10

Is it normal or recommended to look into stranger's eyes when walking on a street, especially when it involves the opposite sex?

If so how long and how many times you look towards that person without looking suspicious/creepy?

  • This is not an answer, but, I most of the time try to avoid eye contact. That's because I'm very serious and my facial expressions are not very "friendly" = I could be perceived as creepy, but, the good side is that, if you smile (whoever watches you wont see you as bad as you may think). It is normal? that depends of each person. – Mauricio Arias Olave Jul 11 '17 at 20:01
  • 1
    In what culture and in what context? Are you "just" looking at them, or are you saying "hello," etc.? – r m Jul 12 '17 at 7:27
  • @MauricioAriasOlave true but how much is ok? Say I look at other person, that person is not looking, then shall I again look at that person ? – idurvesh Jul 12 '17 at 8:22
  • @rm I am from India, though I think it is mixed over here...SO if we consider it is ok to look into eyes then how much is ok? – idurvesh Jul 12 '17 at 8:22
  • 2
    Please edit this to specify the culture you are asking about. – curiousdannii Jul 17 '17 at 7:44
9

I do this all the time and it is something I wish more people did naturally. Looking into someone's eyes can be interpreted differently based on cultural norms and the setting you are located at. I am a college student in the US so my answer may be geared towards that demographic.

To be clear, what I do is look to make eye contact with someone walking the opposite way or in the same area and then smile when eye contact is made.

Best Case: They smile back or approach you to talk to you.

Normal Case: They smile back sheepishly and think that you are confidant, which helps a lot especially if you are interested in the opposite sex.

Worst Case: They look away quickly and think you are a little bit weird.

This habit definitely helps me make friends and talk to more people, especially of my preferred gender for dating.

|improve this answer|||||
  • Ok your answer is quite going in the direction I desired, say you look at another person but that person is not looking, then do you try to again look back? – idurvesh Jul 12 '17 at 8:24
  • Personal Preference really, I usually look at someone for about 2 seconds and if they do not notice I look at someone else, it is up to you how long or frequently you want to try to make eye contact. – Joe S Jul 12 '17 at 14:55
11

According to personal experience I've had, the process differs by location.

When walking around in London, UK, I've been surprised at how many people seem to be uncomfortable about it, and will look away immediately. In Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa, people seem to make eye contact more readily.

Then, it varies across personal properties: how similar you are in terms of age, race, gender, etc. These seem to influence how you are perceived and thus how much eye contact is comfortable.

In general, one could be seen as a threat or a challenge or as an interesting potential person to meet - it depends entirely on the match of traits and the other person's view of the world (how much they are bothered by talking to strangers, how willing they are to engage with men or with women or trans people).

|improve this answer|||||
  • 2
    Thanks for your response.. " it depends entirely on the match of traits and the other person's view of the world " That's the problem, we can not know other person's POV so how much is OK? Just stare for some time then never look back? or stare till other person notices then do what? – idurvesh Jul 10 '17 at 10:12
  • Perhaps the question then is how much you think a person with an average POV will be comfortable with. One could also ask ones self what the intention of the stare is - and, if it is to start a conversation, why not to greet the person. – eunoia Jul 10 '17 at 10:24
  • Ohk,if its that simple :) – idurvesh Jul 20 '17 at 4:44
3

Is it normal or recommended to look into stranger's eyes when walking on a street, especially when it involves the opposite sex?

Generally, it is normal to look into people's eyes while walking through the street as long as it doesn't become awkward. Sometimes, people look in my eyes and when I notice, I just smile back.

Now, if you look into their eyes and they look at you after this, you shouldn't turn your head in other direction, because it may make them believe that you're not confident enough. In this case, you can just smile and there will be only three cases mentioned by @Joe.

In the end, this totally depends on the nature of the person you're looking at that whether they will find it creepy or not.

If so how long and how many times you look towards that person without looking suspicious/creepy?

Looking into people's eyes, especially when it is about opposite sex, is a normal human behavior. You can do this as long as it doesn't turn out to be a constant stare or make the person in front uncomfortable.

|improve this answer|||||

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.