You are a person who spends a lot of time on a bus or a metro or just some other form of group transportation and have to deal with people looking at you for no reason at all? Having people look at you makes you feel uncomfortable in most situations. It makes you wonder if there’s something wrong with you, if maybe your T-shirt still bears that old ketchup stain you forgot about, if maybe your nail polish is too much and so on and so forth. Maybe you’re walking down the street and you feel someone looking at you. You don’t see him looking, but you know he’s looking and that makes you more uncomfortable, right? We’ve all been there.
Now, let’s reverse this a little. You’re sitting on a bus and you’re looking at one “interesting” person sitting in front of you. You find yourself looking and wonder why you’re doing it, maybe. Isn’t the recipient of your sudden attention feeling uncomfortable too? So, the question here is not really: “Why do people look at me?”, but more “Why do people look at me and I find myself looking at them?”
Why do people stare at you?
People stare at you because they seek non-verbal communication. There’s been a series of studies showing that people stare in need of useful non-verbal information about a person. Faces, eyes, even your hands transmit a lot of information about your state of mind and feelings. Maybe you look a little “shaky” to the person in front of you and that person feels the need to check if anything is OK with you. He doesn’t want to ask, so he instinctively seeks for clues like your eyes, your hands, your eyebrows movement, your breathing and so on and so forth. All of these signs we can read instinctively and we pay attention to them without even recognizing that to ourselves. More than that, there’s the curiosity inherent to all of us.