Attitudes towards staring

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moodywop

Banned
Italian - Italy
I've done a search to make sure this topic hasn't been covered before but all I found was a thread on smiling at strangers.

All my friends from most European countries and from English-speaking countries constantly complain about the way people stare at you in the street in Southern Italy - for no particular reason. Even staring back with an annoyed look doesn't seem to have any effect. I'm referring to staring for its own sake, not out of sexual interest, admiration or any other motivation. It just seems to be an accepted cultural trait.

I was wondering whether this is typical of Mediterranean countries and what the attitude to this behaviour is in other countries.

After all eye-to-eye contact is perceived as aggressive and can trigger an attack in most animal species.
 
  • TrentinaNE

    Senior Member
    USA
    English (American)
    From my childhood, I can recall my mom, a northern Italian, admonishing my brothers and me not to stare at people, so I don't think it was accepted behavior at her end of the peninsula. ;)

    Elisabetta
     

    Willi

    Senior Member
    Italy - Italian
    I agree with Elisabetta, I wouldn't say it's accepted here in the north. Actually I've noticed that in the south people do stare at you, but I've always thought that was because something was wrong with my clothes/hair/face etc... :D
     

    Aruba-chan

    Senior Member
    Spanish/Catalan, Spain
    Mmmm, I'll explain to you what I think it happens in Spain.

    You can stare at other people only because you're observing them (I do it), but sometimes, if you take a lot of time and the other person realises you're staring at him/her, it could happen he thinks that it is happening something strange with him, maybe because he has the fly of trousers opened or he has a spot on his face, for example, although if it happened, personally, I wouldn't look only for looking because I think it's disrespectful (only in these cases). I think you can stare at anybody if you want, there is no prohibition about it, jeje.
    In Spain there are a lot of places where it's impossible to avoid other people stare at you (bus, underground, in a really full street) and nobody with common sense and a little bit of politeness, will say you anything because it's normal you look at others if you don't have anything better to do (like reading a book). Besides, Spanish people are really onlookers in the good sense (I don't know if I've chosen the best word to express it).
    Smiling at strangers isn't strange either, it doesn't matter if there is no reason. You can smile and maybe the other person will answer with another smile or not, depending on his interests. If someone smiled me, I would be happy at least (I may think that I'm attractive and that it's not bad).
    Regarding staring back with an annoyed look, I think Spanish people would react (not necessarily with bad manners or violence, in a worst-case scenario, don't worry) and they would understand that the person who has stared in that way don't agree with something the others have done or said.
    In fact, I think that staring at people is not considered a cultural crime, at least in Spain (especially if it comes from an Italian guy :p ) and you don't have to worry about it if you come here.

    Maybe you're right and this is typical of Mediterranean countries, because I've always heard that English people is really close (because of their climate) in comparison with Spanish and Italian, even French are close in spite of being Mediterranean too. It could be a wrong prejudice, but this is what is said. I don't know if there are differences within Spain.

    I hope I have helped you :)
     

    TrentinaNE

    Senior Member
    USA
    English (American)
    I'm curious: what sort of expression do the starers typically have on their faces? Is it an impassive stare?

    Elisabetta
     

    jokker

    Senior Member
    Chinese/Taiwan
    moodywop said:
    people stare at you in the street - for no particular reason.
    It could be dangerous if you stare at "the wrong people" in the street "for no particular reason". What dangerous? The person at whom you stare might punch you or call his companions in to punch you together. So, don't casually "stare" at strangers in the street, especially don't do it with an unfriendly look or attitude. Even you think you are friendly and smiling, others might not think so.

    Even staring back with an annoyed look doesn't seem to have any effect.
    If there's someone staring at you with an aggressive attitude, don't stare back, just walk away.

    After all eye-to-eye contact is perceived as aggressive and can trigger an attack in most animal species.
    I guess to some people, no matter in Taiwan or other countries, staring is an agressiveness, but this kind of people are only a tiny minority. Such people usually are greasers/gangsters/hoodlum (I don't know how to call them in English).

