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Featured How to properly reply to daily conversation?

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Tcx, Jan 14, 2018.

  1. Tcx

    Tcx Beginner.

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    I decide to add 'properly' in the title cause my major problem is what I should say when others ask me a non-scientific question.

    For example, people ask me questions like "What's your fav 'insert whatever'?" I would tend to figure out why they would ask me those questions first then I'd give them relatively proper answers and yet it still confuses me. I need a reason to reply them a single question. If they want to know me better or ramble on about anything or find something they can relate to me or... I could assume lots of possibility trying to make sense, it still doesn't matter. I feel like I'm cheating on them, I manipulate or calculate what I would reply. I find their question pretty weird, at least, for me.

    Yesterday I was chatting with my aunt. She asked me a question "imagine if there are lots of food you love on the table, which one would you eat first?"

    I replied her without thinking(manipulating) "I would distinguish the types of food first, eat those perishable ones, store snacks, let my family pick their favorite dishes and share the rest with my friends."

    She burst out laughter and asked me "why do you make a simple question so complicated? I'm asking you which your favorable dish is."

    I'm confused and come to a narrow conclusion. If I don't want to have problems with literally every daily question, I need to control all of my responses including when to reply, when to ask, when to not reply which is similar to what I always do when I'm hanging out with my friends or even control my expression rather than being dead-pan and talking in monotonous tone all the time. That is lying and fake and it makes me feel unrealistic. The more unrealistic thing is, I'm used to coping dialogues(and tone, facial expression) from cartoons like AT, SU, gumball using them in real life and it works pretty awesome, much better than what I myself think twice or analyze.

    So... what do you think about daily conversation? What should I do with all of these messes? Several persons who used to be my friends separately told me that "chatting with you is pretty tiring" and they left me alone. It's understandable though.

    Should I keep trying analyzing what they genuinely ask or go straight replying them what I've read or watched or consume more energy manipulating what to say? I somehow don't want to do these above. Any better suggestion? I sincerely appreciate your suggestion!
     
  2. WereBear

    WereBear License to Weird V.I.P Member

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    Why couldn’t she just ask your favorite food?
     
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  3. Gritches

    Gritches The Happy Dog V.I.P Member

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    I have so much to say on the subject. But I'll keep it brief and to the point about what might help you:

    -
    Brevity is your friend. Very rarely are NTs actually requesting information from you. They're usually requesting entertainment. What I mean is that if they ask you "What's your favorite movie?" they're doing two things: A) They're making sure you give a "normal" response, and B) They're really saying "please ask me what my favorite movie is, I want to talk about it".

    Let them talk. If people find you tiring to talk to, you're probably being too wordy. The goal is to keep them talking. Talking energizes them. Talking interests them. Talking engages them. They love to talk as much as we do but for different reasons. Being an Aspie is being an entertainer. Just trust me, learn to keep them talking with your responses instead of worrying about how you'll respond, and people will love you.
    -

    That's also how you keep your stamina up. Have tools in your toolbox, such as the all-powerful follow-up question:

    instead of calculating a 5-minute long response, it's much easier to ask a follow-up question, like "oh, you went to Aruba? How did you like it? I've heard good things."

    Examine that statement. It has three parts:

    1. "oh, you went to Aruba?" is Validation. You already know they went to Aruba. They already know they went to Aruba. You're basically signaling what it is you're about to ask about so your question doesn't seem "out of the blue".

    2. "How did you like it?" was the Principal Question. This is the meat-and-potatoes, the question you're setting up with the Validation and that you're about to nail down with The Opinion:

    3. "I've heard good things" is The Opinion. Truth is, I have never known anyone who went to Aruba. But The Opinion gives them the impetus to answer the principal question to either agree with or refute The Opinion.

    This sounds complicated, but it's really not. We're all amateur anthropologists, as the guy LucyPurrs posted about says (crap, what's his name? I still need to look him up); to paraphrase him, theory comes first, practice comes second. Practice (and repeatedly fail) enough, learn from your mistakes, don't be afraid to be a little cynical, and you'll get it down to second-nature.
     
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  4. Fridgemagnetman

    Fridgemagnetman I only have one V.I.P Member

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    Please ask me what my favorite movie is.
     
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  5. Gritches

    Gritches The Happy Dog V.I.P Member

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    What's your favorite Movie, Fridge? I'm a Happy Gilmore man, myself. I do love that Adam Sandler. But what's your favorite?
     
