Tips for dealing with tourettes in the gym

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RedJumpsuit
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Tips for dealing with tourettes in the gym

Post by RedJumpsuit »

So basically after 2 years I decided to go back to the gym again. I've been working out at home in the meantime.
Even though I really wanted to be at the gym, it just didn't workout because tics were really bad. Now they've gotten much less and I want to take another shot at it.

So here's the thing. While I am in the gym, I'm trying to focus on the workout, but I keep getting tics to look at other people. Like yesterday, I was doing deadlifts and there was this other guy on a seated bench in front of the mirror. I had to keep staring in his eyes through the mirror while working out and he noticed it. I kept trying to suppress it, but this only made it worse. The tics keep coming back and holding them back just made me more frustrated. So now, instead of just having to stare in his eyes, I had to do it while having an angry face. After suppressing that also, the tic basically turned into staring in his eyes with an angry face while nodding aggressively in a way hinting at "what's up, what are you looking at?!".

What's the best way to deal with this in the gym? The conclusion I have taken myself is that I should never suppress any tic and just do them before they get worse, and then go to the person who is affected by it and explain it to them. The thing that stopped me from doing this the last time is that I think once I tell them, it'll put more attention on it. It's like, I still have to stare at them 10 times a minute, but now they'll notice it more. I guess if I can somehow tell it to them without making it awkward, it'll be fine. But I'm afraid that if I can't articulate it well, they might be bothered by it and pretend that they're not and it'll just be really awkward.

Do you guys have any tips? If someone was staring at you the whole time, what would you prefer they did? Come and tell you? What's the best way to tell them? Because I don't want to bother them in their workout.
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Boss Man
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Re: Tips for dealing with tourettes in the gym

Post by Boss Man »

What makes you feel like you have to look at other people?
RedJumpsuit
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Re: Tips for dealing with tourettes in the gym

Post by RedJumpsuit »

It's a tic, I've had it since I was like 15. I have to stare anywhere that would put me in direct danger. Like, if I'm writing an exam, I've to look at classmates table in a way that would make it look like I'm trying to cheat. Even if I'm not directly looking at the paper, I've to move head in a way and even get a bit out of seat and stare in the direction of their papers so that the surveillance thinks I'm cheating.

This is just one example, but there are many others. Like if someone is sitting next to me and is talking on the phone, I've to keep looking at them to give them the perception that I'm bothered by them being on their phone, even though most of the time I'm not.

And then there's this other thing where I've to stare at boobs, and ugh... also stare at penises. But it's not about staring at penises. It's more like, if I tell the person that I've a tic to stare at their penis, then tic changes into staring in their direction. Because whenever I move head and stare in their direction, they'll think I'm staring at their penis (through the periphery of their eyes), so it still has the same effect. So it's not really about staring at their penis, it's about the conflict that will arise from them thinking I'm staring at them. I do get the urge to stare at boobs though like any man, but it only becomes a tic if it's in a situation that would also result into a conflict, like in an interview or staring at the boobs of the wife of a guy who is looking at face.

Anyway it's always a tic if the other person can see's it. Like, I can't "steal" a stare, because then it's pointless and cowardly.

And now to answer your question more directly, I'd say the reason I have to stare at other people in the gym is to explore the (social) environment. If I avoid any eye contact, everyone in the environment is unexplored territory and therefore part of the unknown. And that's not a good thing, because then outdated patterns that aren't relevant to the situation itself will keep repeating in head. So basically I'd think that they are "judging/attacking" me, even if they're not. When I look down, on an instinctual level I get all these false assumptions about people around me, like as if they are looking at me, but when I look at them and everyone else, I see that's not the case at all. So I think I should just look at them.
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Boss Man
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Re: Tips for dealing with tourettes in the gym

Post by Boss Man »

I look at other people in the gym sometimes, too, just more out of not wanting to stare at the floor a lot. Not out of any uncomfortable thing, but because sometimes other people interest me and you sometimes take a sneaky peek for 4 or 5 seconds at what someone else might be doing, but I would never look at anyone else purely to get any stimulation out of I:E: deliberately staring for a long time at a woman's boobs and obviously I'm not saying you do that either.

However I am not self conscious like you intimated you could get, about what other people may think of me, so in that respect I don't have a problem in that surrounding.

Do you think it might help to tackle the feeling self conscious of other peoples attitudes part of this, rather than the tic? So if you were looking away from people a lot and you tried to convince yourself that they weren't harbouring unwanted thoughts about you, would that be an easier way to address your situation?
RedJumpsuit
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Re: Tips for dealing with tourettes in the gym

Post by RedJumpsuit »

No, because I feel that's fake. I feel like I will be running from the problem by trying to tell myself things while not paying any attention. I feel like, I have to look at them till I get the fear to have to look away (which happens quickly), but keep looking to see if a conflict arises or not. That way, I will know on an instinct level whether the fear is real or not.
fat-to-fit
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Re: Tips for dealing with tourettes in the gym

Post by fat-to-fit »

Red, i'm not familiar that well with tourettes. I'm not even sure if i have ever met someone with tourettes.

But i know for a lot of fears they try exposure therapy. Maybe get a therapist who has knowledge with tourettes and work on it with them.

You could also try a small group of a hobby you like you could join and hopefully they are supportive or even a support group and work with them on it. and build your confidence up by telling them your fear.

I have a fear of playing the piano in front of people. hands literally shake which you could probably guess is hard to play. :) and i've joined a group that get's together and practices playing for each other. i have first performance at the end of July.

Otherwise I'm not sure where you live but some people might be accepting of it in the gym i would think if you told them it's with tourettes they would understand and maybe apologize and that you didn't mean anything by it. I know i would be understanding. Good luck to you. :)
fat-to-fit
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Re: Tips for dealing with tourettes in the gym

Post by fat-to-fit »

I thought i would add.

I a while back met a man i thought handsome and he was really kind and i looked forward to seeing him with job. I started to get nervous when i would see him. Where i had a hard time talking!! I hadn't felt that way since i was a teenager. I think it had more to do with i haven't dated in quite a while. Anyways, I then started working in a different capacity where i didn't see him much for a while. And it kind of distracted me and i stopped thinking about him or being nervous. And the next time i saw him, i wasn't nervous at all... I was myself. :)

That's food for thought. :D Again good luck to you. :)
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rokit
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Re: Tips for dealing with tourettes in the gym

Post by rokit »

it seems to me that a lot depends on us
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