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A few years ago a girl I just met point out that when I have a conversation with someone, I look at their mouth moving rather than looking at their eyes. As far as I know, I've always done this.

Sometimes I try to make an effort to look them in the eye, but it always feels so uncomfortable that I end up looking at their lips again.

I was just wondering if a lot of people have this problem?

J.
 

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Spectacular Member
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Eyes are like deadly weapons to me. I avoid them at all costs. Usually means staring at the ground.
 

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For some reasn, I am almost the opposite sometimes. I have too much eye contact (SA stare) and it scares people sometimes!
 
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Sometimes i have a lot of trouble with eye contact, other times I tend to be pretty good with it.

I can never look someone in the eyes and lie to them though. ever.
 

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She-Wolf
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I really cannot make eye contact with anyone, even the few I am comfortable with.
Today in school we had to do this thing where one person talks for a minute, one person listens to that person, and the other observes the listener to see how they did. As the listener I tried really hard to make eye contact, I thought I did a pretty good job but the guy observing me said my eye contact wasn't great and my eyes were wandering a lot.

I don't know, maybe I don't know how to keep eye contact without seeming like I'm staring. Does anyone know how long you should keep your eyes on the other person's without staring??
 

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adrift_atpeace said:
I really cannot make eye contact with anyone, even the few I am comfortable with.
Today in school we had to do this thing where one person talks for a minute, one person listens to that person, and the other observes the listener to see how they did. As the listener I tried really hard to make eye contact, I thought I did a pretty good job but the guy observing me said my eye contact wasn't great and my eyes were wandering a lot.

I don't know, maybe I don't know how to keep eye contact without seeming like I'm staring. Does anyone know how long you should keep your eyes on the other person's without staring??
I think I would have died if I had to do that.
 

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Blue J said:
A few years ago a girl I just met point out that when I have a conversation with someone, I look at their mouth moving rather than looking at their eyes. As far as I know, I've always done this.

Sometimes I try to make an effort to look them in the eye, but it always feels so uncomfortable that I end up looking at their lips again.

I was just wondering if a lot of people have this problem?
Actually, I did the same thing until I was 23, but now I just totally avoid eye contact. It gave me a very good ability to pickup foreign languages because I picked up the proper mouthing much quicker than other students. However, I should also point out that I have Asperger's Syndrome and improper eye contact has been one of my life long traits. I've also been reading some books about Neuro-linguistic Programming to help with my very poor ability to read body language and social cues and one of the things I came across were studies done with Autistic people that showed they often look around the faces of people searching for emotion,but in particular focus on the mouth, while non-autistic people hold eye contact at normal intervals.
 

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I avoid eye contact at all costs. But i realized that someone caught onto that...

I used to stare over the persons shoulders haha :lol and that resulted in "Why dont you ever look at me? you seem like you aren't interested in what im talking, then why ask man!?!?" I FELT BADDDD and had to make something up. But i kept on doing it..so i finaly just said "I just do that...im listening dont get me wrong..its just what I do."


Now im trying to make eye contact as much as possible....but the anxiety just is horrendous.
 

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I can make eye contact with people mostly, but when the other person is talking, I notice I nod my head alot and say,"uhhuh," alot. Seems ridiculous sometimes.
 

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Yeah, I'm like that too... mostly because... I think I'm afraid of doing it too much. Maybe I'm staring into their eyes too much? Maybe it looks like I'm some kind of psycho? And of course, the irony is... THAT makes you into a psycho :afr
 

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adrift_atpeace said:
I don't know, maybe I don't know how to keep eye contact without seeming like I'm staring. Does anyone know how long you should keep your eyes on the other person's without staring??
Eye contact in non-autistics is one area that I have never treated or even addressed in a therapy situation. Usually my clients are either normal-functioning and therefore learn via natural development how to do this, or they have autism and so have very poor eye contact which is explicitly treated in therapy. Eye contact can be a troublesome area in normal-functioning people with SA.

Eye contact is difficult to teach well because it is a delicate and changeable pragmatic feature of communication. When you make eye contact, you show that you are listening to the speaker. Too little eye contact sends a message of either disinterest or extreme shyness; too much is unnerving and can send inappropriate messages.

In general, don't worry about making very much eye contact when you are speaking. When you are listening, make more eye contact. In both cases, try and hold the gaze for a few seconds and then "break away" briefly - look to the side of the person, or to the wall or clean your fingernails or whatever. Then return back to eye contact. A good time to break away is when you are thinking about what the speaker has said or when you are thinking of what to say next. If it comes down to it, err on the side of too much eye contact. Most of you will intuitively "get" it if you can manage your anxiety better and are in more social situations, so try not to sweat it too much.

