Please play the song below before reading on…

(*waits patiently*)

During the process of developing communication skills, the first thing someone usually learns is how important eye contact is. Eye contact shows that you are interested in what the person in front of you is saying and that you have fully dedicated this moment to them.

But what happens when not being able to make eye contact is high on your very long list of “quirky” qualities?


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Photo via FOX

I have many, many quirks. Some painfully awkward and others downright embarrassing, but I have come to accept most as just qualities about my personality that someone will eventually fall in love with — or at least tolerate. However, one “quirk” about myself that has proven to not only be inconvenient but also in some cases disastrous, is not being able to make eye contact with an attractive member of the opposite sex. You may be thinking, “Oh, well, a lot of people have that problem.” In my specific case, though, it is no longer a problem, per se, but rather the way in which I’m resigned to live my life.


Not being able to make eye contact is paired with not being able to make full, intelligent sentences and losing the ability to walk like a poised, even normal, human being. I, along with a group of teachers and professors, actually consider myself pretty smart. I did great in my speech class my sophomore year of college, which proves I do have communication skills, just “I can’t handle attractive men” skills.


To show you the extent of how bad this is, I will take you back to the summer of my junior year of college when I had to take a six-week “crash course” that involved long hours, four days a week. I can easily say that for those six weeks, I did not make direct eye contact with my — how do I put this — hot professor, except for the one day when I thought he was challenging me to a staring contest, which I participated in because I have a habit of never backing down for the sake of a small victory.

In retrospect, I ended up trying harder and doing better in that class than I had in any other. I figured, if I’m not going to look up from my notebook, I’m going to damn well try my best to get the highest grade possible. In the end, everything worked out. I built what I think is a friendly relationship with Mister Professor, and I can now probably make eye contact with him that will last between two to five seconds. Of course, it took me just a few weeks before graduation to get to that point. But again, small victories.


Although this may sound adorable, making eye contact has held me back in several ways. For one, my current ball ‘n’ chain is quick to point out that the first time we met, I avoided him completely, only talking to him when I was offered candy, and even today it’s hard looking at him without giggling like a child. That could have easily been a missed opportunity because of a quality I can’t necessary fix, and God knows I’ve tried. Another terrible side effect is running into things because — guess what? — when you don’t look up from your feet, you DON’T SEE WHAT’S IN FRONT OF YOU. I can get it together for working purposes, but in doing so, I risk an ulcer.


So, here is a letter to the universe that’s filled with people whom I will eventually meet, but will probably never be able to make eye contact with:


I am so very sorry. I am absolutely interested in your words and can have this conversation with you in a more intellectual manner, avoiding the words “like” and “um.” However, I will do so preferably behind a curtain and/or wall. I apologize again, and in no way do I judge your intelligence (or any lack of) based on your appearance. My eyes just hate me.



That one chick from that one place who just kept looking at her shoes…

Video via Bryan Adams YouTube Page


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