Our first reaction when someone stares at us is normally to attribute it to something negative or awkward. Like we assume we've got spinach in our teeth or have done something careless that breaks social convention.
These feelings are multiplied by like a hundred if you're normally a shy person. Getting stared at can send you down a tunnel of nervousness both while you're in that person's presence and then when you contemplate it all afterwards.
But Roli, 'Why have you written a whole article about 31 positive reasons someone might be staring at you?' you may ask.
Well, I believe in replacing negative thoughts with positive ones. If you face social anxiety or feel extremely uncomfortable when attention is on you, it's likely because you're assuming the worst. You are assuming that someone's staring because they're "judging you" or because you're awkward, or because you stand out like a sore thumb.
You assume there's something wrong with you. As a result, your self-confidence drops, your stomach shrivels up and you just might be calling for the ground to swallow you up. Maybe that's an exaggeration, maybe that's not.
Basically I want you to think back to this post the next time this happens and instead think of all the positive things people could be thinking about you. In fact, as you read this post I hope you'll quickly feel encouraged because you yourself have felt a lot of these thoughts and feelings while staring at others.
See, it's not all as bad as you thought. Man, someone may just be secretly admiring you.
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It takes a couple of seconds to figure out if you know this stranger or not, you know.
Someone's listening to your intellectually stimulating conversation, and they're curious about the source of all this wisdom.
We just can't help but look up when we hear a beautiful, rare, and invigorating accent.
When you're planning to get up and talk to someone, it generally involves a bit of staring as you try and figure out a) where exactly they are and, b) what they're doing now and if it's a good time to come over.
When I'm out and about, I find I'm constantly staring because of this.
Again, this stranger is intrigued by your conversation, whatever it may be. They're not staring at you. They're staring at your interesting words. That's a bit better...
Maybe you're reading on public transportation and your fellow passenger just wants to know the title of that amazingly illustrated front-cover.
You go to the same school as me? You know Johnny Smithey too?
This stranger is excited that you are from their homeland! Your phone call gave it away. This is especially true if you're speaking a language that's not so common where you live.
It's obvious that you're popular or well-liked and someone's trynna figure out why.
You just helped an elderly person pick up something up so they wouldn't hurt their back or left your seat for a mother with two young kids.
There's someone else who was watching and also appreciates your rak...
Yes, you are the only person who brought an umbrella or who is ready to face the incoming snowstorm. Congratulations, all those stares say you're smart.
Someone's been sent to you for advice or expertise in a particular area. And they're staring to make sure they don't accidentally go up to a random stranger...
It's pretty hard not to stare at someone who is great at introductions or who knows what they want and is doing a good job of getting it.
Someone's staring because they respect your choices/actions and secretly wish they had the guts to do some of the things you do.
The tourist soon approaches...
Well done, you reliable-looking individual.
You know that whole thing about if you stare at someone long enough they'll eventually look at you...
You know when you're in public and you see kids doing adorable things and asking hilarious questions and you're silently watching and being amused at the parent's reaction.
Who is the parent of these polite, well-behaved kids? How does she/he do it?
Someone is silently amused by the joke you just said that your own friend didn't even laugh at.
Someone's wondering if you're going to the same event because of the way you're dressed or because you've just taken the same bus as them twice in a row.
Yes, you remind them of their past or present self. Hey, they might even imagine you're what their future self will look like.
Someone's impressed at your bottle-flip.
You are refined and respectable with very polished manners, perhaps in contrast to the setting you're in. Someone's noticed.
While you're in an argument/debate, someone else is watching in the corner. That person is on your wavelength and agrees with your logic. Or someone is watching as you are being treated unfairly, and this complete stranger is mentally sticking up for you. You'll just never know about it - you only caught them staring.
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