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Is it my imagination that people stare at me funny?

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uniongard

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I feel like people stare at me funny and move away from me when I'm near them (like at a store). This is well before covid so please don't say it's covid. This has been happening to me for years. Some people online suggested that I may be ugly. But I don't think I look that bad. I may not be handsome but I don't have any deformities or anything like that. Could it just be anxiety? I always say I'll ask the person why they're staring at me like that, but I always chicken out.
 
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Purpleplum

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Imagination and being self conscious. Remember, most people are thinking of themselves.
 
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YogiLife

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The reality is that people are more preoccupied with their own lives and what they're doing, I go through what you go through to to a very intense extent every time I go for a walk or jog. I have thoughts like

'they're staring at me'
'they're laughing at me'
'I'm going to get found out'

People can be nosy and stare and stuff but more often than not its just paranoia and anxiety
 
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EclipticNight

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Yeah in todays world there is so much stuff competing for your attention that its not likely anyone is thinking about what you look like. I found most people look through others rather than at them.
 
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uniongard

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I hear what you guys are saying, but why does it happen so frequently? This is like 100% every time I go to a store. Shouldn't there be times where it doesn't happen?
 
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Intareseid

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I hear what you guys are saying, but why does it happen so frequently? This is like 100% every time I go to a store. Shouldn't there be times where it doesn't happen?
Because in all likelihood anxiety is making your hyperaware, causing you to misinterpret small, normal glances as people strangely focusing on you.

I used to have, well I still do, significant social anxiety and I something similar, the strong belief that people paid far too much attention to me on the street. Unless there's something really unusual about your appearance or behavior behavior, and being unattractive doesn't cut it, then almost certainly its all in your head.
 
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Lurch

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I feel like people stare at me funny and move away from me when I'm near them (like at a store). This is well before covid so please don't say it's covid. This has been happening to me for years. Some people online suggested that I may be ugly. But I don't think I look that bad. I may not be handsome but I don't have any deformities or anything like that. Could it just be anxiety? I always say I'll ask the person why they're staring at me like that, but I always chicken out.
Hello uniongard, it is upsetting to feel you’re being stared at, or laughed about, the latter I have felt myself on occasions. I think there are many factors to this. Most of the time people aren’t looking at you, they’re looking at something past you, but you are in their eye line. I’ve done it before, been staring at something, almost daydreaming, then suddenly realise it seems I’m staring at someone. Sometimes people also see something about a person that attracts their attention. It’s not always negative, they may see something they like, something you’re wearing, a style etc. I remember as a youngster seeing a group of people, and I just liked their fashion, was too young to ever copy them, but stared because I thought they looked good. Most people are so preoccupied they don’t notice.
Having people move away I think is just a reaction to protecting personal space. I think today we are more guarded on who we let near us.
I would be quite cautious asking someone why they are staring, I think in the main they probably weren’t, and may be very shocked and possibly react badly.
I know I’m going on a bit, and I’m not an expert, but I hope it helps you.
One more thing, it is cruel and unnecessary to suggest you may be ugly. No, when we feel low we search for negatives about ourselves, but we are all unique, and even the most stunning have natural flaws. Have you thought, if some people are staring, it may be because they like what they see.
 
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Painismybestfriend

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I feel you on this. I've had similar experiences for years. Have you ever wondered that they feel the anxious and conscious of others around them too?

I get caught looking at someone because I thought they were staring at me but actually they're staring at me wondering 'whats he looking at?' because I was looking upon them first! 🤣
 
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Laudanum

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Do you stare at them first to see if they are staring at you? If so that may be the reason.
 
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uniongard

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I feel you on this. I've had similar experiences for years. Have you ever wondered that they feel the anxious and conscious of others around them too?
I guess not. But other people don't seem anxious to me. They seem to be fitting in quite well.

I get caught looking at someone because I thought they were staring at me but actually they're staring at me wondering 'whats he looking at?' because I was looking upon them first! 🤣

Do you stare at them first to see if they are staring at you? If so that may be the reason.
I've heard this before, but it doesn't really make sense. How can I be the one staring at them first every time? Wouldn't that mean that no one has ever stared at me in my entire lifetime without me having stared first? That's a little outlandish, isn't it?
 
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uniongard

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I would be quite cautious asking someone why they are staring, I think in the main they probably weren’t, and may be very shocked and possibly react badly.
True. I won't talk to anyone unless they talk to me first.
 
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Painismybestfriend

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Lots of us can disguise our anxiety and never appear in that state of panic. Many may never even notice your anxiety and just think your going about your life.
 
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Laudanum

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I've heard this before, but it doesn't really make sense. How can I be the one staring at them first every time? Wouldn't that mean that no one has ever stared at me in my entire lifetime without me having stared first? That's a little outlandish, isn't it?
Not really. if you look round and everyone is already staring at you like in some 'invasion of the body snatchers' scenario, then it is weird. If, however, you look at people first and they look back that's unsurprising. Maybe sometimes they do look at you first and other times they return your stare?
 
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KeyTrio

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I would strongly suggest it’s your anxiety. I always think people are staring at me because I believe I have bad skin/acne scarring.

However, even though I still get anxiety about this, I’ve conditioned myself to try and not believe they’re staring at me. Sometimes it works, and sometimes I can’t help but believe they’re staring at me.

Then I remind myself it’s all down to anxiety, which is strangely comforting.
 
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uniongard

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Maybe sometimes they do look at you first and other times they return your stare?
Why is that so hard for people to believe? I've talked to people about this online before and they all say I must have been staring first. So out of the 7 billion (or more) people on earth, I am the only one who, when making eye contact with someone, was the first to stare? Fine. I'll roll with that. No one ever thinks to look in my direction unless I look at them first. Must be a super power or something if I'm the only person in the entire world this applies to. I'm a 1 in 7 billion rarity.
 
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