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For the life of me I have a very, *very* hard time making and maintaining eye contact, and I think that may be why people who don't know me think I'm dishonest. Whenever someone looks at me I automatically look away because it's so uncomfortable, almost like a threat. What usually happens is that I will look at them out of the corner of my eye when I don't think they're looking at me. If they are looking I look away until I think they aren't looking, ad nauseum. I know most probably think this is strange and I wonder what can I do to stop it? I do it to almost everyone, including family and my best friend of 16 years,,, ;) . also, if I do look someone in the eye they feel like they're getting a "stare-down". I don't mean to do that! Gah...I thought that's what people want!

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I also have a hard time looking into someone's eyes. Even my husband's. It's something that I really dislike about myself, but I haven't been able to change it.

For me, looking someone in the eye is about as comfortable as staring straight into the sun.

-- Bumble

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I used to look directly at the sun a lot when I was a kid. Someting fascinated me about the process. (not wide opened eye staring, though. Not possible!)

It was easier than looking people in the eye!

Don't know if people thought I was 'dishonest'.

I did get in trouble with one highly 'developed' lady in the office who thought I was staring at her chest - and said so very loudly in a room full of people! - I was just lookinf down avoiding her eyes!

(Really!)

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I used to look at the sun too. Gave interesting effects when you looked away - colourful.

And stare at other things for hours, like a blue sheet of paper. Sorry offtopic.

Yeah, I found that problem could be sort of got around by just flicking your eyes over every so often, then you can get away with not looking in their eyes too much.

Though if the talk gets at all emotional, I can't look at all... also have problems looking in someones eye and talking at the same time.

The looking at someones eyebrow trick is a good one too.

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have you tried looking at the bridge of their nose, or at an eyebrow?

No, and that's a great suggestion!

I'm really worried because of work. It's a world of suits, briefcases, and handshakes. So many subtle, but meaningful rituals and procedures. I don't want to become an office clone, but fit in just enough to move up in the ranks.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Guest SomeOneSomewhere

I can't look people in the eye when I talk to them or they talk to me and I hate it. ;) I will glace at their eyes briefly but then I just look away while conversing. I wonder if there are meds that can treat this non-specified disorder because I would like to have solid eye contact.

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Guest -

I don't think it's a 'disorder'. It's a symptom of an underlying issue.

IF you don't have other 'issues' that you feel you need to deal with - like depression or anxiety etc. - (or, maybe even if you do!) some form of 'behavioral' therapy may be very helpful for you.

I would at least suggest investigating that first.

Meds, I don't think, would be appropriate to treat just this one thing.

You might also want to raise this issue with your doctor if you have one just to get more input and advice.

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Sometimes this can be a symptom and sometimes it is just a trait we have. It is said that with both, eye contact can be taught and practiced. For me, it is very uncomfortable. But it is a trait, I've never looked people in the eyes. Now that I'm a bit older I practice but I seem to be on either side of the extreme spectrum. I either don't look at all or tend to stare (when I don't mean to). To blatantly say it, eye contact hurts for me. But I still try to practice even with (at the moment) it is unsatisfactory for others (especially my psychitrist). But passed that, despite what causes it, you can't dwell on what other people think.

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