Please reply to this thread. When I try to make direct eye contact when interacting with NTs, I feel uncomfortable, and I become overstimulated and stressed in social situations. I have some questions.
1. Why do we autistics become overstimulated and stressed with making direct eye contact when interacting with NTs?
2. Why are social situations stressful for us autistics?
3. Do you feel uncomfortable and stressed with making direct eye contact when interacting with NTs?
Lets see, all what I am going to say its according to what I have learnt plus my own point of view:
1: We are overstimulated because the game is not actually look at the eye, but read microexpressions to so read what the other person is feeling and thinking WHILE we listen to what they say WHILE we mixt that info with what we know of the person, the eviroment, the culture, etc... all in real time. So it is a multichannel skill. NT excells at multichanel skills. We just dont filter enougth to multichannel properly like NT. We get trapped by the details of one channel, and we can process way more info of just a few channels and for much longer time and way more deeper as long as its not multichannel.
So, we do look to the eyes and we get trapped there so our proccesing skills drop, and if we move from eyes, to take into account the full face, our proccesing skills drops even more, is we add the tone of the voice we may be unable to listen. If we listen we may be unable to look to the eyes... Its too much for us, eyes are so deep, faces too complex, so basically its because our brains get fried with multitasking and that is because we dont filter information the way NT brains do, so we overload.
2- Social situations are multichannel, multitasking and need to make supossitions all the time. NT brains are wired to do that, while we are wired for focus on one thing to go deeper and deeper in that one channel thing. NT brains get fried doing that one only thing.
3- Depends on what I am talking about. If the person is in my close circle of trust (my wife, my daugther) I may talk about lots of things because I dont need to be aware of the social game. Its safe to talk. So I can look them in those cases. If there is anger, crisis resolution, etc. Then I avoid direct looking to concentrate on what they say to focus on their needs and on my own needs and how to say them so I dont escalate the problem. In those cases I dont have proccesing resources left to look at their faces all the time.
When I talk with other people I may close the "what I do feel" door and look them more, to the eyes, then to the mouth, to their hands, back to their eyes. I have learned that if I spend too much time at their eyes they feel "menaced". I also look at their posture, and try to adjust mine to somehow mirror theirs. I ask related questions to dont loose my attention and show understanding.
If the person I am talking to is attractive to me, then I am in problems. I then want to just fill my senses with every detail at the same time and my mask cracks, I have problems behaving not weird.
The good thing is that many NT males have those same problems and dont look where they should be looking when talking with attractive women.