Another social anxiety-related question

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Joe90
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14 May 2016, 12:15 pm

With people I know, eye contact is natural for me and is not an issue. Also same goes with strangers I am required to interact with, like paying for items in a shop, or showing my bus pass to the bus-driver, or giving directions to someone who has pulled over in a car to ask me where something is, etc, etc.

But when just passing strangers in the street, I suddenly become conscious of where I'm looking, and I feel all tense and anxious inside. I feel that if I look at them they might be like "why's she looking at me?" or they'll stare back at me with a funny look on their face. If I DON'T look at them, they might wonder why I'm not looking at them, causing them to stare at me and think I'm weird. If I look at them briefly, it suddenly feels too conscious and probably looks too forced to them, because of moving my eyes around quickly.

I just find passing people feels so uncomfortable and awkward. I rather not look at them at all. Do people think anything badly of those who choose not to look at people? Do NTs really care whether a passer-by makes brief eye contact or not? I know I should't worry about what a passer-by is thinking, but I do.


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Matt_McF1y
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15 May 2016, 12:19 pm

One of the greatest things about modern society in the city is that no one cares about you. In order to maintain their own personal space and comfort, most people you walk past dissociate themselves from everyone else; this is done by not making eye contact or regarding each other at all. In a small town where everyone knows each other the culture is totally different but in an industrialized city it is COMPLETELY acceptable not to make eye contact with other people, so don't worry.

There's no need to worry about where you're looking or what you look like because most people aren't looking at or paying attention to you anyway. Even if you were to trip and fall, they would remember for a day at most. Everyone else, as always, have their own lives to think about.



Butterfly88
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15 May 2016, 2:16 pm

Honestly, I don't think anyone cares whether you look at them or not. If you really really stare at them they may be annoyed, but otherwise they are usually too into themselves and their phones to care.



morslilleole
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15 May 2016, 4:23 pm

I agree with the other ones; people don't care.

Personally I tend to walk around with a huge headset, completely in my own world, completely ignoring everyone else. It's really nice :D


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Joe90
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17 May 2016, 2:27 am

Hmm, I suppose then it's mostly irrational thinking with me.


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Kiprobalhato
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17 May 2016, 3:14 am

i imagine that too, but then i know they most likely will forget about in in a short while, even if they do say something about it.

sunglasses work wonders gor hiding your gaze, but they make my eyes ache after a while. :|


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