Categories: Health & Fitness

Fear of the gaze of others: where does it come from? How to overcome it?

Spread the love

The gaze of others accompanies us throughout our youth. He is the founder: as we grow, he allows us in particular to acquire social codes and learn to live in society. But it sometimes ends up becoming heavy: we prevent ourselves from speaking in public, answering a call, going to the swimming pool or adopting a haircut that we like. In sum, anxiety and unease settle into our daily lives and end up dictating our actions… To limit this phenomenon, we must take matters into our own hands! Advice and explanations from Karen Demange and Nathalie Garnier, clinical psychologists

Much more than shyness, a fear that paralyzes daily

The fear of the gaze of others is much more than a “simple” timidity, insist our experts. It is more a matter of social anxiety and can paralyze our personal or professional life: the people concerned can feeling embarrassed or humiliated And worry about appearing stupid or incompetent. Their nervousness and unease grow when they are likely to be evaluated or judged by others.

Several scenarios are likely to trigger this feeling, for example:

  • Speaking in front of a group of people (give a speech at a wedding, a presentation at work, etc.);
  • Meet new people of which we do not know the way of thinking or reacting;
  • Having to take initiatives in public and risk being clumsy;
  • Be the center of attention on the occasion of any event;
  • Use social networks and risk being laughed at or criticized;
  • etc

What consequences on a daily basis?

Fear of the gaze of others can induce simple embarrassment or a real anxiety attack. Depending on the degree of stress, a series of physical symptoms can grip those affected: a lumpy feeling in the throat, tremors, sweating, flushing, nausea, increased heart rate, difficulty breathing, or even a feeling of chest tightness. In some cases, the anxiety is such that it can lead to loss of consciousness. Without counting the psychosomatic impact of stress : we no longer sleep, we suffer from chronic pain, etc.

Our quality of life is deteriorating and our body ends up being the receptacle of evils that we do not know how to put into words, summarizes Nathalie Garnier. The feeling of anxiety haunts us permanently and we end up withdrawing into ourselves to defend ourselves from any embarrassing interaction.

Good to know: what is the phobia of the gaze of others called?

We speak of phobia when the stress and anxiety related to social interactions are no longer controllable at all and lead to daily avoidance strategies. We distinguish in particular Scopophobiafear of drawing attention to oneself in public and being judged and blemophobia, the fear of the gaze of others on his body. Both cause significant social embarrassment and difficulty interacting with others.

Causes: why am I sensitive to people’s gaze?

“Sensitivity to the gaze of others can be influenced by many environmental and personal factors (the gaze of the father, mother, school friends, etc.)”, explains Nathalie Garnier.

As “social animals”, we all have need to belong to a group and be accepted by others. The fear of being judged negatively, rejected and socially excluded is therefore quite natural. “Certain past experiences of criticism, mockery or rejection can leave us with emotional scars and increase our sensitivity to others, says Karen Demange. »

And, as mentioned above, many individual factors also come into play:

  • self-confidence andself-esteem: low self-esteem or a feeling of inferiority can indeed make a person more sensitive to the gaze of others, because they place more value on external gazes than on their own gaze.
  • acute perfectionism : “Very perfectionist people often have a very developed superego. They strive to meet very high standards at all times and are afraid of not living up to the expectations of others,” explains Karen Demange.
  • The tendency to always compare yourself to others : this induces an excessive preoccupation with one’s own image and feeds the fear of the gaze of others.
  • emotional hypersensitivity may also come into play, since people with high sensitivity are more likely to sense other people’s emotions and be affected by their reactions.
  • egocentrism : “When we are too centered on ourselves, we think that all eyes are on us when this is not necessarily the case. We put pressure on ourselves for no apparent reason, ”also underlines Nathalie Garnier.

Either way, it’s important to remember that sensitivity to other people’s gazes is a completely normal and common reaction. It only becomes problematic when it significantly affects the quality of life!

How to worry less about the eyes of others?

No, fear of the gaze of others is not inevitable: if it interferes too heavily with your daily life, it is possible to put in place various strategies to improve your self-esteemdevelop your social skills and learn to manage your anxiety.

The way others look depends on how we look at ourselves!

As Karen Demange points out, the impact of the gaze of others on our person depends on the way we look at ourselves. “If you feel ugly and uninteresting, we risk sending signals in this sense without our knowledge”, explains the psychologist, who adds that we can also project onto others what we think of ourselves: “if I walk in the street, that I complex about my size and that I hear someone laughing, I will automatically think that this person is making fun of me. While this is certainly not the case. This is called persecutory anxiety “.

The only way out? Work on your self-esteem: the more you are benevolent towards yourself, the more you project a positive image and the more you don’t care about the opinion of others. And the psychologist to assure: “By gaining self-confidence and learning to love yourself, we free ourselves from the pressure of the gaze of others “.

You can never control what people think of you. On the other hand, you can control the impact it has on you!, concludes Nathalie Garnier.

Our advice to detach yourself from the gaze of others:

  • Start by convincing yourself that the opinion of others does not define your value as a person. You have the right to be yourself and go your own way!
  • remember that everyone cares about what other people think on some level. This is quite normal, given our need for social belonging.
  • Then try to become aware of the moments when you are concerned about the gaze of others. Ask yourself in what contexts your anxieties appear and whether they are based on real facts or on negative interpretations.
  • As stated above, learn to be kind to yourself. Show the same kindness and understanding you would show to your loved ones. “We all have our strengths and weaknesses. No one is perfect and there is no point in pretending the opposite by striving to appear in their best light all the time,” says Nathalie Garnier.
  • Avoid comparing yourself to othersidentify your own strengths, your achievements, and learn to recognize your progress. Focus on your values ​​and goals. Thus, the opinion of others will become much less of a concern.
  • Practice a sport or activity such as dancing or acting, which showcase your body and allow you to gain self-confidence. “Yoga, mindfulness and meditation are also interesting to have a better look at yourself”, underlines Nathalie Garnier. And to clarify: “Why not start with online courses, then expose yourself gradually during private lessons, then lessons in small groups”.
  • Learn to accept criticism, and especially to distinguish constructive criticism from harmful comments.
  • Surround yourself with caring and positive people who support you and pull you up. Also learn to set your limits and separate yourself from people who do not respect them and constantly devalue you.

Do not hesitate to call on a professional!

Do you find it difficult to take a step back and refocus on yourself? feel free to consult a mental health professional. This allows you to identify a potential generalized anxiety disorder, to put words to your discomfort and to work on yourself. Depending on the professionals and the issues, you can bet on the cognitive-behavioral approach (CBT), which aims to change your negative thought patterns and avoidant behaviors. This technique will gradually expose you to situations that worry you, to allow you to face them more calmly over time.

The analytical psychodynamic approach can also help you: it consists of exploring your history, your unconscious mental processes and your repressed emotions to better understand your behaviors and your present feelings. Of the relaxation and stress management techniques (deep breathing, hypnosis, mindfulness, etc.) can also help you manage your social anxiety. By dint of patience and perseverance, you will regain self-confidence and eventually forget the eyes of others!

How to accept ourselves with our imperfections?

#Fear #gaze #overcome

Published by

Recent Posts

How to feel good about yourself?

It happens to all of us to feel bad about ourselves and to know moments…

2 months ago

Easy recipe for Greek potatoes on the BBQ!

Welcome » Next to » Accompaniments » Greek potatoes on the BBQ Ingredients : 2…

2 months ago

normal doses of calcium in the blood

The measurement of calcemia, that is to say the level of calcium in the blood,…

2 months ago

Albumin in the urine (albuminuria): is it serious?

Albumin is a protein normally present in the blood, not in the urine. When it…

2 months ago

Inflammatory breast cancer: sign, what is it, aggressive?

Inflammatory breast cancer is a rare but aggressive type of breast tumour, which represents 1…

2 months ago

Blood ionogram: knowing how to interpret its results

The blood ionogram is one of the most requested laboratory tests. It includes the dosage…

2 months ago

This website uses cookies.