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Featured Do you recognize if you're being "rude"?

Discussion in 'Friends, Family & Social Skills' started by cherryq, Feb 2, 2017.

  1. cherryq

    cherryq Well-Known Member

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    My friend told me today that my response in a situation I was in may have come across as rude to the other person.

    I was sitting in a building on campus, doing some homework and minding my own business, when the guy sitting at the next table over (about 3 seats down) randomly asked how I was doing. I didn't know the guy, didn't realize he was even talking to me until I looked over at him after realizing he said something and was staring at me, and I was focused on my computer, not him, prior to this point. I couldn't fathom why he would want to talk to me. So I smiled awkwardly and continued working. I couldn't read his expression when I smiled. He might have half-smiled back. I'm really not sure.

    Anyway, after messaging my friend about what happened and asking if I should do anything else, she told me that he may have considered my smile as an answer to his question to be rude. I asked if I was rude often, and the response I got bugs me a little. Apparently my behavior toward people that I don't know can come across as rude. When I'm with people I know, it's better. And people who know me well, like my friend, know that short responses or smiles are just what I do after a difficult day.

    I never consider that my responses may be considered rude by others. When I smile at someone, I think that I did great and acknowledging their question or presence is a good thing. It never occurred to me before today that in the NT world we live in, a simple smile may not be enough to not get labelled rude by others, even on days where I'm really struggling with interactions.

    Has anyone else had experiences where they were told they were rude toward someone when they were really just trying to be polite/kind to them?
     
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  2. OkRad

    OkRad Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I bend so far over backwards to make sure I am NOT being rude that I am always kissing my own a**!!!!

    I am serious. It is disturbing. The rudest I get is a sharp no I give no and then
     
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  3. Alcyon

    Alcyon Well-Known Member

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    @cherryq I didn't get too far into your post before I checked to see if you were a female. Yep. So the situation was a male doing whatever it is that many males do when around females. That goes over my head...

    He was rude. You were busy with something. If he couldn't leave you alone, at the very least, he could've got up and introduced himself; leaning over from three seats away, at a different table, and giving you a "hey, how you doin'?" C'mon!

    The boy's got a few things to learn yet.
     
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  4. SameStars

    SameStars Well-Known Member

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    If I'm feeling awkward about an interaction, I can come across as aloof. So when I actually have no idea how to respond, it can look rude to some people.
     
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  5. Bolletje

    Bolletje Overly complicated potato V.I.P Member

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    I'm overly apologetic and always explaining myself because I'm afraid of offending people unintentionally. I'll say something, then realize there's a minimal chance it could be interpreted as offensive, and I apologize. Most of the times people hadn't even considered the possible offensive meaning of my words.

    I do get told I seem arrogant quite a bit. This is because I often choose not to join in conversations, either because they don't interest me or because I strongly disagree with the subject and I don't feel like a confrontation. I choose to sit alone during breaks at work because I don't want the excruciating awkwardness of sitting together with a group of people I have nothing in common with other than work. They see arrogance, but it's really fear.
     
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  6. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member

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    No, not at all and like OkRad says, I bend over backwards, so to speak, to be gentle and kind and not hesitate to give compliments, but apparently that is not good enough and I end up being told that I am very rude and offensive.

    Thankfully, doesn't happen a lot, because I seriously watch myself like a hawk, so I do not offend, which is why I am shocked when I have offended.

    Once, I saw this woman at my husband's friend's home and she looked really ill and I just said: oh, my , are you ok, you look awful! Well, after that, year's later, I heard that she HATED my guts! I even tried to apologised and said that I now see that saying someone looks awful, is not nice thing to say, but my intentions were one of sympathy; not rudeness. As it happens, she had been coming down from a drugs and why she looked so bad. My apology was not accepted and from then on I vowed to never say something to offend.

    What I am learning though, is that NT's seem to enjoy taking offense and especialy target ones that they sense an effort to be nice. I know that I get a real "ear bashing" when I have "offended" someone, but when I am being offended; I am being too sensitive.
     
