with eyes averted

i’ve noticed something in myself the past several days

i am finding it difficult to keep eye contact with (or even looking at the face of) the people i am talking to

i’ve noticed i’m doing it not only with the in-person interactions i have engaged in, but also in video conversations online

friends, family, cashiers, everyone – i am having trouble meeting their gaze for more than a few moments before my eyes flit away again, as if there is something more important elsewhere

or like i am painfully shy

i don’t like this feeling – not meeting people’s eyes definitely has an impact on how i am viewed by them, but also on how i feel about my interaction with them

i feel like i am shutting in on myself, trying to hide from them

coincidentally (or not) i started on a new dose of my antidepressant over the weekend

i hope to the powers that be that this is not a side effect, or at least not one i have to learn to live with

it is true that lately i have been feeling like i want to curl up in on myself, but this inferiority in interactions with, well, everyone, is not something i can stand in the long run

so i try to bring my eyes back to people as we talk, and i try to notice each time it happens – something to tell my psychiatrist about on our next visit, and something to keep an eye on to keep a bad habit from forming

i don’t want to live life with eyes averted

Tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to with eyes averted

  1. Crystal says:

    At times, I find myself doing this too. I think it definitely coincides with my bouts of depression, but I have no idea what the “eye contact aversion” threshold is. And now I even notice when I’m easily holding eye contact. Some people are easier than others, but I haven’t figured out the rhyme or reason. I also don’t wish to live with eyes averted, but sometimes it feels as if meeting and accepting another’s gaze is just too much to ask, that it reveals too much of me or too much of them.

  2. Chuck Shingledecker says:

    Ha! I’ve done this my whole life! I find it terribly difficult, painful even, to look people in the eye. Not doing so is kind of a personal shield I guess. I’ve tried to retrain myself and have been slightly successful since going on an antidepressant, but I’m still not comfortable with it. Part of it is just my personality. It’s like letting someone see into my soul. And I can’t do that with strangers. I just can’t. I find it too personal. But that’s just me. Right or wrong.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *