Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Experimenting with Eye Contact

Roissy posts on eye contact:

It’s not as easy as it sounds. Try holding eye contact as long as possible with random men and women. Assume a relaxed or smiling expression so that you aren’t mistaken for an angry commuter having a bad day. Start by doing it with people passing you on the sidewalk going the opposite direction, so you know an end to the discomfort is not long off. Even in those walk-by sidewalk situations, where a mere few seconds of eye lock is all that’s required of you, you’ll find it difficult to hold a stranger’s eyes for longer than a split second. The difficulty level will go up if your eye partner is a hot girl or a dominant man meeting you pupil a pupil.

After a few days of this, something almost magical happens. You notice that men break eye contact before you do, and look to the ground. Forced to look up at you (most will be shorter than you), women return your gaze hungrily, uneasily, wonderment gripping their facial expressions, and if your vision is sharp enough you can make out a nearly imperceptible parting of their lips. You begin to feel dominant. And that feeling translates into real dominance and an attitudinal shift, for above all the thing that is attractive about alpha males is their attitude.

This comes at a good time. Due to a Badger linking to Ricky Raw's 31 Days of Game, I started an informal experiment in eye contact. The Art of Manliness posted on the subject as well and their article was insightful and encouraging. Over the past three weeks I have learned some important things:

-Consciously making eye contact is not comfortable. The first few days I would feel a jolt of adrenaline when locking eyes. Guys and hot women were the worst. The instinct to look away is powerful. I can push through it now and they look away, but the discomfort is still there. After all, there are not very many people who want to make extended eye contact with a stranger.

-Women maintain eye contact more willingly then I would have guessed. Initially, as long as my gaze was unwavering and nonthreatening, they would lock gaze with a curious expression on their face. Lately, the curiosity gives way to what looks like interest.

-Hot girls are harder to lock eyes with. More often than not, I give a nervous smile a second after they see me, which kills the effect. The desire to placate someone of higher value is strong, and you do not just toss out decades of submissive behavior overnight. I am still working on this one.

-Eye contact often elicits friendly responses from women. I do not even have to smile. Some hold gaze longer than necessary, some smile, some say hello. My favorite response so far was a surprised double take, punctuated by a smile.

-Locking gaze with dominant guys is nerve wracking. I know that confrontation is unlikely, but when I hold eye contact with someone who is clearly more violent it feels like a mistake. The tension is immediate. There have been some times when I felt it would be prudent to break gaze first. I have not yet tried the deliberate-blink-then-look-away move since I think it would be wise to have some muscle and training under my belt before I start deliberately pissing people off.

-I have not seen any disgust on women's faces, which would their response if they judged me creepy. The concern that eye contact can be perceived as creepy is a little overstated. However, you need to have some sort of human response to ease the intensity. A small smile away after they do, softens the of eye contact and makes things less threatening. You cannot help the fact that some people will think you are creepy, and the point is to learn how to give confident eye contact, not worry what others think.

-Getting submissive responses from men and women is confidence boosting. When a girl looks down, or better, looks down and smiles, I feel a small but noticeable boost to my ego. The effect is similar when guys look away. This, I think, is the most interesting thing I have learned from this: men are meant to be dominant. I feel good when I act dominant. I feel good when I add to my objective value. The modern trend to feminize men is not conducive to their happiness. Even the most pathetic omega male feels in his bones the need to be a man, and suppressing that feeling is a recipe for unhappiness. It seems that the more I fight this submissive behavior the happier I get. Even the smallest change, such as eye contact, can be a positive one.

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

Roissy needs to put a warning label on this post. Eye contact is a sign of aggression.

Yes, this will work, but you need to be verrrrry careful when doing this in underclass or some blue collar neighborhoods. Lower-middle class and up is probably just fine.

You stare too long and you better be ready to throw down in a fight.

Anonymous said...

"Locking gaze with dominant guys is nerve wracking. I know that confrontation is unlikely, but when I hold eye contact with someone who is clearly more violent it feels like a mistake"

That's because it >IS< a mistake.

Anonymous said...

