I am wondering if you guys have such experience before: when you are talking with someone, you try your best to look at his or her eyes to show politeness. However, if you keep staring at him or her, it may give both of you a creepy feeling. Here the questions come: Do you ever have trouble in making eye contact in a conversation? What causes that nervous or embarrassed feeling? Before we go further into this topic, I want to firstly show you the following photo of Marina Abramović on her art exhibition ‘The artist is present’. She is an artist aimed for behavioral expression. She sat with strangers and made eye contact with them, sharing one-minute silence.
Talking back about the topic, why it’s hard for some people to make eye contact? There’s an illness called Social Anxiety Disorder, which is also called Social Phobia. The symptoms of social anxiety disorder includes fear of making eye contact or being judged, over-nervousness toward social situations and avoidance of social contact. Actually, this phobia, which is easily to be neglected is affecting people’s daily life negatively. According to a statistics published by Anxiety and depression association of America, about 15 million American adults have social anxiety disorder, which is quite an astonishing result. This severe psychological illness affects our normal life, social contact and even job career. There are three potential factors that cause the social phobia: biological (parents’ heredity), psychological (past shaming experience) and environmental (observe others’ misfortunate experience).
So can social phobia be prevented? Unfortunately, the answer is no. The best way for treatment is to seek for professional help. After reading this article, you still think that you are merely afraid of eye contact?