26/11/20192

# Comments

Ever since childhood I can remember it being intensely uncomfortable to hold eye contact with others. I know it's right, I know it's polite, I know it's how you get the most out of speaking to them but it's hard.

When I was young I used to put it down to just shyness but I now know there's more to it than that. It's like there is an undue pressure, an expectation beyond the norm and I almost feel like shouting "What? What do you want from me?"

At it's worst, rather than being a connection, it feels like an invasion, an imposition, another person almost usurping my attention even though the situation demands it.

Sometimes I can manage it, for a while at least, others I have to force myself but the effort is draining. Usually, I just have to find some reason, no matter how trivial, to break it: scratch an itch, pick at a bit of fluff, visually search for the source of a nearby noise, anything to reclaim the sovereignty of my sight.

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In response to my post about eye contact Bix states:

I take issue with the language deeming eye contact “right” and “polite”. It isn’t; it’s merely typical... What’s right, what’s polite, is respecting that not everyone’s brain functions typically.

He's absolutely correct. Societal norms, however, aren't geared to take everyone's personal circumstances into account and that's what I was really getting at.

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