Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

Office Social Issue - Eyes Have It!

MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain?ChicagoRegistered User regular
edited June 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
Could use a little social advice for the office.

Back in a job, loving it but having a tough time with a social issue. I seem to be having an extra hard time keeping eye contact with co-workers, particularly the women. Seem to drift elsewhere, and of course the moment I start thinking about it, the harder it is not to do.

I don't have any problem talking to anyone, as everyone is very smart and friendly, but think it's been noticed, which I obviously don't want to be known as 'that guy', as I a) respect them and b) would prefer to remain employed. Any suggestions? Preferably without mentioning specifics, as I think you can guess what I mean.

MichaelLC on
Excision wrote: »
My girlfriend is going down tonight!

Steam:MichaelLC

Posts

  • Bendery It Like BeckhamBendery It Like Beckham Hopeless Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Be more animated when you talk, get comfortable. The major cause of wandering eyes in my experience is nervousness. I work in Retail sales, and I find my eyes wandering off and unable to make eye contact mostly when I am nervous or unsure of myself. The way I cope with this most of the time is by being animated when I talk, like I'm giving a speech. If you can move your hands around and move in a natural way while speaking it draws focus away from the eye-to-eye aspect of conversation while still being engaging. You can let your eyes wander and focus on different things, but as long as it is part of the current expressive gesture it will go unnoticed. - unless you stick your face where it don't belong...

    If you're uncomfortable being animated this can be even more difficult to pull off than eye-to-eye conversation, specifically because it requires you to be in a relaxed natural state to not look robotic and awkward.

    headphones2.jpg
  • NorthNorth Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    How long are we talking here? Maintaining 100% eye contact with anyone for more then a 20-30 seconds at a time starts to get pretty awkward anyway unless you know them really well. Take breaks to look off to the side if you pause to think about something or any other convenient times. The longer you try to stare straight ahead the harder it is going to be to keep your eyes from wandering.

  • saint2esaint2e Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Unless I'm reading too much into this, his eyes are wandering to breast level, perhaps? OP, if I am reading too much into this, then please correct me.

    I knew a guy in High School that did this. People do notice, and he had a reputation for eyes wandering to the chest level. I imagine he wasn't doing it on purpose, it was a nervousness thing.

    The moving the hands suggestion is great, and basically if you can, train yourself to survey the room around you periodically throughout the conversation... Just tend to do it while you're talking, otherwise you may come off as uninterested in what they have to say or downright distracted.

    banner_160x60_01.gif
  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 Hi! Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Quit lookin' at boobs.

    Yeah, they're enticing, but you just have to sack up and not do it.

    terriblepostsigpic.jpg
    AusPAX tickets get [X] Accomodation get [X] Plane tickets get [ ] Goodie giftbags made [ ]
  • AridholAridhol Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Quit lookin' at boobs.

    Yeah, they're enticing, but you just have to sack up and not do it.


    This is pretty much what it boils down to.

    I have a fairly large team to take care of, plus interviews and there are very attractive ladies (which are everywhere honestly) but you just need to put the biology on hold as much as you can. Co-workers don't come to work to be oggled, and I'm not saying you do that or mean to do it but it does at times take concious effort to keep eye contact.

    I look over a shoulder to something else if eye contact gets uncomfortably long/awkward and then back.

    If this is not about boobs and just general unease with eye contact just realize that everyone thinks it's weird to have locked eye contact for more than 10-20 seconds so it's ok to look away and back.

  • LadyMLadyM Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Keep your head level and facing forward and don't look at boobs.

    If the OP wasn't refering to awkward boob-staring, but just regular ol' eye-contact, then blink more or glance off to the side now and then.

  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    I had a professor who would always do this, no matter who he was talking to. It was usually only when you were talking to him up close, but he always stared at your chest.

    The girls in the class thought he was extremely creepy, as I imagine the immediate reaction is "This guy is staring down my top." So, if you don't want to be extremely creepy, you need to get a handle on this.

