Eye contact solution (for me, at least)

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adversarial
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17 Jul 2005, 5:04 pm

I have never liked eye contact, it is intrusive, inquisitive and aggressive. It is only about asserting a role in a power struggle and I really cannot be bothered with dealing with those sorts of people.

I have not been 'pulled up' on it for years, but I have very few dealings with others outside of routine transactions, such as getting on a bus, going to the supermarket or other things like it.



hell_grey
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18 Jul 2005, 12:12 pm

I look people in the eye a lot and it is not because I'm trying to assert my superiority in a power struggle or to be intimidating. i just want to know what the other person is feeling and how they are reacting to me. so i guess inquisitive could be applicable... but you make it sound so horrible! :( lol



kaixo
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24 Jul 2005, 3:04 pm

i would do this, but apparently direct eye contact from me is creepy somehow or startling. i look a little crazed. i guess this is the "looking through people" phenomenon showing itself.



Mark
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03 Aug 2005, 9:13 am

Does anyone know why eye contact is so difficult? When I was at school and university I used to find it almost physically painful, as if I had received an electric shock. It do not undestand why I should have had such a reaction.

I taught myself a long time ago to stare at the bridge of the persons nose rather than their eyes and I often forced myself to do this because I read that it was necessary when cycling to look a car driver in the eyes to prevent them from ignoring you and doing something dangerous. Now, fifteen years later, although it is still disconcerting to look at people directly, I can do this if I consciously think to do so.

:: Mark



renaeden
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03 Aug 2005, 12:49 pm

Prometheus wrote:
Quote:
I still find that looking into my own eyes in the mirror is still a pretty shocking and uncomfortable experience.


Try making funny faces if no one is around. that seems to help when I look at myself in the mirror :lol:

Um, so why the great big eye for your avatar????
Can't help it, had to ask.



Captain_Brain
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19 Aug 2005, 10:23 pm

I have a technique which is self-discovered (although probably exists all over the show).

When looking into someones eyes, I'll notice there's a point in time (usually very immediate) when I'll feel an extreme, often physical discomfort like Mark pointed out. I've found the solution! I tend not to look at both eyes at the same time, but at one. When this discomfort comes, I simply shift my gaze to the persons other eye. It's magic how it works. Because you can see, believe it or not, that the discomfort shifts from me.... to the other person :D I absolutely love this technique.


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Neuroman
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06 Oct 2005, 11:01 pm

When you are trying whatever strategy, it helps to have an observer. My ex told me that she could tell when my eye contact was poorly received. I had the strategy of looking at the bridge of the nose, but apparently that doesn't work all the time.
It took me years to be able to look in a mirror. I can look at my hair and my clothing but I can't look at my face. I don't have pictures of myself or any other people in my house because I can't tolerate the eyes. If I look long enough, one of three things happens: I feel pain/get sick, I get incredibly anxious, or I cry. The most common is pain.
However, I have a friend who is a psychologist and she thinks that since eye contact is a sesory integration issue that it CAN be changed. So I just have to figure out what will work fo me.


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07 Oct 2005, 12:13 am

Making eye contact has been something I just forced myself to do once I became aware of the nature of my condition -quite late in life at that. My main tendency now is to scare and sometimes offend the other person but it now comes especially handy when confronting those intolerant jerks whose voices ring with that Aryan twang :wink:

Captain_Brain and Mark, your strategies do echo mine in some ways. And yes, I go by intuition in that aspect.

OTOH when I was fighting my wrongful dismissal case I stared unflinchingly into the eyes of my main aggessor through every minute of our talks. A polar bear would have gotten hypothermia looking into that woman's eyes. And then she got a copy of my exposé. I would have liked to stare that fascist b***h down while she read her copy :wink:

In general interaction with people there is definitely a fine art about Aspies learning to do eye contact and it is a skill that NT's take for granted as it is second nature to them.

It is said that the eyes are the windows to the soul and with this, I am postulating a theory: when looking into someone's eyes, I feel like I see things about their lives that they don't want to share with anybody. This would make most NT's feel vulnerable at the subconscious level. In response, the NT being looked at by an Aspie would put up some kind of protective barrier which from the subconscious level, the Aspie would feel that unbearable pain I see mentioned so much from the same.

So fellow WP'ers, lets keep talking about this. I'd like to see more on how you all feel about the eye contact thing.


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SpiderMonkey
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22 Oct 2005, 7:28 am

For some reason I thought this thread would be about eyedrops that made you stare at people.

Sounds like a good exercise, but if I were you I wouldn't put too much energy into trying to be what NTs want you to be. They aren't worth it.



TomInside
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01 Nov 2005, 10:27 pm

I don't know if I have Asperger's or not (my psychiatrist thinks I do, my pediatrician thinks I "probably" do, but I await word from a psychological evaluation), but in any case I don't have the eye contact problem at all. I assume if I'm not an NT this is what it's like for them. Eye contact does just come naturally, honestly. It's not a power struggle, it's not hostile. It's kind of a sign of respect and that you're paying attention, but from birth it is something that NTs do without thought. If an NT notices that you're not looking at them or their eyes they'll think you don't care or are not listening. It's not that they're picking on you for not being perfect, it's just that typically when NTs don't look in somebody's eyes it's because they're not listening, they're guilty, or they have something to hide--all obviously negative things. It's just very noticeable when it's not occurring because it's something that's so expected. So NTs aren't acting malicious if they mention this, they just find it odd, sort of like anybody would if somebody was wiggling their ears through out an entire conversation.



evangelina
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02 Nov 2005, 9:11 pm

great idea! worth a shot for my 11 yr old. thanks so much
Liz



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03 Nov 2005, 2:55 am

I find that when I'm looking at someone, I miss half of what they say. When I'm staring out the window or looking blank, I hear and remember every word, sometimes for years. Everyone thinks I'm very laid back. Wrong. I just don't do it in "three acts."

I have tried to explain to family and friends that when I look someone in the eye, I am attempting to manipulate them(and I'm pretty good at it). When I'm staring out the window, I'm trying to have an honest two-sided conversation. I can't get that across.

A psychiatrist once told me "that's because you fear them." To which I replied, you can not live the life I have lived and wind up fearing anyone or anything. It is because that's the way I am.

:!: