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Can you read faces?

Jordy

Well-Known Member
I'm not able to read faces.
I have always known that it is a common symptom of autism, but never payed much attention to it until recently. I have been actively trying to label the cues and emotions expressed in faces, but i can't put place them on a spectrum with more resolution than just happy, sad, angry, and annoyed, any nuance is lost. Often I can't really tell what my own face is saying when i a look at a picture of myself, although i have feeling others can't either.

I have also read that many people who have this problem (autism or not) are prone to interpreting a facial expression as being more negative than it is.
 
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Calrid

Active Member
Reading faces is something you tend to grow out of, experience is key. Being generally annoying you're stuck with. That said I know what you mean, I sometimes get things completely wrong now and I am 50 with a shed load of life experience in reading facial expressions. You can grow and learn though, and you will. It would be trite to say people grow out of Autism Spectrum disorder but Aspergers I think you do tend to get wise to your deficits.
 

Thinx

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
My face is not very expressive either. I have learned to read others expressions better though, you may be able to make progress there, given practice. People sometimes say, cheer up, it may never happen! or similar to me as they pass me in the street, interpreting me as looking sad, though actually I am pretty optimistic and usually not sad. My father was the same, and probably had ASD1 or Aspergers .

I also tend to be quite still and lack animation. I stand awkwardly, and am clumsy. But I agree with @Calrid , this can be worked on to some extent and changed to some extent, if you want to.
 

LadyS

One eye permanently raised it seems...
V.I.P Member
Agree with others. Over the years you get better at deciphering through experience. Was the case for me as well. First step for me was acknowledging that I wasn't reading faces at all. And then over time started understanding subtle nuances. But it also helped that others who were getting older with me were getting better with being tolerant with my progress. Live and learn. And still working on it...
 

Richelle-H

Autocosmic Reality Tester
V.I.P Member
I have gotten better with emotions in other people although I still have trouble knowing when someone is joking or teasing. Not a big problem in my day-to-day encounters. The big problem I have and continue to have is the tone of my own voice. It is often read wrong and that is mostly on me. Also, I have a very non-expressive face that others cannot read if I am tired and forget to animate it more than usual.

I used to record my voice in my teens and play it back, but I grew to loathe the sound of it, so I stopped working at teaching myself how I present to others in conversation. I believe that I am better, but I do not want to record my voice and find out that I am grossly mistaken in my perceptions.

I think that our own facial and vocal communication should be of more concern to some of us on the spectrum than reading others.
 

Aspychata

Serenity waves, beachy vibes
V.I.P Member
I remember being horribly upset about two woman who had so much botox, l couldn't match their voice to their face. They were upset, their voices were higher, however their foreheads had zero movement making me feel l was watching robots. I complained to my boss. It was very unsettling.
 
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Sherlock77

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
After many years of street photography, I think I've learned how to read faces through lots of practice...

But when I was tested recently - in my late 40's, after having lots of street photography experience - I apparently failed the facial recognition part of the assessment, which surprised me

I am also a person who rarely smiles, sometimes people misinterpret that, my emotions tend to be even keel as well...
 

Gerald Wilgus

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I have gotten better, but most of my life was poor at body language and faces. The only problem is that my faces are read too easily when I think I am being not reacting. I was told that I would be a poor liar.
 

Jordy

Well-Known Member
I have gotten better, but most of my life was poor at body language and faces. The only problem is that my faces are read too easily when I think I am being not reacting. I was told that I would be a poor liar.
Wearing your heart on your sleeve is very common for people with autism, if that's what you meant. I don't see it as character flaw personally, but a lot of NT consider it a sign of naivety and weakness (an opportunity for them).
 

Fino

Alex
V.I.P Member
I seem to be terrible at it. I constantly perceive emotions that turn out to be apparently not true unless people are constantly lying.
 

Aspychata

Serenity waves, beachy vibes
V.I.P Member
My face is not very expressive either. I have learned to read others expressions better though, you may be able to make progress there, given practice. People sometimes say, cheer up, it may never happen! or similar to me as they pass me in the street, interpreting me as looking sad, though actually I am pretty optimistic and usually not sad. My father was the same, and probably had ASD1 or Aspergers .

I also tend to be quite still and lack animation. I stand awkwardly, and am clumsy. But I agree with @Calrid , this can be worked on to some extent and changed to some extent, if you want to.

Maybe you have what you need in other areas of your life. :) Men probably focus on flaws just like woman do.

Just saying......
 
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Jordy

Well-Known Member
My face is not very expressive either. I have learned to read others expressions better though, you may be able to make progress there, given practice. People sometimes say, cheer up, it may never happen! or similar to me as they pass me in the street, interpreting me as looking sad, though actually I am pretty optimistic and usually not sad. My father was the same, and probably had ASD1 or Aspergers .

I also tend to be quite still and lack animation. I stand awkwardly, and am clumsy. But I agree with @Calrid , this can be worked on to some extent and changed to some extent, if you want to.
I don't think I want to tbh. Trying to bridge the gap seems like to much effort to be worth it. I need to find like-minded people with the same Interests as me, only solution I can to think of.
 
I'm also terrible at this, and reminds me of this picture from a book.

20220626_124055.jpg
 

Lilacleia16

Active Member
I only understand happy, sad, and angry. All the other facial expressions are confusing. I understand happy and sad because the mouth either goes up or down. I understand angry because the eyebrows go down. Does anyone else have trouble with understanding facial expressions? I don’t even know if I make any other facial expressions other than those three.
 

NB79

Well-Known Member
Me too!, i can't make subtle facial expressions at all, angry sad, smile you like say i show sometimes, but the rest maybe i can try to fake it sometimes but feels awful.

I have monotonous voice also, one neurologist when i did a test also noted that.
 

Aspychata

Serenity waves, beachy vibes
V.I.P Member
I watch alot of older movies, and l believe it's because l can read the expressions, and relate to the storyline better. If l can't read the expression, l just ask "are you upset?", are you confused?" , I ask so l can clear-up my confusion. That helps me for the most part.
 

kriss72

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I have a hard time with understanding the mind of others, their facial expressions aren't helpful, it's more like their whole body language and tone of voice, but then I try to avoid looking at peoples faces anyway :) - Hate it when someone taking a picture asks me to smile, I feel I'm smiling, but they keep asking me to smile.
 

Hypnalis

Well-Known Member
Many of us don't learn these things when we're toddlers and young children (NT's start before they can talk). Nobody seems to know why.

You can teach yourself as an adult (up to a point - I don't think it's practical to learn it perfectly).

Or not. It's a valid adult choice not to work on this.. But life is a lot easier if you can "pass" as NT when you need to.
 

Shevek

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I spot subtler ones, such as quizzical, but am somewhere around the 30th percentile on tests. This is probably because I don't like looking directly at eyes, and can pick up a lot from body language instead.
 

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