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Old 24-08-2019, 06:49 PM   #1
one_step_closer
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Eye Contact

How do you give good eye contact? I am very rubbish at it and mostly don't look at people but when I do look at people I feel like I'm staring at them and it has been noted in A&E assessments in the past that I have supposedly been staring with a look of superiority, which is terrible and I would never consider myself superior to anyone. It's really getting to me now and I'm noticing it more and more. I've always been very aware of my lack of eye contact and that doesn't bother me too much but the fixed staring eye contact does. I know thinking about what my eye contact is like might make it more awkward and worse but I'm really not sure what to do. I don't want to be staring at people.





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Old 24-08-2019, 07:56 PM   #2
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Honestly, I don't make eye contact with people so I can't help. It makes me really uncomfortable. I hope someone else can help though. I know for me it was really helpful instead of making eye contact or looking at people's faces when my therapist showed me photos of people instead, so I did not have to worry as much. I don't really understand why people find eye contact so important really. Not doing it does not negatively impact me as far as I am aware.

Is it something that is important to you to work on, or is it more something you feel forced to work on?



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Old 24-08-2019, 08:41 PM   #3
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Thanks. I'm just embarrassed by the possible staring I do, people will judge me and think I'm weird. It's easier for me to take things in and to formulate responses when I don't make eye contact but if someone is talking to me about themselves they will want me to make eye contact so I feel like I have to but then it gets like staring.





I put it down on paper and then the ghost does not ache so much.


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Old 24-08-2019, 09:14 PM   #4
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I don't think eye contact is necessary. I think most of the time if you just explain that eye contact is hard for you, but you are still paying attention folks will understand. That is what I have found at least. Like if you explain that it is easier for you to process information and participate in a conversation without making eye contact, I would hope others could appreciate that?



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Old 24-08-2019, 09:40 PM   #5
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Eye contact is something I've had to train myself to do. And with some people it's easier than others so when I'm having a conversation I have to keep reminding myself to make eye contact sometimes. But equally I also have to remind myself to look away sometimes. It's a bit odd having a conversation and then suddenly thinking "I should look away now" while still trying to focus on the conversation...

What I'm trying to say is that something that would help? Like, make yourself aware that during speaking to people you must make eye contact occasionally (only has to be brief glances) but also to look away, even if that's to the side, to the wall, to your hands.

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Old 25-08-2019, 11:54 AM   #6
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When I'm focusing on my eye contact and when to look away etc I can't take anything in properly. I also find that when people are talking I can't find the right time to look away. It's really all about what is acceptable to others and what other people want, because I think even though I don't make a lot of eye contact I'd still like someone to be looking at me if I was talking. Like, sometimes I've been making no eye contact and then eventually look at the person and they are looking around the room which makes me feel kind of worthless as selfish as that is since I don't do eye contact properly myself.

I would like to be able to just say to people I'm sorry if I have dodgy eye contact but I'm not great at it and I can take more in and communicate more if I don't make eye contact but I find it hard to mention my needs etc. Such as if I'm really struggling in a group or with an individual and I need to leave or have a short break I will just sit there feeling tortured because I don't feel able to say what I need.





I put it down on paper and then the ghost does not ache so much.


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Old 25-08-2019, 12:02 PM   #7
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I understand not being able to concentrate and think about it at the same time. All I can suggest from my own experience is that it takes practice.

I also do know what you mean about people looking at you when you're talking, even though it's not something you do yourself. It doesn't make you selfish, it just means you want to be acknowledged and listened to which everyone deserves regardless of whether it's hypocritical or not!

Another thing I find myself doing is actually looking at peoples' mouths when they're talking. Would that be an option? It means you're looking at them but not in their eyes so it's less intense.

I had a random thought about wearing sunglasses because then people would think you're looking at them even if you weren't... but that would only work outside really...

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Old 25-08-2019, 12:05 PM   #8
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Thanks NP.

I sometimes look at peoples mouths if they are really close in distance to me but I worry that it's obvious. When people sit further away I think it's harder to focus on one part of their face since their whole face is in eye range if that makes any sense. Sunglasses would be a good idea but I don't wear them because I think I look stupid. Thanks for the suggestion though.





I put it down on paper and then the ghost does not ache so much.


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Old 25-08-2019, 12:12 PM   #9
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I actually find it worse talking to people with sunglasses on because it freaks me out that I can't see their eyes at all!

That makes a lot of sense about the distance thing.

Ultimately, try not to worry (stupid advice, I know), if other people have an issue with you staring too much then they can look away! What's important is that when you're interacting with people you're saying what you need to and that the other person is hopefully listening.

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Old 25-08-2019, 01:17 PM   #10
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I’m one of those people to whom eye contact comes naturally, and so I can say that I don’t mind at all whether people make eye contact or not - it’s something some people generally do and others don’t, and it’s just another facet of how they communicate and interact! It’s like how some people talk faster than others or will interrupt when others don’t - it affects the dynamics of the conversation, but not in a way that’s good or bad, it just is. I tend to take my cues from the other person.

If I’m talking to someone and they don’t really do eye contact I am more likely to look around the room than if I’m talking to someone who is looking at me. Partly that’s because I don’t want to put them under pressure - watching someone who isn’t looking up/back can feel a bit uncomfortable and intrusive, if that makes sense? - and partly it’s because if I don’t feel the other person is comfortable making eye contact I feel more free to look around because I won’t be breaking that interaction. It doesn’t mean I’m not paying attention or listening, or that I don’t care.





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Old 26-08-2019, 01:43 PM   #11
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Thanks.

I'm mostly worried about making sure the other person knows I'm paying attention to them and not being rude by either offering too little or too much eye contact.

Thanks Eska, yeah I understand that it's not a not caring/listening thing when people look around the room. If I had good eye contact I wouldn't want to stare at someones head while they look everywhere else! I know one nurse who doesn't look away, and she told me I had a very clean scalp! Lol!





I put it down on paper and then the ghost does not ache so much.


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