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Dr. Paige
Dr. Paige, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1427
Experience:  Ph.D. Licensed Psychologist
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I want Dr. Paige to answer this please.1. I have a hard

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I want Dr. Paige to answer this please.


1. I have a hard time making eye contact with people when they talk to me. I can make eye contact when it's their turn to speak, but not when I am speaking.


2. I have a hard time expressing myself to people face-to-face who send me negative vibes. I am able to express myself well with people who I feel comfortable with (the eye contact is still a problem though).


3. These don't happen when I am discussing professional work. I make decent presentations and communicate well. Just when it comes to personal conversations this happens to me.



So I want to understand the reasons behind 1, 2 and 3. And I want to know how to improve upon these. I seem to prefer email communication. I can think about things beforehand and craft my responses accordingly. But email is not an option all the time, and I want to learn how to respond well in the moment and effectively.

Hello. It sounds to me as though you are confident in your work and this is why you have no problem communicating. You are less comfortable and may have some self esteem issues when it comes to personal situations and may not handle confrontations well with people that have negative energy about them. You can improve upon these by working on your confidence when it comes to interaction with people on a more personal level. Your approach to this will depend on the specific conversation you are having at the moment. You can practice this by finding something which is not work related that you feel confident in to engage people in conversation with. For example, if you have any hobbies you feel that you are good at, stay in those circles of people to practice your conversing skills. If you are a musician or an artist and you feel good about your abilities, practice speaking with other musicians or artists about a variety of subjects and see how you feel about those conversations. Of course that is just a vague example, but the general idea is to practice in environments that you feel comfortable and use those conversations as confidence builders to work into other areas of your life. Although this is an expensive, college level textbook, this is a great book to read
If you want an easier read, the classic book How to Win Friends and Influence People is a great one. If you are a reader, I highly recommend it.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you!


Can you explain a bit more on having self-esteem issues?


Also, what does it really mean if I can communicate via email but not in person so well?

Maybe not so much self esteem issues, but lack of confidence in situations where you do not have control over the conversation. Email is an easy way to communicate because as you said, you can think about it and control the conversation. In real life, face to face situations, the subjects can vary and go in an area that you may not feel as confident in. You do not feel confident in your own communication and may feel as though you are not able to make your point in a spontaneous way, which is why you have difficulty with eye contact. Eye contact comes with confidence. Sometimes it can help if you let your mind think of something completely different while forcing yourself to look at the person. If you are a small distance from them, you can work on looking at their forehead instead of directly into their eyes. Constant eye contact is not a good thing either as it can be uncomfortable for both people involved. If you have the opportunity, you can also try to practice with some online eye contact such as using Skype with a family member or other close friend. Communicating via email is the way of the times and you are not alone. I sometimes recommend to people having a problem with verbal communication in a relationship, to write down their feelings to give to the other person or just for themselves because writing IS easier than face to face. Try not to stress too much. Of course it is something you want to improve on, but it is certainly a common issue with many people.
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