Is it weird or creepy to stare into a strangers eyes?

Page 1 of 1 [ 14 posts ] 

Pothos
Emu Egg
Emu Egg

User avatar

Joined: 17 Mar 2014
Age: 28
Gender: Male
Posts: 6

06 Jul 2014, 1:07 am

Hello there!
So I was told people found me weird because I never look them in the eye, I find it distracting. It's what makes most of my dates fail because women think one is untrustworthy if one doesn't make "normal" eye contact. I don't know what normal eye contact is or when one should look away and I feel it is easier to either not look at all or to stare in to their eyes permanently. So which is better, especially for a date; stare or don't look?

I'm kinda scared of looking into people's eyes because I think they will see me as a creep or a pervert...

The other day this beautiful girl sat in front of me in the subway, she must have thought I was weird because I looked everywhere except at her. Would it have been ok/non creepy to stare into her eyes until she looked away? Is it a bad thing to look at people and check them out, their clothes and look at their accessories or does it make one look like some kind of weird predator?



cathylynn
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 24 Aug 2011
Gender: Female
Posts: 12,217
Location: northeast US

06 Jul 2014, 1:19 am

what you did on the subway was normal. if you wanted to flirt, you could have looked at her eyes and smiled. looking someone up and down is too aggressive. ( i naively did this to someone. they did it back and i got very uncomfortable.) staring (something i have to be careful not to do) also makes people uncomfortable.



Pothos
Emu Egg
Emu Egg

User avatar

Joined: 17 Mar 2014
Age: 28
Gender: Male
Posts: 6

06 Jul 2014, 1:25 am

Yes but apparently not looking at someone makes you seem low status and submissive. i don't want to be seen as submissive or creepy...



Marcia
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Age: 52
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,148

06 Jul 2014, 2:38 am

In situations where people are obliged to be in close physical contact it is usual to avert one's eyes. It is one context in which a lack of eye contact is very much normal.

As cathylynn says, fleeting eye contact could be perceived as flirting, while staring would be creepy.



Pothos
Emu Egg
Emu Egg

User avatar

Joined: 17 Mar 2014
Age: 28
Gender: Male
Posts: 6

06 Jul 2014, 2:57 am

So it's bad to look someone continuously in the eyes? Or does it depend on your facial expression?



ratonlaveur
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

User avatar

Joined: 25 Nov 2006
Gender: Male
Posts: 70
Location: USA

06 Jul 2014, 4:50 pm

>So which is better, especially for a date; stare or don't look?

I think the general rule of 80-90% eye contact would be best. I don't know about avoiding eye contact meaning "low status," but submissive or apologetic, possibly, if you are looking down, particularly in response to a challenge. While looking to the side can mean you are ignoring them, because you are snubbing them, angry at them, being deceptive, not wanting them to pay attention to you, and a host of mostly negative things. For the 10-20% of the time you are not having eye contact, I would reserve this for when you are talking - like briefly looking upwards as you recall some anecdote you're telling them. In contrast, while they are speaking, it would be best to maintain eye contact since you want to show you are listening and paying attention to them - unless they are not having much eye contact with you while talking, then it may be appropriate to match your degree of eye contact closer to theirs (I think?).



izzeme
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Apr 2011
Age: 33
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,665

07 Jul 2014, 4:26 am

a good way to learn this is to look at the bridge of their nose, in between the eyes.
most NTs will interpret that as matching eyecontact with their own, (they see your eyes f they make contact, but you dont appear to stare if they look away), and it allows you to observe the contact your conversational partner makes, so you can learn.

of course, only do this in conversations, if you are not (trying to) talking or listening to someone, dont even pretend to make eyecontact.



Magnanimous
Toucan
Toucan

User avatar

Joined: 5 Nov 2012
Age: 36
Gender: Male
Posts: 292
Location: London

07 Jul 2014, 4:08 pm

I wear sunglasses.

Besides my being ludicrously sensitive to bright light... this pretty much averts the whole problem of eye-contact.

Naturally, people have their own twisted ideas of me due to my always wearing sunglasses in public... but since they never voice those opinions to me, I tend not to give a toss.
Seriously. I could never go back to NOT wearing sunglasses.


Literally, the only people who ever see my eyes are people online... in photos....
... and in most of my photos I have that weird habit of blacking out my left eye and enhancing my right eye. Some sort of incomprehensible reference to duality or something. I never really thought about it.



Anna_K
Velociraptor
Velociraptor

Joined: 9 Jun 2014
Age: 21
Gender: Female
Posts: 453

07 Jul 2014, 7:17 pm

SOME eye contact is okay. We aren't expected to "stare" into someones eyes. Eye contact in public is okay in moderation, but no more than 2 seconds, otherwise that could possibly be perceived as weird or creepy. Indirect eye contact is the safest in my opinion (i.e. Glancing in someones direction, but not looking AT them). What you did in the subway was socially acceptable too though.

Also, if someone is talking to you, you should make eye contact, but don't stare directly into their eyes. That could be perceived the wrong way. On the other hand, if you don't look at them at all, they won't think that you are listening to what they have to say.


_________________
F.A.I.L. is just the First Attempt in Life.....
^_^


ehymw
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 23 Nov 2013
Age: 40
Gender: Male
Posts: 531

07 Jul 2014, 9:29 pm

If you're a guy try to avoid prolonged eye contact with men you don't know unless you need to interact with them.

Some men interpet males they don't know making prolonged eye contact with them as either threatening them or looking for gay sex with them.



Mitrovah
Deinonychus
Deinonychus

User avatar

Joined: 17 Jan 2013
Age: 31
Gender: Male
Posts: 341
Location: Iowa USA

08 Jul 2014, 8:43 pm

My resting expression is such people get uncomfortable when I make eye contact. They think Im going to do something violent, It is partly because when I make eye contact I tend to over focus and thus look like Im giving them the evil eye



Kiprobalhato
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator

User avatar

Joined: 25 Mar 2014
Age: 23
Gender: Female
Posts: 28,883
Location: ממש אצטרך

08 Jul 2014, 10:34 pm

ehymw wrote:
If you're a guy try to avoid prolonged eye contact with men you don't know unless you need to interact with them.

Some men interpet males they don't know making prolonged eye contact with them as either threatening them or looking for gay sex with them.

that last part made me chuckle.
but anyway, i try to avoid all eye contact with unfamiliar people, lest they approach me or think i am threatening them, like you said. i hate confrontation and try to avoid it when i can.
a while ago i nearly got into a flght because i unknowingly looked at someone in the eyes for too long. a friend of his told him about my aspergers (how did she evn know? i never told her) and for some reason he forgot about the whole thing. :roll:
my glasses have transition lenses, meaning they turn dark in the sun. they're not as opaque as regular sunglasses but i've been able to get away with otherwise awkward staring with them.
others with sunglasses make me uneasy too. i can never tell if they're looking at me or not, so i just avoid all eyecontact.


_________________
זהו עצם העניין
לא! זה עצם של הכלב

the world did end in 2012. you are already in hell, right now.


Last edited by Kiprobalhato on 09 Jul 2014, 9:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Joe90
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 23 Feb 2010
Gender: Female
Posts: 17,762
Location: Maidstone, UK

09 Jul 2014, 3:24 pm

Strangers stare at my eyes a lot, like it's acceptable to them or something. I don't ever stare at them, but I know that they're staring because I unintentionally meet their eye and notice that they are staring, so I just look away again like I don't care, but can still feel their gaze and when I look at them again they are still staring. Usually other women do this (I am female, please don't be fooled by my username :roll: ), but if a man is doing it I don't mind so much, unless he is old and staring at me with a blank expression. I always think people are staring to judge, which I always thought was wrong, especially if you're not doing anything to attract such stares, which I know I don't.

But I suppose it's another double standard. It's ''OK'' if NTs do it but an Aspie is always told it's socially unacceptable to do is and so ''mustn't'' do it.


_________________
Female
Aged 30
On antidepressants
Diagnosed with AS, ADHD and anxiety disorder


Magnanimous
Toucan
Toucan

User avatar

Joined: 5 Nov 2012
Age: 36
Gender: Male
Posts: 292
Location: London

09 Jul 2014, 4:33 pm

Kiprobalhato wrote:
others with sunglasses make me uneasy too. i can never tell if they're looking at me or not, so i just avoid all eyecontact.

Curious.
I tend to be more comfortable around others with sunglasses...

Not only do I prefer to wear them mysely, both to keep out the light and to prevent people seeing where I'm looking... I also prefer not to be stared at, which happens a LOT .... and frankly if everyone wore sunglasses, it would be a lot easier to get by in life.

Even regular glasses would be an improvement though.
I don't really like naked eyes. They just look... wrong.