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Featured Conversation / Thread Killing

Discussion in 'Friends, Family & Social Skills' started by VictorR, Jan 11, 2021.

  1. VictorR

    VictorR Random Member V.I.P Member

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    Is anyone else good at killing conversations (real life) or discussion threads (online)?

    Life example:
    Colleague: That's a nice lunch you have there Vic. Did your wife make it for you?
    Me: Uh, no. I made it myself. It's leftovers from dinner last night. And I don't have a wife.
    Colleague walks away.
     
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  2. unperson

    unperson Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Coulda been a sly dig about the wife, knowing you don't have one?
     
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  3. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative V.I.P Member

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    Yes, but not quite in that way. With me it's more like:

    Family member: Hey there, how's it going?

    Me: *cat hiss*

    Family member: Understandable, have a nice day *leaves*
     
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  4. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Yes there's a to and fro process in conversation I for one am apt to miss. Like, I think it was maybe your turn to ask something, such as, And what delicious repast has your good lady provided for you today, George? Or similar. Then this burgeons into other topics, and soon you are, well, whatever happens next.

    But I think it's a processing issue partly at least. I just don't throw the ball back, I know it in theory but at the time I am processing the comment, crafting a specific and accurate answer, and then awaiting their further comments, which as here, may often never come because I show no interest in them.
     
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  5. SusanLR

    SusanLR Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I know how these brief encounters can happen and do quite often.
    Had someone ask me that question, my answer would have been
    "I'm not married." End of conversation.
    Maybe?
    Unless it was an intro for further attempts to get closer knowing I'm not
    married.

    Another good one that happens with me is when myself and the older
    man I live with go somewhere together a few times and the staff
    sees us together then suddenly I go alone.
    Someone will ask where my husband is today.
    I reply he isn't my husband. He's my landlord, actually.
    (Sounds like a remake of a familiar movie...Landlord Actually.)
    I get some funny looks because I reply in a matter of fact way.

    Gender identity is another.
    Shopping for Christmas, the door checker at the exit, waved and said
    Happy Holidays, Sir!
    I looked back and waved. Guess he got a better look and it was
    an Oh, my... I'm so sorry, Mam, moment.

    Since I feel gender neutral, it doesn't bother me in the least and has
    happened a lot in life. But, they look like they could fall through the
    floor when they realize!

    Not interested in starting up conversations out like that anyway.
    And I admit I kind of get a kick out of being a bit of a shock jock.
     
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  6. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    Stuff like this happens to me all the time.

    I think you gave him an answer that was unexpected or off-script, it threw him and he didn't have a reply, so he just walked away.

    It's also up to him to keep the conversation going, not just up to you - he could have replied with any number of things, but didn't. This is a failing on his part, not yours. There is a tendency on our part to think that, because we have ASD, that any communication failure must be our fault, but that's just not true: NTs often have problems, often don't know what to say to continue the conversation, often don't have really great social skills.
     
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  7. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative V.I.P Member

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    Oh geez, this one can be pretty funny.

    I had a sort of long-term one happen, a couple of years ago. I'd go into this gas station every day to get my fountain drink. Winter came, and this new guy started working at the station as the cashier.

    Every day, I'd go to pay for my drink, and this guy would be all smiles and generally talkative. This, despite that I never said a word... IRL I dont talk very much to people outside of the family, so I'd typically just gesture at anything I needed. I've gotten good over the years at making it clear as to what I want without having to say anything. The guy didnt seem fazed by this. It took me awhile to figure it out, what with being on the spectrum and all, but he was clearly, well, "interested". Very interested. It was that "OMG hot girl, better go for it" sort of mode that some guys get into... everyone's seen it before, I think. So that just kept going.

    Well, until the day I went to get gas and the pump just didnt seem to be working right. Cant just wave my hands around to say "hey pump #8 did this thing and I dont know what to do", so, first time, actually spoke to him. Just one quick sentence. My appearance is one thing, but my voice leaves little room for doubt. And you could see the exact point when he had that mental bluescreen moment that happens upon such a realization. Expression slowly changed.

    After he was done rebooting, he finished up whatever needed to be done, gave a very dry "yeah it should work now", and that was that. After that point he wasnt so smiley when dealing with me anymore. All business, from that point on.

    Didnt just kill one conversation there. I killed all of them.
     
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  8. Neonatal RRT

    Neonatal RRT Well-Known Member

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    Funny, you mention this. For me, all I have to do is start talking to them,...suddenly THEY have to leave. Hey,...they started it.:D Weaponized autism.:p;)
     
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  9. Raggamuffin

    Raggamuffin Well-Known Member

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    TL : DR - I either talk too much or too little; either way it seems to make others and myself feel tense.

    Not long after a conversation has begun, I find I want most of them to end. Personally, I've always felt like this made me rather obnoxious. It wasn't until I read about the spectrum that I could put a name to some of these social difficulties.

    Two people at my last workplace described me in words that stuck with me - one called me "a very particular person" whilst the other described me an "quite the enigma." Most people don't get to know me well enough, so conversations are deliberately kept short and interactions are at a minimum. I always remember to be polite - even if I'm not a chatty person, I don't like to be rude, as I have an overwhelming sense of guilt towards all aspects of my existence.

    People who I do get on with will see more of me, and if I'm really comfortable around people - then I drop the filter, and all sorts of strangeness and erratic energy comes out to play. So, if I'm having fun I won't want conversations to end, until I burn out. But more often than not, I will actively try and cut conversations short.

    I have concentration issues in conversations, and this probably stems from my upbringing - my parents will talk anyone's ear off. It's very much one sided conversations and they just don't stop talking at you, rather than to you. It's tricky to have to mask so heavily around your own parents. My brother is also on the spectrum too, but he seems more comfortable and certain of who he is. He is more outgoing and talkative than I am. I really have to be "in the mood" to talk and even then, I burn out quickly. Around my family in general I'm rarely outgoing, which is a far cry to how I used to be as a child. It's not great if I'm with my parents and others, as my mum has a nasty habit of making me the butt of a lot of jokes. She ridicules me and makes lots of jokes at my expense. It's been that way since I've been an adult, and it hurts.

    I'm used to zoning out in conversations, since most don't hold my attention, or capture my interest. As such, my responses are always brief. When things continue beyond comfort I will zone out - this helps calm me down, as I focus on another task and make the conversation become background noise. I know it's not polite, but I use it to try and end conversations. I start to reply with "yes" or "no" answers - in fact, an average weekly phone call to my parents can be 40 minutes long and all I really get to say is "yes" and "no" whilst they talk constantly.

    There's only a few people I can converse back and forth with quite readily. I feel more at ease conversing via text and in such instances with friends I will be very outgoing and quick witted. I think this is because when a thought comes to my head I can just type it out. There's no hesitation like there is in real life conversations. The concentration issue swings both ways - I'm either zoning out, or I'm overthinking every facet of what's being said, meanwhile I'm sat in silence and seem withdrawn and visibly uncomfortable. My partner notices it whenever we attend social gatherings - everyone around us will be talking and the whole room will be loud and busy. Meanwhile there's me, staring off into space, or focusing on something insignificant, like the pattern in the wood of a table for 15 minutes.

    When I'm with someone I get on with well, I can talk a lot. But as soon as there's more than one person I will observe the conversation until I grow tired/uncomfortable and have to leave. This has happened quite a bit in recent months on Discord. We have a channel for a video game we all play.

    We have a few regular people on the server I started. One guy is on voice chat daily and we usually chat daily for an hour or so. The back and forth is pleasant, and I find I'm more outgoing with him and can speak my mind more freely. When other people join I grow increasingly distant as the number of people increases.

    There's a few on this server who dominate conversations. They talk nonstop and one of them has become a lot more active recently and in voice chat he's constantly making jokes. Everyone is laughing and this encourages him to continue - he seems to feed off it and it makes him more energetic. The only person who isn't laughing is me. So I grow weary, and then start to feel awkward, and finally I begin feeling angry. By that time I've been pondering my exit from the chat for at least 10 minutes. Sometimes this hesitation can last over 30 minutes.

    Small talk I try to shut down quickly. For instance, getting to work on Monday:

    "How was your weekend?"
    "Same old"

    Often I think I'd like to say more, but I don't want the conversation to continue - there's too many variables; whereas when I say "same old" I know it's tried and tested. A routine that's comforting - if a little boring. In a voice chat though, it can be tricky - wanting to be a part of the conversation, but struggling to. There's also the timing issue: when you have 3-5 people and I'm say there trying to work out when to say something. It's like trying to cross a busy road during rush hour.

    One issue I've had increasingly happen is I say something and someone begins to talk shortly after I've started - and they always seem to respond to what they say, rather than me. That never makes me feel good. It's usually an overwhelming feeling of frustration, sadness and anger.

    It's strange really, I'd found the daily chatting with my friend on Discord had helped my mental health. But now this guy is on the voice chat daily as well, I find it's actually making things worse. In fact, for the first time in 2 months I didn't go on the voice chat last night, because whenever I checked on the server my friend was there with him.

    Thing is, when it's just me and the guy who always makes jokes - he's sensible around me. We don't do small talk, and we actually talk about stuff in depth. Still, he tends to talk at me - and I don't enjoy that.

    So, I suppose it mainly depends on content and personality. If it's small talk - I will be deliberately brief to make it stop. If i'm interested, I will talk a lot - sometimes to the point of making people feel awkward (similar to what my parents do to me). Usually I just observe. What's interesting with regards to the joker, and people in general is that I think of jokes to situations momentarily before other's say it out loud. I wonder why I don't have the courage to say it for myself. In fact, whilst getting a laugh can feel nice - it tends to feel a little too intense for my liking. Any praise in general makes me feel rather off kilter. I feel good, but also sick, nervous and worried. It feels like I can't process a good thing in a healthy way.

    Anyway, sorry - that went a little off topic, and as usual - I feel like I talked too much. It's strange though - for all my strange and awkward behaviour, I seem to make a good impression on everyone I meet. People think I'm a nice person - if a little odd. There's also hobbies and talents I have which stand out, so I guess I can rely on actions speaking louder than words to demonstrate who I am as a person. Also, at work I have a strong work ethic, and around other's I find I'm instinctively helpful. So whilst I might not be the best conversationalist (unless the mood takes me), at least I know that my presence doesn't go unnoticed.

    Ed
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2021
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  10. OkRad

    OkRad μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος οὐλομένην V.I.P Member

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    I may have said something like, "I wish!" with a big smile. Then they would not know if I had a spouse or not. I have gotten a lot better at deflecting prying.

    I also could have said just NO.

    Or even nodded and said nothing.

    Another way to deflect prying is just laugh. Like for no reason. HAHAHA. That sends em flying.

    Or put it right back to them. What do you have for lunch?!

    Depends on the mood and if I want to be left alone or if I am very glad that someone came to say something to me.

    I do try to be nice without getting stomped on. :)
     
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  11. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Usually when that's happened to me in a workplace setting, it's more about the person being somewhat hungry and jealous of the food I was in the process of eating. Comments they've made:

    Oh, that looks good!
    Is that seafood?
    Did you make that?
    Healthy, wow!
    What is that?

    Then they go ahead and microwave a frozen meal. Used to notice one of the bosses who ate a can of beans every day as long as I worked there.

    Another ate only cold pork sandwiches each day. I once offered him my lunch as I had to go out with some others for a work lunch, it was a couscous salad with marinated tofu and vegetables. I could see he was really nervous at the thought of eating something other than his usual lunch, I never did that again.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2021
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  12. HeroOfHyrule

    HeroOfHyrule Chicken Chaser

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    I don't always get responded to in threads, but I think it's because I'm really bad at engaging with other people. I kind of respond to the OP and anyone who responds to me, but I don't start a discussion with other people often or jump into preexisting ones.
     
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  13. _eri_bellehumeur

    _eri_bellehumeur Member

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    ooof, yes, in public mostly (maybe in person as well, but I am a far better conversationalist in writing, as I tend to overthink less and very carefully construct my replies so that there is give and take, ie things for the other to respond to).

    I always try to be friendly when others initiate conversations with me (I absolutely never initiate because I have no idea what in the heck to say to people and small talk is not my dealie). It is usually awkward because I am not interested in the conversation so am actively trying to end it, am being polite and trying to humour them and it still fails because I just am confused about human interaction, or because I am very deaf and after the 3rd "pardon??" they just leave or I smile and laugh pretending I heard them, which more often than not, is a weird response to their question/comment, hahaha.
     
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  14. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Yes, I do tend to say things that causes the other person to seem rather bewildered at my response or just walks off muttering: okkkk and I am thinking: what did I say that was so weird?

    When I was a child and growing up, I could never give a quick response or for that matter, got freaked out when someone would ask me something. I am a lot better now, but there is a sense of: wow, I actually handled that well, considering, so must subconsciously still there, but managaging to get around it better.
     
  15. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝️ It's My Birthday!

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    [​IMG] (This thread is lasting longer than I expected... :p)
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2021
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  16. selena

    selena Well-Known Member

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    Huh. This makes me realize that what I mostly do is banter instead of real conversations. No replies are expected, and you can walk away without revealing how truly weird you really are.
     
  17. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member

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    How would you respond @ VictorR? :)
    If you had just made the exact same comment to your colleague about his lunch and wife,
    and he offered the same information in his reply,
    how do you think you may have responded? :)




    Personally, I'd only comment on a strangers lunch if I was trying to start a conversation.
    (otherwise it's non of my business and I don't really care, if I'm honest)

    I have the ability to stop conversations dead in their tracks.
    I try not to though because I'm interested in how people start conversations and keep them going.

    So I just wondered Vic, what you think you might have done if the situation you offered was reversed? :)
     
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  18. VictorR

    VictorR Random Member V.I.P Member

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    I'm not sure. But I know I wouldn't have asked the question myself the other way around because to my knowledge, she's either separated, divorced, or widowed - she speaks much of her children and grandchildren but to my knowledge she lives alone.

    Growing up, one life lesson I learned was not to bring up others' family members unless you know them well enough to refer to them. I still remember a classmate taunt our teacher, suggesting that looked like a "loser who didn't have a family" to which our teacher responded, in a sad voice, that he was a widow and that his wife and child were killed by a drunk driver.

    If it was a conversation starter, it seems a bit of a weird one, since I'm in the small majority of those without a wedding band or pictures of family at my desk.
     
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  19. unperson

    unperson Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Hey, maybe she's interested, establishing your marital status??
     
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  20. VictorR

    VictorR Random Member V.I.P Member

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    Now I'm disturbed. LOL
     
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