Wierd Social Phobia

then there is cleavage best not seen...

 
^ :giggle:

To the OP, I actually have the same problem with being worried about looking at, ahem....men's crotches. The worst time was when I was in seeing a new fill-in doctor for my normal one, and he sat in a way that, well you can imagine what I mean.:eek:mg:
Anywho, throughout the whole consultation, I was trying so badly NOT to look down because he would have instantly noticed, being seated so close. That was so disasterous, I then put my mind to figuring out a way to try and stop this worry.
I came up with distraction to forcefully guide my brain away from thinking "don't look down!" all the time. Different distractive thoughts for several different situations fixed the problem. Maybe you could experiment with distractive thoughts that may guide your thoughts away from "not" looking at women's cleavage?:)
 

MikeyC

Well-known member
i enjoy looking at cleavage

i figure it's okay for me to look

i mean, if she didn't want someone to look, she would have worn something different, right?

don't get me wrong, i'm polite about it

in fact, i figure it might be rude to ignore it - seeing as how she went to all the trouble to put herself out there to begin with
As long as you're a ninja about it. Sunglasses help. ::p:

then there is cleavage best not seen...

Me in 30 years. Form a line, ladies. :bigsmile:
 

Trishanku

Well-known member
^One suggestion that works for me is to be aware of your body movements. As a rule, I try not to look at anybody or their body parts for more than 1-2 seconds. When I catch myself looking at somebody's boobs or butt, I immediately look away. Don't let your gaze linger at one spot. It's important to know that looking is OK, but staring can make people feel uncomfortable.

I saw a suggestion in an article from a therapist, but I never tried it: it's to look at as many pictures of women and men, stare as much as you want until you get tired of it. The goal is to condition your mind to think that boobs, butts are as normal as other body parts. Because in our minds, not all body parts are created equal. Some body parts like boobs, butts, gentialia are "elevated" to higher status and given more importance than other body parts. That's why we cover up our boobs, butts, and genitals. So, when women show their cleavage, we freak out because that's not something we should be looking at.

Think of it this way. If you work in the porn industry and you see a lot of naked bodies, you won't have this problem because you're used to seeing naked bodies. But for the rest of us who don't see naked bodies a lot, we react with surprise or even shock when we see partial or complete nudity.

I guess that's exactly how it works. I was reading a blog ( Men Aren ) whether we are really hardwired to find breast really that attractive, so much so to have a breast fetish. If so then how come tribal women don't mind being half naked around their men and men not bothering much about it. therefore social and cultural conditioning might be the reason for such fetishes or obsessions. I guess the solution is to re-condition our mind as you say.
 

Trishanku

Well-known member
This is my first post And it's reassuring to hear others with the same issue. I have an issue where I cannot look at a female without an impulse/fear that I will be looking at their cleavage. It is not a sexual reason, more of what others said, my brain says don't look and I can't keep eye contact. It started abt 1.5 years ago and I cannot find a way to fix it. It wound up costing me a job as I was having panic attacks going into work. I went on disability but when that ran out and my psychologist could not get a longer term approved I was let go. I now spend most days in the house and have been seeking jobs where I don't have to interact with people or only men if I if I do. I tried meds to no avail and am currently without insurance and can't afford to keep seeing a dr. I have read books but nothing really covers it. I even avoid family members for fear of serious embarrassment and feel like a hermit. Does anyone have suggestions that have helped them? I feel my problem boils down to a lack of self esteem but I can't seem to find a way to work through it. I also have an avoidance problem and will stay away from going out to do yard work if I see a neighbor. It has gotten harder with me being home all the time. I need to resolve this, I am in my thirties and can't live the rest of my life like this. Any suggestions or advice is much appreciated

I am in a same situation. It ruined my work life, social life and everything. as said below we have to re-condition ourselves and how is that done IDK at the moment. I've seen therapists and meds all that. the only problem with me is that I've been unable to share this with anyone in real life fearing embarrassment. Even I need a solution soon or else I am loosing my mind being homebound getting paranoid.
 

theoutsider

Well-known member
Theoutsider, and Andy downunder, we have the same problem. For me it also wedding rings worn by males and females. Wouldn't it be embarrassing if they thought I was hitting on them when I'm not interested. It can be cleavage on a woman, or even when a man lifts his shirt. There is no attraction at all just a fear of embarrassment. Other things are nose rings, people with big ears, anything to fire up my anxiety.

This is really killing me inside.

I have another trigger. It's when someone has a large mole. I used to work with this lady who had a large mole on her face. I hated talking to her because my eyes would always immediately lock on that mole. I felt terrible because I figure she may already have been self conscious about it and there I was staring while she spoke to me. Nothing I thought of could stop my staring. I was glad when she quit but the problem was never fixed.
 

