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Old 08-13-2010, 09:12 AM
 
Location: Maryland not Murlin
8,185 posts, read 21,737,838 times
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Seriously. I have been doing a lot of walking and I noticed (right away, mind you) that people will not look at your face when they pass you on the street. In fact, they will not even look in my general direction. I know this because I look everyone in the eye and I notice that from 15, maybe 20 feet away, they will stare straight ahead and won't even take a quick glance as they pass.

Now, don't feed me some BS about how Bostonians are busy, in a hurry, or don't feel the need, because it is obviously a cultural thing around here. And it is not just on the street...its on the T, at bars, etc. Non-natives don't seem to do this, so why Bostonians?
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Old 08-13-2010, 09:17 AM
 
Location: SoCal
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Because generally here, when a stranger looks you in the eye... they're either from out of state or they're creepy. People don't really say "hi" walking by like they do in CA or down south.

People just aren't that friendly here and are much more reserved. Just a cultural difference.

In my experience, if a guy makes eye contact with you and you look back... that gives him an excuse to come over and talk with you. Especially in Boston. So, I generally don't.
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Old 08-13-2010, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Parkland, FL
416 posts, read 1,476,678 times
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It's just a cultural thing, don't take it to heart. A lot of people in New England consider it rude to make eye contact with a stranger. I've been there done that and have gotten a dirty look or two from a girl. Just don't let it ruin your day.

That being said, Boston is a big bustling city where some people are busy or in a hurry to get someplace.
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Old 08-13-2010, 09:27 AM
 
5,680 posts, read 5,010,551 times
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I guess I can't imagine why anyone would be bothered by this. Do you feel slighted somehow when strangers don't look you in the eye?
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Old 08-13-2010, 09:56 AM
 
Location: a bar
2,545 posts, read 4,853,702 times
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Personally, I only make eye contact with someone if I wish to engage them in conversation. I tend not to engage strangers on the street in conversation.
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Old 08-13-2010, 09:59 AM
 
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Agreed. It has nothing to do with being in a hurry, just a lack of interest, really. Take that as you will.
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Old 08-13-2010, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Maryland not Murlin
8,185 posts, read 21,737,838 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by readymade View Post
Because generally here, when a stranger looks you in the eye... they're either from out of state or they're creepy. People don't really say "hi" walking by like they do in CA or down south.

People just aren't that friendly here and are much more reserved. Just a cultural difference.

In my experience, if a guy makes eye contact with you and you look back... that gives him an excuse to come over and talk with you. Especially in Boston. So, I generally don't.
How did you know I was from California? Most people won't say hi unless they are caught in an awkward situation momentarily. It is more common for someone to give the head tilt/nod as they pass and maybe through out a quick 'wassup'. It is not an invitation to anything, but in reality, the opposite. If someone said 'hi' (in what ever fashion), and you did not return in a similar fashion, the person will either think that you are stuck-up and believe that you are above him/her, or that you are afraid of them. Acknowledging their presence shows that you are comfortable with the situation, no matter how brief the encounter.

So yeah, a cultural difference.

Are you saying that if a woman glances back that I have the 'green light' to go over and say hi?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Cantabridgienne View Post
I guess I can't imagine why anyone would be bothered by this. Do you feel slighted somehow when strangers don't look you in the eye?
I am not really bothered, as much as I am intrigued. It is not just looking someone in the eyes, it is they won't even slightly tilt their head in your general direction. I find it interesting that so many people make such an effort. I am not saying that it is wrong or anything, and soon enough I probably won't even notice it anymore.

I was standing on the T yesterday, and an Asian lady and some older white lady were, for the most part, staring at me. Yes, it did feel uncomfortable and creepy, but I am not talking about staring someone down.

Where I come from, looking someone in the eye is a sign of respect at the most, and just generally looking in their general direction shows that you are at least recognizing that they are in-fact another human being at the least. It is not an invitation for someone to talk to you unless you are making it obvious that you are looking at them. In which case they will more than likely respond with What the f**k are you looking at!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HowGoesIt View Post
It's just a cultural thing, don't take it to heart. A lot of people in New England consider it rude to make eye contact with a stranger. I've been there done that and have gotten a dirty look or two from a girl. Just don't let it ruin your day.

That being said, Boston is a big bustling city where some people are busy or in a hurry to get someplace.
It doesn't ruin my day as I find it more amusing than anything. At this point in time it just seems odd to me, that is all. I am sure that many of the people I pass on the street are thinking that my behavior is odd, too.

Yes, I know that many people are busy. I preemptively made that comment before someone used it as the reason since the reason is cultural and not rooted in how fast someone needs to get from Point A to Point B.
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Old 08-13-2010, 10:24 AM
 
Location: Maryland not Murlin
8,185 posts, read 21,737,838 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliff Clavin View Post
Personally, I only make eye contact with someone if I wish to engage them in conversation. I tend not to engage strangers on the street in conversation.
Fair enough, but how about at a bar? How do newbies in town make friends?
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Old 08-13-2010, 10:31 AM
 
5,680 posts, read 5,010,551 times
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For me, a bar is a different story. I'm (often) ore receptive to conversation at a bar since that's a social setting (assuming the other person is cool and/or can take a hint when it's not time to chat--not always the case, unfortunately). On the street? Not so much.
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Old 08-13-2010, 10:53 AM
 
Location: Maryland not Murlin
8,185 posts, read 21,737,838 times
Reputation: 6116
Good to know, and for the record, I am not looking to engage random strangers in conversation on the street. It is just an observation.
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