Crazy-Makers: Dealing with Passive-Aggressive People
Why Are People Mean? Don't Take It Personally!
Struggling to Forgive: An Inability to Grieve
The Secret of Happiness: Let It Find You (But Make the Effort)
20 Steps to Better Self-Esteem
7 Rules and 8 Methods for Responding to Passive-aggressive People
What to Do When Your Jealousy Threatens to Destroy Your Marriage
Guide to How to Set Achieveable Goals
Catastrophe? Or Inconvenience?
Audio Version of Article: Crazy-Makers: Passive-Aggressive People
Audio Version of Article: Why Are People Mean? Don't Take It Personally!
Audio Version of Article: Happiness Is An Attitude
Many people with low self-esteem try not to make eye contact and smile at others they pass in the hall at work or at the grocery store or out for a walk. One of the reasons people avoid eye contact is fear of rejection. Making eye contact, and especially smiling, feels vulnerable because the other person can respond with negative non-verbals or ignore you. For people with low self-esteem such a reaction can feel like rejection.
However, similar to the previous step of holding your head up, making eye contact is a critical part of human interaction. It expresses self-confidence and interest in others. It allows other people to connect with you and to approach you. Certainly, sometimes we avoid eye contact deliberately so as not to be approached by strangers. But it is not beneficial to always avoid eye contact and ignore others especially those you see on a regular basis such as at work or school or in the neighborhood.
Even though it may feel emotionally safer to avoid eye contact, you will have more acceptance and positive responses from others when you make eye contact and smile. Such responses will lead to a more positive cycle and help you feel more confident and better about yourself.
However, it is possible that someone might ignore you or respond negatively so you also need to reframe in your mind the meaning of their reaction. For instance, you can refrain from personalizing others' reactions to you by recognizing that most of the time other people's reactions are not about you. Especially if all you are doing is smiling at them! If they ignore you it could be due to not noticing you because they are caught up in their own thoughts or they are paying attention to something else or a number of other reasons. If they respond in some negative way it could be because they are having a bad day or some other reason that has nothing to do with you. Therefore, do not take it personally.
Make eye contact with others and smile even if it doesn't feel natural for you. Eventually it will become more comfortable. And you will learn that much of the time you will get a smile in return.Index
Kindle Books by
Dr. Monica Frank
Analyzing Your Moods, Symptoms, and Events with Excel At Life's Mood Log
Why You Get Anxious When You Don't Want To
Why People Feel Grief at the Loss of an Abusive Spouse or Parent
“Are You Depressed?”: Understanding Diagnosis and Treatment
15 Coping Statements for Panic and Anxiety
Beyond Tolerating Emotions: Becoming Comfortable with Discomfort
Emotion Training: What is it and How Does it Work?
How You Can Be More Resistant to Workplace Bullying
Are You Passive Aggressive and Want to Change?
When Your Loved One Refuses Help
Building Blocks Emotion Training
Panic Assistance While Driving