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Thread: To Look or not to look

  1. #1 To Look or not to look 
    Ascended Member Ascended's Avatar
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    An interesting new study from the University of British Columbia suggests that the long held belief that looking someone in eye may not always have the possitive effect believed. It seems that there are situations where instead of putting people at ease and making them accept you as an honest and trust worthy person actually looking them in the eye can have a very negative and opposite effect. Instead of feeling at ease and that they are being given respect they may percieve direct eye contact at an attemped form of subterfuge resulting in more hostility and less trust.

    https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&p...MDE0ZDNkOTBiMg


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  3. #2  
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    Absolutely.

    Forget the subterfuge. When someone's trying to be "persuasive" using eye contact, especially sustained eye contact, I feel that as intimidating. It was something we cautioned people about when training them in counselling. Initiating and trying to maintain or force eye contact with someone can make them feel exposed and vulnerable rather than calm and trusting.


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    You know reading some of the report made me mindful of some of the nature documentries about gorillas and how they explained about not looking directly at the Alpha male silver backs, I wonder if this has something to do with the idea that at some instinctual level some people can also feel like it's a challenge towards them, just like the gorillas on the nature documentries and that maybe perhaps in something say such as counselling the people there could be more hostile, as they're adopting a defensive approach and are expecting/looking out for challenges again perhaps more instinct than reason going on. Where as by contrast perhaps people expecting more positive, less threatening situations respond in the opposite more possitive way because they don't feel threatened and arn't expecting any challenges, e.g. they are more rational than emotional perhaps.
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    pupil dilation
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  6. #5  
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    vasoconstriction
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  7. #6  
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    I was rather focusing on subliminal eye signals

    dilation = like what is viewed

    hypothetically, we can sense this even if we do not "see" it consciously.
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    During our last few years in the Phoenix, Arizona area, a rash of shootings about town produced the official Police Recommendation that, while stopped in your car at a traffic signal, you NOT look sidewise at the occupant(s) of the neighboring vehicle. The "advice" implied that looking MIGHT provoke the other to shoot you!

    I found this to be both bizarre and ridiculous. If some asshole next to me is pointing a gun in my direction, should I "roll over" and play dead? Offer to suck his ass for free? Look the other way, pray, piss my pants, and hope the moment passes? Or use my own gun to save my own. Tell me about "unarmed" safety, if you will...... jocular
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    I read the book Body Language by Julius Fast decades ago, and I found cultural differences fascinating. A principal at an American school suspended a respected and intelligent Hispanic girl while investigating some malicious destruction of property at the school. This brought a Hispanic community leader to the school to appeal the suspension after, I believe, an unsuccessful appeal by her parents.

    The principal justified the suspension by explaining that the student obviously knew something about, or participated in, the destruction even though she denied it because she refused to look him in the eye while he questioned her she was obviously guilty.

    No, the community leader explained, their culture teaches children that looking an adult in the eye shows defiance, and that she had shown the principal respect and compliance by not doing so.

    The principal rescinded the suspension.
    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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  10. #9  
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    is there anyone in the world who know all those psychological benefits and how it works and truly can use it for achieving anything they want?
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  11. #10  
    ...matter and pixie dust wegs's Avatar
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    Interesting info, Ascended. I've read so many articles countering that, especially when it comes to job interviews. (Looking one's interviewer in the eye was always thought to be a sign of 'confidence') It's nice to see an alternative study!
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by wegs View Post
    Interesting info, Ascended. I've read so many articles countering that, especially when it comes to job interviews. (Looking one's interviewer in the eye was always thought to be a sign of 'confidence') It's nice to see an alternative study!
    Yes certainly here I think there is some distinct seperation going on about the way in which the eye contact is being percieved, certainly I expect that for most people in possitive situations, situations in which people are being open and are genuinely feeling confident and without hostility then looking the people you are speaking to in the eye is a good thing and exudes that openess and possitivity. What I think is so interesting and relevant about this study though is that it's highlighting the fact that people don't always respond in that same possitive way and indeed that some people are just more predisposed to react less favourably.

    It's particularly applicable to the concept of reading and responding to the body language of those you are communicating with, notions that is always a set way to approach people quickly go out the window when you realise that people can and do react differently and primes people to be aware of how their actions, movements, gestures and body language is being perceived and reacted to.

    Rather than perhaps thinking that the person you are communicating with has some kind of problem, because they are not appearing to respond in the correct manner, it shows how we are actually capable of influencing the responces of others with subtle adjustments in our own approach, which ultimately helps us communicate more effectively.
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    Among the First Nations people also, the amount and duration of eye contact is not the same as in the majority of those of European descent, whose interpretations of eye contact are similar to those of North America. This is not surprising considering that a significant percentage of North Americans trace their roots to that continent and culture.

    Eye contact can be especially problematical for women because some people may interpret the eye contact as 'an expression of interest' in more than the topic at hand. Fortunately, I am of German/English descent and can utilize the reputation of the Scorpio personality to convey the meaning of my eye contact quite concisely.

    (One does not have to believe in Astrology to find some research of the topic will provide some useful psychological insights.)
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  14. #13  
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    All I know is that in Switzerland when you toast....it is RUDE not to look someone in the eye as you toast with them. Man, my husband got in trouble with daughter. He learned.

    I don't think constant eye contact is essential, although when I am talking to a close friend, we do not lose eye contact ever.

    Is this because of the comfort zone of speaking with a friend and the intimacy and closeness?

    I was always taught to look people in the eye. Cultural possibly? Having a Eastern European family?
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  15. #14  
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    I was always taught to look people in the eye. Cultural possibly?
    It's certainly cultural. It's also situational.

    You would not look someone in the eye if you'd been told not to by someone who was behaving in a threatening or out-of-control manner. Nor would you look the creepy guy on the train in the eye if you'd observed him creeping on others - unless you were ready to speak up to try and shut him down and you were willing to risk the consequences of doing that.
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    I was always taught to look people in the eye. Cultural possibly?
    It's certainly cultural. It's also situational.

    You would not look someone in the eye if you'd been told not to by someone who was behaving in a threatening or out-of-control manner. Nor would you look the creepy guy on the train in the eye if you'd observed him creeping on others - unless you were ready to speak up to try and shut him down and you were willing to risk the consequences of doing that.
    I agree, but speaking of casual and social, not creepy people. Those you NEVER wish to make eye contact with. Though I do often try to smile and say hello to people in wheel chairs. People tend to not want to look at you in the eye and smile when you are in one of those things. Interesting life observation.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    For reasons I can't understand, to first look a woman in the eye, my eyes usually start at the feet and work their way up. As they ascend it is not uncommon for them to pause at various points. I have been told that this natural instinct is impolite.

    Instead of feeling at ease and that they are being given respect they may percieve direct eye contact at an attemped form of subterfuge resulting in more hostility and less trust.
    I now feel vindicated. All this time I have been doing it right. Trust me, I know.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    for reasons i can't understand, to first look a woman in the eye, my eyes usually start at the feet and work their way up. As they ascend it is not uncommon for them to pause at various points. I have been told that this natural instinct is impolite.

    instead of feeling at ease and that they are being given respect they may percieve direct eye contact at an attemped form of subterfuge resulting in more hostility and less trust.
    i now feel vindicated. All this time i have been doing it right. Trust me, i know.
    you,........you.................you............... ............ Man!
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  19. #18  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Eyes are not a man's main visual target on a woman. I think women know this. So despite the tons of mascara and eyeshadow applied daily worldwide, a woman watches where the guy is looking. If eye contact is his main focus then perhaps the woman finds it unnatural.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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  20. #19  
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    I saw a sci fi flic wherein the women had eyes in their breasts, explaining that it was easier to make eye contact that way. Funny thing is, I never wondered where the nipples were.
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  21. #20  
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    I think that humanity is the only creature in the animal kingdom where eye contact is seen as a "good" thing.

    I think there's a reason why some butterflies have eye patterns on their wings. Ask any cat, or primate, if they like eye contact either.

    Personally, I always find myself looking at people's mouths when I talk with them.
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  22. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daecon View Post
    I think that humanity is the only creature in the animal kingdom where eye contact is seen as a "good" thing.

    I think there's a reason why some butterflies have eye patterns on their wings. Ask any cat, or primate, if they like eye contact either.

    Personally, I always find myself looking at people's mouths when I talk with them.
    Same here. If I can't see the person's mouth I won't have any idea what they are saying to me.
    Speaking badly about people after they are gone and jumping on the bash the band wagon must do very well for a low self-esteem.
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  23. #22  
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    Eyes are not a man's main visual target on a woman. I think women know this. So despite the tons of mascara and eyeshadow applied daily worldwide, a woman watches where the guy is looking. If eye contact is his main focus then perhaps the woman finds it unnatural.
    I can say this with all sincerity, I have more men who look at me and smile and say, "You have the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen." *chuckle*.....there are some however whose eyes seems to hit the "rack" first......"RACK" was the term MacGuyver used, FYI
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  24. #23  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    Eyes are not a man's main visual target on a woman. I think women know this. So despite the tons of mascara and eyeshadow applied daily worldwide, a woman watches where the guy is looking. If eye contact is his main focus then perhaps the woman finds it unnatural.
    I can say this with all sincerity, I have more men who look at me and smile and say, "You have the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen." *chuckle*.....there are some however whose eyes seems to hit the "rack" first......"RACK" was the term MacGuyver used, FYI
    Geez, and I thought you Hollywood starlets would know that men gazing at a woman's eyes is just a smoke screen. We're after greater things, if the eyes are in the way then we look.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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  25. #24  
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    Eyes are not a man's main visual target on a woman. I think women know this. So despite the tons of mascara and eyeshadow applied daily worldwide, a woman watches where the guy is looking. If eye contact is his main focus then perhaps the woman finds it unnatural.
    I can say this with all sincerity, I have more men who look at me and smile and say, "You have the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen." *chuckle*.....there are some however whose eyes seems to hit the "rack" first......"RACK" was the term MacGuyver used, FYI
    Geez, and I thought you Hollywood starlets would know that men gazing at a woman's eyes is just a smoke screen. We're after greater things, if the eyes are in the way then we look.
    I am so not a Hollywood starlet though I have done shows there years ago........I am a theatre whore....*chuckle*....we work for little pay and for the love of it.....so....LOOK INTO MY EYES.......trust me you still won't miss Mother Nature's other "gift"
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  26. #25  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by babe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    Eyes are not a man's main visual target on a woman. I think women know this. So despite the tons of mascara and eyeshadow applied daily worldwide, a woman watches where the guy is looking. If eye contact is his main focus then perhaps the woman finds it unnatural.
    I can say this with all sincerity, I have more men who look at me and smile and say, "You have the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen." *chuckle*.....there are some however whose eyes seems to hit the "rack" first......"RACK" was the term MacGuyver used, FYI
    Geez, and I thought you Hollywood starlets would know that men gazing at a woman's eyes is just a smoke screen. We're after greater things, if the eyes are in the way then we look.
    I am so not a Hollywood starlet though I have done shows there years ago........I am a theatre whore....*chuckle*....we work for little pay and for the love of it.....so....LOOK INTO MY EYES.......trust me you still won't miss Mother Nature's other "gift"
    Who doesn't like to open presents?
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