Can't Look people in the eyes


Well-known member
i have this problem too. especially around new people. once i get to know them i tend to be better. problem is ten-fold for people that intimidate me or a girl iam attracted to.


New member
Growing up i used to suffer from this quite a bit. staring down at my hands because i was nervous or thought they'd think i was staring, or i'd let my eyes wonder around the room looking for something interesting to lock onto...

Things that i think helped me break the 'habit':
-reflective sunglasses are great, but sometimes they'll be completely out of place.
-continuous eye contact isn't all it's cracked up to be. daily life is not a staring contest.
-focus on infinity or something else behind them... like a wall, tree, window
-focus on one eye or the other or the bridge of the nose. if you feel the need to flick, blink when you do.
-keep in mind that it takes several seconds of intense staring to make someone uncomforable...
-practice with a friend or family member if possible. just ask them to say "Oi! stop staring at the floor" or somesuch. I don't mean those apparently irritated or condescending parents who tend to say "Look at me when you're talking to me" with that slighlty angry voice.
-try not to be paranoid or overly self-conscious about letting your eyes wonder from time to time because that just makes things feel worse.
-"an apple a day..." while walking down the street, keep you chin up and glance at at least 1 (or more) passer-by a day. You don't ahve to smile or wink or anything. Just glance at their eyes briefly and then look at something other than the ground 3 feet in front of you: hedge, fence, dogs, cars, someone else... The keeping your chin up bit help reduce the "oh look at him/her! s/he's easy pickings" reaction some of the bullying types tend to have when they see someone walking around with their chin firmly planted on their chest.

though i still suffer from it in the more acute situations... like women... and job interviews.


Well-known member
I too have this problem. But instead of feeling like I am looking into peoples souls, I feel like people can see mine. Though, I have been overcoming this problem little by little and have been able to look into people's eyes more and more. I try to just look at the color of their eyes, the chape, etc, and not think about myself but only on what the other person is telling me and on what I am seeing. On ocation I do look around and at passers by.


As of recently I have had trouble looking into the eyes of people walking down the street :? I dont want to look like an obsessive starer (a bit exadurated) and I dont want to give false signs that I like someone. These are irrational but it is what I have been feeling latley. It is going to take a lot for me to overcome myself, but I will try.


Well-known member
I have this problem too

Yeah i find i have this problem also, cept i try to meet the persons eyes too much and dont want them to think im making them uncomfortable.I cant focus on what the persons saying, im too worried about what they think of me. :(


New member
u could try a hypnotist, a good one, find a good one. they also have it 4 depression 2. i've lost jobs because of the eye thing. i tried to desensitise to it.(repeated exposure to the fear stimulus) they do this w/ people afraid of snakes, etc. but, i was hanging around with some people, and some were mean. it didnt help that we were all smoking the funny ciggies. but i have always been bullied 2, because i am kind of geeky, i have always been phobic because of my complex, and was hit in the face once and i speak like i have a closed break. all blood poured out but i thought it was a blood vessel, dont know if it got broke but i sound funny, so, geek.(i have a byfrnd who doesnt care i am happy 2 say!) but catty mean girls high schoolish sh#t. so then i wuz paranoid & they would make me more and then laugh. but then one was really mean, i think cause her byfrnd started to like me. so she made up sh#t. highschoolish and then her friends spread it. and then i was scared of everybody. i had quit the drgs but the sh catty sh#t was spread so then i was afraid of everyone because of that. vy funny, right? then this big asshl bully started w/ me, much older than me, but acts immature. he hit on me and i didnt like it ( was 27 at the time) he was in his 40-ish.has a lot of money and i called him fat, bu he parked near my window and could see in it. vy scared & went in kitchen where my brother was. so i stay in, cause of eye sh8t, am scared.he has influence and money, is catty girlish himself, worse than mean girls. now i have a byfrnd he is worse, so are his friends.


Well-known member
Cacophony said:
Hi.. i need someone's help very bad. Ive never been more depressed in my entire life right now and just lost my great job because of my problem. The other day i just left work with out telling anyone and called my boss's answering machine telling him i quit because im crazy and i need help. I can't look anyone in the eyes at all anymore. I lost all my friends because of it. My mother wants me to come visit her soon and i'm not going to go because i know i won't be able to look my own mom in the eyes. Every time i look at someone... it's like i dont look in to them normal, i look straight into their souls or something and it freaks them out. It feels like i forgot to look at them normally. Then when ever i try to do it i can never do it right, and it leaves me feeling with complete dread and stupidity. I have nothing anymore. I will never be able to meet a girl, new friends, and get another job if this goes on. This isn't me at all either... everyone used think i was the most awesome guy in the world and i was comfortable with anyone. This isn't just shyness.. this is hell.

This is very similar to what happened to me. I just shut down one day, that's the best I can explain it. I walked into work one day and told my supervisor that I was sorry, but I had to leave. No explanation. I've forced myself to get a couple other jobs after that, but couldn't handle it, so gave my notice. It's like my mind's forcing me to deal with whatever the hell is going on, before I do anything else. I'm a bull who doesn't like to be stopped and this is living hell for me as well.

My eye contact was too good, if you know what I mean. I felt like I was being drawn inside them and them into me. I'm the one looking in their eyes, but yet feel horrified and invaded somehow. Recently I read something on effective eye contact, but can't remember where exactly. I'll just pass on what I remember.

