It’s been said, quite accurately I think, that visual contact among people who don’t know each other is not part of English culture. That is, people don’t look at each other while they walk the streets, when they get on the bus or in the tube, etc.
In some cases it might be considered impolite as well, to stare at strangers and behaviours of the sort. So, there are not even quick glances till you’re introduced properly to somebody else, being this even recognized by English people as a feature of how they are. So when they look at you, it is because it really means something, they are actually trying to tell you something.
Here I compiled a guide about the most common types of looks you might receive and what they mean.

The “absolute anger” look:

Usually used at cinemas and maybe public transport, given by people who are finding utterly annoying your chewing gum or your excessively loud talking . Eyes narrowed, pupils small and glittering, loaded with terrifying, contained anger. You should start running straight away.

The “I need alcohol right now” look:
Given usually after having run out of money at the pub to keep buying beer. Exorbitant, demential wide open eyes. It will be accompanied by the other person’s frantic shaking of your shoulders and saliva spits while they’re talking.

The “I sent you left” look:
That awkward moment when somebody stares wandering at you in the tube, then blushes in recognition and turns away quickly, hiding away the eyes, as he or she just realized... you’re the one they’ve sent left on Tinder.

The “you look too strange” look:
When you receive too many looks that are on the verge of horror or scandal, or looking like they are trying to figure out something, it might be because something is actually wrong with you this morning. If in London, a city widely tolerant and which has no issues with dressing styles and so on, you receive glances of this type, you should check if you actually have your trousers on or not.

This is a summarised looks guide of course, but contains the basics.
Just for you to be aware of them, and know how to stare at other people in case you decide they look too odd or find their eating popcorn too disturbing!


"Hi!  I am Florencia, a recently graduated Arts teacher, actress and eager reader and writer. Also, a great adventurer, day-dreamer and imaginer, who loves long walks and colourful sunset skies."