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Flat affect?

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Caelix3, Feb 10, 2017.

  1. Caelix3

    Caelix3 Well-Known Member

    Nov 1, 2016
    I don't know if it is a autism thing or more of a depression thing. But I constantly get told I have a flat affect. Today in a meeting at Adult prep program, one of the teachers said I tend to have a flat affect. Which makes me hard to read. That I need to show a face reflecting how I'm feeling.

    The thing is I can't do that. I've always basically had a poker face. If I try to make a face reflecting my emotions, it would be forced. The only one that wouldn't be forced is if I'm feeling happy, I'd probably be able to laugh or smile a small smile.

    I don't want to have to force my face to do a certain expression. That would be exhausting.

    I don't understand how actors can constantly change their face. Or even other people.

    It is frustrating.
  2. xudo

    xudo something

    Dec 20, 2016
    I don't think anyone has ever pointed this out to me, but I'm the same. Like you said, apart from if I was happy, my face is pretty much emotionless.

    I have literally no idea how to play poker, but it turns out that having a flat affect means (among friends at least) that I can bluff well :cool:
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Full Steam

    Full Steam The renegade master V.I.P Member

    Dec 18, 2016
    There's a sales technique called mirroring where you adopt the sitting position and expressions of the other person.

    They then get the feeling that you are on the same wavelength and I actually think it may put you on the same if you are not already.

    Whatever, it works very well.

    Check out this Ted talk which shows how your own body language shapes your mind.

    Your body language shapes who you are
    • Informative Informative x 2
  4. DogwoodTree

    DogwoodTree Still here...

    Aug 26, 2014
    I fake facial expressions for work or when talking to people who I need to keep happy and can't trust to accept me for who I am. But it's not authentic. It might be kinda linked to how I feel, but it's still a performance to try to get that kind of information to show up on my face.

    Basically I've come to the conclusion that I don't have any native means of expressing my emotions, other than anxiety or surprise/shock. Everything else requires some translation of inner experience to outward expression, and yes, it's exhausting.

    Since it's the natural expression of emotions that bonds human beings, I'm forever locked behind a mask of nothingness. I told my therapist yesterday that I'm giving up on even trying anymore. I've tried all my life to find a way to genuinely express emotions in a way that helps me feel connected to others, and it doesn't work. I'm going to fake it as best I can where necessary, and try to find a way to survive as a hermit in my head. My therapist is about to move away, and he's the only one who would know the difference anyway.
  5. Southern Discomfort

    Southern Discomfort Smarter than the Average Bear V.I.P Member

    Oct 12, 2015
    Well actually the best actors are the ones you don't force their expressions, that's left mainly to the editing.

  6. Nitro

    Nitro Admin/Immoral Turpitude Staff Member Admin V.I.P Member

    Apr 5, 2014
    I was not always an alpha person. A desire to interact with my surroundings drove me to "fake it,just to make it" After doing it for some time,it became a form of mimicry that drove me to success in business and to a rather quick climb up the corporate ladder.

    After moulding myself into the people I was trying to emulate,I did take on the mannerisms of those in power without ever realizing it. Yes,I did fake it at first,then became the person I wanted to be in the end.

    Was it exhausting you might ask? It was at first,then it became natural as time went on. Confidence is a human trait that lets others feel that you belong where you want to be by how you project yourself. That in turn boosts your own confidence that you can do anything that you put your mind to.

    To end my contribution to this discussion,ALL humans have to fake it to make it or get left behind wondering why they never do.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. toothless

    toothless this is mr shadow,my support cat

    Jul 26, 2014
    i have always had flat affect,the only time i show emotion is when i get a feeling of strong happy or strong anger.