    However, even you are not staring at anyone and just walking down the street, you could still get an attack by people who are riding their motorcycles passing by and with big, long knifes in their hands. They just hack anyone by whom they pass at random. I am always wondering where the police are when those greasers appear.

    Again, such people are only a tiny minority.
    Edit: I guess that eye-contact in the wrong time, wrong place, with wrong people, and in a wrong way could be dangerous. Instead, it can be marvelous in the right time, place, with right people, and in a right way.:D
     

    Brioche

    Senior Member
    Australia English
    jokker said:
    I guess to some people, no matter in Taiwan or other countries, staring is a agressiveness, but this kind of people are only a tiny minority. Such people usually are greasers/gangsters/hoodlum (I don't know how to call them in English).
    It is interesting that you say this, as I have heard from Westerners who have been to mainland China, that they are stared at all the time in the rural areas.
    Many tourists say they are not only stared at and pointed at, but people come up and touch their hair. They feel like monkeys in the zoo.
     

    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    I have heard comments from biracial American couples, that they were stared at all over Europe, North and South.
    Granted, this may be a special case, but I was left wondering whether the same wouldn't happen to biracial European couples who travelled across the U.S.
     

    moodywop

    Banned
    Italian - Italy
    TrentinaNE said:
    I'm curious: what sort of expression do the starers typically have on their faces? Is it an impassive stare?
    It's the kind of stare that makes you think the starer may be trying to figure out if he/she remembers you from somewhere. It's quite intense but, as you say, sort of impassive - like someone studying a painting in a gallery. When I returned to Italy after many years in the UK I wasn't used to it any more so I would actually go up to the starer and ask in a serious, non-aggressive tone "Do we know each other?". The starer would always react with surprise:) . Or, as Willi suggested, you may wonder if there is something odd about your looks, your clothes etc.

    Aruba-Chan got it right: "Besides, Spanish people are really onlookers in the good sense". From the starer's point of view it's a totally harmless interest in other people. If someone is offended and says something they are genuinely shocked. It would never cross their mind that someone may be bothered by their staring.

    When I said "staring back" I meant staring back at the starer to make them stop. It just won't work. It's OK for them to stare so - only too fairly - it's OK for you to stare at them.

    As for Jokker's comment, I was not talking about gang members:D (staring would indeed be dangerous in that context), but about totally ordinary people of all ages and from all social backgrounds.

    English culture is the complete opposite. I remember the painstaking efforts commuters made on the underground to avoid eye-to-eye contact(an uphill task in a crowded train).

    It's an interesting cultural trait - something a social anthropologist would study.
     

    Residente Calle 13

    Senior Member
    New York City
    Outsider said:
    I have heard comments from biracial American couples, that they were stared at all over Europe, North and South.
    Granted, this may be a special case, but I was left wondering whether the same wouldn't happen to biracial European couples who travelled across the U.S.
    They would get different reactions depending on where they go. Biracial couples in NYC are so common that nobody would even notice. But I suspect that even a white French couple would get odd looks in many places in the US. Staring in the US is considered impolite in most areas but something unusual is going to get stares in places where something unusual is rather unusual.

    That's human nature, I think.
     

    ElaineG

    Senior Member
    USA/English
    I always regarded the Southern Italian stare as related to the fact that the main entertainment in many small villages is people watching, whether it be during the passeggiata or just at any time of day.

    In the beginning when I first moved to Sicily, I found the weight of people's eyes on me almost unbearable, especially as the language started to make sense and I would catch the phrases ("l'americana bionda"; "la ragazza americana") and I realized they were talking about me also.

    However, after awhile, I became a starer extraordinaire myself, and really got into being able to evaluate people's clothes, hair, faces and watch their interactions on the beach or sitting along the lungomare on a hot summer evening watching everyone go by. Better than television, once you get into it!