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  7. Fridgemagnetman

    Fridgemagnetman I only have one V.I.P Member

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    The bit I didn't quote reminds me of what I call the 'slight system'

    You go around murdering,generally being an awful person... doesn't stop you having loads of friends or being commended socially but say ONE THING
    That could be considered offensive (and these are usually ambigous) then you will be condemned,hated and slandered forever by that person...
    Who perhaps when they see you will try lie to you and attempt to be nice.

    That ambigous statement 'a slight' socially is far worse...

    Being honest and having integrity only 'seems' to be valued socially.

    Actually working out for yourself what integrity is and the honest response is, has nearly always resulted in an ear bashing.

    It doesn't quite fit but the phrase 'no good deed goes unpunished' this goes round my head a lot as a reminder derived not to bother saying anything . Never really worked out for me.
     
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  8. Knit Hat

    Knit Hat Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Not all the time. A lot of times my sisters will point out that I've come off as rude, or condescending to strangers, or even family. I try very hard to recognize how what I've said or done could be perceived as rude, but a lot of times I can't see the connection.
     
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  9. Ylva

    Ylva Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Well, obviously this complete stranger had a perfect right to your attention and time. Of course your friend would take the stranger's side; they are your friend, afterall, not his.

    Honestly, though, that whole story creeped me out a bit. Suzanne's right, you know: allistics love to be offended by us. They really believe they have a right to our attention all the time, even when they're not doing anything with it. I've had many people try to get my attention just to get attention, and done and said nothing useful once they had it.
     
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  10. Kirsty

    Kirsty ND

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    Hugs xoxox I'm the same.
     
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  11. dragonwolf

    dragonwolf Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, in this case, OP, you're not the rude one. Alcyon's right, this is one of those cases where a guy walks up to a girl who is busy doing her own thing and is basically expecting her to drop everything and pay attention to him.

    It's a common issue with a number of women, and might be worth you looking up, at least to see you're not alone on this one.
     
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  12. xudo

    xudo something and nothing

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    Yes, all the time and even with people I know. Apparently, I come across as rude, too blunt and sometimes condescending. I don't think about it to be honest, as that is the way I am, and (most) of the people who know me the best aren't offended and often ask me for advice because they know they will get a straight answer. Having said that, my Mum has an issue with my bluntness, but she is ridiculously over emotional about everything and offended far too easily imo.

    EDIT: I worded the beginning badly. I do not recognise that I'm being rude, but yes people tell me that I am all the time.
     
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  13. OFelixCulpa

    OFelixCulpa Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps a different way of understanding the situation...

    Suppose this guy just wanted to be your friend. How would he get that started? Somehow he would have to query you to find out if you were interested, but in the NT world, it is just not allowed (weird, awkward, whatever) to say something so direct as "Hello, I am interested in possibly being friends with you, would you be open to that?"

    No, he would have to find a more subtle way of trying to do that. That is what the whole custom of asking "how are you" is about. When people ask that question, they are almost never really looking for what they ask for.
    [​IMG]
    Looking at the situation that way, I think your friend might have a point. A silent smile in that circumstance might seem like you are saying "How amusing that you fancy yourself good enough that I might consider being your friend. So deluded!" If that's what the stranger took away from your smile, then he probably did feel you were rude.

    But don't feel bad. A smile is good, even if in some cases it isn't enough to avoid misunderstanding.

    The only suggestion I have is that you could add a short verbal response to your smile to help show that you mean it in a friendly way. Perhaps just a quick "hi" would do the trick.
     
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  14. LinBot

    LinBot New Member

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    I react the same way when I'm focused on something, then someone decided they want to start a conversation?

    No friend, the other person was being slightly rude, not you. Don't feel you have to apologize for your focus.


     
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  15. Peeweezers

    Peeweezers Well-Known Member

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    A smile to a question about how you are doing is a very nice way to respond. Maybe they wanted to open up an extended conversation, but smiling is a gracious acknowledgement they spoke to you that allows you to go right back to work, without being rude.
     
