Breaking The Norm Of Eye Contact

925 Words4 Pages
The social norm that I decided to break was involved with human interaction. I chose to break the norm of eye contact when speaking to others. The purpose of this norm is to show engagement to another individual when communicating to them. The focus of maintaining eye contact is to show that you are paying attention to them and actually listening to them, it demonstrates to the speaker or listener that you are taking them seriously and are engaged with them. It can also be taken as a show of respect, a notable example of this is the classic line of “Look at me when I am talking to you.”. By not maintaining eye contact when someone is speaking to you it shows them that you do not care for what they have to say and they interpret that as disrespect. The way I violated this norm was for the entirety of a day I would either look straight down or straight up when talking to someone. By doing this it would prevent me from making eye contact thus breaking the norm. I did this in a different number of locations to get different results from a larger group of people. I started in my own home with my family and ended up going to my ex-work place and breaking the norm with old co-workers and strangers. The reactions from people varied but the most common theme was was present during reactions was a sense of awkwardness or being crept out. The majority of people that I talked to throughout the day would ask me what I was doing when they saw me looking down or up, some would look up
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