Jan 26, 2021
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Phenomenon or paranoia? Why does a person “feel the gaze” with their back

A person’s ability to feel gazes with his back is not a unique phenomenon. Psychologists have several theories about why such abilities might develop. told about what such an unusual “sixth sense” indicates and why it is not always good. candidate of psychological sciences, psychoanalyst, clinical psychologist of the highest category, associate professor Alexey Melekhin

Originally from childhood

The ability to feel the gaze with the back is laid in childhood, says Aleksey Melekhin. “When a child is born, if someone stands behind him or comes up to him, he begins to arch. After all, the back is, in fact, the rear of a person. And thus the perception of “friend or foe” occurs in him. Then the child, as he grows, for example, when he is just sitting down, often reacts to the fact that someone is standing behind. And here the role of the mother is important. If she starts touching his back, he gets a signal that everything is all right, ”says Aleksey Melekhin.

But if the child is left alone in such an exciting moment for him or the mother does not react properly, problems with the formation of a secure attachment result. And then there is a risk, the psychoanalyst emphasizes, that throughout his life he will constantly feel with his back that there is something wrong, something is there. At the same time, he will not understand whether this is good or bad, should he be wary or not.

“When we say ‘I feel with my back’, this is a phrase about how safe I feel and take calmly what is behind me, which I cannot see with my eyes, but I feel and can imagine,” notes Aleksey Melekhin. And if a person does not have formed mechanisms, when what is behind him does not bother him, he may be restless. And it will get worse further.

“If a person has not formed a secure attachment, then the looks that he feels on his back will make him anxious, cause the formation of fantasies and conjectures, for example, that he will be harmed, that something is said about him, condemned and discussed. He begins to simulate, it seems to him that there is some kind of threat behind, and this is necessarily a threat, “Melekhin explains.

It often becomes a phantom sensation. “This is when a person thinks that there is someone behind, someone looks at him and can somehow harm him. Moreover, in reality there may not be anyone, but the feeling of looking on the back will be real, ”the doctor explains.

Penguin syndrome

As the psychoanalyst notes, people who feel gazes with their backs in a negative context can easily be seen in a crowd. The term “penguin syndrome” is applicable to them. “Such anxious people have their shoulders raised all the time, the abdominal wall is tense – they seem to pull the stomach in, – the shoulder blades are collected. Outwardly, it looks very much like a penguin, ”notes Aleksey Melekhin. At the same time, in order to relax a person who has taken such a pose, it is enough just to put his hand on his back, in the area of ​​the shoulder blades. And it is precisely such people who rarely endure having someone behind them at all.

How to deal?

The feeling on the back of a gaze that causes anxiety is laid in childhood, and after that there is a different layer, says the psychoanalyst. However, this situation can be corrected. “The condition when a person is tense because of looking from the back is sometimes called the syndrome of mobilization. In essence, this is an insecure attachment. And here the first thing you need to do is watch your own body. Because when mobilization begins, the body is the first to react. Immediately, the shoulders are up, the shoulder blades are collected, the stomach is pulled inward, ”notes Aleksey Melekhin. And the first thing that needs to be done to correct the situation, as the psychoanalyst says, is to remove this “penguin”.

A clear work on yourself is also necessary. “When thoughts come into my head (‘What if? What if?”), You need to name yourself three things: create your own scenarios, what will happen in this case, “says the psychoanalyst. The first thing to work with again is bodily. Here you should understand how relaxed or tense a person is, how much he can develop in himself the idea that he is not threatened by anything from the person behind his back, to convince himself that he is just standing and not specifically looking with negative goals.

“The main thing here is to be honest with yourself. When a person does not tolerate the fact that someone is standing behind him, it is worth asking himself the question: “What do I imagine? What can he do? To harm, to say something nasty? Will you somehow behave ugly? ”And this will be the answer to the question of what you are bringing yourself to, what are you afraid of. In fact, a person will define a dominant fantasy that poisons his life, ”says the doctor.

And after that, it will be easier to look for an option to get rid of the problem and anxiety when you feel the gaze from your back. “If the dominant fantasy is that he will be harmed from behind, discussed, criticized, envied, you need to pull yourself together and ask yourself again:“ Why do I stick such labels on people and what do I get from this? ”When considering the answer anxiety often begins to crumble for the simple reason that it is not fed. After all, the person thought up so-so, in fact there is no evidence. And he begins to understand more clearly that he creates all his anxiety for himself, ”says Aleksey Melekhin.

If the anxiety persists and the back glances are felt more and more clearly, you should seek help from a specialist. He will help you work through the problem and show you how to restore secure attachment.

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