    It should be noted, however, that in my experiences in Southern Italy and also in Spain, that the stare often has a highly sexualized component and that returning the stare of a man who is staring at you in that way (and you can always tell what that way is -- for example if they slowly move their gaze all the way up or down along your body making it clear they are evaluating every part of you, or if they turn to follow you with their gaze as you walk by, making it obvious that they want to see if il tuo culo is as pleasing as your front side) will be taken as acceptance of the implicit invitation and what follows can be very annoying.

    As a result, I learned to limit my staring activities to when I was with a group of friends, and could stare/people watch in the comfort of company. When walking alone through town or lying on the beach, I tried to always wear sunglasses, or look down, or up, or at a fixedly neutral point to avoid accidentally returning a stare.
     

    love4lingua

    Member
    English, UK
    In England, you shouldn't stare at anyone, whatever look you have on your face! If you catch someone's eye for a second on the street (mainly of the same sex), then it is uncomfortable. You should never really look them in the eye. Gosh i make us sound really violent or something, haha The majority of us aren't, it is just considered rude, but if you stare at the wrong person for two long then obviously you could end up having problems.

    I recall that when i went to Barcelona, we decided to go into McDonalds (why, i don't know!!) and there was a girl in the queue who kept staring at me. They ended up sitting on the table next to us and she literally kept staring at me whilst she was eating her food. Had that been in England i would have asked her if she had a problem, it seemed that ridiculous to me and my parents. It seemed so rude. Even when i looked back at her, she kept staring!!! As i was in a different country and culture i didn't say anything and respected it, because i know that in Spain people look at each other more in the eye etc when they are talking than do the English. (Not sure about the other countries in Britain).
     

    jokker

    Senior Member
    Chinese/Taiwan
    Brioche said:
    It is interesting that you say this,
    Oh, oh, dear Brioche, I meant these people -- "Such people usually are greasers/gangsters/hoodlum (I don't know how to call them in English)".:) Like the movies. Some things in the movie are real in the real life.
    as I have heard from Westerners who have been to mainland China, that they are stared at all the time in the rural areas.
    Many tourists say they are not only stared at and pointed at, but people come up and touch their hair. They feel like monkeys in the zoo.
    I am a Taiwanese; I live in Taiwan.:D But I know and believe what you have heard.:)

    Twenty or thirty years ago, a foreigner in Taiwan's rural areas might have been stared and pointed at, but I don't think there would have been movements like touch their hair, beacuse foreigners were rare at that time. I guess nowadays no one would stare and point at foreigners out of curious.

    Mainland China is very big, as you know, and the difference between cities and rural areas are very different. Some rural areas have been remained the same for decades. Foreigners in such places are rare and exotic. Staring and pointing at are natural and unavoidable.

    I still remember the first time meeting a foreigner. Autually, there were two of them. I lived at a very small village (I don't think that village is a right term) in a very small town in Taiwan. One day, when I was playing with my companions, two foreigners were passing by. I was around four or five years old. To me, they were very, very tall. They were very nice and kind, especially one of them. This man hold my hand and put me on one of his foot, then lifted me by his foot. In other words, he was playing with us.:)

    When I was bigger, I realized that why they were passing by there. They seemed have been preachers and there is a small church right behind our little village. The path they were walking through is a shortcut. By the way, they were pretty young and seemed to have been native English speakers.

    Last but not least, they didn't stare at us and we didn't stare at them. But we did feel exotic. And when they wanted to play with me, I was giggling and did feel shy.

    Edit: I still remember his foot, a very, very big one. I was standing on it with my two feet. He wore black leather shoes.
     

    moodywop

    Banned
    Italian - Italy
    Thank you, Elaine and love4lingua, for confirming that for someone who is not used to it the first contact with a "staring is OK" culture can be quite uncomfortable.

