Why Don’t They Make Eye Contact?

Dear Ron,

I have a problem and it hurts. But maybe I am too sensitive.  I am a nice guy, but I often notice that people are not comfortable with me.  For example,   in a group, the person speaking seems to avoid eye contact with me, focussing instead on the other people in the group. This makes me feel  left  out and ignored. Why do you think this happens?

Contact Hungry

Dear  Contact Hungry,

This is an interesting  problem and I am pondering it at the moment. You say people ignore you in groups. Is it possible that you are ignorable, that people don’t think you are worth talking to, that they are no more interested in addressing you than they would an gnat?

That, of course, is not necessarily the case.  What you want, my friend, is attention.  You are an attention whore! You want to be the center of attention, as if you were the only important one in the group. Get over it!

What you might do to maybe alter their perceptions of you as someone who makes them uneasy is to smile at them. When someone is speaking, smile, and don’t let up. Eventually someone will see you and wonder what you are smiling at, and then chances are they will acknowledge your presence and you won’t feel so darn left out.

They might even come to think of you as a nice, pleasant fellow, not the maniac they would do their best to avoid in all circumstances.

You could also try to talk up, not letting anyone else get a word in edgewise, which would make you their focus, like it or not, at least for the period of time they could bear it. Then it is likely they would never want to speak to you again. But maybe it would be worth it nevertheless. That is a decision you will have to make for yourself. Even I cannot do it for you.

I am almost sure this helped.

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