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Q: Eye contact in China

Is it rude to look people in the eye in China?
I aint gots no searing terminator gaze or nuttin, but i have been brought up to believe that eye contact is important in conveying interest in a conversation and just being damn polite, and I have found that many Chinese feel
uncomfortable when i look in their eyes during a conversation.

Where does one rest their eyes when talking to a Chinese person?

4 years 38 weeks ago in  Culture - China

 
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Posts: 1084

Governor

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They don't like it, but if they have been educated in western culture they will know it would be impolite not to do it with a foreigner.

If somebody on the streets giving you the "western stare" then eye contact will certainly put a short end to their actions.

Just enjoy the beautiful scenary if you're talking to somebody Laughing out loud Laughing out loud

I don't think it's a big problem even if you make eye contact anyway.

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4 years 38 weeks ago
 
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Governor

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fuck, fucker, fucking Admin won't let me delete my posts now the Admin can delete them for me... Wink Laughing out loud

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4 years 38 weeks ago
 
Posts: 335

Governor

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If it's a girl I almost always stare at the boobal region, known in biology as "Thelma's Trunk".

If it's a guy, I stare at the numerous bodliy fluids that fall out of his face and onto the floor. Then I flip him the bird, punch him in the knackers, yell "Ni meiyou suzhi!" then stride off into the sunset.

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4 years 38 weeks ago
 
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General

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Supposedly, you're meant to look not directly in their eyes (if it's someone of the opposite sex) but slightly to the left or right of their face.

In reality, the rules for us foreigners are different: they just all stare right at us. If you want to have a bit of fun, when you know someone is staring at you, suddenly turn your head and stare right back at them with big eyes. Usually scares them away.

The staring game can be annoying, but it can also be a fun contest to see who gives in first. Most of the time, I personally win. Except with the old geezers: they have absolutely no shame gazing numbly at you for 5 straight minutes.

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4 years 37 weeks ago
 
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There's a difference between staring at someone and just looking at them in a conversation. (I never can decide which eye to focus on in a conversation, so I'm constantly darting between the two.)
Rude or not, staring happens constantly to us. There was one time when a fellow was so intent on giving us the once-over as he continued to walk ahead of us, looking back, that he walked with some determination directly into a tree. That was entertaining.

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4 years 37 weeks ago
 
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Chinese children are taught not to look people of higher stature in the eyes to show respect. resulting inability later to look at people in their eyes at all. However, you would catch them gawking at westerners while they think you are not watching. They do stare and you just have to not be spooked by them.

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4 years 37 weeks ago
 
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Emperor

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My GF told me about this, she says there are so many bad people around that you do not look into eyes or get trouble.... Weird ,, they must be easy to stare down,,, if i want to bother someone that is talking and anoying me i usually stare at thier forehead or change my focus and stare through them,,it will bother them..... ever watch any predator animals , when prey look and make eye contact with a predator it's all over ,,,maybe it some kind of nature thing

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4 years 37 weeks ago
 
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