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How would you appear if not masked in public?

Discussion in 'Help and Support' started by 22222, Oct 17, 2021.

  1. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    @SusanLR , your uncles were ill mannered louts! Honestly most of us never over hear others talking about us. We might be suprised if we did.
     
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  2. ucrenegade

    ucrenegade Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Mostly for me it is the speed with which I move. When I was masking especially at work I had to work fast. Now I am not masking and I work,walk,live at the pace I am comfortable.
     
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  3. Raggamuffin

    Raggamuffin Well-Known Member

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    In previous jobs, when I had friends and would be myself - I got told off a lot. Being "too loud" "unprofessional" and "distracting others".

    I got this a lot in school too. Hence, I learned the real me isn't suitable for public consumption. Apparently a quiet version of me is best suited for the general public.

    Is it any wonder when I get into my car it all erupts to the surface and I spazz out.

    Ed
     
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  4. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Some people find their mannerisims, speech patterns, physical and sound tics to be off puting. Hiding those things can make getting along in the world easier.

    For example: My natural way of speaking can seem overly formal. Or just weird. Why did I just say "my natural way of speaking" instead of "my speech"? I have to make an effort to select words and arrange them in a way people expect.
     
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  5. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    Masking means no flapping or slapping my thighs, or jumping with delight. Masking means tone down the emotions, no bubbly joyous me. Masking means no off the wall jokes because my brain takes the silliness in life and serves a comedy slice which may not be PG. Masking means shut up for at least 60 mins. Masking means not saying what l really think of you. Masking means being totally appropriate at all times and be diplomatic and responding with kindness to 85% of life situations, you may have to call the police in 5%.
     
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  6. Ken

    Ken Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I seem to have a lot of difficulty masking my autism. I get that from noticing how strangers on the street react to me, but most of all from seeing my reflection in mirrors in department and clothing stores as I walk by. I think I look kind of like a Mr. Bean zombie. I can stand there and correct my face and posture, but it doesn't seem to stay. It amazes me how I feel on the inside is so wildly different from how I look on the outside.

    Indeed, I intend to mask as much as possible, even as poorly as I do. I really hate how I look, so I want to try as much as I can to not look that way. I'm not really interested in fitting in or looking normal. I just don't want to look like a zombied Mr. Bean - not even to me. I don't want to know that I look like that, regardless of what anyone else thinks.
     
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  7. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Maybe you don't actually look like a zombie. I don't mean it in the sense that we are always hard on ourselves.
    I was just thinking, how facial expression can be difficult for many of us to read. Maybe you don't readily read your own expression correctly?
    I watched a video about reading expressions, many of the comments were from auties and they said they thought most of the expressions were "nothing" or "disgust". I often read negative emotions on people who tell me they were feeling happy. It is just a thought!
     
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  8. Ken

    Ken Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    When I am walking by a mirror in a department/clothing store and get a glimpse of myself, I am taken aback and have to do a doubletake and think, "is that me??"

    Yes, one can never be confident about their perception especially when self-referencing. Still, it is off-putting to me and by many, many reports from many other people, I am also off-putting to others. My wife says that I look sad, disagreeable or angry, etc. She has learned, however, that that look does not reflect my internal feeling. It also creates issues when talking to someone because my expression and mannerism does not match my speech. That makes them think I am arguing when I am totally agreeing. It took me 67 years to figure that one out! It's that percentage of communications thing; 90% of what you're saying is not what's coming out of your mouth. So it's that 90% that I know nothing about and overrides what I'm saying. Kind of scary to realize that. Realizing it, however, has made my life much better even thought I am still blind to it! The thing is; I can look good, even to me. The problem is, it takes a lot of concentration and I can't seem keep it up while doing anything else.
     
  9. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    @Ken

    I have to agree with you here. People use to be amazed at my totally stupid expressions. I think l have a very expressive face. So now don't reflect what l think, l keep more of a poker face. This seems to be better. Masking 101 and how to be NT. Lol
     
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  10. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I have often wondered about that with Vikings.

    origin.jpg

    ;)
     
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  11. Ken

    Ken Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Well, yea, zombie is the wrong word. I just pulled that out of the air. I'm just not sure what the best word is. From others, as well as what I see in store mirrors, I look like someone seriously retarded, confused and lost. Though I don't feel that way at all. When in large public buildings like airports, hospitals, etc. I am often asked if I need help or if I'm lost. I'm moving briskly to my destination and don't understand how I looked confused or lost, but apparently I do. If I ask why they ask me that, they say I look confused or lost.