"On the other hand, the small minority of men who are naturally dominant may need to deliberately avoid eye contact on occasion in order to evade accidental dominance clashes. Usually, a simple acknowledgement nod of the head, (be it upward or downward) is sufficient to defuse any potential clash between strangers."

Yes, THIS. Go read Vox's post that is linked. I do this all the time. I can't be getting in four altercations before getting to the post office.

Difster said...

I had an eye contact win recently. In fact, my unwillingness to break eye contact avoided a violent confrontation.

Certain parts of Mexico are very violent. I was walking home a little late one night when the car was in the shop and I passed a car in my neighborhood where it should not have been. The two guys in the car obviously noticed my curious stares.

So after I passed them, they backed up, came around the corner and one got out while the other stayed in the car. The guy probably had a gun though he didn't take it out. I am convinced though, that if I had not maintained eye contact and shown no fear, I might be a statistic.

I didn't want any trouble but I wasn't going to start a fight either.

He was trying to intimidate me, he even through a fake punch even though I was at least 2 feet beyond his reach. I guess he figured that this crazy gringo wasn't going to back down and he turned and left.

These types of guys prey on the weak. Had I shown fear or weakness or submission, well, who knows.

Anonymous said...

"So after I passed them, they backed up, came around the corner and one got out while the other stayed in the car. The guy probably had a gun though he didn't take it out. I am convinced though, that if I had not maintained eye contact and shown no fear, I might be a statistic.

I didn't want any trouble but I wasn't going to start a fight either."

This is a bit different. This is "predatory violence" as opposed to you running around staring at people. Yes, in these cases definitely avoid the deer-in-the-headlights phenomena.

Anonymous said...

As a former loser who had trouble with dating and self confidence I will say that eye contact was one of the activities that help change my dating life.

Now as I walk around in public I make eye contact with almost all women and the number of smiles I get from women shocks me. Well, it used to shock me but I've gotten a bit used to it.

Eye contact is great for discovering if a woman is interested. She may not date you for other reasons (she's married, bad timing, etc.) but that is different from the visceral attraction that will be revealed in the look that you get with eye contact. I've had married women and pastor's wives give me that look of interest. It is always interesting to see who is attracted to me. It isn't always who I thought it would be.

I don't make extended eye contact with guys though. If I'm in public I'm usually scanning faces. If a guy makes eye contact I will typically look long enough to acknowledge his existence and then look away. I may give that little head nod that guys give to each other. Extended eye contact is aggressive (think about that when you think about extended eye contact with women, it is an aggressive move) and I have no interest in showing dominance over some random guy. I don't look away in a hurry though like a coward. I want to be neutral with guys.

With women I usually will hold the gaze but I rarely smile first. I keep a stoic expression and wait for them to smile. If they do I might smile back but not always. You can tell if their smile is genuine or not. Sometimes I can't help smile back because their smile is so attractive and inviting. mmmmm.

Anonymous said...

You can sense the other alpha's in folks working for you (collective). Due to your status as "The Man" they call you Boss. I treat them right, warn them if any management dickheads are out and about. These Men do some hard shit SWPL's couldn't fathom. They do good work and watch out for each other. Some are hard felons. But they take care to do it right. It's my heartfelt speech when I allow them to work in my area.

Give a shit about people and lead them and they will follow. BTW, Wasn't trying to, but the lessons learned from here means a lot of women seem to flirt a lot even though I am happily married.

DaveD said...

Best tip about eye contact I ever got: when making eye contact with a woman, no matter what, don't be the first one to look away.

It's magic. Every time you do that with a particular girl, she will hold your gaze a little longer, like she's testing you. Win that battle a few times and her attitude towards you will change dramatically.

On a side note, I have never had a man get aggressive because I looked him in the eyes..anywhere, any social class.

DD

Stickwick said...

I know that confrontation is unlikely ...

I realize this is out of my domain, but this strikes me as heavily dependent on the domestication of the American/Canadian white, urban male. There are other parts of the Western world where locking eyes with another man is definitely inviting trouble. In my husband's native Finland, making eye contact with another man, even momentarily, is a deliberately provocative gesture that will most likely land you in a fistfight. I suspect there are rural and non-white urban areas where you would similarly be asking for trouble by doing this.

Anonymous said...

I do this all the time. Just a couple days ago caught an amazing smile and "hi" from a blonde amazon model type. And the same day whilst sitting outside the bar/retaurant with a beverage, I had a nice looking college girl come over and introduce herself. It definitely works.

Anonymous said...

I'm a chick, who was thinking about the various types of eye contact I've gotten from men - when it actually is sustained eye contact.

There is so much more than going on than just the eye contact. Some men make me smile, a spark of some kind of animl arousal comes into my eyes, and he could throw me against the wall or over a counter and do anything he wanted with me. And I would love it. And I know it and he knows it. Some men's eye contact makes me simply nervous like he's trying to be a friendly murderer. Some makes me interested in him as a friend, because he's not attractive to me but not intimidated by me either.

Eye contact is always, always good. Men who won't look you in the eyes almost seem not to exist sometimes, and at worst they set up alarm flags.

Giraffe said...

Eye contact is always, always good. Men who won't look you in the eyes almost seem not to exist sometimes, and at worst they set up alarm flags.

Funny. The shy guys that would most likely throw their coat down so you could walk over a puddle are non-existant or creepy, but you get the tingles from the Ted Bundy types.

OffTheCuff said...

I read this RR post long ago and highly recommend it.

I'd say 10% of the women respond enthusiastically - they smile at me and hold it.

Maybe 20% smile and look downward, still positive.

Most, say 60%, meet my eyes with a pleasant demeanor.

A tiny fraction will put on the bitchface and refuse to even look at you. These are usually fat young women.

Another tiny fraction of women will look, but avert immediately with no expression.

Mr. Nightstick said...

RM - I think you should adopt a more aggressive writing tone. When I first read your post, for a second, I thought Vox had turned gay or something. Then when I realized it was you, it came to me that Vox and other game writers exude confidence in their writing. It would behoove you to do that as well.

Anonymous said...

no no giraffe, I made a clear distinction between the sexy animal guys and the friendly killer ones that make me nervous.

Aeoli Pera said...

This is a bit different. This is "predatory violence" as opposed to you running around staring at people. Yes, in these cases definitely avoid the deer-in-the-headlights phenomena.

Incorrect. Now you have a reading assignment.

Vox said...

There is so much more than going on than just the eye contact. Some men make me smile, a spark of some kind of animl arousal comes into my eyes, and he could throw me against the wall or over a counter and do anything he wanted with me. And I would love it.

Interesting. On three or four occasions when I was younger, I met the eyes of a girl I didn't know and held eye contact, which resulted in her walking over to me and kissing me without saying anything. I always wondered what on Earth they could possibly be thinking.

But I sort of figured that wasn't the right time to ask. As I've mentioned before, I usually make a habit of veiling my eyes because for some reason they tend to alarm both men and women alike if I stare directly at them.

And fortunately, I've never had a man react in that way.

Ghost said...

I knew a kid who would go around trying to make eye contact with people, and as soon as they did, he would try to fight them. One time we were smoking a bowl in my driveway, and this young kid, maybe 14 (the kid I was smoking with was 19), looked across the street at us because, hey, noise draws attention. He started to walk over, and this conversation ensued:
"the hell are you doing?"
"I'm gonna kick that kids ass!"
"the hell for?"
"he looked at us!"
"You know why I've never been arrested, dumbass? Because when I'm doing something illegal, like smoking weed in front of my house, I don't follow that up with assaulting a minor! Man, dude. You need some damn therapy."

A week later, he got pulled over with a gram of heroin, and then swung at the cop.

So, moral of the story, sometimes, just break eye contact and run. Run for your life. Some people are just insane.

Anonymous said...

"A week later, he got pulled over with a gram of heroin, and then swung at the cop.

So, moral of the story, sometimes, just break eye contact and run. Run for your life. Some people are just insane."

This guy is just too stupid to live. Damn you random combination of genes in the gene pool. Double-edged sword. Not all the allele combinations work out well.

Tanner said...

