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asperience
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06 Aug 2008, 6:15 pm

Eye contact is one of the few Aspie issues that I don't have a problem with. I've had a LOT of eye contact training since I stutter and most all stuttering therapies involve eye contact work. For me eye contact feels reassuring; I know my listener is paying attention to me.

I know this has probably been discussed before, but I couldn't find it after 5 minutes of searching, so please forgive me for raising the question again...

What I'm curious about is how it feels to make eye contact for those of you who don't like it. What is the uncomfortable feeling you get when you make eye contact with someone?



claire-333
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06 Aug 2008, 6:23 pm

I'm good at faking eye contact. I tend to blur out people's eyes when speaking to them, so it looks like I am making eye contact when I am not. True eye contact makes me feel like people can see inside me and my thoughts seem to fall apart into bits. :?



patternist
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06 Aug 2008, 6:30 pm

It feels too intense. And also awkward, since apparently it's important to have it, but just the right amount. And I never know what the right amount it is.

So I always try to look really fast and then I look away. But it's a charade, I'd rather not do it at all.



patternist
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06 Aug 2008, 6:31 pm

Sometimes I look at an imaginary dot on peoples foreheads instead.



stephaniecatherine
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06 Aug 2008, 6:34 pm

It makes me feel like I am exposed...skinless even. Most of all it makes it really hard for me to gather my thoughts...or to interpret what others are saying to me so that I can give them a full intelligible response. Sometimes I can sort of fake it too...and just pretend, but then pressure builds up and if I *have* to keep it up I will probably get a little frustrated afterwards...that is if I am able to keep it up..

eye contact is anything but comforting to me.



kip
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06 Aug 2008, 6:48 pm

It's really almost painful. It's like... it's a meltdown in and of itself.

I usually try to look near someones forehead or the corners of their eyes. Or in the middle, right above the nose. It's enough to make them think I'm making eye contact, but enough for me that I don't loose it.


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06 Aug 2008, 6:59 pm

I feel physically uncomfertable when I make eye contact, it's far too intense for me. If I start speaking while looking away I can speak fairly well, but when I look someone in the eye I immediatly fall to pieces and forget what I'm saying, get my words jumbled up etc.



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06 Aug 2008, 6:59 pm

I have mastered it now. Except for a few sensory issues, I have overcome many of my AS symptoms.


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LostInEmulation
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06 Aug 2008, 7:09 pm

It depends. Often it feels as if there is a weight on my head, or as if my eyes are really dry from too few blinking. I actually get tears in my eyes when trying to make eye contact to people, I do not know intimately. IE: everyone except BF and family.


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Simmian7
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06 Aug 2008, 7:13 pm

i can't do it... i tried...but it just makes me feel like i have double vision....


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BeeBee23
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06 Aug 2008, 7:39 pm

Eye contact makes me feel physically uncomfortable. I would describe this feeling like a spiky ball in my chest and if I don't break the eye contact it gets bigger, I sometimes get hot and cold flushes, my palms sweat, my mouth goes dry and I have to stim to bring the size of the ball down, I look away and pick at my arms or chew my cheeks or rock or hum.
Then people just look at me like this: 8O
and it makes me: :?
I usually look at peoples mouths when they are talking to me, or I try hard to look them in the eyes for about two seconds at a time and looking away for three to four seconds.
If someone is talking to me while I am concentrating on this, I find it extremely difficult to follow the line of conversation, and this makes me more anxious.
Its a vicious cycle.



sgrannel
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06 Aug 2008, 8:13 pm

I've had dogs growl at me for doing the eye contact thing wrong. A person will not necessarily give the kind of honest feedback a dog will give! I think many are uncomfortable with eye contact because of not knowing what this form of nonverbal communication is saying. Maybe it's better to avoid it than to do it wrong.


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StrawberryJam
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06 Aug 2008, 8:17 pm

as its been said before, eye contact makes me feel horribly uncomfortable and transperent. the only times i can look someone in the eye is usually close friends, my boyfriend, and my mom :/ or if ive gotten into a really really active conversation with someone and its gone on for long enough that i feel like i know them well :o i usually look at the persons mouth when they speak, because i have minor hearing issues, like, ill mishear things all over the place, so looking at their mouth moving is like reading their lips as theyre speaking so make sure i heard everything correctly


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06 Aug 2008, 8:19 pm

stephaniecatherine wrote:
It makes me feel like I am exposed...skinless even. Most of all it makes it really hard for me to gather my thoughts...or to interpret what others are saying to me so that I can give them a full intelligible response


Ditto.


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06 Aug 2008, 10:31 pm

Like a Vulcan mind meld. It shares too much, and feels like a battle of wills.

8) Sunglasses are the magic shield. 8)


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