    Don't stare into their eyes, stare into the space between them.

    daniant wrote:
    Alright, looks like I'm giving up golden showers for Lent.
    XBL : Figment3 · SteamID : Figment · Website : www.nathanswyers.com
  • Rear Admiral ChocoRear Admiral Choco Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Yeah, pick something specific to look away to every ten seconds or so that isn't their eyes. If it ever ends up having to be a conscious effort for me I tend to look at their nose or mouth every so often to break eye contact briefly. It's okay to look off to the side briefly as well, but try to bring it back to their eyes or near them as much as possible.

    CDIOl.png
  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Yeah, it's the chest region. I don't try to stare, I try to look away naturally but it seems like either I'm doing it and not realising it, or I'm just so worried about it I think I'm doing it when I'm not. Really always been a problem for me, but more conscious of it being the new guy.

    I'll be talking to a woman, and she'll cross her arms or adjust her jacket so I'll think, was that because of me?

    Excision wrote: »
    My girlfriend is going down tonight!

    Steam:MichaelLC
  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Figgy wrote: »
    Don't stare into their eyes, stare into the space between them.

    Ding ding ding. Make eye contact to start, then when they're talking, focus on a point between their eyes. When you're talking, maintain eye contact to watch reactions.

  • Green DreamGreen Dream Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Try, as much as possible, not to directly face the person you are talking to. Try to orient your body to face at an angle away from any lady you may be speaking to.

    As your natural default body position and posture is to look staright ahead, if you are directly facing the person you are talking to, you will find yourself predominantly keeping this position. When thinking about something, your body wants to return to a comfortable resting position, so if you are already in such a position, you will likely stay there.

    Also, most people's eyes tend to move as they think, and often people will find themselves thinking about what their interlocutor is saying and not even realizing that their eyes have wandered, until they "refocus" on their vision and realize that they are looking somewhere that they weren't before (you might be suddenly studdying their nose, or hairline, or collarbone, or whatever, without even being aware that your eyes have shifted).

    So, while it may sound simple, when you are speaking to women at your office, if you have problems with wandering eyes, just don't directly face them. Rotate your chair slightly so that you have to turn your head a bit to look right at them, or lean against a wall and turn your head if you're standing up (for instance). This way, when you are thinking about what the other person is saying (or even what you are saying as you say it), you will find yourself naturally wanting to return your head to a resting position that is looking slightly away from your interlocutor. It will not look weird, you will just look comfortable and relaxed, looking off into the distance while thinking, and turning back to meet their eyes to acknowldege that you are listening to their points and to punctuate your own speech with eye contact.

    Even just a 10 or 15 degree angle away from the person you are talking to is sufficient, and you will find your head naturaly turns while you think, leading your eyes to wander into the distance instead of down your interlocutor's top.

  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    edited June 2011
    Practice out of the office maintaining eye contact constantly. Go so over the top with it that it feels weird.

    ceres wrote: »
    Skoal Cat is correct.
  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Practicing eye contact is a great suggestion. Holding eye contact is very powerful, and it will unsettle some people in ways they can't really express. Some women will find you more attractive for doing it. Some people will find you more "intense" or more "interested" or "engaged" but have no real ability to express why.

    Some people will take it as a challenge, especially if they also have a habit of eye contact. Some people may be surprised, or embarrassed and look away themselves. Couple this with a casual smile and you will often find yourself, body-language-wise in control of a conversation you're having.

    Eye contact in the grocery store line is especially fun, because the checkers NEVER expect it. It breaks the baristas at Starbucks off-script. It makes the cops think you're a more honest person. It's an awesome habit to cultivate.

    Over time, you'll get used to the women at the office and stop having your eyes wander. It might take a few months, but it'll fade with familiarity - unless someone's flirting with you!

