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stevie_23 06-12-2006 10:49 PM

Always feel like people are watching me
Now, I'm not paranoid like the title of this post suggests. I don't feel I'm being watched, etc. I just feel that when I'm out and about, that I'm constantly preoccupied with my own appearance and how I walk, how I look, what expression is on my face, basically how I appear to others.

I've been like this perhaps for as long as I could remember, but I know the point where it became chronic, which was back when I was about 12 (so 15 yrs ago now) and my best friend went off and got bored with me and wanted to hang out with the cool kids, and then I went into high school and all my other friends were in different classes to me so I had NO friends for like, 2 years.

I felt SO self conscious all the time. When I made my new best friend when I was 14 (we are still best friends now, woo hoo! lol) and then re-joined some of my other friends as well, I was ok, though still felt this constant sort of self conciousness/being observed by others sensation.

My friend once commented years ago that it was like I'm always posing. This embarrassed me because it's true. Because I feel this way all the time, even i I'm not actually really feeling self conscious at the time, I am always subconsciously posing in a way I hope and think will make me appear most attractive to whoever sees me. Even around my friends who don't really care.

Does anyone else have this? I'm sort of sick of it though it doesn't really bother me that much I guess.

sando 06-13-2006 04:26 AM

Re: Always feel like people are watching me
i understand ya mate. im 19 and when im walking thru shops or just on the street i always feel like people are looking at me! i am always concious of how look and take pride in my appearance. i always try to wear "in fashion" clothes etc i have come to realise that these looks are either looks of admiration, looks like "he looks nice" or woteva, or looks like "oh my god look at him thinkin he got it" kinda thing. its just that we both i guess, like to look nice, altho there is a line where you go OTT (over the top) and you just gotta think how much you wanna pose etc and sumtimes is there much point . . .

karihager1982 06-16-2006 02:38 PM

Re: Always feel like people are watching me
Your entire post could have been written by me!

GatsbyLuvr1920 06-16-2006 04:54 PM

Re: Always feel like people are watching me
Do you always look in the mirror and mentally criticize yourself on a certain body part/feature of yours? If so, then you may have Body Dismorphic Disorder (BDD). Do you have any obsessive-compulsive traits, by any chance? Most people with BDD have some OCD tendencies.

stevie_23 06-18-2006 12:45 AM

Re: Always feel like people are watching me
Hmm, well no, I don't think I have BDD. I'm not overly critical of how I look and in many cases I actually think I look pretty hot, but I sort of do check semi-regularly to see if I still look ok. (cause sometimes I'll leave the house thinking I look great, and then hours later happen to catch myself in a mirror or reflective glass and my hair has moved so it looks stupid, or there's something in my teeth or I have mascara on my nose or something!) But no, I don't always look in mirrors or go out of my way to make sure I look alright.

For me it's not so much that, but more about I have this mental picture of how I look to others and's like, if I'm waiting in line in a store to pay or whatever, I'll be constantly aware of how I'm standing. Usually with hand on hip cause it's more comfortable and I feel SO stupid and uncomfortably nerdy standing with both hands/arms just hanging down by my legs.

Or if I'm with friends even and we're just hanging around talking, I'll be forever aware of how I might be appearing to them, and will always try and do things to make myself look my best, like...subtle (I think!) things like...having my eyes open wide sometimes or looking upward when thinking or talking to make the eyes look nice and big and bright, or smiling a certain way to minimise gum-lines or big teeth etc...or keeping my eyes relaxed so I don't look weird or too staring or whatever..this will always be there, these thoughts, even when I'm talking and listening.

It doesn't stop me doing things I like doing or normal some people don't like to eat in front of others or look "ugly" or embarrassing with others, but I don't mind that...I'll look stupid if it's for a purpose (humour or necessity, etc) and not really care.

But then, also, if I pass a mirror and see I don't look as good as I thought I did when leaving the house, I'll feel very disappointed and uncomfortable. Also, if I'm with my friends and I don't feel like I look attractive for whatever reason (bad hair day, not enough or the right make up, clothes not quite perfect) I feel SO uncomfortable! I just don't enjoy myself and can't relax and I feel somewhat inferior.

