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Slavik

Cant look in peoples' eyes

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Hi, Im new, my name is Slava. 

     I remember Stefan talking about the meaning of not being able to look in peoples eyes, just wanted to ask what does that mean?  Emotion wise of course, what is the reason for it.

 

PS: Im new and hope this is the right community, that is, absent of trolls or people who fire off clishes faster than AK47

 

Thank you in advance, hope to get well to the oint of some day helping newcomers.

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Hi Slava, thanks for posting. I don't know of the podcast in which Stefan discusses this subject, and I would also love to listen to it if someone knows which one it is.

 

However, I recently experienced an improvement in my own patterns of eye-contact that perhaps you might find interesting or useful. After having become much more self-aware and involved with life, I make eye contact much more easily and for longer durations. In fact, I find that I actually crave eye contact quite frequently.

 

Formerly, I intentionally avoided eye contact in most situations, often talking to someone while looking away, or breaking eye-contact very quickly, especially if it was accidental. Oddly, while alone with a romantic partner, I felt an intense need to be seen, and I'll admit that I would sometimes get childishly upset if they didn't give me enough attention.

 

As for the why... for me, it felt like it was coming from a place of fear. Avoiding eye-contact was just one strategy among many for receding entirely from the world and going utterly unnoticed. If you're perpetually afraid that other people will hurt, scorn, or mock you, it makes perfect sense. Now I just have far less of that fear, and making contact comes that much more easily. I obviously don't know if that speaks to what you are interested in, but I hope that it might.

 

Once more, welcome and thanks for being here.

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I don't think you need to stare into peoples eyes. 

But when you avoid looking at the eyes completely it shows the person fear.

If you are afraid of someone you won't be able to fully connect .

Even if you are not afraid the other person won't feel like they can trust you . 

 

Don't you think its hard to trust someone who doesn't look at you in the eyes ?

Imagine that . 

Its not viable. 

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Welcome to the boards Slavik!

 

I too have experienced difficulty looking people in the eyes, and I agree with Seleneccentric's view that it is a way of desiring not to be seen, being vulnerable.

 

I don't think you necessarily need to look people in the eyes, and certainly I would resist anyone who tells you that you need to, but what I will say is that same vulnerability and visibility that causes you discomfort or anxiety, that opens it up for the other person to see into you, is what makes you able to see into them. And that's enormously valuable to get unconsciously and quickly a whole lot of information about the other person.

 

It's really the same for vulnerability in general. If you are vulnerable, the way that people respond to that tells you more than probably anything ever could.

 

There is a kind of strength in vulnerability for that reason. You end up showing your cards, but at the same time (if you are paying attention) you see the other person's cards.

 

Barring some exploitative personality, if people are drawn to that, they are drawn to you for who you are, and if they reject that, then you can be sure that they are not someone you want around you.

 

As uncomfortable as it is, it gets easier the more you do it because you become more familiar with your own capacity to accurately judge people, and that in turn gives you extra self esteem.

 

Being vulnerable with people who haven't earned it can be dangerous though, which is likely the reason that it causes you discomfort: to protect you from people who would exploit you.

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Note: In monkeys looking into the eyes is a threat.

Also in many other animals like dogs .

 

 

So avoiding looking into the eyes is saying you are scared of the other person . 

 

And that will prevent emotional bonding 

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Guest Exceptionalist
Formerly, I intentionally avoided eye contact in most situations, often talking to someone while looking away, or breaking eye-contact very quickly, especially if it was accidental. Oddly, while alone with a romantic partner, I felt an intense need to be seen, and I'll admit that I would sometimes get childishly upset if they didn't give me enough attention.

 

You mean, crying out loud and stomping with your feets on the ground while screaming, "don't dare to ignore me?" ;) A way to get professionally upset is, to get polite and assertive at the same time. You have to sound snarky and ask why is she ignoring you and tell her that you got the feeling, that she doesn't listen to you.

 

I don't think you necessarily need to look people in the eyes, and certainly I would resist anyone who tells you that you need to, but what I will say is that same vulnerability and visibility that causes you discomfort or anxiety, that opens it up for the other person to see into you, is what makes you able to see into them. And that's enormously valuable to get unconsciously and quickly a whole lot of information about the other person.

 

 

It is like fondeling a key into a hole in complete darkness. If the person is a loved one, you don't even need a key. I usually don't even look people in the face, cuz it makes me feel uncomfortable. 

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A related but slightly unrelated note is that introverts and extroverts tend to have different eye communication strategies. An introvert when talking to someone will often not give eye contact, but they will give eye contact when listening. An extrovert is the opposite in they give eye contact when listening and don't when being talked to. From the source I learned this from (a FDR post), this seems to be more a result of neurology and data processing than psychological issues. I bring it up because you really start to notice like crazy when you look for it, and I've been pretty accurate in guessing whether someone is introverted or extroverted just based off this.

 

This isn't the post, but it has the same information the other person posted.

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Thanks to the internet, the odds are even. No introvert has to feel uncomfortable and pulled over anymore in communications. Someone makes a nutty claim and turns to another person, right before you can counter his claim. If you aren't use to call strangers out on their shite, you are puzzled imediately. 

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A related but slightly unrelated note is that introverts and extroverts tend to have different eye communication strategies. An introvert when talking to someone will often not give eye contact, but they will give eye contact when listening. An extrovert is the opposite in they give eye contact when listening and don't when being talked to. From the source I learned this from (a FDR post), this seems to be more a result of neurology and data processing than psychological issues. I bring it up because you really start to notice like crazy when you look for it, and I've been pretty accurate in guessing whether someone is introverted or extroverted just based off this.

 

This isn't the post, but it has the same information the other person posted.

Sorry to dissapoint, but in my case you really wont be able to tell.  When I talk to people, I really have no trouble carrying on a conversation, I have no trouble talking if its something interesting, but you see, I was never able to look in the eye, as it breaks my consentration and makes the whole vision immideately scatter.  A long time ago, I was told that it is a "must" to look people in the eye, so I substituted by looking at the nose :) .  As far as introvert or extrovert goes, well I am starting to doubt all of these boxes society is trying to put all of us in. 

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Slavik, what happens when you look into a mirror and into your eyes and tell yourself that you love yourself?

When I look into the mirror into my own eyes, the same thing happens, the scattering effect.  I have trouble concentrating. 

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Hi, Im new, my name is Slava. 

     I remember Stefan talking about the meaning of not being able to look in peoples eyes, just wanted to ask what does that mean?  Emotion wise of course, what is the reason for it.

 

PS: Im new and hope this is the right community, that is, absent of trolls or people who fire off clishes faster than AK47

 

Thank you in advance, hope to get well to the oint of some day helping newcomers.

 

The meaning is you lack some self respect or self esteem or whatever people call it you don't feel worthy

 

the solution that that works for lots of people s go to the mall and practice making eye contact with strangers ads they pass, when you realise they don't attack you you will feel etter about it

 

and extension to this is you can start saying hi to people once you get confident with them, a lot may ignore you but some say hi back and keep walking

occasionally people will stop to talk to you

you can practice small talk, "have you seen any good movies lately I'm looking to choose one"< or "what brought your out today", "are ou shopping for anything important? " "have you found anything ncie?"

 

anything to help you connect in a superficial way before trying to form deeper connections

 

don't feel pressure for running before you can walk etc.

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I think eye contact depends on the importance of what is being said. I don't have to maintain complete eye contact talking about the weather, but I think the deeper the topic, the more eye contact is required to establish and maintain a connection.

 

Pepin that's a cool article I look forward to reading it after my post.

 

I also like that idea of eye contact as being a way to make visible of the other person and yourself. It makes sense. It acknowledges your existence and therefore validates it more if you are looked in the eye during dialogue.

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