    Successful Kickstarter get! Drop by Bare Mettle Entertainment if you'd like to see what we're making.
  • LewieP's MummyLewieP's Mummy Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    I have seriously considered making a tshirt that says "these are not my eyes". Yes, I have breasts, yes, they are amazing to those of you who don't have them, but no, you may not stare/talk to them(unless I give you permission). I don't talk to your crotches.

    OK, that wasn't serious, just slightly grrrrr-ing. I don't get why you guys stare, but I'm aware you do. Please try hard not to, cos it is off-putting!

    If you find your gaze wandering downwards, look up quickly!

    For all the top UK Gaming Bargains, check out SavyGamer

    For paintings in progress, check out canvas and paints

    "The power of the weirdness compels me."
  • FantasmaFantasma Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Just look at their feet, they will feel uncomfortable too, but less embarrasing for you.

    Hear my warnings, unbelievers. We have raised altars in this land so that we may sacrifice you to our gods. There is no hope in opposing the inevitable. Put down your arms, unbelievers, and bow before the forces of Chaos!
  • CauldCauld Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    I try to talk to something with people sometimes. For example referring to a piece of paper or a computer screen, etc. Obviously this wouldn't work in all situations, so do what you gotta do when that isn't an option.

  • HurtdogHurtdog Registered User
    edited June 2011
  • DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Hurtdog wrote: »
    wear sunglasses

    Wearing sunglasses while inside is even ruder than not maintaining eye contact.

    There is a special place in hell reserved for douchebags who don't take off their sunglasses inside, unless they have those special kind of glasses that fade to transparency inside and opaque outside, and the glasses haven't changed yet.

    Tube-san wrote:
    I apologise for my rudeness desu.
  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    I have seriously considered making a tshirt that says "these are not my eyes". Yes, I have breasts, yes, they are amazing to those of you who don't have them, but no, you may not stare/talk to them(unless I give you permission). I don't talk to your crotches.

    I don't know if I should be impressed or embarrassed I got LewieP's Mummy to talk about crotches. :oops: Do you notice a lot of chaps (I think that's your word) doing it?

    I appreciate all the advice, I know it's just something I have to work on, and helps knowing it's not just me. I'll try the off-center approach, that might help avoid the head-on looks and lets me talk about DogFish Brewery.

    Excision wrote: »
    My girlfriend is going down tonight!

    Steam:MichaelLC
  • GafotoGafoto Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    I tend to move my hand up to my mouth when I break eye contact. Usually when I'm listening to someone. I like to think it gives the appearance of thoughtfully listening to them.

    sierracrest.jpg
  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 Hi! Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Don't stare at anything.

    Eyes, their nose, their mouth, the breasts, just don't stare. Look at their face when you are conversing, but don't stare at one specific spot for too long. Staring into someone's eyes for extended periods of time is just as creepy as lookin' at dem boobs. Staring between their eyes makes the staree feel that the starer is looking 'through' them.

    I know your pain, rude titties are like eye magnets, but you've gotta control that impulse.

    terriblepostsigpic.jpg
    AusPAX tickets get [X] Accomodation get [X] Plane tickets get [ ] Goodie giftbags made [ ]
  • RadicalTurnipRadicalTurnip Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Don't stare at anything.

    Eyes, their nose, their mouth, the breasts, just don't stare. Look at their face when you are conversing, but don't stare at one specific spot for too long. Staring into someone's eyes for extended periods of time is just as creepy as lookin' at dem boobs. Staring between their eyes makes the staree feel that the starer is looking 'through' them.

    I know your pain, rude titties are like eye magnets, but you've gotta control that impulse.

    Make eye contact, yes. But don't stare them down, this usually makes people uncomfortable. It's kind of what other people have said, you just have to stop looking. Sure, you don't get the eyecandy...but at least people don't think you're creepy. A very fair trade, imho, I started consciously practicing this in early High School, so if I can do it in HS with all those hormones, I bet you can do it at your workplace, too.

Sign In or Register to comment.