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One of the greatest challenges I face in social interaction is with eye contact. I feel that I don't know what "normal" eye contact is. During a conversation with another person I will ask myself, "Should I look them in the eyes? How long should I look them in the eyes? Will looking them in the eyes too long creep them out? Should I not look them in the eyes at all? Wouldn't that creep them out more?" I become so fixated on appropriate eye contact that I find I have difficulty concentrating on the conversation. Can anyone relate? Does anyone have any ideas on how to cope with this?
 

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Yes, I believe its common problem. The best advice I can give is just try to watch other people when they are talking, and when they are listening. Then try to replicate what they do.

One on one now I find eye contact ok... in a group though it feels overwhelming.
 

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I have a lot of one-on-one conversations with people.. On my more confident days, I have less trouble, but usually I can't look them right in the eye for long. I know in terms of body language, shifty eyes are usually super sketchy, which stinks because I'm usually trying to talk them into spending more money...
 

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Yeah, I usually just look someone in the eye and make it a point to occasionally look at something else like my mind is wandering. Also to look to the side like I'm thinking about what I'm saying during small talk (NEVER TOO BUSY THINKING OF WHERE TO LOOK). I'm sure it makes me look completely natural. :cool:
 

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Wow I have the exact same problem. Ok at first I would not look the person in the eye I would wonder my eyes around. So I started looking directly at the person and now I feel as if I'm looking directly at them its not ok. The whole time they are talking I look directly at them because I feel as if I look away that is rude or they may think I'm not interested in what they are talking about. But I notice when I do look directly at them they start to look away during their talking so it makes me feel awkward.
 

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Nope, still not!
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Not anymore.
 

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Yeah, this gives me a lot of anxiety. I also hate when strangers make eye contact with me. It happens pretty often and I'm never sure what to do in that situation. If I look away, in another direction, then it'll seem like I was staring at them. If I don't look away then... it'll seem like I was staring at them. :| Sometimes they'll be talking to someone else and make eye contact with ME. what the hell is wrong with some people?
 

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yes this one teacher was like LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME! But I kept looking away. When people talk to me, I don't make eye contact with them. I wish I could overcome this.
 

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Yes on days when i am feeling particularly anxious it's a big problem. And i always know i am not doing it which makes me even more anxious....
 

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Yeah same here it's really frustrating. If you look in someone eyes too long, they'll think you're weird or crazy. If you're not looking at them long enough, they'll assume you're not listening or you're stuck up.
 

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I can't even make eye contact, period. It feels far too threatening to me, like the other person will be able to see right inside me and tell everything I'm thinking. :afr

I don't even know what my former psychologist looked like, I never looked up at her face in all the years I was seeing her. I don't know what my former psychiatrist looked like either, I was always staring at her knee or her shoes.

When I'm feeling most at ease, I can manage maybe to look toward somebody's shoulder, but almost never higher than that. :no And the more anxious I get, the lower my stare goes until I'm basically looking at the floor.
 

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That's a huge issue for me. My last gf used to get so frustrated, so upset that I wasn't making eye contact that she used to yell at me. I didn't even realize that I wasn't doing it. I mean, I don't intentionally try to upset people, but apparently I do. Most of the time I try to mimic what other people are doing. I can make occasional eye contact, like once every couple of minutes, at the most. For reasons I don't understand it's way, way worse with women. But then, my anxiety is much worse in general with women.
 

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Simon Says...
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I used to... but now I usually just tend to look in their eyes about as much as I can... and make sure to look away now and then... and remember that it takes 2 to maintain an uncomfortable stare and if they're not staring at you the whole time then they can't possibly know for a fact that you're staring at them for the whole time :b
 

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Oh, thank goodness other people have this issue too. I realize that I only glance at someone long enough to acknowledge them, and then quickly look away, kind of repeating from there. I'm always afraid it makes me look really skittish but it feels like if they can see my eyes, they'll know I have no idea what to say next.
 

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I don't have a problem with making initial eye contact, my problem, is how long should I be looking people in the eyes. I feel like I make people feel weird, with too much eye contact.
 
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