- This is in answer to:
- When it comes to eye contact, where are you on the spectrum between Shifty-Eyed Evader and Unblinking Intimidator? See all answers
- September 2, 2011 by FrancisShaw
- Shifty-Eyed Evader or Unblinking Intimidator?
It makes me very sad to say that I am almost all the way down the abandoned puppy, guilty eight year old end of the scale and I avoid eye contact with everyone except those whom I already know to be my friends, sometime even them (sorry).
I have been challenged on it by a couple of people and most of the time when I am walking down the street I feel stupid for doing it bit I cannot seem to overcome my awkwardness. Most people seem to do it back to be so that fine, but its when I am simultaneously shrinking from someone's gaze and trying to pass them on a pavement next to a busy street that I feel at my worst.
Much like a magnet repelling one of the same pole, my cone of vision is repelled easily by those of others. It is an incredible effort of will to maintain contact with someone I don't know for long enough to show I am not a reclusive shut in on a rare visit to the outside world. I like to walk around town and interact with other people a lot but I risk the self hatred that I feel whenever I feel myself backing away from eye contact and making a fool out of myself for the ten seconds the other person will remember me for.
Often I double the power of my stay-away signals with an Ipod cranked up to volume that I can hear above traffic and, as a consequence, everyone else can hear enough of to be worthy of comment.
As a result of my eye avoidance I have probably caused myself some long term neck damage as despite its adequate strength and ability at keeping my head up I choose to avert my gaze downward when others approach.
Also, I never notice anyone I do know when I pass them in the street because I deliberately do not take in such information, almost always it is they who have to shout me out of my inward looking mode and start the conversation, for which I am infinitely grateful to them.
I am very observant of scenes and objects but people, under normal circumstances, do not invite inspection from me. I would probably not be a good witness for the prosecution if a crime happened on the street I was awkwardly making my way down at the time.
If you see me in the street, say hello, don't be too happy about it, just be normal and I will respond and be eternally grateful to you for helping me come out of myself on that occasion. I love people a lot, but I am not going to be staring them down until they accept me...