Flanscho

Well-known member
Well, if their cleavage is showing they do want people to look at it. That's the whole point of showing your cleavage. It's not like with a t-shirt, which you wear in the summer because it's hot and you want to enjoy the wind and sun on your arms. You don't wear blouses or dresses or whatever with a deep cutout because your boobs need air and sun.

Just yesterday I met with some friends in a pub, and one of my closest friends would go to a club afterwards, and she was wearing her outfit that would dramatically present her cleavage. In addition she was sitting in the pub in such way, that the light from the street lamp outside would illuminate her boobs but not much else of her body. I tried to talk to her for a while, but then concede and said with a laugh "your outfit is just too distracting". But I guess the situation among friends is different than among collegues.

If a woman wears very revealing clothes, then look at times is something that you can neither prevent nor she should be annoyed about. But if you keep staring at the boobs of any woman you see all the time, then you definately need some self control. Not sure how you can learn that. Just... alternatingly look into their eyes, then on the floor, then eyes again, I don't know.
 

Kiwong

Well-known member
I have another trigger. It's when someone has a large mole. I used to work with this lady who had a large mole on her face. I hated talking to her because my eyes would always immediately lock on that mole. I felt terrible because I figure she may already have been self conscious about it and there I was staring while she spoke to me. Nothing I thought of could stop my staring. I was glad when she quit but the problem was never fixed.

Yeah outsider, there are so many triggers, the list can be endless. Rings, nose piercings, tattoos, stray bits of clothing. There is a guy in the office who has sweaty armpits, wouldn't it embarrassing if I looked at that? And sure enough it becomes a trigger. There is a girl in the office with big ears when she puts her hair back. Wouldn't it be embarrassing if I looked at them? It sure is.

I hate this kind of anxiety.

There is a guy with a withered arm, he hurt it in a motor bike accident, but never had it cut off. He has been really friendly to me. What if I annoyed him by looking at it? And sure enough I did. He said. "You must be a dickhead for looking at it like that." Yep, I am dickhead, weird. Pissing off one of the few people who has shown an interest in me that hurts Pushing people away who are kind to me, is my worst fear. My anxiety is vigilant always looking for a trigger and latching onto it. It keeps me alone.
 
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Kiwong

Well-known member
I am in a same situation. It ruined my work life, social life and everything. as said below we have to re-condition ourselves and how is that done IDK at the moment. I've seen therapists and meds all that. the only problem with me is that I've been unable to share this with anyone in real life fearing embarrassment. Even I need a solution soon or else I am loosing my mind being homebound getting paranoid.

I feel the same Trishanku, I find it very hard to talk about. It's getting to be too much of a battle, and I feel like what life I have could cave in because of it.
 
Yeah outsider, there are so many triggers, the list can be endless. Rings, nose piercings, tattoos, stray bits of clothing. There is a guy in the office who has sweaty armpits, wouldn't it embarrassing if I looked at that? And sure enough it becomes a trigger. There is a girl in the office with big ears when she puts her hair back. Wouldn't it be embarrassing if I looked at them? It sure is.

Yep, I do this too. I let my eyes wander elsewhere when I catch myself doing it, I don't realise I am at first
 

jaim38

Well-known member
There is a guy with a withered arm, he hurt it in a motor bike accident, but never had it cut off. He has been really friendly to me. What if I annoyed him by looking at it? And sure enough I did. He said. "You must be a dickhead for looking at it like that." Yep, I am dickhead, weird. Pissing off one of the few people who has shown an interest in me that hurts Pushing people away who are kind to me, is my worst fear. My anxiety is vigilant always looking for a trigger and latching onto it. It keeps me alone.

No, you're not a "d*ckhead". I was appalled he said that to you. It was an accident that you looked at his arm, but that doesn't give him the right to insult you like this.
 

theoutsider

Well-known member
Yeah outsider, there are so many triggers, the list can be endless. Rings, nose piercings, tattoos, stray bits of clothing. There is a guy in the office who has sweaty armpits, wouldn't it embarrassing if I looked at that? And sure enough it becomes a trigger. There is a girl in the office with big ears when she puts her hair back. Wouldn't it be embarrassing if I looked at them? It sure is.

I hate this kind of anxiety.