I've been experimenting with this for about six months now. I find the ease of doing so waxes and wanes. Sometimes it's so natural and easy and I only really hesitate when it's another dominant man who refuses to break my gaze. But then there are other weeks where I catch myself flitting if I don't make a conscious effort to hold a gaze.

The reaction from women has been consistent though, I've never gotten anything but positive responses. And those double takes are ego boosters.

wombatty said...

Getting submissive responses from men and women is confidence boosting. When a girl looks down, or better, looks down and smiles, I feel a small but noticeable boost to my ego.

This happened to me recently. A couple of months ago at work, I looked a very attractive co-worker right in eyes from half-way across the office and held steady with a slight smirk on my face. She broke into a big smile, shook her head and looked down (she was at the copier, so the looking down could mean nothing).

This is a girl I asked out twice (six months apart) a couple of years ago and got shot down both times (to be fair, she really had no reason to say yes as I hadn't managed to establish any rapport or connection with her). I took the rejection well both times and continued chatting with her when we crossed paths.

Given all of that, I was surprised at her reaction.

Ghost said...

After he got out, his parents paid for him to join MMA. Because that's just what violent assholes need: training and skills.

Needless to say, I cut ties.

Anonymous said...

How I like to "fight"...

Gun vs. Swordsman

MMA that one, bitch.

After checking my watch, "Oh look, it's time for lunch. I believe they are serving the clam chowder. Does that come with breadsticks?"

Anonymous said...

In a serious world. If you can't look a Man in the eye? You are in the wrong profession.

SouthTXRedneck

SouthTXRedneck said...

After many years of experience, the 2-3 days a month she is a bitch, find a place to go. Go fishing or hunting. The kid's (youngest is 10) know why. Do your best to take them along. The more mature Son's will thank you.

Anonymous said...

I can hold eye contact with any man, no matter how long. But I have so far had a lot of difficulty doing the same with women, no matter how beautiful or ugly. This is because, as an omega, I feel extremely uncomfortable doing anything that might be interpreted as flirting.

Mr. Scott said...

Don't let a redneck-type man catch you making eye contact with his woman. Doesn't matter how alpha you are, there will be trouble.
I asked one "Buddy, look at me - do you really think I'd be leering at a 40-year-old fat woman when there's a campus full of hot girls not two miles from here?"
An advantage of physical fitness is that you can outrun a 250-pound redneck. :)

airnspace said...

I started experimenting with eye-contact several months ago and my results were very similar to what it being reported. At first, the act was unnatural and it required mental exertion in order to not reflexively look away. After a while it became more natural and almost a game. The responses from the women in particular were the most interesting. The most feminine women seem to hold eye contact the longest, although I work with a lot of engineers, YMMV.

The anonymous comment above is funny but insightful:

Roissy needs to put a warning label on this post. Eye contact is a sign of aggression.

Obviously not all eye contact is a sign of aggression and there is more to your overall body language that plays into this, but there is a very large kernel of truth to holding eye contact being an aggressive act. This would help explain why most people are uncomfortable initially because at some gut level they feel it would be committing an act of aggression which they are subconsciousness trying to avoid. Aggression is the wrong word as that is not the right frame, I think it is more a lack of fear which at times can be apprehended as aggression.

airnspace said...

Speaking of fear, I seem to remember some game commandment that has to do with fear. Ah yes, of course. Le Chateau. Fearful breaking of eye contact does not convey confidence.

XVI. Never be afraid to lose her
You must not fear. Fear is the love-killer. Fear is the ego-triumph that brings abject loneliness. You will face your fear. You will permit it to pass over and through you. And when your ego-fear is gone you will turn and face your lover, and only your heart will remain. You will walk away from her when she has violated your integrity, and you will let her walk when her heart is closed to you. She who can destroy you, controls you. Don’t give her that power over yourself. Love yourself before you love her.

Anonymous said...

"Obviously not all eye contact is a sign of aggression and there is more to your overall body language that plays into this, but there is a very large kernel of truth to holding eye contact being an aggressive act."

Nothing wrong with eye contact, I'm just warning people not to take it too far. Especially if they are new at it, they're going to make some mistakes in calibration. Also you know some idiot is going to read what Roissy wrote and misconstrue it and use it as an excuse to eye-screw some redneck at a bar after drinking too much. Hammer desperately searching for a nail in every instance.

