Eye contact issue

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  • #21432
    Avataralan carden
    PSTEC User

    Hello,

    I wonder could anyone offer me advice/help with a long standing problem which is causing me great difficulty? Several years ago I was teased by some of my co-workers about how my eyes would shift from eye to eye while talking with them. I was completely oblivious to this as nobody had ever made me aware that this was unusual before. It didn't bother me initially….but over the next few weeks it played on my mind …as I was also going through a tough time at work and feeling pretty vulnerable.  The more I thought about it and the need to “look properly” the more it seemed to compound the problem and tie me up in knots.

    My eye contact became laboured and I was increasingly self conscious  and worried when looking at people. This became very noticeable at work and I could sense they were uncomfortable looking at me too…. as I would look intensely and sometimes stare as a result.  It took me almost six months before I could confide in a therapist and explain this embarrassing predictament , but by that stage it seemed to be pretty deep rooted in my mind and talking the problem over..didn't seem to relieve it , and so I trudged on and became ever more socially anxious and fearful.

    After much research online and almost a year later I found a very good CBT therapist ,who.. after many sessions helped me to rationalise the issue ,change my perspective and diffuse some of the mental tension ….which was most welcome,as I was almost at breaking point.

    Unfortunately though…I have not been successful with alleviating the fear element… and so I still have a tendency to look intense and fearful/startled with people I don't know well….and as you can imagine I get a frosty reception and it holds me back from making friends and being social again. That's why I'm hoping PSTEC will help me to remedy this and move on with my life.

    I have downloaded the CT's and purchased Level 1 and I would be so grateful for
    any advice on the best way to approach this and also to build my confidence and self esteem again.

    Thank you,

    Noah

    #22689
    AvatarJeff Harding
    PSTEC Pro and Forum Moderator

    Hi Noah,

    I would begin with the emotional issues and using the Click Tracks on those memories and “started it all”…

    • Several years ago I was teased by some of my co-workers

      This one seems quite straighforward… start here and try hard to hold onto the emotions that are present when you recall this memory.  There may even be multiple emotions, so each one should be handled with the CT's; but, start with the most intense one and see what follows.

    • going through a tough time at work and feeling pretty vulnerable

      What is the evidence of this… in other words, what memories do you have of this?  Take those memories and feelings and use the CT's with them.

    • more I thought about it and the need to “look properly” the more it seemed to compound the problem and tie me up in knots.

      Again, what memories do you have of “being tied up in knots?”

    • My eye contact became laboured and I was increasingly self conscious  and worried when looking at people

      Same approach, what memories are the evidence or support this feeling?

    • This became very noticeable at work and I could sense they were uncomfortable looking at me too.

      Again, look for memories specific to this.

    • became ever more socially anxious and fearful.
    • I still have a tendency to look intense and fearful/startled with people I don't know well.
    • I get a frosty reception and it holds me back from making friends and being social again.

      Same with these… When… what is the memory?

    • [/list]Now, in addition to this, or even prior, What is an area that is affected by this anxiety that you would like to see shifted asap?  Be specific and select something that is high on your list AND a common experience, at least a few times a week.
      For example, if you think that you want to get married some day and feel the issue is in the way, that is not a “common occurrence” (well, hopefully), but if you wish to be relaxed at your daily work, but right now get anxious each time you go to work, that would be a good example.  If you can narrow something down even toward a specific individual, that would be best.
      This serves as your “testing ground” to see how you are moving along and also may expose more of the issue to make it easier to get to the cause or source.
      Make sense?
      Aloha!
      Jeff

    #22690
    Avataralan carden
    PSTEC User

    Thank you very much for your quick response Jeff!!

    Much appreciated!

    Perhaps I could ask you some more questions along the way if that was okay?

    Noah

    #22691
    AvatarJeff Harding
    PSTEC Pro and Forum Moderator

    Hi Noah… ask questions in the forum… well… I don't knowwwwwwwwww…
    :D

    Yes, of course… any time… that's what we are here for!

    Aloha!

    Jeff

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