Our partner

Fear of Eye Contact..

Social Phobia message board, open discussion, and online support group.

Moderator: Alucard

Fear of Eye Contact..

Postby Mr.Anxiety » Thu Nov 24, 2011 8:07 am

Hey guys,

So I believe the biggest issue with my social anxiety/phobia is not making eye contact with people. If I go into a public place such as a restaurant, bar, gym, etc..I avoid making eye contact with people. This has severely affected my relationships with people because I have been told that avoiding eye contact can make people uncomfortable because a person cannot "read" your emotions.

I do not know WHY I have always been so afraid to make eye contact with people. With guys I am afraid if I make eye contact with them they will think I am challenging them to a fight. When I was younger I was told by a lot of woman that I was a "creeper" so this makes me not want to make eye contact with woman because I am afraid I will creep them out. It often causes people to think I am shady, arrogant, and/or untrustworthy but nothing could be further from the truth!

My advice is how do I get over this phobia?? How long do I hold eye contact for 3-5 seconds?? When I make eye contact with people my anxiety sky rockets and I get incredibly anxious. Any advice on how to kick this ridiculous phobia?
Mr.Anxiety
Consumer 1
Consumer 1
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 8:59 am
Local time: Tue Sep 19, 2017 3:49 am
Blog: View Blog (0)


ADVERTISEMENT

Re: Fear of Eye Contact..

Postby Madiw » Thu Nov 24, 2011 9:14 am

I don't think I can offer you any advice but I can offer you the comfort of knowing you're not the only person who has a serious fear of making eye contact. How long have you been so anxious about making eye contact? Does your fear get worse the nearer the person is?
Madiw
Consumer 0
Consumer 0
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:32 am
Local time: Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:49 am
Blog: View Blog (3)

Re: Fear of Eye Contact..

Postby michijo » Thu Nov 24, 2011 8:11 pm

I cant make eye contact either. I think it is because some part of me has not yet given into futility. 8)
User avatar
michijo
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 731
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2011 11:56 pm
Local time: Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:49 am
Blog: View Blog (6)

Re: Fear of Eye Contact..

Postby Severijn » Sun Nov 27, 2011 4:07 pm

Hey mr. anxiety.

What worked for me is slowly practicing it. I first started on 'non-challenging' people, like strangers in shops etc. Then work up from there to people you know better.

By slowly moving up step by step, you should be able to overcome this fear. It's really basically an irrational fear, because no one is going to hurt you because of it.

It's that that in the weekends there are some aggressive dudes walking the streets, and you shouldn't make long eye contact with them. But this almost never happens.

So I think you can overcome this fear by gradually practicing it, going from easy situations to more difficult ones. Good luck with it.
Severijn
Consumer 1
Consumer 1
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 12:08 am
Local time: Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:49 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Fear of Eye Contact..

Postby michijo » Sun Nov 27, 2011 5:37 pm

I am not afraid of aggressive dudes any more than young girls.

I have tried eye contact with various people, attempting to smile and look at someone in the eyes, but I find it is too strange.

Once someone told me I gave them an extremely passionate eye contact while passing them, but I was unaware that I had! I concluded that my eyes were betraying some strange emotion that I am unaware of.
User avatar
michijo
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 731
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2011 11:56 pm
Local time: Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:49 am
Blog: View Blog (6)

Re: Fear of Eye Contact..

Postby the_unknown » Fri Dec 02, 2011 4:48 pm

I too am afraid of eye contact especially with a girl... I feel like I am an "inferior" human so I do not look people in the eye...
the_unknown
Consumer 3
Consumer 3
 
Posts: 78
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 4:22 pm
Local time: Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:49 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Fear of Eye Contact..

Postby Madiw » Tue Dec 06, 2011 2:38 pm

Before now my mum has moaned at me for lack of eye contact whenever people have talked to me but she doesn't realise that I can't handle it. I'm dreading the thought of an upcoming job interview I have.
Madiw
Consumer 0
Consumer 0
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:32 am
Local time: Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:49 am
Blog: View Blog (3)

Re: Fear of Eye Contact..

