Saturday, March 12, 2011


When you look at each picture, what goes through your mind? If you're like me, with the first picture, you are thinking, what complete freak! I'm sure you're thinking that the man in the second picture is a serial killer, the 3rd is a sexy woman and the 4th, and well maybe he's looking at one of her buttons?

What do all these photos have it common? They are all staring. 
How do you feel when people stare at you? What goes through your mind? Nervous, excited, weird, happy, attractive, freaked out? It depends on the situation, environment and the person doing the staring. To an extent, the meaning of a person’s staring behavior depends upon the attributions made by the observer. If you’re a woman and a man is staring at you, you might think “what a creep” or “why is he staring at me?” “Is he going to hurt me?” Or if you’re somewhere where your intention is to meet someone, you simply could be flattered.

I think we were all taught as young children not to stare. I am teaching my children this. Why? Well as our parents told us, it’s rude to stare. Well why? Why is it rude? Are we teaching our kids something that we don’t have the answer to?

Staring by definition is to gaze fixedly and intently, especially with the eyes wide open. To stare at: to stare a person up and down. To effect or have a certain effect on by staring: to stare one out of countenance. a staring gaze; a fixed look with the eyes wide open:

So why do people stare? Some do it to adhere to dominance. Others do it because they are trying to figure out what makes a person attractive or not. And others do it because they find another interesting. Sometimes it’s done in a thinking situation and they have no idea that they are staring. Staring can also be done in a hostile way and it can be done to show aggression.

So can you take a stare wrong? Absolutely!When I a go running alone and I run by a group of men, I always find myself very nervous, When I say group, I mean at least two. They could be construction workers or other hikers. Their fixed gazed is what makes me nervous and uncomfortable. 

My youngest daughter was in the car with me one afternoon and she said that a man was staring at her and it was freaking her out. My initial reaction was to think that he was likely a huge pervert and I moved my car forward.

If a little girl or boy is walking down the street with their mother and we are staring at the child. The mother notices us staring, but probably thinks absolutely nothing of it if you, the one doing the staring, is another child or likely even a woman. But if you are a man, will she think “what a creep, why are you staring at my child?” Perhaps.

I was having a consultation with my oldest daughter’s teacher about the girls in her class that were “bullying” her. She told him that they were glaring at her and it really upset her. After he asked her to go to another room so he could chat with me alone. He told me that a reason people commit murder is staring. The person being stared at didn’t take it well. He mentioned if you go into a men's restroom, all eyes are down. I’d hate to think about what could happen if you looked up. You might get yourself into trouble.

When I decided to write my blog on this subject, I naturally went online to learn more about staring. I wanted to find proof of what my daughter’s teacher had said. That staring causes murder. Well I did not find that proof, but I did learn that the internet is full of people that write how much they hate others that stare or articles on how to avoid being caught staring. People in general have a huge problem with it.

When you’re in a crowded room, it’s entertaining to look around at everyone else. Isn’t it? But prolonged staring indicates intense and unnatural interest. I constantly find myself looking around, but jumping from person to person and if someone makes eye contact with me, I’ll look away for sure. I don’t want to be caught staring at someone.

I certainly do not have any solutions on how to make staring alright or not seem hostile. I just hope that the next time you find yourself staring at another or you notice someone staring at you or your family member, you might remember my writing and think, why is this person staring at me, before you jump to any wrong conclusions.

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