A Yale study is about me too! Especially when I’m in social situations or I’m trying to figure out what is going on in a conversation, I’ll “read lips” instead of looking people in the eye. That doesn’t mean I’m not listening; it means I’m trying really really hard to listen and understand. I tend to hear what people say literally instead of what body language, facial expressions, and figures of speech say.
From an article quoted on the Autism section of about.com that quotes a Yale Study:
Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) tend to stare at people’s mouths rather than their eyes. Now, an NIH-funded study in 2-year-olds with the social deficit disorder suggests why they might find mouths so attractive: lip-sync—the exact match of lip motion and speech sound.
Read my lips. I say read the full article…
Why is “read my lips” usually used as an insult? I assume it means, “You are stupid because you are not understanding what I am saying or you are not doing what I want.”
Also, as I understand it, “Not look me in the eye.” means dishonest, hiding something, ignoring me, or don’t like you. If that’s the case, I can understand why people would be edgy around me. Yet, when I don’t look it’s because I am actively listening.
Know that I care to hear what you say.