hi there, iam 24 ears old and having this odd problem of looking into someone elses eyes and talking to them, though iam sexually straight person. when i look into the eyes of men when iam talking to them it feels like iam kissing them the same thing happens when i look into the eyes of women. it feels quiet awfull and i feel disgusted about my self, though i dont have any such intentions. please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! someone help me to overcome this terrible problem. i cannot live with this anymore, iam not able to talk to my family members properly nor with my friends and teachers please give me a solution
Hey Fa11, thanks for being honest and upfront about this. It really helps people to understand and get insight into other people's anxieties and insecurities. We all experience things like this - if its any different - it only makes life more interesting to know that we are not alone in the ways in which we think, and in the ways we are bothered by life's situations / circumstances.
(NOT - saying that these are your insecurities; but they could have something to do with something that bothers you - hence it bothers you to look into someone else's eyes)
I know alot about psychiatry - and in psychiatry - it states that it is very common for people with mental illnesses to lack eye contact / Avoid eye contact. They never really go into depth as to why this happens - or what causes it. My guess - everyone has personal reasons as to why they don't look directly into the eyes of other people...
In asian countries - they do it out of respect. In diagnosis - its simply lack of confidence / self esteem. One thing to keep in mind - almost ALL - mental illnesses; include lack of self esteem / self confidence. I personally - think that whenever someone can't look a person in the eyes - its directly linked to lack of confidence / self - esteem...
If for whatever reason - you don't lack either of those... I would suspect that it would be something, "deeper," something personal that you've gotta deal with... I'm saying this from personal experience - I lack the confidence to look people in the eyes if I, "like," them. Girls especially. Guys - as friends (Not gay feelings) I sometimes feel lack of confidence to look them in the eyes because they're intimidating - my boss or someone in control who has the potential to ruin my life. And I feel cowered over...
Anyways - I don't think you really need to be too worried about this issue you're having... Its alot more common than you might think. It is NOT - a mental illness on its own. Its simply confidence, period.
I got a question... IS - there ANYONE - in particular; that you can think of - that you CAN look directly in the eyes? If so - why them? Is there something they offer YOU that other people DONT? Really think about that... Perhaps its just, "whom you feel comfortable around..."
ALSO - are you by chance - diagnosed with anything?
no there is no one i have figured out till now, in who's eyes i can look and talk to them. no i have not been diagnosed with anything i think iam perfectly alright, thank yo u soo much for replying back and it will be very kind of you if you could suggest something in particular that i should do to get rid of this problem so that i can work on it
Hey, I'm happy that you read my post. You - coming to this forum and feeling like you could say everything to strangers - it helps the community out alot. Thank YOU - for being here; and having the confidence to ask about these issues you are experiencing.
Okay, so lets assume that this is strictly confidence issues that you are dealing with. I would have suspected that from what you wrote in your first post - so I'm going to continue to think that this is why you are unable to look directly into people's eyes when you're talking with them.
One quick question I'd like to ask... Is it only when you're, "talking," to these people - when you can't look into their eyes? Or is it all the time? When you walk in public - do you look to the ground, and not into people's eyes?
There's a few things I can suggest trying. These things I had to do - my councillor helped me through these things. I realized its like anything else, "The more you do it - the more comfortable it becomes..." Doesn't necessarily mean it will become easier - because there WILL most definitely be specific people or specific situations that arise - in which you will still feel slightly, "out of place," and be unable to make complete eye contact. Which is fine.
One thing you could try... When in public, and you're walking around - when you're walking through the mall or on a busy city street. As people pass by - pay attention to their emotions. Really try to realize - that everyone has their own issues. That everyone has their own insecurities. It is through these individual strengths and weaknesses that make us different from eachother. If we were all the same - life would be VERY uninteresting. When you walk past these people. Look them in the eyes; smile, and say, "Hi." If they look you in the eyes and smile - great. If they don't; they're having a bad day and they don't care for small talk. Either way - it will help you to realize - that everyone is human. Everyone hurts. And no one is going to judge you - especially if you're willing to put out the positivity in their direction first; giving them complete benefit of the doubt.
Its amazing - what something so small as a stranger passing by - (with a smile on his face, kindly gesturing, "good day,") will do to a depressed state of mind. You will brighten people's day.
One thing I was always guilty of doing... I would avoid communication with people in public - because whenever I said hello - they would either look away, not acknowledge me - or just give me a dirty look. Occasionally, however; I would get a very kind reply. In FACT; it was these kinds of, "aquaintences," on the sides of streets in a busy city - that made me more comfortable to talk to people. It was all about the eye contact. You can tell alot about someone's emotional state when you look into someone else's eyes. And that changes the moment you're able to look them in the eyes and not be tempted to look away.
All - in -all... If you're talking to people, strangers - amongst millions upon millions of faces. You will be more comfortable learning to do it with them; than if you were to start doing it - with your family, or close friends. Learn small - go bigger and bigger until you feel more comfortable - slowly coming to realize - that you are just as able and awesome as anyone else walking the streets.
As far as the eye contact goes. I think its one of those things that will come alongside confidence - its a package deal. (I'm assuming this is the case of course, from what you have written) Its honestly; a very simple issue. Its nothing to be ashamed about. Do not feel ashamed for feeling the way you do - only feel ashamed for allowing yourself to avoid potentially rewarding social situations and circumstances - which could / would; most definitely - increase you're confidence and well-being... IF - you could jump the obstacles of eye contact.