- Same Anonymous as Above

Desert Cat said...

As I've mentioned before, I usually make a habit of veiling my eyes because for some reason they tend to alarm both men and women alike if I stare directly at them.

That was why I began doing the same years ago. My eyes were too intense for most people. Trouble is, it's become an ingrained habit to my detriment.

This should be an interesting exercise over the next couple weeks.

Nate said...

as long as I can remember I've had an instinct to make eye contact and never... ever be the first to look away. When a wanna-be dominant boss once tried to dress me down in front of a staff I just stared him down... made no response at all to anything he said. I just looked into his eyes while he talked.

He got very nervous and started fumbling around and then simply gave up and walked off. He kiss my ass from then on. Interestingly... the man was significantly larger than I am... probably 4 or 5 inches taller. A big loud wanna-be alpha... hell... he owned the company and the building he was trying to bitch at me in... and he still ended up looking like the pussy in the room.

Anonymous said...

If some wanna be "alpha" creep looked at me and I could feel him looking, I'd turn abruptly and say "what the fuck are you looking at?" This is such crude behavior to be espousing as though it is somehow productive. I get constant unwanted attention from men every time I go in public and have perfected the skill of denying eye contact. I will purposefully turn my whole body to prevent men from seeing my face or making eye contact. People in the public sphere are living their lives and do not want to be disturbed!! Leave people, and especially women, and their eyes alone!!

Anonymous said...

alpha people get on my NERVES!

SELFISH PEOPLE ALL COLORS ALL GENDERS ALL SOCIAL CLASSES!

Anonymous said...

I been doing the eye contact with strangers at school for about a week; surprisingly the highlight has been a girl rolling her eyes at me! I could not stop laughing; but would have missed it if I did not out look her.

On the same day, probably within ten minutes, I had a eye contact dominance battle with two different girls (strangers); the first one lasted about 3-4 seconds and then she looked away; the second one lasted 6-7 seconds and I looked away for a split second (lost the battle)and back at her to which she was not looking. She looked back for about 3-4 seconds (but I out-looked her) the second time. haha!

Anonymous said...

I'm in an eye contact battle with a student ... I hold his gaze because I really would like something more, and he has to hold my gaze for longer. Whilst I'm quite sure he's flirting with me, how can I be sure that he's not just asserting his dominance over me in a professional capacity? I think that this is an option as I am teaching him and therefore I am in the position of authority which he may not be used to.
What are your opinions?

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Duncan said...

I think this is really sad and frankly a problem in the modern world. I'm not afraid of fighting and have a part of me that would quite happily release a lot of frustration into a confrontation. I used to feel really stressed out walking around in public especially if i hadnt been out the house in a while. This is still a minor problem for me if i havent been out in a while but nowadays lasts about 5 minutes. I have to avoid looking at people in the street though. If they're looking at me I just decide not to care. When you look at people they sense it and look to see what it was they sensed. This means if i were to follow this blog and look at people, the majority of people i walked past in the street would be looking back at me. This is something I just couldn't deal with and it'd take some serious self control not to boil over and demand to know what the FUCK they were looking at. For this reason its not a good idea for me to go around hunting eye contact games for a brief hard on and affirmation of my self imposed deluded "dominance". What are we chimpanzees? Its not a pleasant thing to do and shows how pathetic you are if you take it upon yourself to do this. You might stare down someone having a shitty day and leave them wondering why you seemed so inclined to do so and make them feel worse. Seriously who does this? Would it not be nicer to live in a world where other people don't feel like a threat? You're only adding to that sort of world if you think like this. Look at fellow man with respect until they give you cause not to - thats a better philosophy. The sad thing is I did this for a while and it does feel good to make another guy look away first but you have to ask yourself why you need that ego boost? Are you getting it for the right reasons? The fact is this is a pathetic thing to do and if i catch some sad-act trying it on and trying to do it to me they will see a glimpse of my psycho side. Especially if you're not a threat so don't do it to someone who could easily knock you out. Conclusion: Its a bad idea, makes the world a less friendly place and you should think to yourself why you need such an ego boost and whether it is just in fact a vaguely nasty thing to do.

