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Fear of Eye Contact..

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Re: Fear of Eye Contact..

Postby Jaracove » Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:11 pm

EarlGreyDregs wrote:I used to have a very severe fear of eye contact. It just felt physically painful to look some people in the eyes. I remember when I was befriending this one person back in high school, and looking at him was unbearable because he always tried to initiate eye contact, I sometimes had to cover my eyes with my hands in some way to avoid it.

I seem to have been able to move past that, forcing myself to do it via exposure, and now I can look people in the eyes. I tend to have another problem now however. When I talk to someone and look them in the eyes, I get "lost" in their eyes. I tend to become speechless and lose track of what I'm trying to say. It happens a lot when I go someplace and try to order something. I'll go to the cafe and be sure of what I want. But once I look in the cashier's eyes, I get stupefied, I get locked in, can't look away, and all of a sudden I'm fighting for the words, "I'll have a.. um... iced... mocha...um..." And I have to fight to remember each word. Making eye contact completely throws me and freezes my brain. Exposure doesn't seem to help this like it has helped me previously.

- EGD.

You seem to have gone from one extreme to the other

You are concentrating too much on their eyes where once you couldn't look at them at all. Although you are having difficulty now, I think you'll also overcome this issue like you overcame the other one

I've been slowly building up time concerning how long I look into people's eyes but I also seem to suffer from both problems

Either I

1. Can't look people in the eyes

Or I'm

2. So focused on the eyes I don't hear what they are saying
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Re: Fear of Eye Contact..

Postby EarlGreyDregs » Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:03 pm

I definitely have switched from one extreme to the other, and I certainly hope I can overcome this. Regarding focusing too much on the eyes, I think we would need to try to pull our eyes away. Look them in the eyes briefly, but then try to take breaks, look away for a few seconds, so we can try to concentrate on the conversation. I know my problem is I get "locked in", and can't look away. I get mesmerized by their eyes, like a deer in the headlights that can't look away. Perhaps, in the simple example of the cafe, I could look in their eyes when we exchange the "hi, how are you", but then force myself to look away, like at the menu on the wall, while I'm ordering. Keeping eye contact while speaking is too hard, my mind goes blank. I think I need to practice forcing myself to break it.

Funny how before I tried so hard to look at them, but now, I'm trying so hard to look away. With anxiety, I feel like we can't help but go to the extremes. We conquer one battle, only to have our anxiety latch on to something else.

- EGD.
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Re: Fear of Eye Contact..

Postby Somiserable » Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:04 am

People read us wrongly. They do not understand. They think we are purposely avoiding eye contact. They do not know that we cannot control ourselves, that we fear, not choose to avoid. Often they judged us, label us as abnormal, make cruel comments to moke us..
I am so tired. Tired of the struggle. Sometimes i think of ending the struggle. I cannot find a way out. I cannot form meaningful friendships, relationships. Everybody hates me. I am so miserable
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