I have got into a bad habit (quite strange) and need some advice on getting out of it...

Bad habit is when people are talking to me I am thinking about what they are saying I become focus on them but problem is that they might move slightly outside of my eye line but my eye line stays same (as I am busy thinking about they are saying).

Then I will click and relook at them and refocus but obviously this means I look likes I am not being interested etc...

I been trying to make sure I don't do it and being more aware of the person but has anyone got on tips on getting out of the habit..

Told you it was strange :)


Torch's picture

I have found myself doing something similar. What I do is when the person is talking I make a concise effort at eye contact. Then allow the contact to brake between when they stop talking and my response so I don't seem to be staring the person down. It took a concerted effort on my part for a few weeks, but when I saw the difference it made in how people reacted I became energized to keep it up.


Mark's picture
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Thanks for being open about what you're working on.

I just can't see this as a problem for either of you. I think lack of eye contact when listening is only a problem if you, when it's your turn to speak, you clearly show that you only want to say what's important to you or that you didn't hear what they said.

If you did hear and you show it (and there's a way to prove this, below), you will be forgiven all manner of lack of eye contact (within reason - don't turn your back).

If your eye contact is "low", and then you show you didn't hear, they will point out the eye contact as part of the problem, because people who truly don't listen will have lousy eye contact.

If you want to be thought to have GREAT listening skills, it's quite simple. When the other person is done talking, make the first 1-2-3 things you say be QUESTIONS about what they said. THAT will impress anyone.

AND... it's EXCEPTIONALLY HARD for most people. We are all too busy listening to respond, rather than listening to understand.

Hope this helps!


russdev's picture

Thankyou thats great glad to know not only one...

I like that tip on the questions...



Mark's picture
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Oh, I'm full of 'em. :wink:


DOs's picture

I find myself doing the very same thing at times. What Mark suggests is definitely a good idea, and I've applied similar ways to deal with my issues here. Reflective listening, whether it is asking questions or merely repeating the key issues back to the speaker, is a good thing.

Often we don't FULLY understand what the other person speaks of. This might not always be obvious, as we might be under the assumption we DO get it all. It might feel strange, and difficult at first to repeat what the other person just said, back to them, as it's not common practice.

The recipient of this, on the other hand, probably won't mind, or even notice it. If you have got something wrong, you will most likely be corrected, and you can continue on the same page. I've used this technique for some time now, and it improves communication and understanding tremendously in both my work, and private life.

This is a bit of a drift away from the original topic, I think, but it's fairly related :)

Oh, and this is of course not suitable for all situations. You'll probably feel when doing this is appropriate.