Friday, January 24, 2014

"Hey! I'm right here!!!" ( .\ _ /. ) /

Okay, so this happens to me every so often and it's never less irritating when it does.

This is about basic conversation etiquette.

I went to a volunteer social event last night.  I brought a guest with me because I thought, "A free dinner?  Hell yeah I'll bring a guest!"

The dinner was very impressive.  It was hosted at a fancy hotel and they even had bartenders serving free drinks.

I'm sitting at a table full of strangers except for maybe a few familiar faces.  There are hundreds of volunteers and no way for me to know all of them, especially since I'm usually isolated on one floor of the hospital.

There's this old guy sitting to my left and my guest, who happened to be my mom on my right.  We're all seated at a round table which accommodates 10 people but there are 9 sitting at ours.

Just so you know, this isn't the only time this has happened.  It's actually happened on various occasions and on various levels although this one was a bit more extreme.

I'm being as sociable as I can and talking with this guy to my left.  He would even turn to me and ask me questions from time to time.  I would say he's an overall, friendly guy but greatly lacking in what I like to call, proper eye-contact.

Here's the thing: I would ask him a question, but when he answers, instead of looking at me and speaking, he looks directly over me and at my mom who I guess happened to be listening as well.  This happened not once, but several times.

So here I am thinking, "Um, hello?  I'm the one asking the question.  Why are you looking at someone else when answering MY question?"

It's not like I'm standing in a group of listeners where speakers are encouraged to make eye contact with everyone.  And he didn't even look at me once while answering the question I asked.  He would only glance at me after he finished speaking.  I mean, sh*t, I'm not invisible!

I don't know why people do this.  It's very rude.  Just imagine going up to someone and asking them a question and instead of looking at you and answering, they look at the silent person standing next to you as if THEY asked the question.

Every time people do this, it makes me feel small, unimportant, and ignored.  It's like I'm being left out of the conversation for no reason.

And this isn't some guy from Islam, Asia, or any other country where eye contact etiquette is different.  This is your average white guy who grew up on the east side of America.

Like I said earlier, this isn't the only time this has happened to me and I'm not singling out my mom.

I'm told I'm quite polite and friendly.  I would hope I'm not so grotesque that I can't be looked upon.  I make great eye contact and smile and usually show that I'm interested in what the other person has to say.  Hell, if I'm asking the question, doesn't that prove that I'm interested enough?!

I just don't understand why people do this.  I ask a question but they look over to someone else when answering.

I always get a bad impression from people who do this.

It's one of the simplest rules of eye-contact.  When someone asks you a question, you look at the ASKER when answering.  Not the person standing next to them. 

Has this ever happened to you?

Here's some links to forums talking about people who suck at making proper eye-contact:


lovepirate said...

Firstly, I think it's really sweet that you brought your Mum to the event. :3 I guess I'd bring my Mum, too. She's the one person who'd really deserve it. xD

And then I think that guy's behaviour towards you was really kinda rude. :/ Sorry to read that. It probably never happened to me, though. At least I can't remember. But I have to admit that sometimes I'm not really good in making eye contact with complete strangers neither. ._. Dunno, this mostly happens when the situation already is kind of awkward. xD"

MiNapi said...

Thanks, she was very happy to go. I'm glad I didn't mention to her about my issue with that guy. It's best to leave that as a fun night for her. ^^

Thank you! I was hoping I wasn't overreacting.

The funny thing is, I'm usually not good with people who have super intent eye contact where they NEVER look away. In those cases, I feel kind of bad looking off to the side but I get so tired of looking straight into their eyes. It feels like an awkward staring contest. lol