The Everyday Struggle of Giving Eye Contact…

Hi everyone – I thought for the next post in my Sensory Series I’d discuss the everyday struggle of giving eye contact…

In my Sensory Series I share text slides on different aspects of Sensory Processing and Autism (in between my regular posts of illustrations) so I can share my own outlook on all things sensory related. I thought it would be interesting to share my own experiences, tips and tricks along the way, feel free to scroll back over other posts in this series too! Please do share this post and feel free to comment down below any tips you have to do with eye contact.

Image description:

Slide 1:

Black and white icon of  a wide open eye with eyelashes with text underneath:

The everyday struggle of giving eye contact…

The a pastel green line with ‘@21andsensory‘ underneath and in the top right hand corner of the post there is a pastel green box that says ‘ SENSORY SERIES’ in to show what series the post is part of.

Slide 2:

Pastel green vertical line on left hand side of the image with text next to it:

Eye contact. Just writing those two words make me cringe inside.

It’s something that’s not built into me and it isn’t automatic. It can feel horrible, awkward, forced and very uncomfortable. 

It is overwhelming and feels personal to look at someone so directly. It’s something I am constantly thinking and overthinking. I have to analyse every situation in terms of eye contact and what might be expected of me.

Slide 3:

Pastel green vertical line on left hand side of the image with text next to it:

I am also awful at knowing how long to look at someone for.

How long is too long? Do I look away every few seconds? Am I coming across as odd?

I find it much easier to talk to a person by looking around them and not at them…but that’s not exactly recognised as a ‘natural’ way to engage in conversation.

I wish it was. It’s far less stressful.

Slide 4:

Eye contact for me is also something that has been massively impacted by the pandemic (and many others I am sure).

I lost all the previous ability I had built up to interact and look at people because I was out of practice and not having to do it daily. Now I am having to build it up all over again.

It’s physically tiring and draining to look at people. This is really hard to explain and communicate to others.

Slide 5:

Pastel green vertical line on left hand side of the image with text next to it:

I think what a lot of people don’t understand is that I can actually think about what I want to say much more easily when I am not having to look directly at someone. I have a clearer thought process when looking away.

I wish eye contact wasn’t associated with coming across a certain way, such as being rude or not interested. 

I am listening, I am (mostly) interested but I might not always be looking at you. I wish that was more understood.

Slide 6:

21andsensory logo (person holding up a white board with ’21andsensory’ on it. Underneath it says:

If you like my work and you are able to, please consider supporting me via my Kofi page (link in bio). 

Or why not have a listen to my 21andsensory Podcast! With social media icons underneath.

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