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Old 04-11-2018
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Hi guys,

I'm curious to know what your biggest issue is when you talk to people.
Tell me what you constantly struggle with, and if you've gotten better, tell me what made you get better.

I want to hear your story!

- Juan
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Old 04-11-2018
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I have trouble with eye contact. I guess it depends on my mood, but sometimes i don't want to make eye contact, for some unknown reason. But then for another unknown reason i change my mind mid-conversation (due to feeling guilty/sth for avoiding eye contact? or feeling more comfortable in their presence?) & then seek to make eye contact, but find THEY are now now avoiding eye contact!

My "complex" with eye contact MIGHT have sth to do with my family - i have always had GREAT difficulty with making eye contact with my family (mother, father, brother), & also relatives, teachers, friends, ... It's like i'm scared to know what they're truly thinking/viewing me as, or scared of intimacy, or something else.

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Yeah, I can totally relate. I used to have a VERY hard time looking people in the eyes. It wasn't until I had a friend point out to me that I'm always looking at the ground that I realized I had a real issue with it.

I worked at a retail job in my teens, and that's when I was forced to interact with people daily. And as a personal challenge, I made myself look people in the eye every day. It was SUPER uncomfortable, I'll tell you that. It felt awkward and strange. But I found that after a while, it actually felt much more natural.

It's kind of one of those things that gets better with practice. But I still struggle looking people in the eye when I have to confront someone... It's a work in progress!

It's interesting that you say that it might have to do with your family. I actually started paying attention to how my mom acts (my dad wasn't around, so I learned almost everything from her) and I was shocked to realize that she always looks at the ground too! Isn't that interesting?

Do either of your parents have a hard time looking people in the eye? What kind of relationship do you have with them?
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My mum has always had trouble making eye contact with me. My dad looks at everyone straight in the eye, he's fearless & macho. But i've always felt "negative eye contact" from both of them, in different ways, but generally that they don't like or accept or love me kind of way (ie "hostile" eye contact - fearful from mum, disapproving/angry/domineering from dad). They have never had to say anything, as i've always seen the truth in their eyes, and it's not a good truth.

At high school, with my best friend, i would face the wall (& so would he), so i didn't have to make eye contact with him, nor with anyone who went by. And i hid behind other kids when going between classes, so i wouldn't have to "face" oncoming kids (& their insults).

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Old 04-11-2018
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Wow, that would definitely explain why you have trouble making eye contact. After so much negative eye contact, even I wouldn't want to look people in the eye.

That really sucks that you had to go through those lengths not to look at people. I would often pretend to be looking at something else just to not look at people in the eye. Like my phone or a poster or just the blank wall! It was so awkward.

Have you tried to get better at eye contact? Have you seen any improvements?
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All this fear of people & eye-contact has been "normal" for me. I never could imagine life any different. Same with being isolated & having zero self-esteem. I guess my family & society failed me. It felt normal to be terrified to be seen, in public places. I often felt great shame. And i guess i attracted attrocious behaviour towards me (bullying/etc). That may be why i have problems with rage outbursts & serious animosity towards people who disrespect me, etc. They may be triggering stuff from way back to my childhood. It could even be why i'm basically an alcoholic. And why i have generalized anxiety disorder. And social phobia. And avoidance disorder.

Tbh, i don't even know why i need to make eye contact, except that it's "something people do", so i try to do it.
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Old 04-11-2018
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My biggest issue is that I may say something silly or stupid.
I have done that in the past and those memories will haunt me forever.

Then the possibility of that happening makes me so nervous, that it can just freeze my brain up, and I can't think of anything to say at all!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theslowesthand View Post
All this fear of people & eye-contact has been "normal" for me. I never could imagine life any different. Same with being isolated & having zero self-esteem. I guess my family & society failed me. It felt normal to be terrified to be seen, in public places. I often felt great shame. And i guess i attracted attrocious behaviour towards me (bullying/etc). That may be why i have problems with rage outbursts & serious animosity towards people who disrespect me, etc. They may be triggering stuff from way back to my childhood. It could even be why i'm basically an alcoholic. And why i have generalized anxiety disorder. And social phobia. And avoidance disorder.

Tbh, i don't even know why i need to make eye contact, except that it's "something people do", so i try to do it.
I know what you mean. I see a lot of myself in you. Everything feels normal because that's all you've ever known. No one has shown you how beautiful the other side of things are, where you can just socialize without having to worry about a thing.

