Social Anxiety Support Forum banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
151 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I just came back from a meeting at work. I don't drive so I had to call my dad to come pick me up after the meeting was over. I was standing outside in the front of the store and I began to feel anxious because there were people everywhere and I just felt uneasy. It was a bit bright out so I put on my sunglasses. Almost immediately, my anxiety went away. The reason? I think my anxiety is shown more in my eyes than in any other part of my body. When I'm not wearing sunglasses, I feel tense and rigid (without even realizing it) and I can't look at other people comfortably without thinking I'm being rude by staring at them. You know how some people like to "people watch"? Not me. I just feel uneasy when I do it. And it's almost like I'm constantly subconsciously thinking about where my eyes SHOULD go and I find myself looking at the ground or off to the side so I can avoid looking at someone.. When I have my sunglasses on, I can look at people the way I want to. I can people watch comfortably. I don't ever think about what everyone else is thinking of me. And if I look away from someone, I know it's because I WANT to, not because I'm feeling anxious and feel like I NEED to.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is that a big part of my anxiety is from eye contact. If I'm walking alongside someone, I'm absolutely fine talking to them. If I'm facing them, I'm a mess. If I could, I'd wear my sunglasses all the time and my anxiety would practically disappear. It's tough because if I want to fix this eye contact problem, I have to find a happy medium between looking at someone normally and staring at them. Any advice or thoughts?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
225 Posts
Someone once told me at a party, that I shouldn't hide behind my sunglasses but to be myself.

I actually understand what he meant by that now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
But do you feel that sunglasses are a crux in that situation?

Why are you a mess when looking at someones eyes? What thoughts go through your head? I find that I mainly get uncomfortable when the other person holds my eye contact for an extended period.

The main things with eye contact are:

Don't stare, look away every now and then
Focus on each eye, so look into one then look into the other. It makes it less intense for the other person.
Practice by looking around you but don't hold the eye contact if it is made, just glance around the area and count the number of times you make eye contact with a person.
Practice with shop assistants, when they talk to you look into their eyes. Once you feel yourself going past your comfort level, look in your wallet. No reason just look, maybe get your payment method out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Darting eyes

I've noticed that I also feeling more comfortable hiding my eyes behind sun glasses than leaving them exposed so people can see my darting eyes and so people would feel less inclined to approach me for small talk. I try to wear sunglasses everytime I walk in the city so I can hide my shyness and darting eyes from the public.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
I totally understand that, I used to not wear my glasses (Im very short sighted) so I wouldnt have to look at people passing but then people I knew thought I was ignoring them so it kind of made things worse
you can get tinted specs my boyfriend used to wear them think it draws attention to you though
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
I totally agree. Hiding behind sunglasses (in certain situations) makes me feel better. But I would be worried that people think i'm an idiot if I wore them at inappropriate times.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top