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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is one of my biggest hang ups and frustrations. I live in the suburbs, in a neighborhood area and I go out for frequent walks by myself. I can see people coming from like a mile away so-to-speak, and I start freaking out because IDK what to do! I'm good at calming myself down a little as to not have a panic attack (I've never had a panic attack, except this one time ... but that was different) so-to-speak. But what I can't deal with is trying to be natural upon what I call "contact" with the person: The time when they are 3 - 4 yards in front of you and then finally when they pass at that moment. I don't know whether to look them in the eye and say hello, or give a notion that they exist, or what (I'm sure I should do SOMETHING and not come off as completely hostile). Even before then I have no clue whether I should keep eye contact from like 100 feet away when it seems like they are looking forward or at me, or what, and then what to do when we make contact. I try to get myself to keep looking ahead 100% of the time for courtesy-sake or at least like 70 - 80% so I'm not staring, but I just get too nervous and have to look down at times, it's a struggle. Sometimes I don't even look at the person or I pretend I'm concentrating on something else even though clearly there's nothing. That's always the most comfortable, but I want to be natural and at least not so detached or seemingly hostile to the other person so that I don't dread every single person coming down the sidewalk 200 feet away. I'm sure many can relate, but please someone help me? Give advice? Any findings from experience that have helped? It would be apreciated :)
 

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I hate this too. When someone gets within a few yards of me, I glance at them, as they are about to walk by, and I give them a quick smile. If they say hi to me, I say hi back. If I glance at them and they don't look at me, oh well. I could care less if they ignore me. This isn't just an SA thing. I bet there's other non SA'ers, who think the same way when they're about to walk by a stranger.
 

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whenever i walk by a person, i will look at them until we pass then i look down. If I have my ipod, i will make believe im looking at the ipod. or i will look away or something as to not make eye contact. i am also not big on staring.
 

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I just keep my eye on the destination and look out for people who are appearing to observe me closely (and take appropriate measures). Don't have to be self concious, focus on where you have to go.
 

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The Phoenix
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not just when i walk by people... also when i talk to people i don't know or i have to say something important.
Yep, I do that too. It sucks, because of that I'm always the third wheel with any group I'm with.

whenever i walk by a person, i will look at them until we pass then i look down. If I have my ipod, i will make believe im looking at the ipod. or i will look away or something as to not make eye contact. i am also not big on staring.
I do that too >_<
 

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At work, I give people a quick smile/grin while walking by.

But I live downtown in a pretty busy city, so I walk by hundreds of people everytime I'm out. You just get used to ignoring them. I make eye contact with some of them though, and they do the same. This is why I prefer having my sunglasses on.

I was in the 'burbs on Friday, and went for some very long walks. Very few people were out, and I just ignored them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
At work, I give people a quick smile/grin while walking by.

But I live downtown in a pretty busy city, so I walk by hundreds of people everytime I'm out. You just get used to ignoring them. I make eye contact with some of them though, and they do the same. This is why I prefer having my sunglasses on.

I was in the 'burbs on Friday, and went for some very long walks. Very few people were out, and I just ignored them.
I could totally cope with livin in a big city or where there's lots-o-peeps, bc then I can just ignore them, but I can't ignore people when there are few and far between and you can see them a mile away like where I live.
 

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I can understand.

What bothers me is I don't know if it's normal or not to look people in the eye when walking by? I tend to look at the ground and it seems like almost everyone looks at me. If they do look at me then I start to wonder is there something on my face, is my hair messed up, do my clothes look stupid, what's wrong especially if they're smiling or laughing.

A bizarre sensation that I get, and maybe I'm just crazy, but sometimes it feels like I forget how to walk. I can continue walking and I'm pretty sure it looks normal, but it's like my legs are moving themselves and I can't control them. Uh oh, they found me...back to the padded room...
 

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I was feeling unusually courageous last week and attempted a little experiment about this... (note: i bike to school (everyone here does), so the time spent worrying/actually looking at the person is drastically less than if both people were walking). Anyways I decided to make eye contact AND keep it with each person that passed by.

I rode past ~10 people, and half of them didn't even look at me! Most of the people who did look at me immediately glanced away cause our eyes met, lol. I think one person kept contact, and I looked away first because well, it was getting uncomfortable lol.

I'd say it's rare to find someone who really cares about whether the person they're walking towards is going to acknowledge them or not. Most people are fine and just wanna go about their day. Safest bet: if it's not crowded, flash a smile a second or two before you pass by each other. If it's less than explored path, then a "hi" would be ok to say.
 

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slanted and disenchanted
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YES to pretty much everything everyone has said!!!

i like to go for walks in the park, and my heart literally sinks when i see someone approaching me.

it depends. sometimes i'll glance up and see it they are looking at me, and if so, i'll say a simple 'hi' or smile or whatever. but nothing sucks more than when i take the 'risk' of saying hi, only to be ignored.

if i REALLY don't feel like dealing w/ people at all, i will wear sunglasses and put headphones on and just pretend to be totally oblivious. i did this yesterday and it was a great success!

and like many have said, it's less of an issue in a big city or congested place. but in a suburban environment, you definitely have to deal w/ it more!
 

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In my shiny bubble
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I don't look at the people walking passed me. If I am on my own, i'll keep looking at the ground or i'll pretend to be looking for something in my bag til the person has passed.
If I am with one of my parents i'll just keep looking ahead, or at the ground or at one of my parents walking at the side of me usually they are talking to me anyway so i turn to look at them.
i have looked up at people before when they walk passed to see if they are looking at me, but most of the time i don't know why i worry because sometimes they ain't looking at me, they just look ahead, at the ground or on their phone.
 

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I used to speak to people as they approached me while walking, but I got tired of some people not saying anything, so I just started not even looking at them while walking. Having my ipod on, I focus on the music. I just don't feel like talking, even to say "hi".
 

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Fitting In Here & There
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I go rollerblading on a busy bike path in the warmer weather and I always wear earphones to make sure that people don't even try to talk to me.
When walking, my stomach turns when someone's approaching me but then I tell myself to just be nice and say hi & nothing bad will happen and usually they say hi back unless it's a teenager--they totally ignore me every time and then I think they must be shy. I try not to take it personally if a person ignores me. (How can it be personal when they don't even know me?)
In general, the more people that are around, the more you can ignore others. But if it's just me and one other person, I think it's rude to not acknowledge them.
 

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Sigh... This is one of my big problems to:afr I dont know what the "normal" thing to do is.. I usually just walk by em like if they didint even exist but then i feel bad bout it cause i dont want to come off as rude.. Or i just look somewhere else like something else has got my attention..
 

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if i have something in my hands, i concentrate on that. or if i don't, i stare straight ahead, wait until they get about 15 feet away, glance at them and try to give them a small smile, then look in front of me or at my feet. of course, that usually makes me get physical symptoms of anxiety, but whatever.
 
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