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Anonymous said...

where I live i run into married woman that are open,and freindly,
the woman act's like she's maybe interested in me looks at me in my eye's,
probably just idle talk but looking at her eyes and she dont turn away,
mom or her freinds never did this to me, . woman that do this make me feel at ease and wanted.
still taken,and go home with her hubby after talking to her.

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Angel Phoenix said...

Good article. I've been doing this for years. I started when I was a teenager as an exercise to overcome social anxiety. This is 15 years later and I have no anxiety around even the most intense of people. This wasn't the only exercise I did to accomplish this. I also purposefully put myself in uncomfortable situations(outside of my comfort zone anyway) in a controlled environment that I knew I could reasonably perform well at. (ie initiating conversations with strangers, approaching groups of people especially if they were physically attractive or socially popular) When you succeed at something that you believed to be difficult you gain genuine confidence. Also I learned martial arts. Not because I wanted to fight, but because I wanted the confidence NOT to fight. Most people who get in fights do so because they are afraid. Anger is a side effect of fear. They get angry when they feel threatened. Feeling threatened is fear, With that said, practicing eye contact is a good first step to boosting confidence, but it is not the end all be all.

Angel Phoenix said...

Good article. I've been doing this for years. I started when I was a teenager as an exercise to overcome social anxiety. This is 15 years later and I have no anxiety around even the most intense of people. This wasn't the only exercise I did to accomplish this. I also purposefully put myself in uncomfortable situations(outside of my comfort zone anyway) in a controlled environment that I knew I could reasonably perform well at. (ie initiating conversations with strangers, approaching groups of people especially if they were physically attractive or socially popular) When you succeed at something that you believed to be difficult you gain genuine confidence. Also I learned martial arts. Not because I wanted to fight, but because I wanted the confidence NOT to fight. Most people who get in fights do so because they are afraid. Anger is a side effect of fear. They get angry when they feel threatened. Feeling threatened is fear, With that said, practicing eye contact is a good first step to boosting confidence, but it is not the end all be all.

APK said...

When I was a teenager I'd really avoid eye contact (social anxiety). But it looked creepy when I looked away and I'd often hear people mutter stuff.
So I made an effort to keep eye contact and when in public just look ahead.

But I'm naturally curious and I like scanning faces. I can just look into most peoples eyes without caring until I notice them getting weirded out by it. When this happens I try to look straight ahead but it doesn't always work, I sometimes get comments like "what's he looking at me like that for?"
The thing is it's just become so natural it's what I just do.
I think a part of it might be *where* I'm looking. I read some stuff saying that eye contact directly in the eyes is seen as aggressive but over all the face is seen as flirting or friendly. So I think it's my directly looking in the eyes that might be creeping people out.

When I've spoken to people before I've made them nervous and stutter with eye contact, mostly women. I didn't mean it as creepy or intimidating in any way but it's happened before. I notice very dominant women respond well to it though and seem to respect you more, but most women probably don't like it and some it can make uneasy.

When I've focused less on the eyes and more on the overall face I've found women much more at ease, comfortable and friendly.
I just need to get out of the habit of "staring people down" by looking straight at them in the eyes. I think it goes back to my social anxiety because I was always trying to see peoples thoughts in the eyes I guess.

According to the articles I read, if I remember right a focus from the eyes in a triangle to the lips is seen as friendly or flirty, I forget which. There are articles about it on the internet you can look up.

Another thing that happened in the past was when I was on a certain drug I didn't care or really notice people unless I wanted to. I think it gave me a very stoic face because I wouldn't even look at anyone. I'd notice hot women but wouldn't have any reaction, just kept looking straight ahead even if they were coming in my direction. Maybe this made my face unreadable or something, because I noticed I had a lot of them turn their heads and look at me on their way past, especially my face. No I didn't have pupil dilation or constriction.

It's weird, I've spent a long time trying to understand eye contact. I'm generally getting better but I was never a natural.

Lickem said...

don't do this in the south.

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