What does eye to eye mean?

Many of us have heard the expression "eye to eye", but not everyone understands what this expression means. Consider what this phraseologism means and give examples of its use.

Eyes to eyes

Many people think that the phraseology "eye to eye" literally means meeting face to face, that is, one-on-one. In addition, many often use this phraseologism in this sense. However, in fact, “eye to eye” means not a personal meeting at all, but proximity. We give an example of use in speech:

  • "We looked at each other, eye to eye, understand?"
  • "We were face to face, eyes to eyes."

Thus, the “eye to eye” idiom is not a metaphor and clearly reflects the situation.

Why did this idiom arise?

It would seem, why invent an expression in order to describe the usual situation. However, it is known that people rarely look their eyes in the eyes of each other. Usually a direct look can mean more sympathy or, on the contrary, aggression. In everyday life, people rarely look their eyes in the eyes of each other for longer than 10 seconds.This is due to the fact that in the process of evolution, people did not need to look into each other’s eyes, just to follow. Thus, a person looked into the eyes of another person only in the case of a battle or greetings with an expression of sympathy. That is why at some point people began to attach great importance to such a phenomenon.

It is worth noting that the phraseology "eye to eye" is often used to characterize the severity of the situation. The analogue of this phraseological unit is the expression “face to face”. In the literature, both of these idioms can be more often found in descriptions of tense situations, rather than romantic ones. Hence the concept of fear of a direct look. Consider it in more detail.

Fear of direct gaze

It is known that many people are afraid of a direct look, and therefore they avert their eyes when someone looks them straight in the face. Again, this is due to the fact that in the process of evolution a person looked into the eyes of another, most often at times when he wanted to make a claim. To show the tribesman that he did not make any claims in response, or simply did not want to conflict, the person simply looked away.This particular behavior has become entrenched in many people at an unconscious level, so some people simply look away when they are looked at, and without any fear. Some, in principle, can not withstand a direct look.

Note that the direct look of many nations is serious and has great significance in life. So, for example, the expression "eyes - the mirror of the soul." You can often hear that in the eyes of a person you can see his intentions. Often you can hear the phrase "The eyes are able to tell everything." Many African tribal communities that continue to live in the way of life of the ancient people, look into the eyes of the leader of the tribe means to challenge him.

It is worth making a reservation that if a direct look is accompanied by a smile, then, as a rule, in any society this is perceived with sympathy. Looking at each other’s hands during the handshakes was made by the ancient Romans, so they showed that they didn’t have weapons in their hands.

Speaking of romantic relationships, one cannot but mention the importance of a direct look.

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