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SASsy
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anybody here have problems making and keeping eye contact with others?

I don't have that problem with family and close friends but when I'm around strangers or people that I only know slightly I have a hard time keeping eye contact with them for more than a few seconds. My eyes dart all over the place and I lose concetration. For the life of me I can''t seem to overcome this problem. I'm sure anxiety plays a big part but I know other people with anxiety that don't have this problem.

What, if anything, can be done to overcome this problem? :um
 

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I have this problem too. For me it seems like it is mostly the discomfort of other people looking at me. It's like if i don't look at them in the eye I can pretend like they're not looking at me. When I realize that someone is looking at me all I can think is "they're judging me!" and my eyes start darting around and I anxiously look for ways to escape the situation.

I've improved a bit just from practicing in front of a mirror. I don't know if its the same for you but I always feel anxious about the way I look, I constantly think to myself that i must look really awkward. Practicing in front of a mirror helps me be more comfortable with my body language which helps a lot with eye contact.
 

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SASsy
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. I'll try that.

Yes, I'm selfconscious about the way I look also. :)
 

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I read some self help book and it said in real life non intimate small talk, the one who are speaking would mostly look at the listener and the listener would mostly look away from the speaker. The problem with it is I can't do it naturally and it become very awkward if I ever try it.
 

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I think my issue with eye contact is that I feel a lot more exposed when looking directly at a person when speaking / interacting (it reduces the amount of stress - especially when I struggle to work out how to respond to what they say or when they ask me to repeat things - if I'm looking elsewhere when I response to people).

In terms of practice, things like trying to make eye contact when watching TV shows or youtube clips alongside mirror practice.

It's hard to get in the habbit of eye contact. I've noticed I adjust my opinion on whether people are actively engaged with my on whether they are making eye contact or not so it would be really nice to be able to wake up and for eye contact to be natural (as I'm trying to make eye contact I can see how others can easily percieve me badly whilst I'm not looking at them properly).
 

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I have always had trouble with this issue. When it gets overwhelming I just force myself to look a bunch of people directly in the eye until it doesn't scare me anymore. You have to remember that making eye contact isn't the same thing as staring.
 

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I don't know if you should try this, but here's how I got over better at eye contact:

I just started being really awkward on purpose, and kept staring at people's eyes, then doing the most perverted/awkward compliment I could:

Like "Has anyone told you that you have the MOST beautiful eyes?" With how I act, this phrase goes hand in hand with me, but you probably shouldn't do that(as you're probably less awkward than me).
Now, inane social awkwardness is in my blood! Not good for actually socializing, but a good cover for looking at eyes.

And if it helps, think of it like this: you can improve you eye contact skills as MUCH as you want, but they are only as good as the person you're actually making eye contact with.
You could be the most eyegazing person ever, but it won't matter if the person you're looking at won't even show you their eyes in the first place!
 

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try getting a partner (family member or friend) then just maintain eye contact for 5 minutes. Do this for a week. See what happens.
 

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Sometimes...I dont have trouble making eye contact when Im talking to someone, but it makes me feel awkward because Im never quite sure how much you're supposed to. It feels unnatural/crazy to stare into their eyes for the majority of the time you're talking, but a lot of times Im talking to people and they're looking me in the eyes the whole time and it makes me uncomfortable because I naturally drift my eyes around and return back when it feels right. So maybe its other people who are doing it wrong and not me lol...but it still makes me feel unsure.
 

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i focus on peoples noses

i also have a lazy eye im a little self conscious about so i try not to look at peoples face for to long or my eyes will go in different directions
 

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yes I think it's a common issue, even if it feels uncomfortable the other person doesn't know what you're feeling on the inside. So if you continue to practice it and telling yourself they don't know you're nervous it may get more comfortable for you
 

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I think I read it somewhere here, but an effective way to look at someone would be to look them in the eyes, but not completely. Shift your eyes away just a tiny bit, so that you are locked on something else close by. Like their forehead or something.
 

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SASsy
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for all the replies. They were very helpful. :D
 

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Beasting
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I have no idea how the eye contact rule works.

I don't get nervous looking them in the eye and have no problem with that in itself, but I get nervous because I'm never sure when I should look away, and where to look if I look away, and will it look natural. I love talking to people at night when it's dark out so I don't have to worry about this.
 

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I have no idea how the eye contact rule works.

I don't get nervous looking them in the eye and have no problem with that in itself, but I get nervous because I'm never sure when I should look away, and where to look if I look away, and will it look natural. I love talking to people at night when it's dark out so I don't have to worry about this.
same here, i always look people in the eyes when we're talking but then i start to think, "am i staring too much" or "is it rude to keep looking away." very confusing to me. people creep me out though when they don't look away at all. it's uncomfortable.
 
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