Eye contact when listening

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Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Eye contact when listening

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 11, 2013 11:53 am

So this is something I've been thinking about for a while now and wanted to get opinions form others.

When in a conversation (whether informal or interview), it's easy for me to maintain eye contact when speaking to the other party. But I've noticed something when trying to assess my eye contact when listening. I tend to focus my eyes on the person's mouth when they are speaking instead of their eyes. Once I've noticed myself doing this, I started making a conscious attempt to focus my eye contact on their eyes. The problem when doing this is I feel like I'm less able to thoroughly listen to the speaker. It's almost as if I become distracted if I'm not watching their lips move. Either that, or I'm able to gather more non-verbal cues from lip movement than eye movement. I'm still trying to figure out why it's more difficult to listen this way, and I'm also wondering if people even notice the difference. I've never asked if anyone can tell. Either from the listener's or speaker's perspective.

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BVest
Posts: 5691
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:51 pm

Re: Eye contact when listening

Postby BVest » Thu Jul 11, 2013 11:58 am

Anonymous User wrote:So this is something I've been thinking about for a while now and wanted to get opinions form others.

When in a conversation (whether informal or interview), it's easy for me to maintain eye contact when speaking to the other party. But I've noticed something when trying to assess my eye contact when listening. I tend to focus my eyes on the person's mouth when they are speaking instead of their eyes. Once I've noticed myself doing this, I started making a conscious attempt to focus my eye contact on their eyes. The problem when doing this is I feel like I'm less able to thoroughly listen to the speaker. It's almost as if I become distracted if I'm not watching their lips move. Either that, or I'm able to gather more non-verbal cues from lip movement than eye movement. I'm still trying to figure out why it's more difficult to listen this way, and I'm also wondering if people even notice the difference. I've never asked if anyone can tell. Either from the listener's or speaker's perspective.


I can't listen nearly as well without watching the speaker's mouth. This is actually why I prefer to sit at the front of the room for class or other lectures. I think some people are just that way.

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A. Nony Mouse
Posts: 22835
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: Eye contact when listening

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:31 pm

I doubt anyone would be able to tell the difference (unless you were realllllly close up). I read somewhere that if you have a hard time with eye contact (I do sometimes), look at someone's nose rather than in their eyes, because they won't be able to tell. I doubt the mouth would be so different that it would be noticeable.




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