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Eye Cotact


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I have a very big problem with eye contact.. Especially when speaking with someone face to face. And in therapy. I just can't look at my therapist at all. I feel so badly . And when I cannot look at him, I feel that he probably does not believe me . I have been seein the same therapist for years. Sometimes I'll look at him, and notice that he is not looking at me , which is good, but sometimes he is, and will revert my eyes quickly away .

Their are very few people I can look in the eyes . To me, looking in the eyes is a sign of full and complete trust. Also, it is the window to the soul. I can only look into the eyes of anther if I have know that person is very good , and innocent. I have no problems looking into childrens or a baby face.

Or my dogs , my sons either, or brothers. My apartment manager , she is different , I trust her . Very rarely will I completey look at my therapist, and that is like a glance.

Any help on this? I also have a huge problem with physical contact. Even with my own son. When he was young it was fine, now he is 16, I do ot like him even tapping my shoulder, I feel so badly. physical contact actually gives me the shudders , it is revolting ! A hug can send me into a tailspin . If someone just reaches out for one. Again a child is different. I hate that about myself, however, I have been this way for as long as I can remember.

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Hi mscat :)

i have the same problem and like you can only look my children and certain people in the eye.

One thing i did learn which might be worth asking your therapist about if you think it might help.

My b/f had exactly the same problem and his therapist had him practice looking into his eyes, just short periods of time each time and gradually building it up, my b/f did that with me.

I will be honest and say that i found it very difficult, it did take time and it made me feel panicky and cry to begin with, but i am able to look him in the eye now quite comfortably.

Admittedly i still cant do it with most people but at least i can do it with one of the people i should be able to do it with, if there are certain people in particular you would like to be able to make eye contact with it might be worth thinking about.

Im sorry its probably not much help but thought it might be worth mentioning.

The touching thing i have absolutely no suggestion for sorry because i loathe that myself, but i can relate to how it makes you feel when my children do it to me, i just try to make sure im the one who touches and kisses them first,that way they feel loved, their needs in that area are met and it's more natural and comfortable for me.

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Thank you Donna,

It helps me feel that I am not the only one who struggles with both these issues. I can hug my son as long as i do it on my own. I feel so bad when he comes around me and touches me... He , my son, is bigger than me , and I believe that is the problem. I love him very much, but that is not the point. It is my stupid issues that interfer with all of this.

It helps to know that I am not the only one. I dont know if I could get through the looking at someone exercise though. That would be so hard. I have been this way for years.

My foster mother would demand eye contact as a small child , and I due feel it has now left a bad thing on me now , because I do not even look at others . Stupid bitch> I hate her to this day. I came from a terribly abusive home , and this fucking wickid woman screwed me over worse . If I could well, revenge would be sweet .

Anyway eyecontact, any other good ideas?

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I have had difficulty with eye contact for most of my entire life, but I worked on this in therapy and I'm much better with it now.

For me it wasn't about not trusting the person I was looking at, it was about the fear of openly showing myself to another. You're looking in their eyes, true, but they are also looking into the windows of your soul. So with eye contact you're putting yourself out there to be seen... and that feels risky. Maybe it's difficult to believe that anyone who "sees you" will accept and love you. For a quiet natured person such as myself, it feels pretty intense and almost too much to bear. It has in the past made me feel painfully exposed.

This might be a bit more complex with you since your step-mother forced it on you. Maybe it feels threatening now or perhaps it reminds you of the bad experiences you had with her.

As for suggestions, believing in myself and feeling more confident has been helpful for me. Focusing on the person who I'm conversing with rather than worrying about their approval of me has also been helpful.

If you are associating the eye contact with your step-mother, though, you might want to discuss that with your therapist if you haven't already.

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It is comforting to know that I am not the only one who struggles with this. As an adult over 40 years old, to me, I feel that I ought to have A handle on it by now, however it has always been an issue to me. Something I have struggled with so long.

To me, it is more than just looking at anther one's eyes, it is as if the person can see more than my eyes... Perhaps judgeing me more critically and going to become more harsh or punititve, less accepting, think I am less than human , stuff like that. It goes far deeper than this, I understand , then trust issues.

I'll I can do is try to contiune to keep workng on it ? any other ideas on how to ?

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Mscat and Notmary,

I want to point you and the others to the posting I did on eye contact. I also did a radio broadcast about it for the BBC in the UK.

In dealing with the eye contact issue, it is important to do some of the CBT reframing work. What you tell yourself is important.

In addition to the cognitive reframing of your thoughts, (ie: I am ashamed of myself, etc), it is important to practice eye contact a little at a time when you go out. For example:

Let's say you go to the grocery store or supermarket. When paying, say "Hi" to the cashier and look at him or her in the eyes, very briefly. Each day, do this with a new person. After, write down or tell us how it felt, but, keep practicing it. At first, you do it once or twice and briefly. Gradually, make eye contact with more peope if you are feeling more comfortable. Be patient with yourself and do this gradually, with the emphasis on comfort.

What do you think?


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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

i myself have a issue with eye contact, never really thought much about it wondered why untill i heard this verse from a song called Happy Endings by Tech N9ne (it's hip-hop)...figured id post the whole verse for you people into that kinda music that feel alone in this world & can relate to something in it ...anyways when i heard it and thought about it i kinda just came to conclude i look away because im analyzing what there saying to me and i dont wanna see their facial expressions because i wanna hear exactly what it is they are speaking to me, or so i believe anyways personally, other than that ive never really put much thought into it and noones really said anything i know alot of people say its because of a lack of confidence but i disagree in my case anyways.

I'm on the verge of insanity, but I'm competant

I'm breakin so I pick this one to vent

The reason I look away when you talk to me my brain is producin evilness

I'm drownin in 151 and rumble ments. Thats how I feel

I sit in the mirror with this gun and practice how to kill

But I know damn well that the people like me really wanna know how to chill

This life is about a check, about a number about a bill

Think about all the love I lost cause my quest is about a mill

I feel like your stupid, dont talk to me I'm crackin up

And I dont mean laughter I'm full of bitterness and its backing up

And I live with angles, but lately demons been shakin up

Tug of war with my spirit, you see the blood I'm hacking up?

I love my kids and my fans inside I sob harder

Cause you pay the price for my life and its right like Bob Barker

And I wont pretend its ok I'm no facade starter

So I guess my only happy ending is in a massage parlor

Tell me how it ends?

What about me? Where is my happy ending?

What about me? Is this a life worth living?

You know how it begins, but how does it end for me?

Will I ever win, or does he have it in for me?

Will this stop before I stop breathing?

Is their light, in this dark I'm seein?

It helps me to know im not alone in those moments when i have em.

Edited by LostSouls
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