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Kiseki
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26 Jun 2010, 3:18 am

This might be a very narrow and strange topic.

So...I don't really have any eye contact problems when I speak to someone in my native language (English). But I just noticed recently that- when speaking in Japanese to my Japanese teacher- I look away in order to formulate my answers. It's like I cannot concentrate on both her face and thinking of what to say in Japanese.

Is this unusual? Has anyone else encountered this?



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26 Jun 2010, 3:23 am

Kiseki wrote:
This might be a very narrow and strange topic.

So...I don't really have any eye contact problems when I speak to someone in my native language (English). But I just noticed recently that- when speaking in Japanese to my Japanese teacher- I look away in order to formulate my answers. It's like I cannot concentrate on both her face and thinking of what to say in Japanese.

Is this unusual? Has anyone else encountered this?


Yes happens to me and my Spanish teachers. But the one I really like, it's easy for me to look her in the eye and talk because I feel that she is not judging me. Do you feel your teacher judges you? do you not have a good relationship with this teacher?



Kiseki
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26 Jun 2010, 3:48 am

Soledad wrote:
Kiseki wrote:
This might be a very narrow and strange topic.

So...I don't really have any eye contact problems when I speak to someone in my native language (English). But I just noticed recently that- when speaking in Japanese to my Japanese teacher- I look away in order to formulate my answers. It's like I cannot concentrate on both her face and thinking of what to say in Japanese.

Is this unusual? Has anyone else encountered this?


Yes happens to me and my Spanish teachers. But the one I really like, it's easy for me to look her in the eye and talk because I feel that she is not judging me. Do you feel your teacher judges you? do you not have a good relationship with this teacher?


Nope, not at all! She's lovely and I've told her all kinds of personal stuff (in Japanese). If I don't like someone's face I will purposely avoid their eyes. But that's normal, right? NTs do that?



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26 Jun 2010, 3:51 am

Never mind in another language...I must do this when I talk with all others...otherwise, I notice their eyebrows and how tightly packed they are...the shape of their forehead...or I will think of something funny and try to suppress a laugh regardless of what they are saying. I usually look briefly at them...into their eyes..at their body language...then look away...I usually stand at an angle anyway...it eases the look away. It allows me to visualize their words...especially when receiving directions. I just make a movie of their description. If I look into their eyes for any extended period...I don't hear their words...I start thinking anything else but what they are talking about. I usually look down and away with every so often looking at them again to gauge them and to let them know I am listening.


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26 Jun 2010, 3:51 am

yes



Kiseki
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26 Jun 2010, 3:58 am

Kuma wrote:
Never mind in another language...I must do this when I talk with all others...otherwise, I notice their eyebrows and how tightly packed they are...the shape of their forehead...or I will think of something funny and try to suppress a laugh regardless of what they are saying. I usually look briefly at them...into their eyes..at their body language...then look away...I usually stand at an angle anyway...it eases the look away. It allows me to visualize their words...especially when receiving directions. I just make a movie of their description. If I look into their eyes for any extended period...I don't hear their words...I start thinking anything else but what they are talking about. I usually look down and away with every so often looking at them again to gauge them and to let them know I am listening.


Yes, it's natural for an Aspie to do. But I personally don't have a problem with it in my native language, only in a foreign language.



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26 Jun 2010, 3:59 am

That's part of my problem with eye contact; it's difficult to both look at someone's eyes and concentrate on the conversation.


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26 Jun 2010, 4:15 am

Actually in the Japanese culture people don't often look at someone's eyes while they're talking. Eye contact is more a western thing that is overrated. In they're culture for some situations you are actually encouraged not to make eye contact.



Kiseki
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26 Jun 2010, 4:38 am

Angel_ryan wrote:
Actually in the Japanese culture people don't often look at someone's eyes while they're talking. Eye contact is more a western thing that is overrated. In they're culture for some situations you are actually encouraged not to make eye contact.


You are right about that! But I am teaching English here so it's a good thing to try and maintain eye contact.



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26 Jun 2010, 4:53 am

To the original poster: It isn't unusual at all. And a common pattern across all humans.

I've been really interested in the brain recently, so hopefully this helps.

You'll see this in many situations. Studies show that eye movements from left to right help when remembering or recollecting. Furthermore (although I'm not sure what the functional purpose of this is), your eyes move in a certain direction depending on what part of the brain is being accessed. For example, when performing a concentrated mental process like recalling a song (audio recollection) or imagining a place (visual creation).



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26 Jun 2010, 5:00 am

Hello Kiseki,

And besides all that have been said already, would you think that that Japanese teacher would feel at ease if you looked at her eyes for long periods while talking with her? I mean, there's really that cultural matter that influences the looks, how to look at people.

And since you don't have that problem in English, maybe talking in a foreign language brings up back little things as when you were a little child, the way you acted then?



Kiseki
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26 Jun 2010, 5:09 am

zena4 wrote:
Hello Kiseki,

And besides all that have been said already, would you think that that Japanese teacher would feel at ease if you looked at her eyes for long periods while talking with her? I mean, there's really that cultural matter that influences the looks, how to look at people.

And since you don't have that problem in English, maybe talking in a foreign language brings up back little things as when you were a little child, the way you acted then?


I don't think my teacher would feel ill at ease. After all she teaches many foreigners.

When I was a kid I DO remember one very nasty teacher who came into my classroom one day and wanted all of us to greet her. I just sat there and refused to look her in the eye or say hello to her. She got downright bitchy towards me and put me in my place. Maybe I learned from that experience that I'd better make eye contact. I don't know. I'm an adult now so I can't remember how I was as a child too well.



Kiseki
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26 Jun 2010, 5:10 am

Perin wrote:
To the original poster: It isn't unusual at all. And a common pattern across all humans.

I've been really interested in the brain recently, so hopefully this helps.

You'll see this in many situations. Studies show that eye movements from left to right help when remembering or recollecting. Furthermore (although I'm not sure what the functional purpose of this is), your eyes move in a certain direction depending on what part of the brain is being accessed. For example, when performing a concentrated mental process like recalling a song (audio recollection) or imagining a place (visual creation).


I've read about this as well and it was interesting to me because you could determine whether or not a person was lying from their eye movement.



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26 Jun 2010, 5:19 am

:roll:

I wouldn't be so sure about that lying thing, especially with people who have hard times to look into people's eyes :)
Not only autistics but also shy people and those whose eyes don't work very well.
Sometimes squinting, for instance, is so slim that is hardly noticeable but still makes people ill at ease when talking with.



Kiseki
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26 Jun 2010, 5:24 am

zena4 wrote:
:roll:

I wouldn't be so sure about that lying thing, especially with people who have hard times to look into people's eyes :)
Not only autistics but also shy people and those whose eyes don't work very well.
Sometimes squinting, for instance, is so slim that is hardly noticeable but still makes people ill at ease when talking with.


That is true too, isn't it? :wink: