Which eye are you supposed to look at?

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Slappy
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13 May 2008, 10:44 pm

Sorry if this has been covered before, but whenever I make eye contact I don't know which eye to look at. Do I pick one eye and look at that, alternate eyes (and if so how often? Once a second?), or look at some vague spot in the middle?! Other people seem to do it so naturally!

Again, sorry if this has been done to death before, but I'm new (first post!)



samantca
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13 May 2008, 10:49 pm

Welcome :)

I have the same problem as you, and i tend to alternate when i manage to keep eye contact. I watch one eye, then switch to the other constantly.

I still have major issues keeping eye contact, so the situation i talk about here would be with someone i feel secure with. Around strangers i tend to avoid all eye contact.



Slappy
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13 May 2008, 11:11 pm

Thanks for the welcome :D

Maybe another factor is how close the other person is... when they're sort of in the distance (20 feet away) it's easy because you can look anywhere near them and you're making "eye contact," but when the person is "face to face" it's worse because when you alternate eyes it looks obvious your eyes are darting around and it's awkward. So I guess I look at one eye as long as I can (maybe a couple seconds) then look off in the distance like I'm thinking, then glance back. But if they're looking at me back, I get frightened and immediately glance back in the distance. That's what makes me "odd" to others I think.

Why is this so complicated? It seems like it should be pretty simple. :x

I do watch people on TV though on news and talk shows and I've noticed "powerful" and creative people look away in the distance a lot like I do (although I'm not powerful -- creative maybe but aren't we all?), but "normal" people I think have some kind of weird sense of when to look and when not to. That's what I'm trying to figure out... anybody know the answer? :cry:



Dokken
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13 May 2008, 11:44 pm

Slappy wrote:
Sorry if this has been covered before, but whenever I make eye contact I don't know which eye to look at. Do I pick one eye and look at that, alternate eyes (and if so how often? Once a second?), or look at some vague spot in the middle?! Other people seem to do it so naturally!

Again, sorry if this has been done to death before, but I'm new (first post!)


look at the middle spot, in between the eyes. It works best for me because i'm not making eye contact, but am probably staring at them like a nutball


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KatieMiller
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14 May 2008, 12:01 am

I'm a bridge-of-the-nose type of person.


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GoatOnFire
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14 May 2008, 12:04 am

Their nether eye.


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14 May 2008, 12:05 am

i thought eye contact was supposed to be both eyes? just under the eyes is better though. :)



herakh
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14 May 2008, 12:28 am

i wonder why it is hurd for aspies to maintain eye contact? i mean, i hardly make any eye contact, though i try as hard as i can, but i just cant explain it. maybe someone will?



krex
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14 May 2008, 12:41 am

I have auditory processing disorder, so I look at the mouth. When they stop talking, I may look at their eye area and then look away if I am responding. Actually, my only social interaction is with my BF...we hardly ever even look at each other when were talking and the people at work...I just try and always be doing something...so I have a reason to not be looking at them much.


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Soopervilin
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14 May 2008, 12:44 am

I think the "correct" eye to initiate contact with is the person's dominant eye, which in most people is the right eye (left side if you're facing them), then slowly start switching back and forth during the conversation, occasionally breaking it to look away then re-initiating again with the dominant eye. The reasoning behind this is because when people give someone the "evil eye" they typically do it with their dominant one while slightly closing the other eye as an attempt at intimidation, and by acknowledging this on some level sets the mood of the encounter. I've wondered whether NTs are instinctively and subconsciously able to determine which eye is dominant. I don't have a dominant eye myself, which may explain why I have such trouble with eye contact since even people who know instinctively cannot tell which eye to start with.

Of course this is all random thinking and speculation, so don't take it as gospel.



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14 May 2008, 1:51 am

I've never thought about it before, but I tend to focus on the eye that is closer to me - the left eye if I'm sitting slightly to the left of the person, the right eye if I'm sitting slightly to the right. If I'm sitting or standing smack opposite them, I look at the bridge of the nose.


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14 May 2008, 2:12 am

I have this problem as well. I tend to favor the right eye.


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normally_impaired
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14 May 2008, 2:49 am

I don't think it really matters as long as you're staring directly at the person's face and they appear to be doing the same to you.



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14 May 2008, 3:14 am

Alternating at irregular intervals, usually as a result of a conscious reminder to self when I'm changing subjects or making a point. My tendency is to the opposite extreme that I will fixate on the eyes of the person I am talking to as a way to measure their reactions in a physical sense; hands are my fallback options when I am unable to make or sustain contact with the other person.


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14 May 2008, 4:07 am

I didn't know you were supposed to look at a specific eye. :?


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slowmutant
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14 May 2008, 5:17 am

You can't look into both eyes at once. I've tried.