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PandorasBlocks's avatar

How to encourage eye contact... ?

Asked by PandorasBlocks (112points) July 14th, 2008

Awkward and shy in general, and potentially an Aspie – how might I retrain and remind myself to make and maintain eye contact with the rest of the world after 25 years of unconscious avoidance?

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6 Answers

tirithalui's avatar

try doing it in small steps. Working yourself up to it.
Perhaps just look at someones face in general without specifically focussing on their eyes. See how that works out for you and go on from there. it will probably take a while but realize that eyes are wonderful communicators and you will grow closer to those around you by looking in their eyes and them looking in yours.

susanc's avatar

Maybe try a little smile when you manage to meet the eyes. A flick.
You can look away immediately after and still have a really
nice moment, hopefully not too daunting. Good for you for pushing yourself – little steps are exactly what the doc ordered.

TheHaight's avatar

When I was suffering with depression and seeing a therapist, I lacked eye contact and felt so uncomfortable with it all. Like what susanc said, take it slow. For me I started making eye contact and practicing with friends or people I was comfortable around. Eventually I got used to it, and it was easy to make eye contact with just about anyone. Good luck, and remember you aren’t the only one that’s shy.

wildflower's avatar

I’ll kind of echo what the others have said. There’s no magical fix and you have to extend your comfort zone.
A good way to start is to focus on when you speak, look the person you’re speaking to in the eye. It will help you get your point across, give you a chance to observe reaction in real-time and it will help you build and maintain eye-contact.

Eye-contact during periods of silence is the most difficult and challenging, so don’t worry about that just yet. Start by adding it to your communication. Look at the person you speak to and look at them when they speak to you.
Once you’re comfortable with that, you’ll be able to extend the period you maintain eye contact for to eventually include periods of silence too.

Good luck!

PandorasBlocks's avatar

Thanks folks, this is exactly what I was looking for. The simplest approach is likely to be the best, and baby steps will get me to where I need to be in time.

A fluther a day keeps the boredom away ^_^

susanc's avatar

Yay you! I am looking into your virtual eyes and smiling back. Not for long,
but it’s good.

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