Personally, I think we’ve all been there. Like OP said, the consciousness increases during the blink part. There were times when my blinking rate drastically increased and that I started sweating and I thought sweating is a major symptom indicating the chances of a heart attack. The anxiety scaled and messed me up. The best thing to do while talking is to slow down the rate of speech, and try to use different words and structure your sentences. This will switch your focus and reduce your anxiety to a great extent.
Hi there, I had this problem (not being able to make eye contact) for well over 10 years and I cured myself using Autosuggestion. I created a blog that has helped tonnes of people, go to - nofear.me.uk I hope it helps you. You can contact me on there for further advice. Cheers. Ben
I could not believe your post when I read it. I have EXACTLY the same eye contact issue you are describing. I have had mine for almost ten year, but is has intensified now that I have gone back to work after staying home with my children. Stress and lack of sleep definitely intensify my eye contact anxiety. Reading Dr. Richard’s book is the only resource that has given me any helpful advice. Sometimes I feel I am improving, but will then just have a setback. I’m trying so hard to beat this thing. I noticed your post was from a couple of year ago. I am desperately wondering if in that time you have improved, and if so, I would love to hear what you did to get better. I am happily married and have two great kids, but this is greatly affecting my like and my happiness. I feel like I can’t be myself and just have a normal conversation anymore. I dread going out because I know I will have to talk to someone (eye contact). It’s not just anticipation anxiety; the actual conversation is very unpleasant/uncomfortable as well. I would love any advise/suggestions you may have. I sincerely hope you have been able to beat this demon, as I would not wish it on my worst enemy. Thanks so much!
I just went to your website. I’m looking forward to trying the Autosuggestion. I have tried saying some mantras in the past, but never for two weeks. I’m hopeful this extended length of time will make the difference. Thank you so much for adding your post!
I have exactly the same symptoms! It all began when a colleague of mine commented on how another colleague looked aloof and didn’t make eye contact and from that point on I myself started to become super conscious of it!
I have tried everything to try and overcome it but it’s so ingrained in me now People aren’t understanding and constantly call me a weirdo, freak etc because I just can’t make eye contact without making some freaky eyes. Them calling me weird in turn makes me more anxious and worsens the problem!
If anyone out there has any suggestions it would be extremely appreciated!!!
So did you overcome this ? I’ve got better but still struggle when talking to people specially strangers I blink and look down like I’m shy guy
I’m not sure if Debs31 is still posting. I have this same problem. I just posted what I have been doing that has really helped my eye contact issues. It was in reply to the eye contact and blushing post. Good luck!
I’m so sorry this is happening to you. That is awful, people make comments to you. They are very immature and rude. In my opinion, they are the ones who truly need the help! Someone’s eye contact would not bother me, but a thoughtless, rude person would! Stay positive!
HI Hassan I have made alot of progress,
Just work on relaxing and use slow talk and pause here and there when you speak cause this gives you a better sense of relaxation, and your better able to think of things to say, and conversations flow more easier.
Like when meeting strangers, just maybe there feeling just like you and me.
The reason we are shy is we are afraid of saying and doing the wrong thing.
BUT THERE NO PERFECT WAY OF DOING OR SAYING THING
Like we are all only HUMAN and it’s OK to make mistakes. It no big deal.it proves we are human. Get this deep down into your brain.
We put so much pressure on ourselfs to be perfect and behave in a certain way.
If you just lift this pressure off yourself and accept yourself. It’s amazing how relaxed you can feel.
CAUSE you not putting that pressure on yourself.
REALLY work on this. I did send message on Friday but it was through my email and disn’t send. Good luck. Cognitive behavior therapy is the only way to go.
Thank you very much. That’s true every time I try to use slow talk and relax I get better and make natural eye contact but I forget that’s my problem now I’m gonna focus on calming myself down. Please I’ll message you private if I Need more help. Just to see people struggling like me and who got better makes me really happy and is giving me so much hope thanks again
Hassan i suffered terribly with eye contact, i would cover my face with my hands and wear my hair a certain way to protect myself,
Like using safety behaviours makes it worse,
all I was doing was making the problem worse.
