So is it that people actually stare at US, or do people stare in general, or are we completely deluded? Personally I think that humans can be very strange (oh wait... humans ARE strange).
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It can be both, if you dress weirdly though they probably are looking but the idea is to not care.
I believe that AvPD and social anxiety are connected to the schizophrenia spectrum though which basically means that you hyper analyse everything, project your emotions on to others, internalise their emotions, assume there's connections where there aren't, just a **** sense of boundaries in general. (hyper and hypo mentalizing in different contexts, and theory of mind abnormalities compared to the average person.) It's just the mild end of the spectrum imo.
Someone whose schizotypal might listen to the radio and think the stuff being said on it is a message for them, someone with social anxiety will hear people laughing in public and think it's connected to them. Very similar.