Which leads me to my last point. Like, I had a job interview the other day (which I got and start my new job tomorrow, woo hoo! Totally nervous though! *gulp*) and my main concern was not the actual content of the interview (what I'd say or be asked, etc or what would actually happen) but how I looked. It's like, I didn't felt I looked my best so I was slightly uncomfortable the whole time. It's like, if I feel I look really good, I automatically am more confident. I guess this part is normal, but...I just feel I'm more extreme than just that.

And like, tomorrow for my first day, I've got my outfit ready and I'm expecting to look VERY good indeed, which will get me through my nerves. BUT if I don't feel I look good (if my hair just won't work in the morning or my clothes don't fit right), I will feel SO much worse! I'll feel inferior and even more nervous.

It's almost like I hide behind my, at least that's something I can control. If I can't control the job interview, or my first day at work, or anything I do beyond my immediate comfort zone of home, at least I can do everything in my power to at least try and look good, you know?

I have actually written a previous post here about OCD, but I don't think I have it or at least not very much anyway. I am a bit of a control freak though. I HATE being uncomfortable and in situations I do not want to do. I go into 100% stubborn and refuse to do it mode. And if I have to do it anyway? I freak out and have a violent tantrum.

Anyway...I have babbled on too long as usual!!

galinaqt 06-18-2006 02:59 PM

Re: Always feel like people are watching me
I was told that person who doesn't actually care about his/her appearence or what people think about him are not normal.

GatsbyLuvr1920 06-18-2006 03:13 PM

Re: Always feel like people are watching me
[QUOTE=galinaqt]I was told that person who doesn't actually care about his/her appearence or what people think about him are not normal.[/QUOTE] So [I]that[/I] explains why I don't give a damn about my looks or how people perceive me- I'm not normal! Already knew that! ;)

blancanieve 07-03-2006 03:28 PM

Re: Always feel like people are watching me
I know exactly what you mean lolz I thought I was the only one who thought like this. I have always worried about the way I stand or the way I sit and I really thought no one ever noticed until my roommate last year pointed out to me that I always look as if I'm posing. I actually refuse to leave my house with anyone ANYWHERE if it's not something planned ahead of time, because if I don't know what I'm going to wear or don't know how I will fix my hair I feel like if I can't leave my house. Just as you say, whenever I leave my house thinking I look fine and then look in the mirror and I look a mess, or someone tells me my eye liner is smudged I feel uncomfortable and I feel as if its ruined my day. I def. agree that it has to do with control, because I always feel like if the way I look is the only thing I can control.

Well atleast I know now that I'm not alone.

JAZ87 07-03-2006 03:46 PM

Re: Always feel like people are watching me
haha :)
I think you and I could be twins!
I am the same way.
Especially with the outfits, ugh, if I don't look "perfect" (to myself) I have trouble having a good time and usually end up just wanting to leave. ugh

The Doors 07-03-2006 07:34 PM

Re: Always feel like people are watching me
Yes, hahahah.

I have the exact same problem. For example, if I'm walking down the street, I'll notice all the cars driving past me, and will start to question whether I look good or not. I may me like: "oh my god... my arms are hunched over and they make me look really stupid". Or perhaps I'll get the impression that my hair is messed up and everyone is staring at it.

While sitting on the bus, I might start thinking about my hands and how they're placed in an odd manner. Then I'll think that everyone notices this.

john555 07-03-2006 11:10 PM

Re: Always feel like people are watching me

Im the same way.

Like, for example, I have big shoulders, but a small chest, and I'm constantly worried that people are looking at the disporportion.

Or, I'm always planning out what im going to wear when I go out for a simple chore.

Constantly looking at the mirror, worrying about my hair.

I believe this all stems from our childhood.

Personally, when I was in junior high, I was one of the popular kids, but when I got into an arguament with another popular kid they all went his way. So from then all I was always made fun of. So I constantly worried how I looked. I think this is the root of my problem.