It just disappeared. When I lifted the pressure off myself, you feel so much at peace,
and don’t have it at all now.
It’s all about relaxing. Slow talk helps you relax.
And remember these people are not your enemies,
There not judging you or evaluating you.
Stop trying too hard, accept yourself.be nice to yourself
I know it was when I was working on the slowing down. Like slow talk, and acceptance of yourself. I noticed that instead of avoiding the person eyes, that when you look into someone’s eyes there is a kind of relaxation with this. I’m more relaxed when I’m looking directly at a person.hope this helps
So I found this by accident looking for how to overcome anxiety and how anxiety affects eye contact. However perhaps my issue is eye contact causes anxiety. I have had social anxiety for about 10 years each year getting progressively worse. And I hate having to deal with it. But it’s time. I have opportunity to promote to a supervisor at work and I just cannot with this horrid anxiety. However I don’t even know where or how to start. I hide the anxiety from most everyone but it takes a toll on me.
Purchase Dr. Richard’s social anxiety workbook and the series to go along with it. My issue is eye contact as well. His therapy is the only thing that has ever helped me in ten years of this agony. Good luck!
Try to take over the conversation- say something that interests you.
Confidence can help you break this sort of anxiety. But, at times I’ve lost conscious of what the conversation and I quickly shy out smiling argh
I agree. Self-confidence has a direct correlation to my eye contact anxiety. I have found it actually helps if I tell myself things like, “You are awesome!” while talking with someone. This also gets your mind focused on a positive remark you are telling yourself instead of thinking about the eye contact = distraction. The tricky part is while you are saying this to yourself, also being able to listen to what the other person is saying. I think it is key to find something you are passionate about and/or good at to bolster your confidence. I find exercising and listening to music help as well.
But, I guess it will take a while before you can pull it off naturally. A person who’s affected with this disorder will have a hard time planning things out
I have had this problem for almost 20 years. I’m 40 now. Cannabis smoking may have made things worse.
I have kept it together and whilst I try to be social, I am single still and I would find it difficult to be intimate with anyone.
Eye contact became a conscious process. Not a natural one. As others have said its a fear of judgment for sure. I found it unbearable sitting opposite people in an office. I became overly anxious about them looking at me and vice versa. Horrible.
One thing I always tried to do is think my way out. This sadly will never work.
My advice: eft tapping, exercise, sleep, eat well.
Do these things together religiously and you will get better.
My advice: therapy for social anxiety, CBT, comprehensively structured for the exact thing we are dealing with here, the thing and all its symptoms - social anxiety.
Address social anxiety, and gradually you will be able to deal with:
- irrational fear and anxiety
- irrational negative thoughts about oneself and the world
- the symptoms that are associated with social anxiety (and there are numerous) including eye contact issues
- your ability to deal more rationally and effectively with all kinds of human social interactions including relationships
- your ability to express yourself, to be assertive when necessary
- your ability not to worry or assume what others are (not) thinking about you
- your ability not to compare yourself to others
- your ability to function with regards to daily small demands
- your ability to face and handle larger challenges
- your ability to live life
The path to overcoming all this is a gradual one, and it takes time. It takes repetition. It will take longer than you hope. But, coming at this problem from the perspective of focusing on one of the symptoms or outcomes of anxiety and trying to fix that is not going to be effective long-term. Because if you choose to do it that way, you haven’t dealt with the underlying social anxiety which will still be there to infect and undermine anything you do.
its being a while since this problem started with me . Actually i was able to cope with it by trying not to make too much eye contact , and with my family also it eased when i disclosed my problem with my wife and when ever she asked me why you don’t like to look at me, i tell her that you know my problem, she always reply with i don’t even recognize it.
In my opinion the best practice to overcome this problem to communicate this problem with your people, and tell them not to worry about my eye contact coz my eyes program have been disturbed , so this will give you big relief of stress caused by the conversation , maybe some people will hesitate to do so, but it will help since the problem caused by others impressions.
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