The ‘her gaze softened’ trend has people feeling a type of way: ‘Why’d this trigger my fight or flight’

This TikTok trend has #BookTok and hopeless romantics all in their feelings.

The “her gaze softened” trend shows users looking intently at the camera. They cover the lower half of their face, so viewers focus solely on their eyes. Melancholic acoustic music plays in the background.

Annie (@annie_ci), a 21-year-old influencer from Michigan, posted her rendition of the trend.


I legitimately cannot get past the fact that typing out “her gaze softened” feels like self-insert wattpad bs or sumn. Anyways

♬ original sound – LebronCreator

“As a writer this is my favorite trend”

The purpose of the trend is to capture the moment someone’s eyes go from intense and guarded to relaxed and at ease at the sight of someone they care for. “Her gaze softened” is typically written in the context of a romantic relationship.

“[W]hy is this so cute. not like in an attraction way but in a… human way? like this feels very human,” wrote @formidophobia.

“[W]hyd this trigger my fight or flight,” said @thatmanruckus.

“[I]t has a soft but gentle ember glow to it something that’s filled with hope and calm,” said @wixkkay.

Tessa (@tessajanczur), a user based in New York, posted her response to the trend. Commenters quickly noticed how her pupils dilated the moment her girlfriend walked in.


my eyes even get excited to see her

♬ original sound – LebronCreator

“Our pupils dilate like they’re trying to subconsciously soak up and remember every detail of that person and I think that’s so sweet,” wrote @haileewc.

“You looked happier and just content. You have like love gaze in your eyes,” commented @maddd2197.

“U can literally see the exact second it changes,” wrote @giannacursebreaker.

Twenty-year-old user @spoolboonge‘s more obvious interpretation also resonated with commenters.

“I’m in love with this interpretation.”

“[P]eople try to make this look subtle but this is just how imagine it when reading,” wrote @backgroundcharacter1.

“[T]he realest one i’ve seen,” said @brooke.montfort.

“I-… this is what I imagine…thank you. I’m in love with this interpretation,” commented @thanatophicbabe.

TikTok user @shadowtrix356 posted an analysis of how the eyes adjust to create a “softened” look.

“this line can range from being really subtle to obvious… as long as your eye muscles relax from whatever emotion you’re displaying before then… you’ll get the softened glaze look.”


saw someone struggling about what it looks like. because emotion is a (rather difficult tk understand) spectrum, this line can range from being really subtle to obvious, like this one. as long as your eye muslces relax from whatever emotion your displaying before then, then youll get your softened gaze look. 🙂 hope this helps! @stupidstaples #softenedgaze #animation #emotion

♬ original sound – LebronCreator

This trend allows users the chance to articulate vulnerability with just a look. Said one user, “It’s like you just told me ‘it’s okay to hurt’ without saying a word.”

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