    As I have said, I can look "normal". But, I have to exert a focused concentration to do so which is extremely consuming. Before I get very far, I forget all about it and it's all Mr. Bean again.
     
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  12. dragonfire42

    dragonfire42 Perpetual outsider

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    I’ve never been able to “mask” much. Mostly what I’ve done instead is learn to be invisible, as far as anyone else is concerned. I’ve spent most of my life both consciously and unconsciously doing everything I can to avoid drawing any sort of attention to myself, positive or negative. I don’t even know how not to be invisible anymore. I hide, but I have nothing to put up in place of the real me. Mercifully I usually am able to hold off meltdowns until they become shutdowns instead, which others usually don’t even notice since I’m essentially not there to begin with, and I can usually re-direct stims to something less obtrusive, which are both a huge help in terms of avoiding unwanted attention.

    When I do actually interact with others outside of my immediate family, it seems pretty obvious to almost everyone that I at least have some sort of developmental disorder, no matter what I do or don’t do. I don’t even know what tips them off, exactly what I would need to change in order to “mask” successfully. Even when I was at college, others seemed to see me essentially as a child. Other than that, I have no clue how I come across in direct interactions. I don’t have much of that with anyone other than my immediate family, who are pretty used to me. With more than one other person involved, I very quickly am shut out of discussions and such entirely, if I try to say anything it just gets ignored ninety percent of the time. I’ve given up even trying to have in-person conversation with anyone outside immediate family a long time ago, it isn’t worth the effort.

    So essentially, I guess I usually come across either as child-like somehow, or not at all, regardless of attempts at “masking.”
     
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  13. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    But in the other 10% of life situations we can do what we like, right? Good to know...
     
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  14. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    There is just the unknown factor. I had to talk someone out of suicide. Another time, l talked to a swat team. Twice l had to talk to a group of people who tried to intimidate me. My life has been filled with those weird unexplainable weird moments. But hey, think whatever your heart desires, l owe you nothing......
    You choose to be negative. Some what surprising. Your posts are usually positive or perhaps thats an act. Maybe you aren't who you present yourself to be. Good to know......... Anyways, maybe your next post will be the nice Thinx.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2021
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  15. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    You saved me time, because this is my exact answer as well.
     
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  16. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure we wake up one morning and decide to live the day 'undercover'

    I believe masking is a learned behaviour, it's onset conditioned in early years.- dependant on environment in those years and strengthened over many years.

    I think one might have to know what was masking and what is a natural trait in order to remove the mask.
    With decades of practised masking surely those behaviours would become habitual making it difficult to identify what was completely natural at the age of five years, for example.

    As a 20,30,40 yr old adult, having practised masking for decades,
    it might be difficult (not impossible) to remember comfort stims regularly practised as a 5 yr old.
     
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  17. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I guess it's just my sense of humour, I was playing with your summary and was being wry. To be fair, you made that summary, I just brought out an inherent and I agree, somewhat negative meaning in it. My bad.
     
  18. Progster

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

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    I don't know how I come across to others as people are too polite to tell me. I'm not sure that my masking is all that effective, either. A lot of my issues, such as participating in group social events, are cognitive in origin, and can't really be masked or compensated for.
     
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  19. Raggamuffin

    Raggamuffin Well-Known Member

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    I hit record on my phone a lot. Talk out loud, helps me process thoughts and find an outlet other than stimming and my hobbies, or being out in nature etc.

    Anyway, I uploaded a few, and the topic of this forum post had me thinking all sorts of ideas:



    Ed
     
  20. Pondering

    Pondering Well-Known Member

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    "There is an Impostor Among Us . . . "

    Nah, I'm kidding.

    For me, unmasking essentially would mean that I don't feel pressured to talk, so I don't talk. If someone chooses to talk to me, I probably don't make any facial expressions. My voice goes monotone. And if I get hit with sudden emotion, I'm not going to hide it, and my face will probably twist in ways you probably thought were only possible in comic books and cartoon characters. Stare blankly off into space without blinking, and go abnormal lengths of time without moving or fidgeting. Sometimes I mask. Sometimes I don't. It really depends on the needs of the environment, the situation, and how much energy I have. I feel that when I'm not masking, it can sometimes make other people more comfortable since I am being more genuine, sincere, and authentic. Other times, masking is necessary to make other people comfortable because people want to know what makes you human, and that means expressing emotions. Empathy, compassion, and the likes.