Eye Contact

People with schizophrenia are said to have poor eye contact. But even before my diagnosis I was bad at it. I just don’t get anything out of prolonged eye contact, but anxiety. I’ve tried practicing, but still I have can’t read people like others seem to. It’s much easier for me to process information while staring at a surface or into space. I’ve always been shy and used to be wayyy overly polite in a fearful way to people I didn’t know well. I’m going to keep practicing.

You may find this thread of interest:

1 Like

I don’t look at people in the eyez or face the majority of the time because i had trouble with my symptoms

I can’t make eye contact either. If I talk I need to concentrate and I need empty space to do that in. If I make eye contact, I 'm afraid others can look into my mind and see what is in there. It makes me feel very uncomfortable!

I had to wait for my kid sis at her job today and I was in the off duty area… Have you ever been in a room full of lifeguards? They always have to scan for drowning and danger, so even when they are ALL off duty, and in a room together, all of them are looking at the doors, scanning out the windows… entire conversations go on with out any of them making eye contact because they have all been trained out of it.

My sis who is not Sz but is a lifeguard will make very quick eye contact with a new person and then scan the room or area for people in need of assistance.

I’m working on making eye contact at least with family and cousins and my two friends.

1 Like

I cant make eye contact with a woman, i think because i am a single guy and looking for a woman, when i eye contact with a woman i feel that she is noticing my anxiety toward her. But with elderlies and any age man i am acting normal.

My eye contact is not the greatest, but it has improved a bit

1 Like

Hey skitzoguy samk,

                      Your well on your way buddy.  Practice.  And if you feel let down give it a break for awhile.  It is okay.  How we use Eye Contact is a product of what we feel and what we think.  Prolonged eye contact won't necessarily bring any meaning.  People of all ages react differently when you make eye contact with them. Animals too.  Its a universal language.  When you talk with a friend.  Think about intensity.  How intense do you wish to make eye contact with your friend.  Then just stare off into space so you can think and feel comfortable.  Make eye contact with strangers, I mean they are just as good a target as anybody else because there's lots of them.  Back up your eye contact with something to say like a greeting hi, or hello. Brief glance, smile.  Then onto the next one.  Its takes years of practice.  Remember its not just all about eye contact, there's also facial expression, and body language, tone of voice.  SZ effects it all in someway.  Recovery and practice go hand in hand.  
1 Like

i avoid eye contact with people on the street if i go into town , if you don’t look at people you avoid the negativity you may assume to see in their eyes real or unreal as the case maybe.
take care

I over did my eye contact. I stare into people’s eyes now. :frowning:

1 Like

My natural inclination is to avoid eye contact. I have to make a conscious effort to make eye contact with someone. When I do I usually find it isn’t as difficult as I was expecting. I become more engaged in the conversation and the other person does as well. I tend, when I do make eye contact, to hold it a bit longer than I feel comfortable with as my normal impulse is to avert my eyes right away.

1 Like

I dont blink, people tell me. I make eye contact and hold it, Ive been told its scary. I’ve always done it


the importance of eye-contact is very overrated. the way human’s converse, speaking long sentences of words, is unnatural. no other animal does this. if they chatter, it’s while they’re doing other things, or just looking around. they don’t need to assume some robotic position to exchange “information”. in some cultures, prolonged eye contact is a no-no. it’s considered disrespect. so your difficulties may be instinctual and more valid than the idea of eye contact (whoever made that some sort of rule).

1 Like

I disagree. Talking to someone who doesn’t look at you is unpleasant.


and that is a social standard which you have adopted; it does not make it valid. as i said, some cultures treat it as disrespect. that effectively establishes it as a man-made standard. and a silly one too.

I might look at them when they are talking but my eyes tend to wander off because I am trying to concentrate on what I am saying.

For me the question is how much is too much? I always feel there’s a danger of overdoing it when i am making a point of making eye contact.
It’'s harder if it involves a lot of people in a small space like seated round a table.

Eye contact can seal bonds when shared at the right moment. So what if other cultures look down at it, they are living in stone ages. I’m not saying who. But yeah if your missing eye contact, your missing a lot. A simultaneous glimpse and you know exactly the what the other person is thinking, intentions and so forth. That is why it is so important not to have avoidance.

well, it is important not to have any expectations about it. not to make rules about it. to let the eyes wander, and if they wander into another’s and you find meaning there, then you’ve understood it. but as to say “eye contact is necessary” is only to make it something unnatural, something men have to ask themselves “have i done it right?”; “is this enough or too much?”. indeed, the eyes can be true communication; the problem is that many of the eyes you look into, are expecting words from you, explanation from you.

i had this problem for years, i wouldnt ever really look at sweep for very long just quick glances i think,

but i feel better now, more aware, more confident,

i use to have that affective bluntening or flat effect and it was really bad because you are kind of numb to everything and there is no way you can read situations or peoples expressions when you are like that, its like a veil is over you and everything is like a blur or grey,

like i tried everything to lift that veil everything and in the end it all came down to was being on the right med and thats what helped me in the end it was the only way to lift the veil.