I used to be really envious of people who were just born into a "normal" family. But not anymore. I think we were born with these difficulties to battle through them. And when we do, we'll appreciate life and friends so much more. Much more than the average person who just always seemed to have friends to begin with.

PS: I think eye contact really helps establish a connection with people. It shows they have your full attention and that you're interested in what they have to say. Otherwise, unfortunately, we might come off as if we're not interested if we're always looking away. I learned that the hard way.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueDays View Post
My biggest issue is that I may say something silly or stupid.
I have done that in the past and those memories will haunt me forever.

Then the possibility of that happening makes me so nervous, that it can just freeze my brain up, and I can't think of anything to say at all!
Oh my gosh, that happens to me all the time. I mess up and do really embarrassing things, and then I'm thinking about it over and over and just kicking myself for saying that.

I guess we can all say pretty stupid things at times.

What really helped me is to learn to laugh at myself. Like I'll say something stupid and I'll just start laughing. I'll make a joke out of it, and usually people start laughing with me because they think it's funny too.

It's still embarrassing though, but at least it becomes a funny topic that people can laugh at.

Do you ever do that?
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Old 04-11-2018
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People say stupid things all the time. It's important to learn to laugh at yourself and not take yourself so seriously. If you laugh at yourself, whoever you're talking to will immediately let it go and laugh it off with you. Just the other day I was talking to a co-worker about the town he lives in, and I said something specific about his town that attracts a lot of tourists.

Except the thing I said wasn't from his town at all, but another one with a similar name. I felt dumb, but at the same time we laughed it off and I corrected myself immediately.
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Old 04-12-2018
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My biggest Issue with talking to people come down to these three things .

Have to fix it

My whole life I always felt like there is something that need to be fixed. My brain would constantly be on guard to fix or repair something that I would miss the conversation. Focus was important and my abstinent with trying to fix myself was robbing me of it. To fix the problem I figure you need to learn that their is nothing to fix about you that the problem was just your belief that there is a problem. Your brain need to be focus on your surrounding and your enjoyable habits.


not good enough

I overly judge myself and fear the face of disappointment. I want things to be perfect so perfect that it never pass my thoughts and goes out through my mouth. The fear that I only have one chance and I have to get it right or I will not get anther chance again to fix things. keep me of not saying anything at all to others.


black sheep

I fear that I am just to different in this world that it does not matter how hard I try to find a group of people to fit in with . I never felt a deep connection with someone where you feel like your thoughts are inline and feel the same way about stuff. I am just doom to be a black sheep forever.
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black sheep

I fear that I am just to different in this world that it does not matter how hard I try to find a group of people to fit in with . I never felt a deep connection with someone where you feel like your thoughts are inline and feel the same way about stuff. I am just doom to be a black sheep forever.[/QUOTE]

I know what you mean. That need for perfection is what really messes you up. Conversations have too much uncertainty to ever make each one perfect. Sometimes you'll mess up, and it can be hard dealing with the disappointment.

I really liked your point about being a black sheep. I've felt that way before, and it's a pretty screwed up feeling. It's really difficult to connect with people at times, but there's definitely people out there that can and will connect with you. Don't give up. It's just a little hard to find them sometimes, especially for shy people.
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Old 04-13-2018
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Thank you I am not going to give up. I been through a lot of stuff that told me that I should give up . But I guess I am just to stupid to listen. I even went though that strange thought where you feel like god him self is the one holding you back. But I don`t won`t to just lay down and take a beating form the world. So I will keep going.

I like what you guys started to say early about laughter. One thing that all people have in common is the need for more positive energy in there life. laughter lift up everybody and mocks evil. That why I love it so much.
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Old 04-15-2018
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Not knowing what to say. Small talk is one of my biggest fears because it scares me and bores me at the same time.
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Old 04-15-2018
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Eye contact and not knowing what to say to get the ball rolling.

If the other person is gregarious I'll usually fall in line with their conversation and everything will be okay. If it's an attractive woman it can be tough, though. I tend to do the Wyle E. Coyote thing with pretty girls where I have to keep telling myself not to look down once I'm out past the cliff's edge of small talk.

"Be yourself, be yourself, be yourself" I think. When I'm able to relax and do that it's always easy. People actually like me, I just don't like myself because of childhood shit and it translates into weird interactions with strangers.
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