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The Grand Inquisitor
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12 Aug 2019, 6:14 pm

I don't tend to naturally give people much eye contact. I can if I'm focusing on giving eye contact, but when I'm doing that, I'm focusing less on the actual conversation itself and may miss things the other person has said.

Anyone relate to this, or have strategies for handling it?



Mountain Goat
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12 Aug 2019, 6:16 pm

The Grand Inquisitor wrote:
I don't tend to naturally give people much eye contact. I can if I'm focusing on giving eye contact, but when I'm doing that, I'm focusing less on the actual conversation itself and may miss things the other person has said.

Anyone relate to this, or have strategies for handling it?

Yes. I can relate to it. I tend to turn my face towards people now and then, but look to the left or rigt of their face and hope they don't notice! I think it works! :lol:


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Prometheus18
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12 Aug 2019, 6:22 pm

Sporadic eye contact is usually good enough.



The Grand Inquisitor
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12 Aug 2019, 10:49 pm

Mountain Goat wrote:
The Grand Inquisitor wrote:
I don't tend to naturally give people much eye contact. I can if I'm focusing on giving eye contact, but when I'm doing that, I'm focusing less on the actual conversation itself and may miss things the other person has said.

Anyone relate to this, or have strategies for handling it?

Yes. I can relate to it. I tend to turn my face towards people now and then, but look to the left or rigt of their face and hope they don't notice! I think it works! :lol:

I think even some NTS do that too. Most don't maintain eye contact through 100% of the conversation.



The Grand Inquisitor
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12 Aug 2019, 10:51 pm

Prometheus18 wrote:
Sporadic eye contact is usually good enough.

I've heard it said by a social coach that the optimal duration for eye contact is 90% of the conversation. Maybe I should start with sporadic eye contact and try to work up to more sustained eye contact



Magna
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12 Aug 2019, 10:56 pm

If I look at you when I'm talking I can't watch my thoughts as they form in my mind just before I speak them.


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IsabellaLinton
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13 Aug 2019, 12:56 am

I would say I make 0%. I don't even consciously think about eye contact. I tried for a while when I was little, before I knew about autism, but I felt so uncomfortable I gave up. Now I have entire conversations without realising I haven't looked at the person, other than a glance of their face at the beginning (if they are someone unfamiliar like a doctor). With my family I'm quite often turned backward or looking the other direction, or in another room. It doesn't even occur to me to look at a person's eyes anymore.



Mountain Goat
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13 Aug 2019, 3:47 am

I had to take my Mum to a large Christian gathering as she was expected to go. (I drive. She does not). In the group someone came over to me and my brorher and said he was a health professional. I was called elsewhere as my Mum wanted me to make myself useful (Grr. Don't like being useful when I am trying to cope with lots of people!). I had to leave.
My brother continued listening to him. He said he thought I had autism and said he had been watching me, and he started making a list of reasons why he thought I was on the spectrum. (I only found out this later when I mentioned I am going to be assessed and he said "Yes. I could have told you that. There was this guy....")
I asked him what the gentleman had said and he said I only remember one thing. He said a list of things. The one thing he remembered was that I don't make eye contact.
I was thinking. I am less likely to make eye contact when I am nurvous due to crowds. If I am with people I know like family I can make eye contact as I have been noticing I do it. The problem is that when I conciously try to work out if I do or don't make eye contact, I then manipulate my eye contact so it is not natural.
I remember when in technical college. Someone must have told me that I should look at them when they are talking to me (Probably a teacher said this) as I then went out of my way to make eye contact until everyone started to tell me not to do it as it kreeps them out! I examined what I was doing. I would keep my neck still and move my whole body and place my head right up close to their head so my eyes could not focus and talk to them like that. I didn't realize it was offputting as for me, it was a way at making eye contact without being able to look at them. Looking back it was hillarious! But at the time I was having a very hard time coping with the technical college enviroment, so is one reason why my exam results were a mess.


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Magna
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13 Aug 2019, 6:24 am

Magna wrote:
If I look at you when I'm talking I can't watch my thoughts as they form in my mind just before I speak them.


My thoughts are pictures. When I'm with my immediate family (ie people I'm comfortable with), I will usually have my eyes closed when I'm talking about something descriptive (I'm watching the picture-thoughts). Thankfully they don't care.

When I'm with others I feel that I have to force myself to keep my eyes open when I talk but eye contact is minimal. Interestingly, when I'm talking with my eyes open in comparison to when I have my eyes closed, I can't talk as well; I'll talk in short statements and in a slow labored manner.


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"There is no love of living without despair of life." - Albert Camus

"Ain't nothing but a stranger in this world
I'm nothing but a stranger in this world" -Van Morrison

"Are you Bluish? You don't look Bluish."

AQ-43 (32-50 indicates a strong likelihood of Asperger syndrome or autism).
EQ-14 out of 80
Rdos: Your neurodiverse (Aspie) score: 173 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 39 of 200
You are very likely neurodiverse (Aspie)


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13 Aug 2019, 9:15 am

I don't like eye contact. It makes me feel uncomfortable. Most people who know me are ok with that. It scares me when people get too close to me and talk to me as well. I had a teacher who would do that and I felt that I had to do eye contact. I did but I felt really uncomfortable. I just look down a lot of the time or up.



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13 Aug 2019, 9:26 am

Too much or too little, that's what I struggle with . I'm not keen on making eye contact , but because I'm aware it's the societal norm I try to do it.


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Your neurodiverse (Aspie) score: 133 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 47 of 200
You are very likely neurodiverse (Aspie)


Nydcat
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13 Aug 2019, 9:51 am

I generally look at the person's face. I'll remind myself to make eye contact. The amount I can do depends on how much my sensory system has been previously stimulated. I'll look away if I need a lot of concentration, or if adhd kicks in and I get distracted by some visual.



TheOther
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13 Aug 2019, 9:57 am

It is unnatural for me, but I have trained myself to make normal eye contact over the years. It took a lot of practice.



dyadiccounterpoint
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14 Aug 2019, 10:16 am

The worst part is if you start thinking about eye contact while you're speaking to them. It's at that moment that my ability to process the substance of conversation is most dulled.

Otherwise, I naturally try to make occasional looks in their direction and then veer off speaking into the air. If you can get the rhythm of it right, I don't think anyone notices it.

If the conversation is emotionally charged, especially if I am not desiring the interaction, I tend to avoid all eye contact altogether. It's particularly difficult in those situations.


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14 Aug 2019, 11:21 am

Eye contact hurts, how can anyone focus while doing it?


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24 Aug 2019, 7:20 pm

I tend to just look at the person's face or forehead when trying.