When you are the one talking, generally try to keep eye contact 1/3 of the time. When you're listening to someone generally it's common to keep eye contact 2/3 of the time. This way you show interest but you're not boring into their skull. I've tried this with my doctor and a couple friends and find not only am I more comfortable, but so are they. It sounds weird to concentrate on stuff like that, but it really helped me.

You're still that awesome guy, you're just going through a hard time right now. I'm one to talk, but just allow whatever needs doing now and learn from it. If you think you need a certain type of help, then ask for it. Do whatever it takes to help yourself, don't judge it. I'm trying to get there too. :roll:


Active member
Ive been working on it, and I have to say I've improved quite a bit. The best advice I have, is to just keep practising.

With that said, I have a related problem thats been so bad to my confidence. Basically whenever Im walking past people, and I look at them, they always seem to quickly snap their head in my direction and stare at me. I dont even think that Im staring, its like a quick glance at most. I dont know, maybe it has to do with the way I look. I have awfully dark skin that is terribly scarred, and ugly bug eyes that probably freak people out. Ive tried to keep a friendly expression on my face, but that really hasnt worked. What am i supposed to do when I walk past people? Just stare at the ground?


Well-known member
I stare at people straight in the face and eyes when i am talking to them - completely oblivious to my insecurities - i do it because i think looking around and not at them would be considered rude and i can't do that. And i also don't want them to think that i am feeling embarassed or uncomfortable, lest they think less of me - weird, my actual insecurities make me ACT more confident :roll:


I feel the same way too. I can't concentrate on what someone is saying if I look him/her into eyes. I feel uncomfortable with my parents too. Well I feel little better if I had a good sleep the night before. Sometimes I feel I have to learn how to make a proper eye contact!! It's really painful. But I'm working on it.
yeah i know the feeling. sometimes i blush if someone tries to look me in the eyes. and its really incomfortable trying to talk to someone at the same time. sometimes i can do it sometimes i cant. ive almost gotten used to looking at teachers in the eyes when they talk to me. it makes me seem more confident so they will think i know what im doing and stop questioning me.


New member
ARGHH I hate looking at teachers in the eyes! Especially because when they go over to help you at your desk they are like a couple of inches away from your face. In summer school my teacher kept constantly helping me since I was so bad in geometry and I barely could pay attention to anything she said because of the uncomfortable feeling. I'd glance at her eyes so she wouldnt think I was weird or rude but I kept fearing that she would sence the uncomfortable vibe from my eyes.


Well-known member
i cant look someone in the eye unless i feel absolutly compfortable with them.. if i dont feel comfortable with them i find it hard to look them in the eye, and if i do itll only be a few seconds then ill look away


Active member
I can almost pin point when I started to fine it hard to look at people in the eye. I was young and had the habit of really staring at people I found interesting. I did it so much that I became self-conscious of it and after that I looked away. I can look people in the eye now though I do it sporadically and look away at times. I have found that many people have there own way of how long they hold your eye. This has helped me not be overly concerned about holding eye contact all the time. I sort of respond to the other person. If the other person likes to hold eye contact while I am talking with them I do and if the person looks around constantly I do not mind. It is funny once I stopped thinking about it I was better at it. There are still people I have difficulity with eye contact like attractive women but I get by.


Ive had this problem for ten years. It started after taking a load of speed and smoking canabis, something just went click in my head. Whats amazing to me is, I thought until now after reading some of the posts, that there was little or nobody else who had the same problem. I seem to have a mixture of all the different ways of remedying the problem I have read on here. To be honest I find a good release is having a good few beers, not drinking too fast, or you just get pissed, and then I tend to feel more confident, obviously this is not a perminent solution!!!! So then I ask the question, If you have ultimate confidence you will have no fear of looking at people or about how they think of you. I wish I had the answer of finding this confidence. I have lost alot of friends due to this, so I feel for you all!!!! However, I do find repeating to my self to be more confident when looking at people helps abit. P.S sorry about the spelling im shit at it! 8O :oops: :evil: 8)


i used to be terrified of eye contact. and for some odd reason, it doesn't bother me all that much anymore. i can do weird shit with my eyes that'll make anyone look away though, and i usually get a laugh out of it. if not, i just smile and let the person know i'm just fucking with them... and somehow, that's made me a lot less afraid to share regular ass eye contact as well.


READ THIS!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!Think Ive cracked it!!!! After reading this I posted a message and Googled the problem again and found somthing on sub-communication and how to over come our problem. I'll try and explain, look at one eye and dont blink. When your doing the talking look away occasionally, when it feels right, and when thier doing the talking look at them for longer, still look away now and again but not nearly as often. On top of this advice Ive started telling my self over and over all day long this phrase:- Dont be scared of anybody or anything and dont be scared of what they think when they look at you. Ive been doing this for 2 days, after the first day I noticed a difference and felt 50% better, today Ive noticed people feel more at ease around me, which is how things used to be 10 years ago!!!!! I now feel 90% better.
Will you all try this and post on here and tell me how it goes, If we work together we can break this misserable afliction and break free from this box weve locked our selfs in, in our heads. Sorry again about the spelling! :D [/b]