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maddogmj77
November 26th, 2015, 05:24 AM
For as long as I can remember I have never really made extended eye contact with anybody. I find it almost painful to keep eye contact with anybody and I just really can't do it, I guess I'm nervous or something, IDK. Normally in conversations I'll make brief eye contact every 5-10 seconds, just so I'm not completely awkward, but I just never thought it necessary to maintain eye contact for a conversation. When I was 10-12 (IDK) I was nearly diagnosed with autism talking with a psychiatrist because I NEVER made eye contact, always looking down, or around the room, barely talking. (don't even remember her face, I honestly can't remember looking up one time, ever) Now a couple of my friends have noticed, and told me about it, just saying that I'm always looking down or around, and never at them, and I try, but it's hard.

So, should I try to force some eye contact as much as I hate it? Should I just continue the way I am? Does anybody else have a problem with this? :(

Typhlosion
November 26th, 2015, 09:52 AM
Oh god, I know what you mean. I can't say I'm not guilty of looking around a lot, but I do it a lot less. I only do eye contact when I really need to be polite (it burns!) and with my girlfriend, and even that took a long while to get used to too, haha.

Instead, I don't think about looking at them in the eye. Really, I look at their faces or parts of it (like forehead) or look at the background behind them. It's more about looking in their direction, not the eye contact.

bbwolf26
November 26th, 2015, 10:06 AM
I have the same problem. One of my friends made me practice looking right at him while we talked. In large groups I look over everyone and make no eye contact. For me it is being nervous.

Deleted User
November 26th, 2015, 12:02 PM
Eye contact is pretty important. It helps both parties read social cues that you otherwise cannot see without making eye contact. That said, I don't like it either. It's also considered polite.

Maybe if you just want to get used to the idea, try it out with a close friend or a parent or someone else you trust. Once you get the hang of it, it really stops being quite so bad, but that may just be me.

maddogmj77
November 27th, 2015, 05:54 AM
Eye contact is pretty important. It helps both parties read social cues that you otherwise cannot see without making eye contact. That said, I don't like it either. It's also considered polite.

Maybe if you just want to get used to the idea, try it out with a close friend or a parent or someone else you trust. Once you get the hang of it, it really stops being quite so bad, but that may just be me.

I do understand that eye contact is important, I just really can't do it. It's not even just eye contact. When I'm talking to someone, most of the time their face is completely out of my field of view. That's the only way I'm actually able to talk to people.

drhalsey1
November 27th, 2015, 06:35 AM
I understand that, I hardly ever look at people during conversation, then again I'm shy in general and don't talk much at all, and when I do look at people it's not usually there eyes, I'm usually just looking around or something, I don't think you should force it though, if it makes you uncomfortable or is against you and your personality eye contact isn't required

Deleted User
November 29th, 2015, 02:20 PM
I do understand that eye contact is important, I just really can't do it. It's not even just eye contact. When I'm talking to someone, most of the time their face is completely out of my field of view. That's the only way I'm actually able to talk to people.

I understand that, I hardly ever look at people during conversation, then again I'm shy in general and don't talk much at all, and when I do look at people it's not usually there eyes, I'm usually just looking around or something, I don't think you should force it though, if it makes you uncomfortable or is against you and your personality eye contact isn't required

The problem is though that in many cultures, eye contact is essential to good interpersonal relationships. So actually, it is somewhat required. You're not likely to get hired by an employer if you can't make eye contact in an interview. It's considered disrespectful and shows you're not comfortable around people.

Like I said, practicing with someone you're close to is a good starting point. Yes, it's uncomfortable but it's something that is important for social cues and reading people. And it's difficult to learn. But the more you avoid it, the worse it's going to get. Avoidance is the worst way to solve an anxiety problem which is exactly what this is.