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sr71
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31 Jan 2024, 1:07 pm

I was asked recently to explain what making eye contact was like. After a lot of thought asked was it someone I knew well, or a stranger, a stranger came the reply. I thought even longer and said it is two intimate, but how do you feel they asked again. The only way I could explain to them would be to walk into a room full of strangers and take-off all your clothes while someone was dragging there fingernails down a blackboard. How would other people describe it.



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31 Jan 2024, 1:35 pm

When I first wondered if I was Autistic I read about it online and quickly learned eye-contact was an issue. So, when I went to a psychologist for an Autism Assessment I was sitting opposite her at a narrow table and I forced myself to try eye-contact.

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK!

"Too intimate" is right. As soon as I made eye contact I immediately looked away.

What went through my mind was: What am I doing?! I shouldn't be doing this...I'm a married man!!


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31 Jan 2024, 1:42 pm

sr71 wrote:
I was asked recently to explain what making eye contact was like. After a lot of thought asked was it someone I knew well, or a stranger, a stranger came the reply. I thought even longer and said it is two intimate, but how do you feel they asked again. The only way I could explain to them would be to walk into a room full of strangers and take-off all your clothes while someone was dragging there fingernails down a blackboard. How would other people describe it.


That's pretty apt. I also get very inappropriate, intrusive thoughts, as well as I stop hearing the person I'm talking to. There's also the trepidation or heeby jeebys I get from seeing a PHOTO/image of someone looking at the camera, like they're really looking at me.


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31 Jan 2024, 3:17 pm

In a polite conversation where I feel the need to perform "eye contact" I have to focus on it. It doesn't come naturally. I look the other person in the eye for a couple of seconds, then look at an other part of the person's face and then look back in the eye again. I circle back and forth that way doing "face time" for awhile in a deliberate way. After that I feel free to look where ever I want for a while until I feel it's time for a period of "eye contact" again. I find it hard to concentrate on what the other person is saying while I circle around looking at the person's eyes and face in this "polite way". When I establish eye contact with people in a way that comes natural it feels very intimate to me. And other people seem to feel that way to. I guess I have an intensive look. My natural way of making eye contact works well in situation where I have a romantic intent. In other situations it's weird, hostile or creepy.


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31 Jan 2024, 3:21 pm

I experience it as if someone is wringing my brain. Which is weird in itself because the brain has no feeling so how would I even be able to imagine that? But that's what it's like, someone grabbing and twisting my brain.


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31 Jan 2024, 4:26 pm

Being naked while being interrogated by MI5 agents with attack dogs.


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01 Feb 2024, 2:22 am

Something that brings back bad memories of my dad yelling at me as he told me to make eye-contact with him. He didn't have to yell. Parents, never demand eye-contact from your autistic child when you're angry. Your child might end up resenting you.


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sr71
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01 Feb 2024, 8:48 am

IsabellaLinton wrote:
Being naked while being interrogated by MI5 agents with attack dogs.


I think that is a better description I will try and remember that



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01 Feb 2024, 3:28 pm

CockneyRebel wrote:
Something that brings back bad memories of my dad yelling at me as he told me to make eye-contact with him. He didn't have to yell. Parents, never demand eye-contact from your autistic child when you're angry. Your child might end up resenting you.
When I was young my parents told me it was polite to look at people when I was talking to them, so I do that. Generally I don't get too close to the other person so it might not be too obvious that I'm not looking into their eyes, since my parents didn't tell me to do that I don't do that.


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Edna3362
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01 Feb 2024, 4:42 pm

Confusing. Pointless. Dissonating.

Times I'd 'naturally' engage in eye contact is either processing recognition, anticipation or an expression of a predatory like challenge.

... Essentially, mine is more like a fight response.
A very focused and very targeting fight response.

Regardless, anyone can mistake me for glaring if I'm dysregulated or triggered enough to be pissed at something. :roll: It's somewhat ironic.


If not that, it's the usual too intimate route.
It can be fond, it can be mischievous, it can be trusting. And it can quickly turn awkward.


Otherwise, I look at people's lips to listen (an attempt to quell auditory processing issues) and coincidentally taken as a sign that I listen.

Or look at people's nose to signify 'confirmation' or 'assurance' since it's a little higher than the lips.

Or the generalized area of the face to gauge one another on the road; to cross or not, to make them stop or not -- which is usually distant and only lasts less than a second.


I didn't practiced any of 'that'.
Merely because it got me curious because of the phrase; 'makuha ka sa tingin' and not know what the heck it meant.

Turns out it involves catching glances or looks.
And I don't exactly catch glaces except on the road, when I take it as a sign that drivers don't likely mind if I take that side of the road or turn.


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vergil96
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03 Feb 2024, 12:45 pm

It feels like looking someone right into the nostril or throat with a falshlight. Too close up, too detailed, too anatomic. I can relate to the feeling like my brain begins to twist when it lasts too long, it's odd and overwhelming. Also it's distracting, I find myself looking at walls during conversations, because I'd lose track otherwise, especially when I'm tired or it's noisy and I have a hard time distinguishing what is being said.

I make some eye contact but apparently noticably less than most people.

I hear badly, so I read lips to a degree too.

I was told in childhood that you should look at the person you're talking to and preferrably at their face, but I don't recall being told to make eye contact specifically.



Esme
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10 Feb 2024, 11:29 am

I always describe it as being like someone is putting their face right up against yours. You can see far too much detail and it's overwhelming if they are new and you don't already know them. I have to make myself ignore the impulse to look away, as I don't enjoy seeing that much of a stranger up close. It feels really invasive. Like seeing them naked or something! I have the same sensation when I watch someone sing. I see too much of them and feel like I'm prying into their soul! It's a really awkward feeling. I have to remind myself that they want people to see/hear them and I'm not crossing some invisible boundary that I shouldn't. But it still feels weird.

With someone I know well, it's not so much of a big deal as I've already seen all of those details before. For example, I can easily look my sister in the eyes, as I've had decades of practice and already know who she is.



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10 Feb 2024, 12:39 pm

Rather normal.



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10 Feb 2024, 1:00 pm

It's not something I have ever worried about but that doesn't mean to say I have great eye contact. It just means I don't worry about it. I either make eye contact or I don't.

When I do make eye contact I kind of enjoy it. I don't find it painful or awkward like I have read above. Sometimes it even makes me smile because I feel as though I have made a connection with someone.

I was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome about 20 years ago and in my report it says that I have a glib stare. I happen to think this has more to do with long term severe depression and not autism/Asperger's


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15 Feb 2024, 9:28 am

I was taught that it was disrespectful to make eye contact with others (my superiors/parents, teachers, etc) and I mostly these days read lips , it looks like I am making eye contact. I find as I have got older, eye contact is more comfortable especially with those I am close to, I am still likely to avoid eye contact with others who are strange to me or in public places for fear of being offensive or seeming rude. So not sure if it is social conditioning or overstimulation that makes me avoid all but the quickest look into another's eyes sometimes as a way of checking whether I am "getting" their messages. hope that makes sense.


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Stormyweathers
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17 Feb 2024, 1:56 am

To me, direct eye-contact is a little aggressive. Most people instinctively realize that when I focus my attention on them, I see a lot more than they want me to.

I kind of get off on making them uncomfortable. :twisted: