Remarkable, What a Difference It Makes.

When I was young and had a paper route, my dad would help me on Sunday mornings when the papers were so large and heavy for a little girl to cart around by herself so early in the morning. Afterward, we would always stop at a donut shop. The person who owned it, a sweet old lady named Marge, was always there, and would always talk to us.

One morning, as I was speaking to her in my usual shy manner, looking at my feet, she told me to look at her. She then proceeded to tell me to always use eye contact, that it was respectful and polite, and that it would get me far in life.

I've never forgotten that, and now (almost) always use eye contact. With my friends, with adults, with waitresses and cashiers. Many a time people will look down, not quite sure how to react. It doesn't bother me, as I know how difficult it was for me to learn. But I've found that it does get me farther with people. They tend to listen to me more, and know that I'm intently listening to them. I've always gotten along well with adults, but I think actually using eye contact has increased my status in their eyes. I don't think they're accustomed to many eighteen-year-old punks actually looking them in the eye and listening to what they have to say.


SheistheLorax SheistheLorax
18-21, F
24 Responses Dec 8, 2008

I find eye contact rude If There is no conversation going on between me and the individual. Unless the person has a friendly face and greets me with a smile but besides the 2 scenarios i mentioned I find it very rude to be stared at.

Something I wish I could do more of ;) I feel like sometimes it's part of culture; when walking past someone along a pavement it seems etiquette where I live to glance once, make eye contact, then look to the sides or down until the person passes: it can be quite funny to watch people's eyes as they dart anywhere but your face ^^

I can make eye contact easily, but whenever I'm speaking to my tutor its always hard to maintain eye contact with that dude, just something about maintaining eye contact with people who have piercing blue eyes.

Biologically, intense eye contact is a threat, an aggression. I used to do it before, until i realised what impression it makes on some people. Even though i am a friendly person, they seem to be supressed by it, so now i occasionally look aside just to make people feel more relaxed

Yes yo9u are right. Eye contaqct is very important. If i am going to purchase something would want this especially with a salesperson. If they do not give me this will just walk away and go somewhere else. To me this is important. Teach oral English here in China while stressing the importance that eye contact is very important.

hello <br />
<br />
This is such a nice piece. <br />
<br />
And thank you for using such clear, crisp and beautiful language to construct your argument and to convey your message.<br />
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What a great life lesson you were taught--I am the same way--eye contact is everything--and like glance writes--I too show my emotions in my eyes--when they sparkle--it's a million dollar sparkle--when they hurt--oh you can read it ---not a good poker face.

In some countries, its considered rude to make eye contact.

That is very true. I don't look down upon other people. And honestly, I've been finding lately that I'm regressing. I almost feel like a hypocrite, having this story posted. =p

What can I say, though I feel it is useful, I don't think people should be looked down on for it.<br />
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Some people are extroverted, some people are introverted.<br />
Extroverts will look into your eyes to see if you are listening.<br />
Introverts will look inside to see if they are listening.<br />
<br />
If they aren't looking at you, perhaps they aren't actually using their eyes at all.

Oh, I can completely understand that. My hearing is fairly bad as well, although probably not horrible compared to some, and I've found too that looking at faces and making eye contact is extremely helpful.

Koala guy I totally agree with you my husband also works in the Indigenous area and have lived in Central Australia Alice Springs actually and found what you say to be the case.<br />
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But! as an addition to the above I have a hearing problem which I have had for years and looking at peoples faces is so important for me to understand what they are saying, to get the whole picture so to speak and not only this but the facial ex<x>pressions tell me so much.

Aye, I agree. I'm glad I learned it at a younger age.

Heh, yes, quite true. I do tend to avoid eye contact more when there is indeed something wrong.

Ah, I've tried. I can't help it.<br />
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And I agree completely...

Ah, Tia, I know exactly what you're saying. And I'm actually one of those people... my eyes are too expressive. =p

mine too, so i have a hard time making eye contact (they are too expressive and im introverted and don't want everyone knowing what i feel). i realize that i look at people above or around their eyes without contact and i wonder if to them i look cross-eyed lol. i'm trying to do better with eye contact AND letting people into my little world!

No, no, it's quite alright. I've heard that as well.

I was always taught to make eye contact and I still try to do so (though I've always been a bit shy), but my brother (a teacher), who worked with indigenous australians and some asian students, learned that eye contact in those cultures can be considered impolite or even offensive. Maybe it will be less of a problem in the future, but for now, it's still prevalent in some areas. Sorry, if that sounded negative. That wasn't my intention.

I wouldn't say that I don't trust anyone who doesn't use eye contact. There are some genuinely good people who are just terribly shy. But it does help, most assuredly.

I do not trust anyone that cannot look me in the eye. Eye contact is mandatory if you want to be successful in any aspect of life.

Aye, Ley, that it is.<br />
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Deftone- I used to be that way. I abhorred eye contact; it scared the hell out of me. I can empathize. But if I ever happen upon you in person, I'll stare intently into your eyes and watch you squirm. =p<br />
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Arsineh- Oy, you're quite welcome.

Thank you for passing on this good advice!

I have an eye contact phobia. Not 100% literal but kind of. I dont know why but i cant stare someone in the eye for longer than seconds at a time or i start to feel akward. I know it sounds stupid and i know that eye contact can be important but thats how i feel

Year!can't agree more!"Eye contract"is very important for regain conference i think.