Eye contact | INFJ Forum

Eye contact

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So, I was thinking about how we use eye contact everyday. We use it to show attention, respect, surprise, confidence, etc. But how do you use direct eye contact as a habit or do you tend to avoid it? Do you find your eye contact being misunderstood due to shyness or intensity?
 
It's definitely misunderstood due to intensity, not shyness. I find myself avoiding eye contact because when I look at people directly shit gets real. Real quick.

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i used to avoid it.. due to shyness and being too conscious to giving away what i am feeling..my eyes are too expressive but now that i have more confidence, i noticed people avoid looking at me because of the intensity -- my youngest sister said i'm like a dementor not getting the happiness though, but like i know what/how they are as person not what they portray to be..
 
I always associated eye contact with something more personal. I almost regret that it's standard and expected today. It takes away what is sometimes, a special moment between two people, when it it's seen as something done with a purpose to show interest, than something done to make people feel something that's not necessarily lasting or meaningful.
 
I always associated eye contact with something more personal. I almost regret that it's standard and expected today. It takes away what is sometimes, a special moment between two people, when it it's seen as something done with a purpose to show interest, than something done to make people feel something that's not necessarily lasting or meaningful.

So basically, you regret that society has a culture of inauthenticity when it comes to eye contact? Yes/no?
 
I avoid direct eye contact as an ordinary habit, but at the same time I use it fairly often, perhaps frequently even. Yet when I do, it's always intentional. I use it only very briefly, never sustaining it for too long, as a means of making authentic connection. Most of the time what I hope to express is a sincere interest in that person and kindness. Eye contact can cut through the superficial norm of polite dialogue.

For example, if I'm at the check-out register or over the counter at some food joint, as I leave I may look the person directly in the eyes, slightly smile, and say "Thank you" or "See you later" or "Have a good one" etc. Yet I don't make direct eye contact with everyone, I almost intuitively discern to whom and when it may be something that is appropriate (well received) and maybe even needed. I'll be sure to make eye contact here and there if I'm in a personal conversation that is sensitive, depending on the context.

That been said, making direct eye contact can be a little scary, it makes one vulnerable, and I don't think it is something to lightly throw around, nor something that has to be entirely reserved for a few intimates. When I've used it with strangers in a discernibly appropriate contexts, and in the appropriate way, there is something profound about those little encounters. Sure, they're a stranger in one way, and that comes with certain valid boundaries, but we're all kindred folk, and it's a wonderful thing when through the window of the eyes the souls of two strangers meet.
 
We use it to show attention, respect, surprise, confidence, etc. But how do you use direct eye contact as a habit or do you tend to avoid it? Do you find your eye contact being misunderstood due to shyness or intensity?

In my case, all of the above. Sometimes intentionally, sometimes intuitively. My oddest experience regarding the topic is that twice I found myself in conversation with ex-cons. Each time, they were chatting me up in a way that felt like I was being weighed and measured as some potential hook up. Sometimes, while answering a question about myself, I tend to let my eyes wander. It happened with each of these guys, and each time, they insisted that I look them in the eye when I talk to them. I know there is a school of thought that believes a person who doesn't "look you in the eye" when talking to you is a dishonest person, but to get that from an ex-con seemed a bit ironic. Besides, I've gotten some pretty intense eye contact from people that were lying to me, as I have done likewise.
 
So basically, you regret that society has a culture of inauthenticity when it comes to eye contact? Yes/no?

Yep, pretty much. Now it's obligatory. Since it's seen as a matter of politeness and professionalism, it's harder to know if the eye contact means anything real? Since everyone gets almost the same treatment when eye contact is used especially in public situations, it's tough to know when people are being sincere. When people use direct eye contact, it makes me think they're trying to make a personal connection, even when I know they are not, so then I have to always guard against misreading it. And again, since people use it just to be nice, it's harder to pick up on differences between someone showing they mean something more by it or are just going through the motions. However, because of my profession, I do use good eye contact when I want people to feel welcome, recognized, heard, appreciated, or understood. But rarely do I use direct eye contact unless there's some interest in the person on my part.
 
So, I was thinking about how we use eye contact everyday.
Says you.


LOL!

Eye contact doesn't come naturally to me. I need to try. It's more natural for me to scan my surroundings.
That said, I guess I have a very intense gaze. It makes people think I'm interested in them and attracts a lot of unwanted attention.
 
I avoid direct eye contact as an ordinary habit, but at the same time I use it fairly often, perhaps frequently even. Yet when I do, it's always intentional. I use it only very briefly, never sustaining it for too long, as a means of making authentic connection. Most of the time what I hope to express is a sincere interest in that person and kindness. Eye contact can cut through the superficial norm of polite dialogue.

For example, if I'm at the check-out register or over the counter at some food joint, as I leave I may look the person directly in the eyes, slightly smile, and say "Thank you" or "See you later" or "Have a good one" etc. Yet I don't make direct eye contact with everyone, I almost intuitively discern to whom and when it may be something that is appropriate (well received) and maybe even needed. I'll be sure to make eye contact here and there if I'm in a personal conversation that is sensitive, depending on the context.

