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I take the NYC subway system everyday. You see, our seats are aligned facing each other so one person would face another. I know that we're not even supposed to notice or look at the people the are across from us, or people that board the train but this is where the problem aggregated. Before my trip was not noticing anyone or taking people into perspective as I took the system. If I can think back to before I had the problem I don't remember any visuals of people on the train ride. But now I've retrained my brain (unfortunately) to take everyone into perspective since I realized that this would cause anxiety to other people (and it does). Every time I take someone into perspective, I gain more anxiety and even more when someone reacts by for example casting their eyes to the floor or something like that. The problem grows worse from here. NYC is pretty populated and people walk one path and other in the same direction. I know that we are supposed to not notice anyone but this lead to me noticing everyone. So the subway has become an anxiety spot along with walkways. You see if I find more things to tell myself that I shouldn't do and I do them compulsively because I feel that I have no control of them. Unlike an OCD case where threats aren't real, other people really feel anxiety if they are taken into perspective. I've also realized that a feeling of anxiety is linked by my brain to my lack of ability to control my eyes and where they look. You see now I just look at random places throughout the room even though I want to only look at the keyboard and the screen only because it annoys me and it feels like I have no control. Thank you for any reply.

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Guest ASchwartz


Your worry about this is taking on the features of an obsession. You have convinced yourself that others on the train are made nervous by your looking. How do you know? You are not a mind reader. Also, I know that we have discussed the issues of eye contact and what it can mean sometimes. However, I believe that you are exaggerating this all out of proportion.

Of course you look at people on the subway. We all do. None of us are blind. There is a difference between looking and staring. All of us sit on the subway trains and shift our eyes from one person to the next, up to the advertisements, down to the floor, from the left, then, to the right. Many of us bring the newspaper with us, or a book, so that we can read and ignore the whole thing.

Are you aware that you are greatly exaggerating this thing?

Allan :confused:

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