Most of us have been in situations where we walk past someone who find exceptionally beautiful and we find ourselves looking at them. To check people out is natural. However, staring is also rude so it is important that you are careful to not become disrespectful. Let’s review a little bit of etiquette in terms of how you can check people out.
Consent and Privacy
If you have ever looked up a company on BBB, for instance, you will see that consent and privacy are two very important issues. The same is true when we check people out. You are not allowed to invade someone’s privacy without their consent. Of course, at which point you invade privacy while staring is a grey area. What matters is that you should never make anyone feel uncomfortable and if you sense they are unhappy about you looking at them, you need to look away. By that point, you will have blown any chances you had anyway.
Another issue with staring at people is that it objectifies them. Immediately, you send out signals that you see them not as an individual but as someone that can be used for your personal satisfaction. You must be realistic about this. When you look at someone, you are judging them solely on their appearance. That may be a positive judgment, but it selective and can lower people’s self-esteem and self-worth because they see themselves as far more than what you can perceive on the outside. Furthermore, they may naturally assume that you are staring not at their beauty, but rather at one of their flaws. Again, therefore, if you get the sense that someone is uncomfortable, look away immediately.
The top and bottom of it is that you have to respect people’s personal space and privacy. Ask yourself how you would feel if what you are doing was done to you. We live in a digital age, which means there is no more need to be visibly creepy. You can check people’s background, be that for your own personal curiosity or because you actually need to know something, using Google for instance. In fact, there are now entire companies dedicated to helping you look people up. Some of those are free, some are paid for. The latter are usually the better ones but you do have to be careful to not fall victim to a scam. Read a review or two on each of the services you are considering and make sure you check out their refund policy and guarantees.
A final thing is that, if someone catches your eye and you find yourself attracted to them, you can also decide to be a bit more forward and simply approach them. While it is true that we live in a digital age, there really is no need to do everything behind the scenes just yet. The person who has caught your eye may be really flattered by your attention and like you in return.