"Change is as simple as one decision... Its, 'your', decision to change."
All you have to do is make the decision to say, "You know what... Today - I'm going to walk around and look people in the eye - and if they don't like it, thats too bad. Because I NEED to look people in the eye."
Another way you could get over it...
If you continue to have troubles doing so... Tell someone. Tell a close friend -someone you trust more than anyone else. Someone who will understand... To be human - is to relate. Anyone who you admit this to - will simply try to help you get over your insecurities of looking people in the eye. They could even be the one person who will take the time - and WANT - to take the time; for you. "A friend in need is a friend indeed. And my friend - all you have to do is, "ask," for someone to help ya."
I don't mean to talk down to you. I'm sure you are confident, and even if you aren't - "those who appear to lack confidence; have more in store than what meets the eye..."
One other thing that helped me out with this - is getting into the right, "comfort zone..." Its important to have a good, "community," a, "supportive environment." I had to find a group of friends that did not judge me. A group of insightful friends; that would not judge me - but would simply, "ACCEPT," me for WHO I am. Perhaps your lack of eye contact is part of your character? If it is - thats fine. There are alot of people I know - including myself; that avoid eye contact unless absolutely necessary. I like walking and talking, not sitting and talking. Partly because looking into someone else's eyes - isn't an easy task - if after hours you're still doing it.
One LAST question I have for you... And do this - please do this... You say you cannot look people in the eyes... Tonight - or tomorrow; whenever you have a moment. I want you to walk up to a mirror. And look yourself in the eyes... Do you feel the same way - about looking into YOUR own eyes - than if you were to look into OTHER people's eyes? Really - think about that. And tell me what you think on your next post.
Anyways, hope this helps, I appreciate your post and I'm looking forward to reading your next one. Smile.
Sometimes I have trouble with eye contact, but very rarely. But recently more strange phenomenon has risen - when I look at certain faces on the tv I feel a strange emotion, like a creepy feeling. It seems when I encounter a certain facial expression I feel this creepy feeling inside? Anyone has this also?
I have my own theory on this subject, Eye contact is very intimate, when you make eye contact with anyone it can feel like they can see you completely naked, anything you're trying to hide is visible. This can especially become quite a problem with individuals who suffer from mental illness as most are rooted from insecurities and basically VERY low self esteem.
I use to have an issue looking at people when I walked, a lot of people walk with their heads down and dont look at people..they gaze at the floor not at the people walking by.
I would suggest that you practice this, whenever you're in public or walking around, walk with your head up, and if you make eye contact with an individual you dont know, SMILE! make a connection with this wonderful human you dont know. It works, seriously! you will feel more confident and you'll be able to face people better in the future.
there is no "quick fix" to any problem, take a small step and before you know it, you'll have made BIG changes
i' am your slave,fan, iam actually running out of words............ thanks alot!!!!!!!!!!!!!. i ll definetly work on these things. sir/madam i never knew that there are people like you in this world who are so kind enough to help a stranger like me, iam so thankfull to you for all the advices, that it has been difficult for me to express myself. may god bless you with all the health and all the happiness in this world and after it. I think it is definetly the confidence issue with me. It is very difficult for me tolook into the eyes of strangers as i live in a new country to which i have recently shifted but ill not give up, its my promise ill keep working on it gradually. It would be great of you if you could please stay in touch with me please till i completely overcome this problem, i wouldnt disturb you much though i was wondering if i could send you a post every week as my experiences and feed back. thank you again
thank you indeed
You may be simply worrying about something that is normal for someone your age. But, I do have a question for you to consider with your eye symptoms. Do you have a hard time looking in any direction? If so, it could be related to cranial nerve damage in your brain, indicating a possible underlying head injury. Have you ever hit your head? What about in childhood? Please ask loved ones in case you do not remember and respond if you would not mind. Thanks.
Last edited by hb-mod; 12-24-2009 at 01:46 AM.
Reason: Removed quote. Please use Quick Reply instead of Quote Reply. Thanks.
Yes, traumatic brain injury is indeed a cause of many diverse symptoms. My son was misdiagnosed with Schizophrenia at age eight. It turned out to be a traumatic brain injury in which his brain was rocking back and forth-causing damage all over the brain from smacking against the skull. The accident had been kept from me by his brothers who had been afraid of getting in trouble. He had several behavioral changes within three days of the accident. He had sudden outbursts of violence. He also could not make eye contact and had other visual symptoms. One eye was larger/higher than the other. He was light sensitive, his pupils abnormally dilated. They also looked vacant, clouded. He would complain of seeing double images of his brothers which I dismissed as him just being "delusional" These are common signs of head injury. Within a year or two, and without proper treatment, my son began, 'hearing ghosts". This turned out to be due to complex partial seizures. The fact that he could not make eye contact was found to be damage to his cranial nerves in his brain. Once neurologists actually knew about the injury, my son was asked why he does not make eye contact. He explained to us that he could not lift his eyes without great effort. I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any more questions.
the same thing happens to me. at all the inappropriate times i will start imagining graphic sexual images. when i dont feel like that at all towards the person that im talking to. it's always inappropriate people like my parents or my religious neighbors...and it's really vivid in my mind, a hallucination in my mind if that makes sense to ppl here (im sure it does). i laughed when i saw that the same thing happens to you, but believe me, it's really not funny, it's awful. and embarrassing and all the above. but im glad im not alone. i usually end up just trying to exit the situation if i can't get it under control.