Please Look Me in the Eye When You’re Talking to Me.

Sounds like a simple enough request doesn’t it?

And for most people it is.

But I have found over the last few years that looking people in the eyes when I’m speaking to them is something that does not come naturally to me.

I can do it for brief periods of time when I really concentrate on it.

But in those brief moments of time I find that I focus so hard on reminding myself to look the other person in the eye, that I lose track of whatever it was I was saying in the first place.

No matter how badly I may have wanted to communicate an idea, whatever train of thought I might have been traveling on at the time, quite simply disappears.

It’s as if I can’t do those two things at once.

Because whenever I don’t try to rein my gaze in, even though it may wander all over the place, my though processes and communication skills remain clear.

I wonder what this says about me and how it affects the way others react to me?

I know for instance, that the idea of being able to look someone in the eye while speaking to them is often perceived as a sign of honesty.

It’s meant to indicate that the person speaking is telling the truth.

So what must people think of me when I’m speaking to them, yet not looking at them?

Sometimes the person I’m speaking too will actually turn around to try and see what it is that I’m looking at as I speak.

It is in those moments that I become acutely aware that I’m staring at a random spot on the wall or gazing at nothing more than the patch of invisible air just beside the person’s head.

Then there’s always that empty space just beyond the other person’s shoulder that somehow always seems to hold me spell-bound, for no apparent reason.

It seems I will look anywhere but into the eyes of the person I’m talking too.

One of the things I find so weird about this though isn’t just the fact that I can’t seem to look others in the eye when I’m speaking to them, it’s that I can easily, sometimes almost obsessively, look other people in the eyes when they are speaking to me.

It’s as if, when they’re speaking to me, eye contact  is not just Okay, it’s mandatory, but when I’m speaking to them, eye contact becomes an additional sensory burden.

It’s almost as if I can’t do the two things at once; Speak and look into another person’s eyes at the same time.

I do not understand why this is.

I only know that for some odd reason, I can’t seem to do this thing that comes so easily to others.

I’m not sure if it’s getting worse as I get older or whether years of noticing people’s strange reactions to me have simply made me more aware of it.

I’m also not sure whether or not this indicates that I have Aspie (Asperger) tendencies,  as I can look people in the eye, so I don’t actually have a fear of looking people in the eye, it’s just that I can’t  look them in the eyes when I’m talking.

Does anyone else experience this or know what it means?