Is it normal to avoid eye contact?

Unfortunately, I cannot look people in the eye and it causes a lot of issues. I have been tested for autism to a degree and I have never been diagnosed, so that isn't the issue. I have tried to break this habit for 15 years now with no luck, and people who meet me think I am arrogant and rude. Why can't I look people in the eye?

Is It Normal?
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  • I'll spare you the typical "just be confident" advice. What do you typically eat? Do you exercise? Are you ever out in the sun?

    I don't know how old you are, but it's probably past time to see a doctor and get your blood tested. Testosterone, estrogen, cortisol, serotonin--these hormones absolutely change how you think and feel. They can definitely make the difference between eye contact or otherwise.

    We are ruled by chemicals. You get them in check and your life will sort itself out.

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    • I have recently endured some mental health issues that are a result of chemical imbalance so I can see where you are coming from, however this has been an issue since a very early age. It's certainly not for lack of confidence, it's more of an inability. It's hard to explain, but it's almost like pushing the matching ends of two magnets together. They'll eventually meet if you try hard enough, but naturally they will be forced away.

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    • It's also ruled by whether you can get your cock up.

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  • Normal.

    However, breaking and not being able to maintain eye contact are signs of submissiveness or insecurity in certain cultures (like in America).

    Learn to make and hold eye contact. Watch some YouTube videos on how to do so, then go out and practice not breaking eye contact first with people you find interesting or attractive.

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  • IT IS NORMAL

    you need time and practice that's all and if you like reading, I would say read a book or two or as many as you can.

    Reading helps alot.

    and don't sweat abt it be cool about it.

    you do it purposely say that. if you want

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  • My thing when I am talking to someone is I often turn my head about 45 degrees to the left as if pointing my right ear towards them. I guess i figure I hear with my ears, not my eyes.

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  • Look at the nose.

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  • It's pretty normal, honestly. I struggle with it, too, and still find myself getting a lot of anxiety about trying to look people in the eye. It's entirely possible that you are autistic and it just hasn't registered in tests, and it's equally possible that you aren't autistic and just don't like making eye contact, and either way that's totally normal and fine.

    It really comes down to body language and communication. A lot of people equate eye-contact with attentiveness, which is why people often get frustrated at those of us who don't like looking people in the eye. Things like nodding, repeating back things that they're saying (not word-for-word necessarily), asking for clarification about things that they're talking about, and having an open posture are really good ways to show that you're listening.

    I also have a few "cheats" like looking at people's mouths or eyebrows/forehead when they speak. If all else fails, a quick "Sorry, I promise I'm listening, I just find it helpful to look at something else so that I can focus on what you're saying," (or something along those lines that's true to you and in your own words) is generally enough for people. In my experience, people often appreciate my honesty with that, and it helps them to relax a bit and feel less self-conscious about their own little quirks around me, which makes our interactions much more comfortable for the both of us!

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    • Looking at ones mouth is quite intimate, I'd only think one would do this is they are attracted to the individual

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      • I do it because I have to read lips (I don't have the best hearing) and most people honestly don't notice. Though, I can imagine it's a context thing, and if you aren't used to reading lips you might watch someone's mouth in a different way than I do. Either way, that's a good point I hadn't thought of, thanks for pointing it out!

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  • It’s normal if you’re hiding something.

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  • That seems like you are on the spectrum then.

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