That been said, making direct eye contact can be a little scary, it makes one vulnerable, and I don't think it is something to lightly throw around, nor something that has to be entirely reserved for a few intimates. When I've used it with strangers in a discernibly appropriate contexts, and in the appropriate way, there is something profound about those little encounters. Sure, they're a stranger in one way, and that comes with certain valid boundaries, but we're all kindred folk, and it's a wonderful thing when through the window of the eyes the souls of two strangers meet.

^^ Pretty much all of this for me. I will add that when it comes to things like job interviews and times when we are taught that eye contact is essential, I may start with brief eye contact but not hold it. I'll bounce around the face. One eye to the next, to the mouth, the spot between the eyes, back to the eyes etc... it's more natural and helps with the flow of conversation, rather than being across from someone like a robot locked in a staring contest. (With thoughts of 'must maintain eye contact because I'm supposed to.')
 
So, I was thinking about how we use eye contact everyday. We use it to show attention, respect, surprise, confidence, etc. But how do you use direct eye contact as a habit or do you tend to avoid it? Do you find your eye contact being misunderstood due to shyness or intensity?

I can't help but look at peoples eyes, so if anything I think I have at times 'freaked' people out who avoid eye contact. I don't mean to do that, it's just my natural way. I am I think very sensitive, rather than shy, but I guess I feel like when I'm in a room with someone and talking with them, I want them to know I am paying attention and listening. It was only as I got older, that I realized some people find eye contact uncomfortable, so if I sense that, I do avert my gaze etc.

I've been told I have 'good' eye contact but I don't think there is such a thing. It's just whatever feels natural to you. I will only associate it with dishonesty, if someone breaks eye contact at critical times, or seems to display other signs of discomfort or indicators of possible dishonesty. On it's own I don't think it represents that. I have been told, that if you are uncomfortable, that it can help to try to focus on the other persons eyebrows, if it's a job interview etc. I have studied this through work, I'd say it seems we make eye contact on/off around 30% to 60% of the time, but it varies due to the circumstances and relationship with the person. We tend to be scanning the face, rather than just the eyes, which given how expressive a human face is, makes sense to me.

I guess it's obvious if you are staring or totally avoiding someone's eye it can indicate there maybe a problem. Top tip ! Sharks are surprise/sneak predators, if you are making eye contact with them, they are less likely to bite you. I have found though that this does not deter my cat in the slightest...
 
I will only associate it with dishonesty, if someone breaks eye contact at critical times, or seems to display other signs of discomfort or indicators of possible dishonesty.

Also, some people that are being dishonest use excessive eye contact to appear honest.
 
Also, some people that are being dishonest use excessive eye contact to appear honest.

That's very true, and in fact not just dishonesty. Prolonged eye contact can be used in a very threatening, hostile manner to try to intimidate and 'stare out' others. I was joking about the cat, but they actually use a 'slow blink' closed eye thing, with others in a social group. It's to indicate trust, as by closing their eyes, they are taking a risk and effectively saying they trust you not to attack them.

Yes it's true. A) I read some weird articles on the internet and B) I don't get out much.. C) I have read up on cat psychology to avoid being eaten..
 
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I agree, that people are very good at using intense eye contact to appear honest or sincere to gain trust. Reminds me of when in customer service, you're given all this special attention, some of which is nice because it shows appreciation for your commerce, but some is just uncomfortable because you know that no one is ever likely to give you that kind of treatment normally, unless they're being paid.
 
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I heard that when INFJs are thinking they break eye contact during conversations to gather their thoughts. I have noticed this too in situations when I thinking, I'm more likely to move my gaze than stay in fixed eye contact.
e.g. situations like having therapy

I think I'm quite good, at maintaining eye contact with people though, when they are telling me their stuff and I'm just listening.
 
Interesting topic to consider.

On reflection, I find I reserve direct eye contact when for I greet someone or when I'm emphasizing a point.

Otherwise, I usually maintain eye contact (or at least, I watch their face) when I'm listening to someone speak, especially when what they're saying is incredibly interesting to me, but my eyes do wander around the room when what they're saying requires processing. When I speak, I don't always look directly at the person because their expressions are usually distracting and disrupt my flow of thought. I'll glance at them every once in a while to see if they're still listening or how they're processing what I'm saying, but I find sustained eye contact a little too intense.
 
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So, I was thinking about how we use eye contact everyday. We use it to show attention, respect, surprise, confidence, etc. But how do you use direct eye contact as a habit or do you tend to avoid it? Do you find your eye contact being misunderstood due to shyness or intensity?
I like eye contact, am good with it, look away now and then. When I am sitting with someone one on one and the energy is right, I find that I go into a partial trance. If the other person is sensitive to energy, they may pick up on it. If they are not use to being in a couple of dimensions at once (laughs) than they may be confused and in noticing there confusion, I will pop out of the trance state.
In public as I have become older and I believe society has changed, I find that I avoid looking at women because every other man on the planet does and I don't want to be like every other man on the planet.
 
When I feel confident about what I'm saying, I'll definitely stare at my interlocutor's eyes. Also, when someone is talking to me (unless I don't like the person and I want him/her to know it...), I always use direct eye contact and try to show I'm interested for the person to feel comfortable. I always show interest in what my interlocutor is saying (unless the person is really boring).
But there are days when I feel like shit myself and those days I avoid eye contact at all price!
In short, I always have complete control on whether or not I use eye contact. It's not something I do naturally, it really costs me some mental preparation because I basically hate it when people watch me.