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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.
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