Lv 6
SkyNet asked in Society & CultureEtiquette · 9 years ago

Is not making eye contact rude?

I think it is, especially when you're greeting someone and they say hello, but don't even look at you.

7 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Depends on your definition of "rude."

    Not conforming to social norms (in White, U.S. culture)? Yes.

    Indicating indifference or lack of interest in you? Possibly.

    A good rule of thumb is to notice whether they do it to everyone, only to you, or only in certain situations.

    Rules regarding eye contact can be a cultural thing.

    Additionally, let me point out that a lot of people have problems maintaining eye contact. People with autism spectrum disorders or Asperger's syndrome tend to struggle with it--either staring or feeling genuinely uncomfortable looking into others' eyes. Also people suffering from trauma / abuse / self esteem / various mental health issues struggle with eye contact. Some people just don't like it for no particular reason. Some are just shy.

    Is the person DOING it to be rude? Or are you interpreting it as rude? The person's intention is probably more important than the message you receive. Try asking them.

  • 9 years ago

    Yes, it is very rude. At least here in the USA. It does depend on the culture though. Like another person stated, some women in other cultures should never look in the eyes of another man (like in the Middle East). But in your situation, it is very rude. Especially when you are saying hi. That person should be looking at you straight in the eyes to greet you to show that they actually saw you. It shows that you acknowledge them and are paying attention to what they are saying. I will admit though, sometimes it does get a little strange if you don't look away a few times. The stare may be a little to intense.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    Personally I believe it is rude not to make eye contact. But it really depends upon the particulars of the situation, and the culture. In some cultures, for example, it is thought to be overly assertive for a woman to look men in the eyes when they don't really know them.

    Proper etiquette seems to be a lost art in this country, however. I would to just do your best to appear approachable. Smile as you make eye contact. Even if they don't look up at you, they will sense you trying to establish eye contact with them. Just don't push it. And they may warm up to you. Or if they are already shallow and/or distracted, they may continue to be that way.

  • Reflex
    Lv 4
    9 years ago

    I think the "intention" of that person is more important. Plenty of people are just shy and find it difficult to make eye contact. While others don't give a shet about your feelings, or had a bad day and doesn't want to be polite.

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  • 9 years ago

    although it can be very awkward making eye contact and often times you focus so hard on making eye contact that you don't even pay attention to what the person is saying, it's often frustrating and awkward talking to someone who won't make eye contact with you and in any interview, if you don't make eye contact, it's considered rude.

  • te144
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    It probably is if you think it is. But I knew a cross-eyed person who looked at me from the corners of her eyes so there may be exceptions.

  • 9 years ago

    In that situation it is VERY rude.

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