View Full Version : Eye-rolling, cultural or genetic?

01-09-2010, 10:42 PM
I always thought of it as cultural. But once you realize just how prevalent the gesture is throughout the world, it seems more instinctive.
Although I have to wonder at how such a gesture came to be...

01-10-2010, 06:28 AM
Rolling my own eyes tends to give me a headache, so I've taken to rolling Storygirl's eyes instead. It still gets the point across and saves me a couple of bucks a month in Excedrin.

01-10-2010, 06:50 AM
Rolling my own eyes tends to give me a headache, so I've taken to rolling Storygirl's eyes instead. It still gets the point across and saves me a couple of bucks a month in Excedrin.

You have the power to roll other people's eyes? That's very frightening. I'm glad you live Very Far Away from me. :tongue

01-10-2010, 06:51 AM
I'm a really obvious eye roller...I don't usually realize I'm doing it until someone calls me out. Most people think it's funny but I'm sure it comes off as rude at least once in awhile.

I roll my eyes at some of my customers but I tend to do it when they're not looking then my co-workers laugh about it later.

It's kind of mean though. I really should stop. :)

01-10-2010, 06:54 AM
I roll my eyes at my stepmom on the phone. Repeatedly. Every other word.

That shows her!!!

Silver King
01-10-2010, 06:55 AM
When I roll my eyes, it's usually straight upward toward the heavens seeking guidance before I say something I will surely regret. That short pause often keeps me out of trouble.

At other times, when some blowhard is espousing this, that or the other thing, I might glance in the direction of another unfortunate audience member and roll my eyes as a signal that the person doing the espousing is full of all sorts of crap and is not to be believed. The response is either a knowing grin or an exaggerated eye roll that lets me know we're on the same page regarding said character.

The most pathetic and withering eye roll I can imagine comes from someone I love who uses the gesture to let me know that my well planned and choreographed advances have about as much chance at succeeding as a snow ball in hell knocking Lucifer unconscious. But it doesn't keep me from trying!

01-10-2010, 06:56 AM
I'm an eye roller, or rather, more like what Silver King described. My husband calls me out on it when we have a disagreement. :-P

Matera the Mad
01-10-2010, 11:16 AM
If I watched me more closely, I'm sure I would catch me at it. But my eyes don't work together, so it would probably make me seasick.

01-10-2010, 10:38 PM
My brother accuses me of rolling my eyes during arguments, but it's really impatience+regrouping my thoughts. Yes, looking up at the heavens :)

Impatience is not the nicest feeling to show, but I'm really not dismissive (or being like a snotty kid!).

I don't know about genetic, but it's damned unconscious when I'm angry, and embarrassing because of that.

01-11-2010, 01:11 AM
That's a good question, I never thought of it being cultural or genetic before...I'd guess genetic myself.

Apparently I'm a compulsive eye-roller. Loads of friends have told me I can out eye-roll anyone they know...not sure if that's a good thing :s

01-11-2010, 02:39 AM
I have no idea whether it's cultural or genetic, but my husband does it all the time, and it drives me INSANE. :rant:

01-11-2010, 04:01 AM
I only do it when I know for sure other people can't see me. I could be doing it at you lot right now. You'd never know. ;)

01-11-2010, 06:22 AM
From what my ex-wife used to say, it was pretty much criminal, and apparently I deserved the electric chair I did it so much.

But then, you know what I would always do when she said that. . .

01-11-2010, 11:08 AM
I vote genetic/instinct because they say facial micro-expressions are globally similar.

I think eye-rolling is like a psychological way to try to throw the speaker 'over board' or out of the way.

The follow on question for me is: Is the desire to smack a teen who rolls their eyes also global and will that defense stand up in court.

01-11-2010, 11:08 AM
Well, I know for a fact that eye-rolling isn't culturally specific to the West, 'cause they do it here in China, too. It's not as rude here as it is there, though; but then again, most bad behavior not directly related to money or giving face isn't considered rude here.

Their word for it translates to "revealing white eyes". Hahah.

I reveal white eyes quite a bit here. And it's great, 'cause nobody's offended by it :)

01-11-2010, 09:20 PM
I roll my eyes at my stepmom Mom on the phone. Repeatedly. Every other word.

That shows her!!!

Yep! ;)

Alpha Echo
01-11-2010, 09:54 PM
I don't roll my eyes as often as I did as a teenager. I constantly rolled my eyes at my parents. I roll my eyes at my SO when he's being goofy, and we're playing around...

I definitely think you can train yourself not to do it. I think I learned to stop about the same time I trained myself to not be so sarcastic all the time - I'm not talking the sarcastic humor, I'm talking the nasty sarcasm.

Now, I'm rambling. That's a habit I go back to when I'm tired, bored, giddy, or drunk. :D

01-11-2010, 10:18 PM