There is a guy with a withered arm, he hurt it in a motor bike accident, but never had it cut off. He has been really friendly to me. What if I annoyed him by looking at it? And sure enough I did. He said. "You must be a dickhead for looking at it like that." Yep, I am dickhead, weird. Pissing off one of the few people who has shown an interest in me that hurts Pushing people away who are kind to me, is my worst fear. My anxiety is vigilant always looking for a trigger and latching onto it. It keeps me alone.

Wow, I've never had anyone react like that yet although I brace myself for it everyday. I've had a few people get noticeably irritated. If anybody ever calls me on it, I plan to grudgingly (because I hate talking about it) explain to them that I have OCD and certain things trigger it and to please don't take it personally.

That's what I picture myself doing in my mind. Considering I have SA, what will probably happen is I'll either stand there totally mortified or issue some lame and hasty apology and get away as quickly as possible. Hopefully, I will never have to find out.

P.S. I think his reaction to you was too harsh.
 
Thank you all for ur support. For me it is not a sexual thing at all as others have said. It is just the specific trigger I have. The normal scenario is, as soon as a female enters room my anxiety peaks and my brain says oh no, hope it's not alow cut shirt, I do a quick check and hope for a tshirt or turtleneck. But if not then I immediately feel the adrenaline rise and anxiety kick in. The remainder of the situation I look for angles to avoid eye contact, ways to get out of the room, anything to avoid looking at the person. I realize desensitization is needed but I struggle to find ways to try. I try it watching tv but I have realized it is real life scenarios that bring it on, I am totally fine looking at tv. I am really trying to find a way to cope but nothing seems to work well. For the poster that mentioned moles, arm, etc it is very similar to that for me. Almost like my brain is telling me not to which makes it impossible not to. I have told my wife but I am not sure she truly understands it although thankfully she understands it is not sexual. Sorry for the rambling but it does feel great to know there are others And we are all trying to work thru it.
 

Kiwong

Well-known member
Good luck in your battle Stuckinthehouse, Trishanku, Outsider.

He's a pretty good fella Jaim38, we've spoken since, he always asks how I am going,. That is the sort of reaction I fear my anxiety will get, it happens often, my anxiety is successful.

I guess making fun of it, is even worse.
 

Trishanku

Well-known member
Yeah outsider, there are so many triggers, the list can be endless. Rings, nose piercings, tattoos, stray bits of clothing. There is a guy in the office who has sweaty armpits, wouldn't it embarrassing if I looked at that? And sure enough it becomes a trigger. There is a girl in the office with big ears when she puts her hair back. Wouldn't it be embarrassing if I looked at them? It sure is.

I hate this kind of anxiety.

There is a guy with a withered arm, he hurt it in a motor bike accident, but never had it cut off. He has been really friendly to me. What if I annoyed him by looking at it? And sure enough I did. He said. "You must be a dickhead for looking at it like that." Yep, I am dickhead, weird. Pissing off one of the few people who has shown an interest in me that hurts Pushing people away who are kind to me, is my worst fear. My anxiety is vigilant always looking for a trigger and latching onto it. It keeps me alone.

A long list for sure, and The guy seems to be self conscious about his scarred arm I guess. It's been great help to share and hear to some of your stories though its bad how it affects us. at the moment I just wish us all peace :)
 

Trishanku

Well-known member
Hang in there kiang and trishanku, we will get through this.

Thanks Stuckinthehouse!

Met my therapist again after 6 months gap, He was not happy that i took such a long break. But I dunno why that he thinks I am 'schizophrenic'.

This thread has been really helpful. sorry to hear that many of you are going through this. Agree, Hang in there SIH, Outsider & Kiwong. peace :)
 

theoutsider

Well-known member
Thanks Trishanku and Kiwong. Good luck to you too! Hopefully, we can keep each other updated on any progress made.
 
I've been trying to find ways to cope and get past this as I am searching for jobs and the time to find one is ASAP. In doing some reading on Wikipedia I found something that rang true for some of the things I feel with the eye contact/fear/thoughts and wanted to share in case it helps anyone. It talks about several types, some of which are not me at all, but the process itself is more what my brain goes thru and how I cope/deal with it when it happens. It has caused me to almost avoid all close social contact, I can buy groceries as long as I don't talk to the cashier, etc. anyway it is called primarily obsessional OCD, or pure o I guess. As I said some doesn't apply at all but the process was very real for me, the questioning of yourself, fear, etc
 
The important thing in there was that therapists don't always see it as this and think its other anxiety issues and can treat it slightly differently. It helps me to see it in a new light also although I never thought I was OCD. But I realize that I obsess about this without compulsion and it really does fit the bill for me. I am going to try to afford my therapist and get back there soon to discuss with him. Sorry for the rambling but it was exciting to read in a way and I wanted to share
 
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