Fear of being seen on video…

The human mind is a very strange thing sometimes.  I have a friend who is an expert in her field.  She has spoken in front of rooms filled with people.  She is able to do that comfortably and without any sort of excessive fear.  And yet when it comes to recording a video where  she is speaking to the camera lens, rather than people, she has an extremely hard time.  She KNOWS that as an expert in her topic, with years of experience presenting on it, she is absolutely competent to be presenting this material for video recording.  That’s not the problem.  “It’s the lens!  Just looking into the lens!”

I’m guessing here, but what I think may be going on is the difference between “getting feedback from the room” which happens during a live presentation with people in the room, and getting NO feedback from the video camera.

Whether we realize it or not, we are constantly reading the room and assessing the visual cues from the audience for feedback.  We learned to do this early in life and we continuously do it a subconscious level in order to keep ourselves safe.  Kids start learning very early what to say that will get them in trouble (“unsafe”) and what will not.  Biologically and developmentally as infants and toddlers when we start exploring our environment we look back at our parent or caregiver for visual cues.  In particular we’re looking for approval or indications of disapproval or even more importantly fear on the face of our caregiver. 

The excerpt below comes from Are you happy or sad? How wearing face masks can impact children’s ability to read emotions

“…young children look for emotional cues from caregivers to interpret novel or potentially threatening situations.  That is, children rely on their caregiver’s facial expressions and tone of voice to regulate their response toward people and new situations.”

Researchers have studied social referencing in babies that are just starting to crawl using the “visual cliff,” (https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1985-14205-001) a large plexiglass-top table with a checkered pattern. In the middle of the table is a visual drop off (what looks like a sudden drop, but the surface is actually uninterrupted and completely safe to crawl across). The baby is placed on one side of the table while the mother stands on the other side with a fun toy. The mother is instructed to smile or make a fearful face. In most cases, when babies see a smiling face, they crawl across the cliff, but if they see a fearful face, they choose not to cross the visual cliff.”

What I’m guessing is happening when she looks into the lens do deliver her material is that her subconscious notices there is NO audience feedback.  There is quite a bit of material out there about how “flat affect” or an expressionless face is very disconcerting to people because they don’t know how to interpret it.  

This article is particularly interesting because it has photos and descriptions of this phenomenon.  https://musingsofanaspie.com/2012/10/10/you-scare-me/

“…(we) had some new friends over for lunch.  They brought along their two young boys.  Toward the end of the meal, the 5-year-old, who was sitting next to me, looked at me and said, “You scare me.” …I was aware of the difficulty (some people) have in reading facial expressions, but it hadn’t occurred to me that I don’t project appropriate facial expressions–or sometimes any expression at all.  … To a five-year-old, who is probably relying more heavily on nonverbal than verbal communication to judge adults, my inappropriate or absent expressions were creating mixed messages.  Though I was saying and doing “nice” things, the nonverbal expressions I was projecting weren’t the typical “kind, caring adult” cues he was expecting to go with my words and actions.”

I’m guessing that at some point in my friend’s life, and most likely during her childhood, she learned that it is VERY important to be able to see and assess the visual cues coming from the person(s) she is talking to.  While I have no idea what those exact circumstances were, I’m guessing (still) that whatever happened it didn’t go well because she wasn’t able to see, assess, and properly interpret the visual cues from someone with whom she was communicating.

Because I’m aware of these bits of psychological knowledge, when I hear her description of live presentations as being fine, but it not being fine when “talking to the lens,” I am lead to a guess about what’s going on and how to use EFT Tapping to address it.

In this Tap-Along video I’m going to do my best to address, and Tap through, what I think is going on for her.  Hopefully, if she chooses to watch this video and does Tap-Along with it, she will be generous in providing some feedback on it. 

If you resonate with this challenge, please Tap-Along with the video and be sure to leave a comment below about your experience.

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