-03 06:30:58 AM

maddermaxx: [i632.photobucket.com image 500x504]


Just don't smile at gorillas. That way you won't need one of those silly things to keep from being mauled if the ape is finally fed up with your shiat.
 
2013-10-03 06:47:01 AM

hardinparamedic: albuquerquehalsey: [img10.imageshack.us image 800x396]

OH shiat! TITAN!


Holy crap, great show! Beautiful animation with a compelling storyline. Like it almost as much as I like Ghost in the Shell!
 
2013-10-03 06:50:58 AM

andynz81: Shadowtag: andynz81: I guess eye contact is intimidating if your interactions with others are innately confrontational, but it's also a natural and positive part of many a shared, empathetic moment.

Who says I want a shared, empathetic moment?

I always find that I think people are convinced I'm lying, even if it's stupid. By then I've already gotten flustered and look worse. Look, just give me the damn two fives and a ten so I can get out of this line.

/Yep, I'm awkward.

I understand that. I have social anxiety and it has been incredibly debilitating in my life. But for me I didn't have that till my 20's - it was sort of self created and from there it really spiralled. Thankfully though it isn't all encompassing, and to some extent I'm learning to deal with it through various means and through a greater understanding of life in general. But anyway, through it all I still have terrific one on one moments with people, and I live for them. Empathy can be powerfully positive.

Actually, I'm not sure if I had a cohesive point in this second post, so, er, yeah. Bedtime for me.


Kinda the same for me. I intentionally changed job positions at work, (went from receiving to a cashier position) in order to make myself deal with dealing with people, and it's been very successful. I no longer had the option of ignoring people, so I had to figure out how to deal with it on my own terms. 'Twas a great social experiment!
 
2013-10-03 07:11:13 AM
I'm 6'5" and have a beard halfway down my chest. I don't have to look at people to intimidate them.

My only intimidations are women over 5'11" who aren't old, ugly, or visibly married.
 
2013-10-03 07:18:37 AM

Weatherkiss: I find eye contact is very important when you're a single woman who lives alone in a bad neighborhood. There are way too many people who try to take advantage of you, thinking you're naive, not fiscally responsible, easily manipulated, etc., and I make direct eye contact with strangers to remind them that I'm not someone they want to fark with. It's sometimes very surprising how the most confidant guy who's 2 feet taller than me gets backed into the proverbial corner because of that.

/sometimes I have to do the crazy Michelle Bachmann eyes if they feel like challenging me

//but not often


You are right.  FTFA:  This conclusion probably doesn't come as a huge surprise to anyone who has a dog. There's abundant research showing that animals interpret a direct eye gaze as dominance or aggression.

Remember kids, intimidation is half the battle.  You don't have to be big or scary to accomplish this.
 
2013-10-03 07:19:57 AM
I always carry a sharpened pencil around in case people make too much I contact with me....
 
2013-10-03 07:44:50 AM
What is wrong with iContact? Just another wonderful Apple product.
 
2013-10-03 07:46:11 AM

Weatherkiss: I find eye contact is very important when you're a single woman who lives alone in a bad neighborhood. There are way too many people who try to take advantage of you, thinking you're naive, not fiscally responsible, easily manipulated, etc., and I make direct eye contact with strangers to remind them that I'm not someone they want to fark with. It's sometimes very surprising how the most confidant guy who's 2 feet taller than me gets backed into the proverbial corner because of that.

/sometimes I have to do the crazy Michelle Bachmann eyes if they feel like challenging me

//but not often


A surprise cock punch followed by Michelle Bachman eyes and a whispered "suck it, biatch" is also effective.
 
2013-10-03 07:48:57 AM
Gorillas will attack you if you look them in the eye, so this is just a remnant of our glorious simian heritage.

CSB:  A friend of mine is a very healthy and attractive woman, and she had a button custom made that said
"They are nice, aren't they?"

And indeed, they were.  And still are.
 
2013-10-03 08:03:55 AM
Makes no sense to me. I don't trust people who don't make eye contact.
 
2013-10-03 08:14:37 AM

Snarfle: hardinparamedic: albuquerquehalsey: [img10.imageshack.us image 800x396]

OH shiat! TITAN!

Holy crap, great show! Beautiful animation with a compelling storyline. Like it almost as much as I like Ghost in the Shell!


Which show is it?
 
2013-10-03 08:17:05 AM
What intimidates me is hugging.  I'm totally revolted by the affected Californian custom of greeting every acquaintance with an embrace.  In some cultures it is common thing for male friends to meet with a heartfelt embrace, and this is a charming thing to see, but among pudgy, shorts and sandal wearing Americans (who execute it bent well forward at the waist for fear of looking gay) it is a mockery.  It's literally nauseating to see one of these twerps coming at me with arms held out.  They should all be abandoned in anaconda infested swamps where they can enjoy the hug of a lifetime.

Eye contact is a lesser offender.  Like most lecturers I have been naively advised to strive to maintain eye contact with my students on the principle that this will help keep their attention, which I can testify confidently is a load of horse shiate.  What puts people off is someone droning monotonously from his notes, not the fact that his nose is down in the lectern while he does it.  What your teacher trainer never acknowledges is that students make little eye contact with their instructor, no matter the quality of his presentation, because they find it more helpful to look at their texts, notes, the board, or the screen than at the space above his pie hole.  In my experience, much eye contact is a sign that you're losing people, not reaching them.  Or that you have marker ink smeared on your face.

/drtfa
 
2013-10-03 08:30:06 AM
Eye look people in the eyes less than eye should.
 
2013-10-03 08:50:51 AM
Eye contact is a sign of courtesy, respect, that you arent a pussy, and frankly there are lots of things to be determined by looking someone in the eye.

But having been through so many change of commands and ceremonies, when im walking im pretty much eyes forward because i never hear "eyes right" anymore.

Honk at me all you want, im not even looking at your shiat.

e
 
2013-10-03 08:56:55 AM
So if you are talking to someone, where do you look?
 
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