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I've been wondering the reasons why some people can keep eye contact easily, but others just avoids it like hell unless the situation, person and other environmental values are "perfect." Those who can keep the eye contact all the time says it's natural and it's polite to keep it and those who cannot keep it easily makes them feel anxious. I'm part of this anxious group. When I try to keep an eye contact for a long time it starts making me feel anxious and feel dizzy. This happens mostly in those cases where I don't know the other person very well, or I my level of trust for that person is not enough high. Mostly my eye contact drops when I start to think (deeply), gather information from my head and also talking to that other person. When I've gathered all the required information to my working memory (fast memory) I can keep the eye contact easily untill I have to gather new information to my working memory.

My theory is that I cannot keep the eye contact easily because I'd be gathering too much information from that person thus overloading my brain (sensory overload?). Some people say that it's much much easier to keep an eye contact with a person he/she already knows. I think this is because you have already gathered, processed and saved all that infromation from that person, but remember your brain is still checking if the old info is valid and makes you notice anything new. With a new person you have only the basic information about people and the patterns how this person may interact. It takes enormous amount of energy to check that basic data and write a new "person profile" in your mind. Some people uses less profiles (or just writes less information per profile, but still has profile for everyone), but some people makes profile for everyone, kinda making the person take everyone as individuals (or as who they are) and gathers every information they can. Breaking the eye contact gives you some time to cool down and process the information. Ok, I think conclusion for this theory is a sensory overload.

Other theory is that seeing the other person looking your into eyes is somehow disturbing and causes anxiety...

There are only few people who I was able to keep my eye contact with when I met them first time. First one caused me heck of a limerence which I still may be suffering.
 

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I find it difficult to hold eye contact, too - but it is especially with people I am really close to. I feel it's too intimate and reveals too much about me if I look the other person in the eye. Maybe it could be not what you read from the other person but rather what s/he could read about you?

Hm, I gazed a lot into a couple crushes' eyes, but afterwards it feels kind of too bold & obtrusive.
 

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Much like English, eye contact, body language, social discourse, non-verbal, context, situation and anything that could be seen as a mindfuck, is a language all of its own. Just like playing a video game, you will struggle at first. Keep at it long enough and you'll get it.

Eye contact in and of itself is nothing special. Your mindset can often dictate whether you will have eye contact not. Experience, knowledge etc, will also play a factor.

It gets real fun when eyes become weapons. Ever feel like someone is staring at you? This is a skill people pick up on over time.

I believe this has something to do with the subconcious and how people take in information with their peripheale vision. A woman on vacation with her husband, gets this eerie feeling they shouldn't be there, and they leave - only to find out two hours later that location was bombed by a suicide bomber. Perhaps she saw his odd movements or something?
 
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