Ever caught someone’s eye and held their gaze for just a beat too long?
And at that moment, you feel like they can see right into your soul. It’s an awkward experience, to be sure.
Why do people stare at others?
But why does it happen? There are a few theories on why we stare at people. One is that we’re trying to establish dominance or power over them.
Another is that we’re trying to figure out their mood or emotional state. And yet another is that we’re simply interested in them and want to know more about them. It could also be out of curiosity or nosiness; the options are endless here.
Whatever the reason, staring at someone can be considered rude and intrusive. It can make the other person feel uncomfortable or self-conscious that there may be something wrong with them. This can cause an unpleasant feeling on the receiving end.
So, if you find yourself doing it, and want to stop then you have come to the right place. Read on. Here we provide you with a 5-step guide on how to stop staring at people:
5 Steps to stop staring at people:
Step 1: Acknowledge that you’re staring.
In order to change a bad habit, you must first recognize that you’re doing it. We’ve all been in situations where we catch ourselves staring, but we usually don’t realize we’re doing it until someone points it out or we feel their eyes on us.
It can be really off-putting and make the person feel uncomfortable, but more often than not we don’t even realize we’re doing it. So, the next time you find yourself in a situation where you think you might be staring, try to be aware of your surroundings, and if you catch yourself doing it, simply look away.
It sounds easy enough, but in order to break the habit, it’s important to be conscious of it in the first place. Acknowledging that you have a problem is the first step to solving it.
Step 2: Break eye contact gradually.
It is human nature to stare. You might not even realize you are doing it. However, It can be awkward when you accidentally make eye contact with a stranger but don’t worry; it happens to everyone. Instead of just averting your gaze abruptly, the important thing is to try slowly breaking eye contact by looking down or to the side first. This will help avoid any awkwardness or discomfort.
This process will not happen overnight; be patient. You can start by looking at the person’s forehead or nose, then slowly lower your gaze to their mouth or chin. Once you feel comfortable, you can look away entirely. This will make them think that you were not actually staring at them or conscious of your acts. They may think that maybe you were lost in thought while your eyes were on them.
Remember, it takes time to get used to this process, so don’t get discouraged if it feels weird at first. It takes time to form new habits. But, with patience and practice, you can learn to control your urge to stare.
Step 3: Train your eyes to focus on something else.
Thirdly, another way to restrain yourself from staring at people is to try and train your eyes to focus on something else. When you notice yourself staring at someone, try to refocus your gaze on something else in the room.
This could be a piece of artwork, a plant, or even a plain piece of furniture. By training your eyes to focus on something else, you’ll be less likely to stare at people.
Another helpful tip is to keep your head up and your eyes moving. When we walk around with our heads down, we’re more likely to fixate on one thing or person. But if we keep our heads up and our eyes moving, we’re less likely to stare because they will be many things that could divert our attention; from lights to birds, etc. Plus you’ll look like you’re thinking and being pensive; rather than staring.
So next time you find yourself staring at someone, try these tips and see if they help. This might take a bit of practice, but eventually, it will become second nature. And once you’ve broken the habit of staring, you’ll be able to enjoy social situations more; and so will the people around you.
Step 4: Respect personal space.
Have you ever been in a situation where you felt like someone was invading your personal space? It’s not a comfortable feeling, is it? We’ve all had our personal space violated at one time or another, and it’s important to understand how it makes us feel so that we can avoid doing it to others.
When we respect personal space, we are showing consideration for the other person’s comfort and feelings. Whether we’re standing in line at the grocery store or sitting next to someone on the bus, respecting personal space is simply a matter of being aware of the bubble that surrounds each of us and making sure not to cross into it without invitation.
So next time you’re out and about, take a moment to be mindful of the people around you and give them the respect they deserve by keeping your distance.
If you still find yourself staring, try to understand why. Is this person triggering a memory? Do they remind you of someone? If you can’t figure it out, it’s still better to politely look away than to make the person feel like they’re on display. As we explained: we all deserve to have our personal space respected. Remember, to put yourself in their shoes and treat them the way you would have liked to be treated.
Step 5: Be mindful of your body language.
Last but not least, when you’re out in public, it’s important to be mindful of your body language.
People tend to interpret staring as a negative sign, so it’s important to make sure that you come across as open and friendly. One way to do this is to avoid crossing your arms or legs, which can give the impression that you’re closed off or uncomfortable.
Instead, try to stand or sit with an open posture, which will make you seem more approachable. In this case, even if you’re staring the other person will be less likely to feel threatened or violated by your stare.
So understand that it can be acceptable to make eye contact in the scenario or if you’re talking to someone as this will help to build rapport, but don’t stare otherwise. And if you catch yourself staring at someone, just smile and look away.
A little awkwardness is better than making someone feel like they’re being stared down. So next time, remember to keep these tips in mind. Your body language says a lot about you, so make sure it’s saying the right things. You can even check these unconscious love signals that create more chemistry and attraction between any two, to understand how powerful body language can be.