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  6. Fridgemagnetman

    Fridgemagnetman I only have one V.I.P Member

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    F. off.

    :) Aspie style.

    Although happy gilmore was hilarious. I couldn't actually tell you, withnail and i for a while...
     
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  7. pax

    pax Well-Known Member

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    That was going to be my question. Why can NTs not say what they mean? Why do they have to manipulate and obfuscate?
     
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  8. Sabrina

    Sabrina Gentle & brave earthling

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    You did answer the question.You said you would eat the perishable food first (then you added information that she didn’t ask for, but that you thought was pertinent).

    The issue here is that most people don’t talk literally. If you want to communicate with most people (NTs) you have to understand that to them, you are the one making a mistake. It’s like talking a language that it’s not your native language.

    If I say the “loo” to an American, they will laugh at me, but it’s correct in my head, since it’s British English. Same thing. You are talking almost the same language than NTs, but not exactly. You didn’t understand her question, because she was talking in another language.

    What you answered makes sense in your language, a language that it’s also my ‘native’ language, because I totally understood what you meant.

    Let’s call our language ‘Literal Language’, which is different from regular English Language. It’s similar, but it’s not the same.

    Unfortunately, since they are a majority, we are the ones that have to adapt to them, not viceversa.

    It’s not fair, but it’s the way it is.

    I used to get mad at people too, for not taking things literally. Now that I know that most people don’t talk or think like that (how could they be so illogic?! How am I supposed to guess what they mean?! I’m not telepathic!), now I just laugh at myself, in the same way that I laugh at myself when I don’t say something correctly in a language that is not my own.

    And, of course, it is just as tiring for us to talk to them as it is for them to talk to us. It’s just the way it is.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
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  9. Sabrina

    Sabrina Gentle & brave earthling

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    BTW, not saying what you think right away, is not ‘manipulating’ is more like ‘translating’ what you are going to say to their language. And yes, sometimes their language includes lying. For example, you could have said:

    “Oh, that’s what you meant, sorry I didn’t get you before. I’d probably eat bread with eggs first!”, which is a lie, since you don’t have a favorite food, but at least she knows that next time you are visiting her, she can offer eggs, with the certainty that they won’t be rejected.
     
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  10. Beguiling Orbit

    Beguiling Orbit Neurotribe Champion V.I.P Member

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    If she had asked you, "what are your top 5 foods in order of preference?" What would your answer have been?
     
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  11. kay

    kay Well-Known Member

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    I like your answer to the food question. Well thought out and generous. Had I been asked the question I would have most likely asked her if she was meaning sweets, savories, or a mix? Prepared or do I need to cook them? And then tried to decide between just about everything I could think of before, depending on my mood, concluding I would eat the chocolate pudding first. But then again if it were breakfast....That was just a really open question she asked. She really should have just asked for a favorite and made it simple if that's what she wanted to know. Really, your answer was very good. Her question was the problem, it's not all us aspies fault when communication is off, it's NTs, too. They don't have as much skill as they are said to have.
     
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  12. OkRad

    OkRad Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I loved @Gritches, answer, but I agree w original poster......that to me is like faking.........or would be to me.

    I used to get stuck in conversations about things like Aruba and I could have cared less to hear them ramble on. Who cares if they like me or not?

    @Tcx I really get this. I found the less interaction the better. I do give family a free pass, but she laughed and then asked why you have to complicate things. Frankly, this would have PI***** ed me off very, very badly.

    I hope I would not have asked her why SHE was so daft.

    NTs are shallow ( I know, blanket statement)..........but they don't think.
     
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  13. OkRad

    OkRad Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    PS I had this trouble with psych tests. ASking me stupid questions about if I am sad when I don't get the questions and have to fake the answers because they don't believe me when I say I don't understand.
     
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  14. pax

    pax Well-Known Member

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    Totally off topic - I had an Asian frenemy in high school with the surname "Liu." You could not refer to the toilet as a"loo " without having your ear chewed off.

    As you were.:D
     
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  15. Tcx

    Tcx Beginner.

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    Thanks for suggestion. I'll give it a try and yet I feel like installing Linux in my Window system.
    That really sounds... complicated, unrealistic and anxious? It's like what I copy from cartoons, I could read your dialogue in Finn's(from AT) tone since I won't be able to respond in such way.

    My friend asked me this question before. I don't really have 5 favorite foods on the list. If we count on everything edible, I'd say first: water, second: sugar, third: salt.
    Water: I drink 1.2L daily.
    Sugar: exactly glucose and fructose. I could literally eat crystal sugar rather than adding them into beverage.
    Salt: Almost all dishes need adding some salt, including lots of desserts.
    Ugh... don't almost everyone need and love these foods?

