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A bug on the wall of society


mts
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Thanks Jeep it doesn't feel blah. It went okay. I can't keep eye contact very long but it was ok. We played a back and forth word association game which helped. I suspect its as much about talking as it is eyes.

Still, after so long it feels totallly unnatural. I look at the nose quite often. Their eyes seem to gaze on me so intently...scary lol.

Eyes are weird, I think. The windows to the soul they say.

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I have struggled with social anxiety in the past and things can get better. My eye contact, though much improved, still needs some work. I think you will find that as you feel more relaxed and okay with yourself, eye contact will come more naturally to you.

I'm sorry no one replied sooner to your earlier response. It can be challenging talking about struggles and vulnerabilities. We all have them. I know I sure do. Part of being human. I hope you can be gentle with yourself.

Take care.

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How did you improve your eye contact? And when you say needs improvement; are you still often concious of it while talking then? How does it feel different now to before?

I think some of the difficulty for me with maintaining eye contact was in being fully seen by others. In the past, there was some part of me unhappy with myself, lacking confidence, low self-esteem... So I started by working on myself and how I felt about me. I also practiced projecting confidence and then challenged myself to make more eye contact with others. I was surprised when others began responding more positively to me. It has been easier for me to do as I've felt more comfortable with myself and less needy of approval from others. Am I still conscious of my eye contact during conversations? Some. I think it's a learning process. One thing I want to work on is my instinct to look away when another initiates the eye contact. How does it feel different now? It's easier and more natural to do. I'm making much more eye contact with others now. My interactions have improved. I don't feel afraid. I know it's okay to be me and let myself be seen. I believe I'm capable. I know I'm still me even if I don't get a positive response. Lots of positive changes. You can do it too. :)

Do you do anything to help yourself relax, such as meditation or deep breathing? It's great that you have a friend you feel comfortable with. I hope you continue to grow and make progress.

Take care.

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Thanks for the tips and the link. I love self help. I found something yesterday (free) called The Work by Brian Katie, I think that's it, looks reminscent of Tolle. I haven't tried it so not sure if it's good or not!

I stood outside AA for two hours in the rain last night. Second meeting I've tried to go to. My brain says risk vs reward is not good enough. I couldn't seem to override the fear. I just kept freezing at the door (6 times) and going back outside. Tried everything, I ran down the street to burn adrenalin and i told myself walk through the fear it is a mirage. I looked up courage. I had none. Nothing, just frozen.

My therapy says dont fight anxiety. But i was thinking. This is not just anxiety, but rational thought. I look angry, people always react bad, which means there could be conflict, which I have no idea how to cope with at this stage. So my brain is saying: this is too much. Perhaps next time i should try aggression. Like when friends spur each other on with shouting. I mean if you are going to war it is not good to say "just relax everything is ok blah blah". :) Sometimes I think we get so used to problems with anxiety we forget we need it. So then it seems there must be some level of control. Or sumink.

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

It was so good to say "eye contact" it was a mega phobia of mine just to mention those words knowing I would have to then look them in the eye and feel so silly you know? There was also the longest eye contact I'd done for years, 4 seconds...!

She seemed to react kind of badly, pretty much trying to see me off with referals etc. I don't blame her she's just a small town family doctor, they deal with coughs and colds mostly. I mean it must be hard to know where to look when someone suddenly says they have a fear of eye contact. But that she reacted badly does bring those old fears back that I look weird etc..

Originally I had planned to go in there and ask if we could play a "staring match" but I soon realised it's too hard, because by the time I've sat down my lack of eye contact feels obvious. Maybe I'll manage it on monday I don't know.

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Well, too, whatever makes it hard for you to make eye contact may not be a general-practitioner kind of thing to treat. It doesn't mean that it's something more shameful or harder to treat.

I'm glad you found the courage to take the step, MTS. There are probably more steps ahead, but the first one is usually the hardest.

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