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Thread: Fear of Eye contact

  1. #1
    Permabanned Array
    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default Fear of Eye contact

    I for one, am a floor talker.

    I have some ideas why I avoid eye contact, but I don't actually know why.

    I'm scared of looking people in the eyes. I don't like it. The only people I make eye contact with are women I'm interested in, and in those situations I can't take my eyes off them.


  2. #2


    Hm. I don't do it, but it's not a fear. It just feels unnatural, like you're prying their soul out of their bodies.

  3. #3
    Temporal Mechanic. Array Lexicon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    5w6 sp/sx


    I can't hold sustained eye contact, just feels too unnatural/uncomfortable. I can do it when I need to. Like when I'm dealing with others who are attempting to intimidate me for some retarded reason. Most of the time, though, I'm staring at my shoes.
    03/23 06:06:58 EcK: lex
    03/23 06:06:59 EcK: lex
    03/23 06:21:34 Nancynobullets: LEXXX *sacrifices a first born*
    03/23 06:21:53 Nancynobullets: We summon yooouuu
    03/23 06:29:07 Lexicon: I was sleeping!

    04/25 04:20:35 Patches: Don't listen to lex. She wants to birth a litter of kittens. She doesnt get to decide whats creepy

    02/16 23:49:38 ygolo: Lex is afk
    02/16 23:49:45 Cimarron: she's doing drugs with Jack

    03/05 19:27:41 Time: You can't make chat morbid. Lex does it naturally.

  4. #4
    philosopher wood nymph Array greenfairy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    6w5 sx/sp


    I used to hate it. Some animals take it as a sign of attack, and that's how it felt to me- like someone was trying to be intimidating. I had to learn how to do it to where it felt natural. I still don't like staring at people though. Like the INTJ I'm seeing sometimes likes to look at me in an "attentive" or "romantic" way, or something, I can't figure it out; but I don't like it and just start laughing. I feel like what @jontherobot said, like he's trying to look into my soul without my permission. I can look in people's eyes for a few seconds, because I like seeing into people's souls; it just can't get intense. I look in people's eyes while they're looking away.

    6w5, 4w3, 1w9 (probably)

  5. #5
    Senior Member Array Viridian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010


    Worth sharing:

    Sometimes developing these skills is important, but it can also de deleterious.

    (Also, this.)
    Tentative typing: ISFJ 6w5 or 9w1 (Sp/S[?]).

  6. #6
    ¿trap queen? Array chickpea's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    4w5 sx/sp


    my boyfriend complains that I avoid making eye contact with him but I really feel weird staring into someone's eyes for an extended period of time.

  7. #7
    Iron Maiden Array fidelia's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    1w2 so/sx


    Try observing other people doing it. I sometimes have this weird feeling that I am "bumping into" other people's eyes. After analyzing why I feel this way with some people and not with others, I've realized that in normal conversation, you establish initial eye contact when talking, then look away and keep checking back again at intervals to look for feedback or make sure that the other person is still engaged in the conversation. Meanwhile, the listener for the most part looks at you (but not in a staring way and with some slight breaks) to signal attentiveness. If there is proper give and take, the listening and talking switch back and forth. With the people that eye contact feels most strange, I've found it's that they don't ever break eye contact or they won't make any eye contact. Therefore, it becomes awkward because the constant presence of eye contact becomes invasive and distracting, or else the absence of it creates its own kind of noise in my mind as I'm attempting to carry on the conversation at the same time and am wondering why they won't make eye contact.

    I don't like trying to talk to someone who will not make eye contact, as I cannot get the feedback I need to know whether they are interested, can hear me, want to engage in conversation or not, agree/disagree with what I'm saying and so on. If I am listening to them and they habitually will not look at me, I find it harder to follow the conversation, I have a harder time communicating non-verbally with them, and it generally is disconcerting because it's an anomaly from regular communication.

    I think it's true that unless someone is very close to you, it is an uncomfortable feeling to have them gaze deep into your eyes, because they haven't been invited to do so, and it is a very personal thing (along the same lines as accepting touch). Even babies can communicate whether or not they want someone to touch them via whether or not they accept and engage with eye contact. I think it is understood though that as long as the other person isn't looking in your direction, it's fine for you to look at them and that as long as eye contact is brief, there is nothing impolite about connecting briefly in that way. (Think of how clerks signal that they are available to help in a store, or that it is time for the next person in line to step up to the counter, or how you may use eye contact for an initial greeting.)

  8. #8
    know ⏩ assist ⏩ survive Array Alaska's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    4w5 sx/sp
    ESI Fi


    Quote Originally Posted by jontherobot View Post
    It just feels unnatural, like you're prying their soul out of their bodies.
    Interesting. When I don't want to make eye contact, it feels like they are beaming their "soul" into me willingly, and I fear being overwhelmed by it. That is, when. I've gotten so much better at this over the years. At times when I don't want to, I'll look between their eyes instead. I wonder if anyone notices.

    Tip, though: overdoing eye contact is as bad as not making it at all. There's a rhythm to making and breaking it.
    4w5 6w7 1w2 sx/sp ISFP

    RLOAX (don't do it)
    Melancholic Hufflepuff
    A lonely island where only what is permitted to move moves, becomes an ideal. Jung

    Kiss Kiss [johari] Bang Bang [nohari]

  9. #9
    jump Array sleuthiness's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    54 so/sp
    IEI Ni


    On the Observing of the Observer of the Observers

    I wonder if a colossal squid would be too busy posting on Typology Central to compose his memoir, tentatively based on whether the contents of my fridge will be edible tmorrrow morning.

    thinking of you

  10. #10
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Array Mole's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    I have a high response to stimulae, so I have a high response to eye contact. So I make cursory eye contact, then to signal I am interested in what they are saying, I look at their mouth. This seems to work quite well for me.

    I do like eye contact but deep eye contact I reserve for my intimates.

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