    Although the two are related, I would make a difference between people-watching and staring proper.
     

    jokker

    Senior Member
    Chinese/Taiwan
    moodywop said:
    As for Jokker's comment, I was not talking about gang members:D (staring would indeed be dangerous in that context),
    I knew. I guess I was thinking the social news when typing.:p

    but about totally ordinary people of all ages and from all social backgrounds.
    As for the ordinary people and the ordinary situations, I guess it's pretty much the same as what love4lingua said.:) Eye-contact (staring at people on the street) has become a rude, impolite and strange thing.
     

    love4lingua

    Member
    English, UK
    People-watching is okay is England, though it depends because you still have to be careful that you don't watch the same person for too long and thus you have to ensure you literally 'people watch' by keeping your eyes moving!!

    In France they also stare. My boyfriend found it frustratingly funny (?!) when he got on a ski-lift and he was stared at constantly until he got off at the top. He, being on holiday with the lads, just had a laugh with it and waved at him and said hello in a funny way, but apparently the guy still kept on staring!!!!
     

    TimeHP

    Senior Member
    Italian - Italy
    It depends a lot upon the kind of stare. A loving look? A piercing glance?
    Where I live young people can be very touchy if someone is staring with provocative intentions. They can ask: 'Che c.... hai da guardare?'
    I don't understand this oversensitivity. I never perceive when I'm being watched. It happens, but I don't attach any importance to it.
    Maybe because I often have a fixed stare when I'm thinking...;)

    Ciao
     

    mansio

    Senior Member
    France/Alsace
    I travelled through India by train (third class) and people sitting in front of me just kept staring at me non-stop.
    As a Westerner you feel ill at ease at first, then you accept it and it does not bother you any longer.
    I did not look too alien because I was mistaken once for an Indian from Kashmir.
     

    love4lingua

    Member
    English, UK
    I think that i was stared at in Spain a lot because i stood out as a foreigner, as i have fair features. My professor had told me that i would get called at in the street and i wanted to dye my hair before going, so that i could try and blend in a bit more. I didn't in the end. She was right though, and it really frustrated me. I ended up living with a Swedish girl and she, also having blonde hair, also had the same problems. She ended up dying her hair but it didn't work! They still shouted gross things and stared!
     

    Vanda

    Moderesa de Beagá
    Português/ Brasil
    I was wondering whether this is typical of Mediterranean countries and what the attitude to this behaviour is in other countries.

    After all eye-to-eye contact is perceived as aggressive and can trigger an attack in most animal species.
    Well, I can say it´s perfect normal for us to stare at people for no reason! Of course,in big cities nobody has time to stare at ..... nothing! Aside that, this is a trait for all other places.

    Funny thing happened in my foreigners´classes in London when I was there. We were 8 Brazilians among these other nationalities: Italians, Sudaneses, Greeks and Spaniards. Our teacher - who had taught in Brazil before - was teaching us about British customs, how to behave and so on and then she addressed us: you Brazilians girls (oh there was just one boy among us!) that have the eye-to-eye contact as normal and expected in your country should pay attention to this special trait! So we made that naive question: Oh where are we expected to look at when addressing people?! :D After a lot of laughing, she kindly gave us some advice....
     

    anangelaway

    Senior Member
    French
    love4lingua said:
    I think that i was stared at in Spain a lot because i stood out as a foreigner, as i have fair features. My professor had told me that i would get called at in the street and i wanted to dye my hair before going, so that i could try and blend in a bit more. I didn't in the end. She was right though, and it really frustrated me. I ended up living with a Swedish girl and she, also having blonde hair, also had the same problems. She ended up dying her hair but it didn't work! They still shouted gross things and stared!
    Oh! I think I've figured it out. You both are extremely-extremely beautiful and somehow very hard for any man do not stare at you. Do not blame them, it is entirely your fault. :D
    Also, let's say I've never put a foot in Spain (untrue), after reading your post, I'm asking myself: is there any, not a single Spanish blonde girl, as if the entire woman population were all brunettes. :confused: hummm.
     

    over

    Member
    England-English
    anangelaway said:
    Oh! I think I've figured it out. You both are extremely-extremely beautiful and somehow very hard for any man do not stare at you. Do not blame them, it is entirely your fault. :D
    Also, let's say I've never put a foot in Spain (untrue), after reading your post, I'm asking myself: is there any, not a single Spanish blonde girl, as if the entire woman population were all brunettes. :confused: hummm.
    In my (limited) experience, blonde Spanish girls (and ones from other countries ;)) get a lot more attention (stared at, whistled at, etc) from Spanish guys, even if they are not so pretty...
     

    ireney

    Modistra
    Greek Greece Mod of Greek, CC and CD
    Staring for no particular reason (and sometimes even if there is a reason) is definitely considered rather rude in Greece so it's not a Med thing. Eye contact is one thing, staring is quite another.
     

    love4lingua

    Member
    English, UK
    anangelaway said:
    Oh! I think I've figured it out. You both are extremely-extremely beautiful and somehow very hard for any man do not stare at you. Do not blame them, it is entirely your fault. :D
    Also, let's say I've never put a foot in Spain (untrue), after reading your post, I'm asking myself: is there any, not a single Spanish blonde girl, as if the entire woman population were all brunettes. :confused: hummm.
    First of all, where did you get that beautiful rubbish from?:p In the seven months that i spent in Spain, no, i did not meet a blonde Spanish girl but i never said that there weren't any Spanish girls with blonde hair either! I think it is a fair judgement to make that the majority have different features to a blonde haired, blue eyed, differently dressed obvious foreigner-that was my point! :) The blonde hair thing i pointed out specifically as an example because my Professors, who are Spanish, told me that that is what happens to foreign girls with blonde hair, because they are obviously foreign and that is what happened to me!
     

    germinal

    Senior Member
    England English
    ireney said:
    Staring for no particular reason (and sometimes even if there is a reason) is definitely considered rather rude in Greece so it's not a Med thing. Eye contact is one thing, staring is quite another.

    In Crete I found that many of the older men, of the type who wear the national dress and high boots, make a point of staring fiercely and directly into your eyes :( if you are a man that is. I read in a guide book that this was a Cretan trait and was considered a proud and manly thing to do.
     

    ireney

    Modistra
    Greek Greece Mod of Greek, CC and CD
    germinal I was talking generally; perhaps I should have mentioned the Cretan trait (it comes from the time of the Ottoman occupation) but then what those relics of older times do is considered impolite by even the rest of the Cretans and the only reason they get away with doing it is their age (and the fact that going around in the national dress is considered a sign of being eccentric)
     

    germinal

    Senior Member
    England English
    ireney said:
    germinal I was talking generally; perhaps I should have mentioned the Cretan trait (it comes from the time of the Ottoman occupation) but then what those relics of older times do is considered impolite by even the rest of the Cretans and the only reason they get away with doing it is their age (and the fact that going around in the national dress is considered a sign of being eccentric)
    I got to be quite fond of the old boys after I'd realised they were not about to brain me with their walking sticks. :)
     

    ireney

    Modistra
    Greek Greece Mod of Greek, CC and CD
    ah! that means that you were smart enough not to start a staring contest and you probably swam in tsikoudia (and I know this is slightly off topic and chatty but given the posts above I think I can get away with it)
     

    germinal

    Senior Member
    England English
    ireney said:
    ah! that means that you were smart enough not to start a staring contest and you probably swam in tsikoudia (and I know this is slightly off topic and chatty but given the posts above I think I can get away with it)
    Don't know about tsikoudia but I was quite often swimming in raki.:)
     

    Heba

    Senior Member
    Egypt, Arabic
    Staring at others is considered rude here in Egypt. When I feel that someone stares at me, I look at him to show him that I am bothered (to send a warning) and he would immediately look the other way.

    We do not stare at forigners either, we are used to seeing tourists all the time, but we usualy smile at them if an accidental eye-contact happens (something which we do not do with fellow Egyptians!!)