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  16. wfs

    wfs Exploring and Appreciating Neuraldiversity V.I.P Member

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    Social communication is hard for everyone, NT or ND. As a therapist I am amazed that we are not more curious about each other. Almost all social strategy is based on keeping control of the environment to either minimize threat, or maximize resources. Pure curiosity seems to be in short supply. I am convinced that Sherlock Holmes (BBC Cumberbatch), in spite of his enthusiastic rejection of social convention, is a great model for the use of curiosity when dealing with the world. People who are really great at handling social situations always make me a bit nervous...I am suspicious that their skill is associated with the need to control others. Finding common ground, mutual interests, or similar humor, simply takes work and curiosity. Simply finding out what movies, television shows, music, or books a person enjoys can tell you a lot about a person's interests and compatibility, and can provide the framework for starting a conversation.

    Carl Jung once said (and I paraphrase) that he had a "natural mind" and that anyone who fought with their own natural mind, often had conflict with him. Jung was a strong Introvert, which is one of the easier markers for Neuro-Diversity. He claimed that introversion was a genetic disposition...which is consistent with Neruo-Diversity.

    Our lack of interest in social convention doesn't mean we have to abandon curiosity. Just think of someone trying to talk to you as a cat/dog/squirrel asking for a snack. There's really very little difference. The cat could care less what you are working on....it just wants a snack. NT's are like that.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2017
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  17. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Yes. But always with some sort of delay on real-time.

    Usually when it's too late to explain.
     
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  18. garnetflower13

    garnetflower13 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I hate it when people interrupt me with bids for socializing when I least expect it. I tend to resent them for putting me on the spot, and then having to go into a tailspin worrying about what social cue I missed, etc. Why can't people be considerate of others? If I saw someone who looked busy, no matter how interesting they looked, I would wait until they weren't busy before trying to interact with them. I would figure that my interrupting might not go over well. But I am an introvert and not as likely to toss a Frisbee of small talk at someone when they weren't expecting it.
     
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  19. Diagnosed2015

    Diagnosed2015 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    First, this may or may not have anything to do with having Asperger's or being on the spectrum.

    Different people read different intentions into their contacts with people, and they aren't always right (or even knowledgeable) about what they are talking about.

    If your friend wasn't there, but felt it necessary to call you rude because you smiled at him, she's either jealous that you had the interaction at all, or she would have reacted differently, or she's assuming that a different reaction would have gotten a different result.

    The first lesson all people (NT or ASD) need to realize is NOT to take relationship advice (or suggestions) from other friends. Unless you have specifically asked someone for assistance in socializing, they have no right infringing on your personal boundaries by presuming you should act one way or another.

    In some instances, such as a relationship, a partner might be "accused" of being rude or flirtatious or otherwise wrong in answering or reacting to someone. Even those accusations are usually wrong.

    As long as you know your intent, that's all that matters. Don't let someone (including yourself) make you feel guilty for being yourself, because guilt implies bad intent.

    If I have an instance where I have to (or want to) have interaction with someone (farther than the smile, but usually just conversation), I might say, "I hope you don't find this inappropriate, but I wanted to compliment you on (for example) your beautiful blue eyes." Most people smile and say "Thank You," because they understand your intent is honest and sincere.

    Many of us spend a lifetime feeling or accepting "fake guilt" because we were told our actions were inappropriate when they weren't. If they WERE (such as, your friend was sitting next to you and could visualize something you did) wrong, you should have been given an explanation and suggestion how to improve your communication.

    I'm someone who's relatively comfortable with most platonic social interaction, and I'd like to assure you that (unless something bad happened when you smiled), you did nothing wrong. A smile never hurt anyone, and it's often the only smile someone sees in a day.
     
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  20. Aster

    Aster @<>@<>@<>@

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    I worry that I am coming across rudely all of the time due to poor eye contact, quietness, and trouble giving nonverbal feedback in conversations. Sometimes I think people are offended that I don't show more interest in them or what they are saying. It goes with the territory in my opinion. I worry about hurting others' feelings an incredible amount that I'm always on edge in social situations. I just try to smile more, and that usually helps (not that you should have in your situation).
     
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