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Why do some people stare?

(36 Posts)
Rhine Thu 26-Jun-14 11:57:17

I was brought up to believe that it's rude to stare at others, and because of this I find it makes me feel really uncomfortable when I catch people staring at me. I can actually feel them doing it. I'm not talking a little glance either, I'm talking a full on stare. Am I just being paranoid? Would it be wrong to tell some to stop fucking staring at me? ( obviously without the F word included). I just don't like it and it creeps me out a bit.

Why do some people do it?

MaidOfStars Thu 26-Jun-14 12:15:35

I am absurdly interested in other people - what they look like, what they are doing, why are they doing it, where they get their haircut, do they know they have a mole on their shoulder, and so on.

Latara Thu 26-Jun-14 12:16:53

I don't know about other people but sometimes when I'm tired I catch myself staring at a person by accident, not meaning to.

I wouldn't do it on purpose though because that is rude.

Squidstirfry Thu 26-Jun-14 12:29:24

It's cultural, too. Lots of other cultures think Brits are weird looking at their feet all day.

I also think you are probably being a bit paranoid, about the "feeling people staring at me" sorry lol.

Rhine Thu 26-Jun-14 12:29:39

I enjoy watching people as well. But I always make sure that I don't stare while I'm doing it, more like little glances and things. I don't know why but staring really freaks me out.

ScrambledEggAndToast Thu 26-Jun-14 12:30:25

Sometimes you just can't help it. I saw a man with a very unusual affliction the other day and it was very difficult not to stare.

squoosh Thu 26-Jun-14 12:34:26

Agree that it can be cultural, I think staring is a national pastime in some countries.

Personally I don't like it. The other day a woman gave me a very slooooooow foot to head appraisal. I caught her eye and said 'yes?'.

odowdandproud Thu 26-Jun-14 12:36:54

I just stare them out and make them feel uncomfortable.

I was on a very busy train coming home and made a phone call as the train was being diverted and this woman (even before the call) was just blatantly staring at me. So I stared back and she eventually smiled at me.

JassyRadlett Thu 26-Jun-14 12:37:46

Toddlers can't help it, perhaps, but adults can. It takes self control.

I get that it's difficult sometimes, but OP demonstrates the impact that thoughtless staring can have on people.

LadySybilLikesCake Thu 26-Jun-14 12:39:45

It's because you're stunning wink

I think people don't realise they are doing it sometimes. They are in their own little world, and it looks as though they are staring at you, but they are not. Some people are just plain odd though.

Lottapianos Thu 26-Jun-14 12:44:36

'Agree that it can be cultural, I think staring is a national pastime in some countries'

Agree with this too. I'm like you though OP, I hate it. I find it really rude and intrusive. Sometimes I ignore it, sometimes I stare back, sometimes I give a wave and a 'hello' to let them know I'm aware they are looking - depends what mood I'm in. My (White British) father in law is shameless about staring at people in public, he doesn't even try to be discreet - mortifying. DP does it sometimes too and I tell him - he doesn't always realise.

Rhine Thu 26-Jun-14 12:47:35

I used to have a work colleague, who if she caught someone staring at her would say to them "do I have a dick on my head or something?". That usually stopped them doing it lol but it's probably a bit to aggressive.

wafflyversatile Thu 26-Jun-14 12:48:45

Sometimes they are just staring into the middle distance lost in their own thought and you so happen to be standing in the middle of their view!

LadySybilLikesCake Thu 26-Jun-14 12:48:59

I look at other women and think 'where's that dress/those shoes from'. I'm not staring though apart from one woman on the bus this morning who had blonde roots and brown hair, which I thought odd

PoirotsMoustache Thu 26-Jun-14 12:51:58

Gosh, I'm guilty of this - I'm sitting there lost in my own little world, thinking about things and then suddenly realise that I'm staring at someone, without even knowing it.

I can sometimes be the same as PoirotsMoustache, as I'll be thinking about something and then realise it looks as if I'm staring at someone when I hadn't even registered their presence.

I do think staring is bad manners and don't do it deliberately.

WallyBantersJunkBox Thu 26-Jun-14 13:01:28

I once had a one to one meeting with a very boring senior director, he was droning on and on and I was staring across the desk into space.

When I refocussed my eyes I realised that for the last 10 minutes I was staring right at his cock and balls (he'd pushed his chair away from the desk and had his legs splayed in jeans).

I had to put an actual strategy together in my head about how I could tear my eyes away and how to casually divert inches at a time to eventually make eye contact, but it was really embarrassing.

I find it incredibly rude too, if I find that I have unintentionally been staring at someone (gazing in to space, someone happens to walk in to view and they mistake my daydreaming for a stare), then I apologise.

woodlandwanderwoman Thu 26-Jun-14 13:35:25

My mother does this and sadly it's because she has cognitive impairment that has affected her judgement in social situations. She stares critically and purposefully, then takes offence when someone reacts or tells her it's rude. I hate it, I find it embarrassing and she's lucky she hasn't made someone angry by doing but ultimately, it's not entirely her fault.

ElizabethLemon Thu 26-Jun-14 13:50:17

People are always staring at me. I always guess that's it's because I'm overweight or that they are horrified by what I'm wearing etc.. Some people are really obvious and I find that rude, I have done a sort of hmm face back at a few people.

My mum stares and also follows other peoples conversations. It's very embarrassing, she says she can't help it hmm.

GiniCooper Thu 26-Jun-14 13:59:41

I stare, not at people but more in a day dreamy way.
I always get embarrassed when, as a previous poster mentioned, I realise there's a person in my eyeline.

Do none of you just stare and then see a person looking at you quizzically?
I do sometimes explain I was in my own world but maybe that's weird too.

PogoBob Thu 26-Jun-14 14:08:27

I stare into the middle distance when I switch off (not something I get to do often due to young children0

I'm the opposite to you though Rhine, someone taking lots of quick little looks at me would drive me demented.

Rhine Thu 26-Jun-14 16:13:46

No, I don't stare. When I zone out I tend to either look at the sky or at the floor, and to be honest I think you can tell when someone is staring at you and when they are just daydreaming.

ninjasuperted Thu 26-Jun-14 16:26:44

I sometimes stare at people if there not v close, say 20ft away. Its because im short sighted, and don't have my glasses with me,and im trying to see if i recognise them, and wouldn't want to be rude, and ignore someone i know.

SarahAndFuck Thu 26-Jun-14 16:42:19

"I used to have a work colleague, who if she caught someone staring at her would say to them "do I have a dick on my head or something?"."

The only reasonable answer to an attitude like that would be "yes, you do." What an aggressive and miserable arse she sounds.

People might be looking in your general direction but it doesn't mean they are staring at you and seriously, so what if they are?

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