    However, the rule of not staring at others is sometimes violated when the person stared at is doing something a little unusual. One funny thing I rememer was that the people along an entire street stood staring at a British guy walking in a half-sleeved T-shirt and shorts in mid January. Alexandria is supposed to be one of the coldest cities, if not the coldest city, in Egypt. It was raining heavily that day and people were freezing (personally, my limbs were numbed), and suddenly we saw that guy walking in his T-shirt and short. Had that happened in the spring or summer, people would not look at him, but it was mid-January and everybody was freezing cold. If you had been on the street at this moment, you would have felt that life stopped there with everybody staring and only he moving (I guess we could not help staring in amazement at his ability to endure such weather)--I guess this brings us back to the topic of North European ability to endure the cold weather more than people of of the Med-Sea.
     

    TimeHP

    Senior Member
    Italian - Italy
    I was wondering whether this is typical of Mediterranean countries and what the attitude to this behaviour is in other countries
    According to James Blunt's You're beautiful, it seems this attitude in not our prerogative...

    Yeah, she caught my eye, As I walked on by.
    She could see from my face that I was, fucking high,
    And I don't think that I'll see her again,
    But we shared a moment that will last till the end

    :)
    Ciao
     

    maxiogee

    Banned
    English
    Staring is considered impolite in Ireland.
    When I was rather younger than I am now and someone stared at one the usual challenge was:-
    "What are you looking at?"
    This was either treated with total silence and an immediate cessation of the hostile stare, or the stare continued and the staring person responded with:-
    "I'm looking at you, your eyes are blue, your face is like a kangaroo!"
    The 'stared at' was then entitled to reply with:-
    "The same to you!"
    The official response to this was:-
    "The same to you, with knobs on!"
    The last line was always:-
    "The same to you, with knobs on, and buttons down your back!"
    This was an official invitation to a bout of fisticuffs! :D
     

    danielfranco

    Senior Member
    Staring was considered impolite, or so I was taught as a child in Mexico... I think in the more rural areas of Mexico it's more common than in the cities to avert your sight from other people, but it's still considered a courtesy and a way of "minding your own business".
    When we were kids we used to chide each other for staring with this magic formula:
    "¿Qué me ves, con tu cara al revés?"
    "Lo &%$# que te ves..."
    And, of course, it degenerated from there on...
     

    tmoore

    Member
    Spain- US
    Brioche said:
    It is interesting that you say this, as I have heard from Westerners who have been to mainland China, that they are stared at all the time in the rural areas.
    Many tourists say they are not only stared at and pointed at, but people come up and touch their hair. They feel like monkeys in the zoo.

    This is very true, We lived in a Hsin Chu a small town in Taiwan, walking with my 12 year old daughter down the street , it would not be too unusual , for people walking behind us to come up and start playing with my daughter's hair ( she is blonde)


    My older daughter is 9.1/2 feet tall and blonde, her height is more than unusual in Taiwan, sometimes, people would get in front of her and stare
    and stare... Made her feel very uncomfortable...
     

    tmoore

    Member
    Spain- US
    Someone told me one time, if somebody stares at you, stare at their feet, and soon they will start feeling uncomfortable thinking that something is wrong with them, Is worth trying it ....
     

    nadadora

    New Member
    European
    tmoore said:
    My older daughter is 9.1/2 feet tall and blonde, her height is more than unusual in Taiwan, sometimes, people would get in front of her and stare
    and stare... Made her feel very uncomfortable...
    Sorry, I'm sure it must be a mistake but... your daughter is 9.5 feet tall?? but that is nearly 3 metres! I'm sorry but I think I would stare too if it were true. :eek:
     

    nadadora

    New Member
    European
    Okay, I checked it and the tallest women in the world is 7 Feet 7 Inches, so I think you must have typed it wrong... sorry, I didn't want to laugh at your daughter but I just couldn't believe it!
     

    CrazyIvan

    Senior Member
    Taiwan-Taiwanese
    tmoore said:
    This is very true, We lived in a Hsin Chu a small town in Taiwan, walking with my 12 year old daughter down the street , it would not be too unusual , for people walking behind us to come up and start playing with my daughter's hair ( she is blonde)
    I am surprised:eek: ...I thuoght this kind of thing only happened while I was little ( as jokker said) and that is not anymore all around Taiwan...mmm...I guess we have some urban-rural difference on this island still.
     

    CrazyIvan

    Senior Member
    Taiwan-Taiwanese
    Brioche said:
    It is interesting that you say this, as I have heard from Westerners who have been to mainland China, that they are stared at all the time in the rural areas.
    Many tourists say they are not only stared at and pointed at, but people come up and touch their hair. They feel like monkeys in the zoo.
    In big cities, with more pesence of foreigners, you could easily blend into the crowds, but not in small villages...

    I guess sometimes people do stare at others out of curiousity. I used to play a game with my friends while I was in senior high. If my friends and I see a foreigner in the street, we would all stare at him/her, guess where he/she is from and push the one, who has best english among of us, to figure that out....( while, mostly they are Americans though....but nowadays it seems that there are more varieties...:p)
     

    tmoore

    Member
    Spain- US
    nadadora said:
    Okay, I checked it and the tallest women in the world is 7 Feet 7 Inches, so I think you must have typed it wrong... sorry, I didn't want to laugh at your daughter but I just couldn't believe it!

    You are so right, that would be a giant, I apologize for the error she is five feet and nine and half inches tall, which is still very tall for a female, more so in Taiwan
     

    klbyrd

    New Member
    english - usa
    Being raised in Chicago and now living in North Carolina, I can tell you there is even a big differnce here. In Chicago if you look at someone , let alone stare, you could be starting a confrontation. In "The South" it is impolite not to look at someone and acknowledge them. I can understand why it would be confusing in another country if it is confusing to me here.
     

    tmoore

    Member
    Spain- US
    klbyrd said:
    Being raised in Chicago and now living in North Carolina, I can tell you there is even a big differnce here. In Chicago if you look at someone , let alone stare, you could be starting a confrontation. In "The South" it is impolite not to look at someone and acknowledge them. I can understand why it would be confusing in another country if it is confusing to me here.

    Well , I believe that there is a difference between aknowledging somebody or staring at somebody , don't you think so?
     

    klbyrd

    New Member
    english - usa
    If someone is starring maybe it is because they are unaccustomed to or interested in what they see. ( could also be something they dislike ). Either way is it very different to have someone stare directly at you or to have someone who will only stare at you when you do not look at them directly? Most people seem to stare at people only they have not been discovered doing it. As soon as they are found out, they avert their eyes like nothing was happening. No matter which way, I personally would rather someone talk to me than to just look - for what ever reason.
    klbyrd
     

    Valmar

    Member
    Argentina - Spanish
    An Argentine frind now living in Canada once told me this story.

    When she had just recently arrived in Canada, she was traveling by subway and she saw another young woman, who was wearing a very beatiful skirt. My friend being obsessed with clothes, she stared at the girl's skirt. She did not once look into the girl's eyes, but apparently this other girl noticed she was being stared at, because, when she was about to get off the bus, she looked at my frend and said "What are you loking at, you f*****g d**e?"
     

    love4lingua

    Member
    English, UK
    I have a similar story. I took my niece to Mcdonalds after school one day and she made me laugh, obviously leading to a smile. I then looked up and caught a girls eye, who was with a boy. She obviously thought i was smiling at her because when they walked out the door, she shouted lesbian at me! I wasn't really offended, theres nothing wrong with being a lesbian in my book, but i'm not and i wasn't even smiling at her anyway! I just happened to catch her eye!!
     

    Korena

    Senior Member
    USA : English
    My personal opinion when it comes to staring is that it's not a bad thing, but nor is it a good thing. I think it's become a "normal" thing to do, most people do. I can even admit that I've caught myself staring at someone before. I'm also used to being stared at, I'm one of the tallest girls most people have seen (I'm 6'0")! So I don't take being stared at in a bad way now, I just ignore it.

    -Korena
     
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