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To dislike eye contact?

(30 Posts)
DaisyQueen Thu 05-Jan-17 13:29:36

I really struggle to make eye contact with anyone, even my own family. I tend to drift to the persons shoulder and that seems to make them paranoid. A few times I have been asked by the person if there is something on them which makes me feel even more uncomfortable and probably them too. Any ideas how I can overcome this? I think it's getting worse the older I get

lovelearning Thu 05-Jan-17 13:34:21


I wish you a Happy 2017

Look People in the Eye

DaisyQueen Thu 05-Jan-17 13:41:18

Thanks for the link. I really do try but it feel so invasive. It's really strange because I can hold a conversation without problem but I do think people must find me very odd when I hold discussions with their shoulder grin

TheOtherSock Thu 05-Jan-17 13:46:14

YANBU, it can be really hard, especially when you're trying to concentrate on what someone's saying. Do you have a partner or close friends who you can "practise" on, perhaps with fairly trivial conversations where you don't really have to concentrate on the conversation?

SmilingButClueless Thu 05-Jan-17 13:47:11

A tip someone once gave me for this was to look at the end of someone's nose rather than at their eyes - apparently that's close enough to eye contact that people don't notice. I used that technique for about 3 years, and no-one mentioned anything to me, so don't think they found it too odd!

CloudPerson Thu 05-Jan-17 13:48:07

Eye contact is over-rated and (I believe) a cultural thing.
There's a widespread assumption that if you're not giving eye contact you're not listening or paying attention to the person you're with, when often the act of giving eye contact can mean that you can't listen as effectively.

I tend to shift between looking at mouth, nose, ear and eyebrow, I've no idea if anyone has noticed this, but it's easier than direct eye-contact.

TheOtherSock Thu 05-Jan-17 13:54:42

It most certainly is a cultural thing, but unfortunately OP lives in a culture that values it a lot more than some others grin (Although I think some others value it even more - with people from some parts of the US, I find that I'm struggling to maintain the level of eye contact they do.)

There are tricks you can use, and it's a good idea to use them if you need to and you can, but don't beat yourself up about it - lots of people won't notice as long as you do it occasionally. And remember, you're not the only one smile

DaisyQueen Thu 05-Jan-17 13:57:04

I've tried looking at the nose but then I worry I may be cross-eyed doing it. It's very strange because some as I feel so much worse than others. I think chatting with dd's school teacher today just made me feel more self conscious as she kept rubbing at her shoulder which actually makes me laugh now but I was horrified at the time.
I'm going to have to practise on oh

DaisyQueen Thu 05-Jan-17 13:58:51

And oh has never mentioned it before but we tend to be side by side more often talking than face on and tbh I don't think he would even notice anyway grin

TheOtherSock Thu 05-Jan-17 14:19:29

Most people frequently look away during conversation, too, so it's perfectly okay to take breaks. You can flick away your eyes for short periods, or take longer breaks, and as long as you look at them from time to time, you'll be doing okay. I'm fairly sure you'll be noticing it a lot more than they do. I rarely if ever notice other people not looking at me, whereas people who make eye contact too long or too intensely (I had to ask a psychologist I to look at me less often grin) are very noticeable.

toffee1000 Thu 05-Jan-17 17:30:00

I also dislike eye contact, I just feel uncomfortable doing it... but then I do possibly have ASD (not had a diagnosis, wondering whether to get one).

MrsMoastyToasty Thu 05-Jan-17 17:33:20

My son has aspergers and although he can make eye contact he has trouble maintaining it for more than a minute or so.

WorraLiberty Thu 05-Jan-17 17:33:39

I had no idea eye contact was a cultural thing?

In which culture do people not look at each other when talking? confused

Not that it makes any difference to the OP, as I'm assuming she's not part of that culture.

FiveShelties Thu 05-Jan-17 17:39:19

I don't think YABU, I do not make eye contact with other people. Makes me feel uncomfortable, no-one has ever mentioned it so hopefully I am not making other people feel uncomfortable.

TheOtherSock Thu 05-Jan-17 17:40:48

Norms differ between cultures; it's not that there is no eye contact, but it can be slightly different in e.g. Japan vs England.

Ditsyprint40 Thu 05-Jan-17 17:42:15

I used to have this issue a bit. I find focusing on one eye helps a lot

iklboo Thu 05-Jan-17 17:46:01

I'm ok with 'normal' eye contact in small doses, but I absolutely cannot make eye contact via a mirror. Strange I know but it really freaks me out.

panicovernow Thu 05-Jan-17 17:50:01

looking at eyebrows gives the impression of making eye contact. I've used this myself in the past smile

ScreechingWeasel Thu 05-Jan-17 17:53:16

Eye contact makes me panic. Even more so when I'm talking to a group of people. Just can't do it.

chloesmumtoo Thu 05-Jan-17 17:53:27

I do avoid eye contact to a degree too and shift my eyes away in conversation. Don't like eye contact and my dp is the same wink

MyWhatICallNameChange Thu 05-Jan-17 17:58:43

Ewww, eye contact. I hate it, it makes me feel so uncomfortable. I tend to look at people's mouths instead.

And this is how I didn't notice how bad my DS's eye contact was until I watched him talking to the doctor when he was being assessed for ASD.

riceuten Thu 05-Jan-17 17:59:39

I don't get upset if people don't look at me or look away when they talk to me, I assume they might be 'on the spectrum', and leave it at that.

x2boys Thu 05-Jan-17 18:01:53

making eye contact can be physically painful for people with ASD apparently, thats what they told me on the early bird plus course anyway.

LittleMissUpset Thu 05-Jan-17 18:06:28

I really struggle with eye contact it makes me very uncomfortable.

I work in retail and have to make a really conscious effort with it.

I've also recently realized I'm probably on the spectrum, after doing a lot of research as my son is awaiting assessment.

TheOtherSock Thu 05-Jan-17 18:09:06

Tangentially, the words "eye contact" are uncomfortable for me because of the instant mental image of my eyes touching somebody else's. I almost feel the sensation of something touching my eyes. Bluurghghgh. The faint stickiness. The dragging sensation. <vom>

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