    I have quite a few problems about faking in the conversation. If I need to fake and manipulate every word and separate my thoughts, won't it feel like illusory?
    I've been told complicating things quite a few times. My mother even cried when I told her "what do you really want to ask me? Are you assuming I would not reply you, reply you with a gesture, reply you with a single 'eh', reply you with further information you are talking about, reply you with positive or negative reaction, judging you or praising you when I ignore you for 10 seconds after you asking me a clueless question?"
    I mean, I'm highly anxious when I need to fake the conversation. Any suggestion?
     
  16. flawedplan

    flawedplan Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Nobody replies properly to daily conversations unless they're talking to a cop or a judge in a court of law.
    It appears you're taking this experience very seriously. Assuming all the burden of how it turns out, while abandoning the conversation as soon as it takes a wrong turn.
    This is a breeding ground for resentment.
    The advice I'm reading in this thread would make me hate *NTs* if I followed it.
    I wonder what would happen if you told your aunt that you were hurt and troubled by that uncomfortable conversation and you still can't let it go.

    Maybe that could lead to a real connection between the two of you. Usually, if an interaction felt bad for you chances are it felt bad for the other person.
    People pretend nothing happened, or they don't pretend, and deal with the misunderstanding between them. You're the one who seems to care so it looks like it's up to you. What do have to lose?
     
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  17. Progster

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

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    My answer would be that it depends on what those foods were - she would need to tell me exactly which foods they were for me to decide. Then, if she told me which ones they were, I'd put them in some kind of logical order - savory foods, then sweets, then snacks, and if there were too many to eat in one go, perishables first.

    The problem for me is that these kinds of question are too vague and I feel that I need more information to be able to answer, so usually I would ask further questions to narrow it down - which specific foods? Sometimes people as me things like "do you like it where you live?" This is too vague for me to answer, so I ask further questions to try to find out what the person actually wants to learn - do you mean in terms of climate, the people, culture, the standard of living?
     
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  18. Kirsty

    Kirsty ND

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    I found that if NTs love to talk and us being the ‘entertainers’, that usually means they like to take advantage of us and they find it amusing. They want to appear better than us by being this way. Obviously, they’re not.
     
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  19. Beguiling Orbit

    Beguiling Orbit Neurotribe Champion V.I.P Member

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    The best thing for your peace of mind would be to answer questions the way you think they need to be answered and stop worrying about what other people think. When they ask you "why do you make things so complicated?" turn the question right back on them and reply with "why do you [make things complicated]?" Smile when you say it so that they can't accuse you of being mean.

    I find that conversation anxiety comes from worrying about whether I'm going to give the wrong answer. Once I stopped caring what other people think, I stopped worrying about giving the wrong answers. Take me or leave me, but I'm going to be me, wrong answers or not. That's my philosophy these days.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018
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  20. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative V.I.P Member

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    I've always had trouble with this.

    The goal is "let them talk" but... why? I usually want people to cease with the yapping and go away, not jabber on even more about some damn subject that I dont care about. Particularly now that I'm an adult, and the topics get ever more inane and bloody stupid (like politics, or celebrities, or relationships, or uuuuugh argh argh argh just shoot me now)

    Yet of course, try to do much talking myself and they stop listening. So I'm usually pretty silent. Or just incredibly sarcastic, which often produces the same result. I end up barely ever talking about stuff I like/do at this point. Hell, I've got entire hobbies now that I *know* would probably surprise the hell out of people I know (nobody really expects to find out that I have some 250+ Rubik's Cube type puzzles, or an entire fleet of drones) but I've had those hobbies for quite some time now, and they dont know about any of it, because I've never seen any bloody point in mentioning it. I just know that at some point if they come over to my house again (very rare, I prefer going out to theirs) they're gonna take one look at one of the two Walls of Stuff and go "WTF is all that?!?". Yet if I just start talking about it (without the sudden visual spectacle of it) they'll quickly turn the conversation back to some event at their job or whatever (to be fair though, alot of the stories they tell ARE completely hilarious).

    Really though, if all NTs in general ever freaking want is to talk about is their own stuff, how in the world do they ever converse? It's like two idiots grabbing airhorns and just honking them at each other for 20 minutes. Just a bunch of noise that ends up accomplishing nothing other than being annoying.
     
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