Posted by: MISTY | 2004/01/09


I find that most people dont look me in the eyes when we talk. I can see they are looking at me when I talk or they talk when I am looking away, but as soon as I make eye contact they look past me or at the floor. Is there a reason people dont look in others eyes.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Dear Misty,
Who Knows has come up with several excellent potential explanations. And there are many other reasons why people may not "look you in the eye". In numerous cultures around the world, it is considered very rude and disrespectful to look someone in the eye, especially someone you respect or who is in some way your superior. I remember when I was working in Canada, having to point this out to a young American shrink dealing with a pleasant young American Indian girl who he thought was strange for never looking at him face-to-face --- I had to remind him that not only was this culturally appropriate behaviour on her part, but indeed it would have been more likely to indicate something really wrong with her if she DID stare into his face.
Within a culture that accepts eye-looking, people dont meet your eye gaze when they're lying ( especially if they're amateur liars ) or when they feel uneasy for many different reasons. Or if they're the commonplace insincere person who cares very little about others, they may not bother to look properly at you when talking, because they just don't bother to make the effort. These days, many people talk AT other people, but don't really talk WITH them.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Who knows | 2004/01/10

My experience, is that the eyes are the windows to a persons soul. If they are looking at your eyes, you can see theirs and they might not want to let you look.

I can think of one or two more basic reasons.

Mens eyes often move below the neckline.
Your stare may be making them uncomfortable
You're the boss from hell
They feel they they are totally outclassed.
Maybe you have a facial injury, which they do not want you to feel that they are staring at.

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