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So I realized something yesterday.

I'm pretty shy around people, especially when it comes to eye contact - I just can't face people directly, or I have a hard time doing it.

I was surfing the net yesterday, when I came across a high-res picture of an attractive female. Normally, I get even more shy and nervous around attractive persons, but as I glanced at the picture, I suddenly realized that I shied away from even looking at the girl's eyes in the picture. I thought to myself, this isn't right; I know I'm reluctant to make genuine eye contact, but I realized something; it was just a picture. There's just this creepy vibe that I get whenever I look at lifelike high-res portrait photos, as if the persons depicted in the picture can actually see me looking at them. But it was just a picture, I realized. It's all in my head; of course the person in the picture cannot see me; the picture was nothing but an arranged combination of differently-colored pixels on my screen. I could look at the picture in whatever way I want. It's just that, I'm so afraid of of making eye contact and looking at people directly, that I was even a bit afraid of looking at the photo, because it was almost like making eye contact in real life.

So then, I simply looked straight at the portrait; I gazed into the eyes and just smiled naturally, as if the person was real, even though it was just a photo. There was nothing to fear; it was just a picture. And that's when I realized; if I had been looking at an actual person, all I simply had to do was that: Make eye contact and smile. Easy. I just have to go and do it, just as if it were the picture. Don't think or fret, just do it. I was at a restaurant earlier today and when the waitress came up to me, my first instinct was to kinda shy away and do my usual monotonous quietspeak thing, but then I remembered the picture. I simply looked at the waitress, smiled, and greeted her.

After that, I felt way better, All I had to do was simply do it. Don't think, just do, even though that's easier said than done in some cases. But if I can do that all the time, then my anxiety will be no problem at all. I even went up and touched a giant spider with my finger. Normally, I'm more than a little afraid of small crawly insects, especially the thought of them on my skin, but I thought about what happened earlier today. Spiders are tiny insects; they can't possibly cause you more than a tiny bit of pain (excluding venomous breeds) if they bite you. At most, it might be like getting a shot on your finger; and that's nothing we can't handle. So I just stopped thinking about being afraid of the spider and just went up and actually poked it, then watched it quickly skitter sideways. So now I'm less afraid of tiny crawly insects.

I guess that counts as sort of a successful self-CBT lesson. If I can apply this method to my daily life, eventually I will get better. It's all in my mind, and ultimately, I'm in control of what goes on in my mind.
 

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Hey, that's really cool. It's nice to get a smile from someone and to give a smile.
 

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Awesome post. So simple, I'm going to try this. Hopefully eye contact will become a natural instinct after much training.
 
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