But its good to see that this is a more common problem, and that we all deep down have some form of this problem, and that we are not alone.

nance484 07-04-2006 09:11 AM

Re: Always feel like people are watching me
Yes! im 18 and hav always bin like that as long as i can remember. those around me like my parents and stuff know im like that tho. u dnt catch me in well lit rooms or never ever outside wearing a skirt-unless im clubbing and have very high boots on, or im on hols and will die of overheating if i dnt wear one.i never in a million yrs will wear a bikini either and i hate swimsuits-if i had it my way every1 wud wear wetsuits in the pool!

ive always bin very conscious.i sit a certain way, i have to walk a certain way, i walk holding my skool blazer over my legs instead of wearing it, i try to cover as much as i can usually, no clingy stuff. i do not like unplanned ventures cos i feel horrible, disgusting and a mess if im not rerady. i will actually start to get ready and put on make up, straighten/wash hair etc just if the next door negihbour is talking to my mom downstairs. im not vain tho, i do not sit and stare at myself thinking im drop dead gorgeous-sumtimes i think pple can confuse the two. i do try see myself everywear i go in mirrors, shop windows and stuff, but i pick out what looks bad. im heartbroken wen i look in the reflection of cars and im 2ft tall and 4ft wide-even tho i realise cars make u appear widerer. i hate my body tho, i do not like people touching me cos i feel theyre thinking-god she cud loose abit, or that i am disprportioned or sumthing. bra fittings, being a bridesmaid or nething is a nightmare!also, i feel ugly next to my frinds, i cannot walk down a street or watch a movie or even talk to another girl without looking her from every angle and comparing myself wishing i was like her.

the funny thing is i had a few food issues a while ago, like i didnt really eat and got obbssessed with food and exercise, i lost 3stone and looked sick-but i never went underweight, just average no matter how little i ate,at the time i looked at myself and thought i was humungous,that i was absoloutley out of this world enormous, but now ive put on weight i think that now i am enormous and that back then i musnt have bin overly huge even still i wasnt and am not happy with how that all went. but now i eat ok, but i dnt like it-but what can u do. nuthin was really sorted i just go round in a circle. i know this was v long, just wanted to let u know ur not the only one, ne1 else any little stories??

ps-can sum1 explain body dismorphic didorder?? thanx xox

stevie_23 07-05-2006 12:29 AM

Re: Always feel like people are watching me
Well, what's weird with me is that I actually most of the time have quite a bit of innate confidence in my appearance. I know I've got a hot body and my face I like sometimes and other times not so much (but this is normal), but it's just...I'm SO self aware and conscious still.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (or BDD) Pucca, is where your own view of yourself physically (externally, appearance, etc) is not actually the same as how everyone else sees you. You see yourself in a highly critical way, and it's distorted and unreal. You may think your nose is huge or your ears stick out or your teeth are hideous or you're fat or whatever, and yet to everyone else (and not just family and friends who know you) these things are not there. Your nose isn't big, ears don't stick out, etc...

Sometimes features are exagerated in your mind or completely different to how they actually are in reality.

Apparently Uma Thurman has this, but I don't know how true that is.

People who become obsessed with plastic surgery (like have you seen that woman, Jocelyn Wildenstein? The one with the horrible distorted face like a bloated cat with huge inflated lips and hardly any eyes cause they're pulled back so far?) can sometimes have this disorder which makes them strive for 'perfection' as they think they're not right physically..but they just keep having more and more surgery forever...and then they really do look disgusting.

tommo26 07-05-2006 04:13 PM

Re: Always feel like people are watching me
it doesnt sound to me that you're mentally ill, so at least you can crack open a bottle to that! It sounds like me when i was about 16, just before the real problems started, but i dont think you'll go to any seriously dark places as a result of your difficulties. I get the impression you're just overly self-concious and i'll guarantee that there's loads of other people your age who feel exactly the same. The only advice i can give is that when you're walking down the street, focus on where your'e going and what you're going to do, cos the worst people will think is "oh, she's got a hair out of place" or whatever, and in the greater scheme of things, that means absolutly nothing.

dstealth 07-07-2006 06:23 PM

Re: Always feel like people are watching me
I'm with ya on this one as well hun. I'm male, but I still have exactly the same problem as you - being too concerned over how I appear to people passing me on the street.

You and I should get together somne time. ;)

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