Postby Mr.Anxiety » Sat Dec 17, 2011 1:56 am

Ya I believe it is because of my past. I grew up in a pretty rough home where my parents fought constantly. I tried to avoid my parents as much as possible and avoid eye contact for fear of having to stay around them to long. Both of my parents have Anxiety so I inherited this disorder as well.

I also have always had pretty negative social experiences and tend to rub people the wrong way which I attribute to my generalized/social anxiety so I kind of wish I was invisible to avoid people.

If I keep eye contact with a guy I feel like they want to fight me. I try to avoid eye contact but I will keep eye contact with males ONLY when there might be conflict and my adrenaline has spiked. For some reason I am in my comfort zone when I am anxious. My experiences with females has always been pretty negative and I was labeled as "creepy" and "weird" growing up so I tend to avoid eye contact and ignore females because of that reason.

Ridiculous behavior but it has been hard to break these habits.
Mr.Anxiety
Consumer 1
Consumer 1
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 8:59 am
Local time: Tue Sep 19, 2017 3:49 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Fear of Eye Contact..

Postby chelseafan316 » Sun Dec 25, 2011 3:47 am

something that works for me in the business environment for me (I have the same fear , ) is to initially make contact and as soon as possible wether I am thinking or listening I focus my eyes either up or down like I am in thought or taking something in, It works well for me as I am often in meetings where I need to be taking in information from someone so I act as though I am really focusing on what they are saying and taking it in. and then occasionally will glance back up and nod. hope that can help a bit
chelseafan316
Consumer 0
Consumer 0
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2011 3:38 am
Local time: Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:49 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Fear of Eye Contact..

Postby AMaur » Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:19 pm

I have a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, and two Associates Degrees in Engineering. I graduated with a 3.97 GPA, but I am a journeyman carpenter by trade, and have been for twenty years, mainly due to the fact that I too have a hard time making eye contact. It may be incidental, or it could be related, but four years ago I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and I have had sypmtoms of Social Anxiety Disorder. I do know that the medication I currently take, depakote, has helped with the eye contact issue.

I get what your going through. Eye contact is important, we both know it. Probably more so than those who take it for granted. People read us wrong. I was once questioned by a police officer about my potential involvement in a theft. I had nothing to do with it, but he was convinced I was lying. No eye contact. My wife still thinks I lie when I'm not. My foreman thinks I am either not paying attention or disinterested in his words and gets angry with me. No eye contact. When I do make eye contact I quickly look away, and it grabs attention. It informs the person that something is wrong, whether it be sexual thoughts or something I am ashamed of, or whatever else they think. So I get it. It isolates us when we don't want to be alone. It disconnects us when we want to belong.

Medication has helped me. Your brain may be over activated by a chemical imbalance. Mine was with bipolar disorder. Your brain has a fight or flight gear that is activated through adrenaline. Normal people have this activated under duress. If a man is running at them with a bat and looks angry, do you run or fight? Your brain is doing the same thing for no real reason. You make eye contact, your brain pumps in chemicals, perhaps adrenaline or something else. You panic. Your brain sees something in the eye subconsciously that you don't understand. It perceives a threat. Fear and anger are your responses to that threat, and to stop it, you look away.

I am going further with my research on this, and if I find any real answers to the disorder, I will let you know. Just remember, I am mostly happy, and work around it. I wear sunglasses at work. I look at people's face, their forehead then chin or smile, but avoid direct eye contact. Sometimes I even forget the eye thing and get involved in the conversation and realize later I was normal for a while. I have survived and am mostly content. Your not alone, and I believe you too can learn to live with it, maybe even overcome it.
AMaur
Consumer 0
Consumer 0
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:47 pm
Local time: Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:49 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Next

Return to Social Phobia Forum




  • Related articles
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 13 guests

cron