Eye contact can be really frightening for people with SA. If eye contact is too scary, watch their forehead or nose, or the space between their eyes instead. They will not know that you are looking at different parts of their face, and you will be able to still maintain a smoother interaction.
 

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Caedmon said:
Eye contact in non-autistics is one area that I have never treated or even addressed in a therapy situation. Usually my clients are either normal-functioning and therefore learn via natural development how to do this, or they have autism and so have very poor eye contact which is explicitly treated in therapy. Eye contact can be a troublesome area in normal-functioning people with SA.
It's a bit off topic, but do you know anything about the influence Bipolar Disorder has on intonation? I've read, although not from any reliable source, that Bipolar has a tendency to make those affected with it sound very lively even with they aren't manic. I'm wondering about this because my speech isn't the least monotone or robotic, as is common with Asperger's Syndrome and Autism. When combined with my tendency to enunciate words, way of versification, and accent that sounds nothing like where I'm from (despite having lived in the Midwest all of my life and having only traveled out of it twice). I've been asked if I'm from everywhere from New Jersey to Boston to Canada after people have heard me speaking for less a few minutes, but in general people just think I'm "not from around here" or am from "up north."
 

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I hate eye contact because I just don't know when to look away, it's so annoying!!!!!!!!!
 

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opivy22 said:
Caedmon said:
Eye contact in non-autistics is one area that I have never treated or even addressed in a therapy situation. Usually my clients are either normal-functioning and therefore learn via natural development how to do this, or they have autism and so have very poor eye contact which is explicitly treated in therapy. Eye contact can be a troublesome area in normal-functioning people with SA.
It's a bit off topic, but do you know anything about the influence Bipolar Disorder has on intonation? I've read, although not from any reliable source, that Bipolar has a tendency to make those affected with it sound very lively even with they aren't manic.
That's entirely possible. I did my senior thesis on language deficits & treatment in schizophrenia, and with this population there are definite intonation (prosodic) features. Now of course, I'm thinking immediately towards "what Bipolar speech is like" and including manic speech in there. Obviously manic speech is going to be different.

Bipolar but in a non-manic phase, I don't know. That's a good question. It's possible for it to be different. Bipolar w/ depression would be distinct, but so is unipolar depression (flatter, lower average pitch, slower rate, shorter utterances, etc). Yeah, like I said, I don't know about this, it's a good question though. All the bipolar people I've known seemed to have fairly active, friendly communication styles and a faster-than-average rate of speech even in nonmanic phases, but that's admittedly only anecdotal.

I'm wondering about this because my speech isn't the least monotone or robotic, as is common with Asperger's Syndrome and Autism. When combined with my tendency to enunciate words, way of versification, and accent that sounds nothing like where I'm from (despite having lived in the Midwest all of my life and having only traveled out of it twice). I've been asked if I'm from everywhere from New Jersey to Boston to Canada after people have heard me speaking for less a few minutes, but in general people just think I'm "not from around here" or am from "up north."
Sometimes ASD speech is flat or robotic, but sometimes it isn't. I've known some people w/ autism who are only echolalic, but their ability to repeat phrases (even without comprehending them) is amazingly accurate. That includes prosody in there as well. I'm guessing that where you're higher-functioning, and you have relatively high verbal skills, for you this probably wouldn't be an area of deficit.

It's been my observation with the Asperger's population I work with (admittedly a small group, again just anecdotal) that it's their speech rate and volume that is more often impaired (going too fast or running phrases together badly; speaking too loudly or too quietly) and has more impact on their ability to communicate. That, and certain semantic-pragmatic- discourse problems of course, but that's another issue altogether.
 

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Caedmon said:
That includes prosody in there as well. I'm guessing that where you're higher-functioning, and you have relatively high verbal skills, for you this probably wouldn't be an area of deficit.
I demolished the verbal portion of my WAIS test until I was asked to explain what the two figures of speech meant. One was about a small river making more noise than a large river :stu

Caedmon said:
It's been my observation with the Asperger's population I work with (admittedly a small group, again just anecdotal) that it's their speech rate and volume that is more often impaired (going too fast or running phrases together badly; speaking too loudly or too quietly) and has more impact on their ability to communicate. That, and certain semantic-pragmatic- discourse problems of course, but that's another issue altogether.
The speech rate bit is interesting because even as a child my parents told me I spoke too fast.
 
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