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Question about lack of social skills and problems with social-emotional reciprocity

Oren Franz

Well-Known Member
What is the difference between lack of social skills and social-emotional reciprocity? Is problems with social-emotional reciprocity also a form of lack of social skill?

I started to understand the context of non-verbal cues, and some things about relationships. I do have some problems with understanding to context of jokes, sarcasm, and idioms. But, the biggest problem I have with is social-emotional reciprocity, I can barely communicate besides using greet words.
 
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Crossbreed

Neur-D Missionary ☝️
V.I.P Member
According to Dr. Lorna Wing (who discovered the autistic spectrum), "diminished social instinct" is one of its defining traits. That includes social-emotional reciprocity.
 

Gerald Wilgus

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
My social-emotional reciprocity is situational. When dealing with others in technical matters I am skilled at, I could do it in order to advocate for my work. I can do that with my spouse and accepting friends. In novel social situations, my processing of social communication is slow, so It takes several times meeting the same person before I am comfortable with them.
 

Thinx

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I think the main difference is that social skills are thought of as something that can be learnt. However because of our lack of social instinct as Lorraine Wing put it, or brain difference, as we might say now, we experience difficulties and limits in learning social skills.

I think we probably vary on that area, to the extent we can develop such skills, I tried hard and eventually realised that there was a lack I had been unaware of that was scuppering me, that would be what shows itself to others as the lack of social reciprocity, but to us, we just aren't aware of a need to respond, often, I guess.

So, for us, we often don't do the to and fro responses unless someone else works quite hard to get these from us. Whereas it seems neurotypical people have automatic ability to do that. It's presumably a combination of brain functions, where something doesn't fire the same or is different on our brain mechanisms. I'm aware of slow processing as part of this, sometimes I work out what was meant later on, or feel my feelings later, much later, even years later.

Because of it being a lack, it's hard to work on, though not impossible, in that, once you know there's a lack and that you are missing part of what others communicate or pick up on, it's possible to devise some strategies, such as informing people this may occur, and inviting them to persevere if we seem to be ignoring them in any way.

I guess it's similar to deafness or sight issues in terms of there being possible strategies around it. But it's so little known and usually or often mistaken for rudeness, or something done purposefully.
 

Storm Hess

Permanent Spaceman
What is the difference between lack of social skills and social-emotional reciprocity? Is problems with social-emotional reciprocity also a form of lack of social skill?

I started to understand the context of non-verbal cues, and some things about relationships. I do have some problems with understanding to context of jokes, sarcasm, and idioms. But, the biggest problem I have with is social-emotional reciprocity, I can barely communicate besides using greet words.
It took me years to understand sarcasm...I can catch it more often than not, but I still do misread what's being implied at times. I understand context to a point. If someone is straightforward in their explanation, then I can remain within the conversation (that's if I talked more), otherwise I can get left behind. Normally, I let people talk and I'll listen as best I can. Most 'conversations' ends up like a Charlie Brown cartoon with the teacher that won't stop talking.
 

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