Creepy Me

I just came across this job interview tip in an old Reader’s Digest: Eye contact, it basically said, is important, but should be  “‘consistent but not constant”” (so as not to)  “creep anyone out with too much intensity.”  I probably would have laughed a little and thought Really?  if I hadn’t had my own problem with eye contact once. In fact, it’s been over ten years and there are still people who kind of back away from me when they see me;  a couple of ladies who take their husband’s arms possessively and look at me suspiciously when I’m around; a former neighbor who hurriedly puts on his sunglasses when we run into each other, and even an acquaintance from a former job who, I’m pretty sure, suspects I have, you know, tendencies.  

Well, here’s how this all got started: One day I caught myself looking over a friend’s shoulder when she was in the middle of a story and decided I really needed to do better about showing I’m paying attention and looking people in the eye. So that’s what I began trying to do. Well, the medication I was on may have contributed, but let’s just say my efforts backfired. I apparently overdid it and could sense that those I was talking to felt uncomfortable. I became self-conscious and that made it worse.  Yes, I know. I know. It’s another one of those That’s funny, but isn’t situations. My husband, in fact, thought it was hilarious when I finally told him about the problem I’d once had, especially the part about the acquaintance from a former job, and he immediately did this googly eyed thing which he continued doing after that whenever I walked into the room. Bless his heart.

Luckily, most people I talked with during that period knew me well enough that they just seemed to take my problem with a shrug, no doubt guessing correctly that I had a temporary quirk. Coincidentally (or not) the problem pretty much subsided after I stopped taking the medicine I mentioned, and then things were fine again.  But I also need to give credit elsewhere. I’ve prayed about some interesting things in my life and that was one of them.  My answer then was the same as it was back when I was an adolescent and had even more severe  self-consciousness challenges: “It’s not about you. Forget about yourself and quit worrying about the impression YOU might be making, and just sincerely and genuinely care about others.” And isn’t that generally the answer when it comes to these kinds of issues?


One thought on “Creepy Me

  1. I can relate! I, too, have a difficult time with the eye contact thing.I hate it! And the part about not worrying about what others think – this morning while getting ready for work, the power went out due to the fierce storm. There was only enough heat in the curling iron to do my bangs & not much of that. I had to go without the ego. I sub teach and am at a different school every day. I am not a familiar face at every school so they do not all know me.And with the weather raging, I was a mess! Glad I’m not the only one with the concern.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s