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.

  1. patrickrhone says: #
    @colinwalker I find eye contact difficult as well and, the more I’ve investigated this, the more I find it (and the associated feelings you discribe) to be quite common among introverts.
  2. colinwalker says: #
    @patrickrhone @bix Well, I’m definitely an introvert bit there’s almost certainly some element of autism there as well. My wife used to work with autistic kids and has always said I’m somewhere on the spectrum.

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