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Serious demeanor (not sense of humor)

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Suzette, Jul 26, 2021.

  1. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Hi all, I am still investigating if I really am on the spectrum. And still researching myself (if that makes sense).

    One thing to note about me is that I have a serious demeanor. I am not refering to my sense of humor here. I mean my baseline presentation. I don't tease people often, I am not "smilely". On first meeting most people do not think me warm and friendly (though they might think I am later). As far as I know, I am not monotone. I just take people and events at face value. I am not "entertaining" to be around. I am sincere. Do you relate to this?
     
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  2. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    LOL. You could say that.

    The nickname I use "Judge" is strictly about my autism. A nickname I was given as a child from one of my father's friends. As I paced around with a sober look on my face and my hands in my pockets, he told my parents I looked like a judge.

    And the name stuck. So did my pacing (stimming) and that sober look on my face even as a little kid. :oops:

    My father used to also claim I was a character out of "Lil Abner". The one who was always depicted with a dark cloud over his head.

    Though it's all still balanced with a sense of humor. Go figure. o_O
     
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  3. Nairobi

    Nairobi Active Member

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    I 100% relate to this. I first learned this about myself when visiting kindergarten before actually entering kindergarten, and the teacher said, "She's so serious!" Now, she did not say it in a bad way, and I never had any problem from teachers about this - I guaranteed made their jobs easier than the goof offs did. But this "serious" look has been a life long plague for me with peers - people often judge me negatively for it, and yes, I am sincere rather than entertaining. I can't rid myself of my RBF. Wearing a mask during the pandemic has given me a great sense of relief since people can't judge my face - my eyes are fine, people often quite like my eyes. In the past I have noticed if I wear make up, and when I had more piercings, and especially when I had highlights in my hair, people seemed to think I looked more friendly? approachable? or something. But still in the "serious" category. And that was the most positive take on it - the more usual take was the assumption that I was mean, aloof, snobby, etc.
     
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  4. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I suspect it unnerves any number of people when they see a child who seems overly serious. As if we were Wednesday Addams or something. :rolleyes:

     
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  5. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Yes! I went to a meet up of classmates a few years ago. I was told that I was thought of as "the rich, snobby girl". That surprised me a great deal. I was neither rich, nor snobby. I didn't suspect autisim then but if I had, "I was dirt poor and autistic" probably would have been a conversation killer!
     
  6. Nairobi

    Nairobi Active Member

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    Being totally misunderstood and mislabeled like that - I know there is a funny side, but when it is so consistent and results in real effects, it really caused and causes me so much pain - it makes me feel even more alienated. Especially when I have been viewed so negatively by people I actually otherwise really like and admire, but have felt powerless to change the impression they have of me - especially from childhood, as I can't go back to childhood, and back then, I was not even aware of what my problem was, just that everyone thought I was a creepy weirdo.

    But yes, your true answer would have been a conversation killer, lol!
     
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  7. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    When I was a child I actually did resemble the original Wendsday Adams. Oh, and I was born on a Wendsday. "Wendsdays child is full of woe...". I recall nothing of that poem except that one line.
    I guess I took it seriously! Haha.
    When I was 5 I broke a mirror. I had heard the wives tale "break a mirror and you will have 7 years bad luck". So I kept track and counted the years until my "bad luck" was over!
     
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  8. Progster

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

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    Yes, I can relate. I don't do this sing-song social voice that most people have "Hiiiiiiii how aaaare you" and I don't do banter. Unfortunately, a lot of socialising is based round banter, it's the way social groups gel and bond and it signals belonging to the group. If you don't do banter, you are soon marked out as different.

    I've had random strangers come up to me and say, "cheer up, it might never happen" grrrr, as if it were any of their business.

    When I was a child, I was more like an adult and when I reached 30, my parents said that I had finally caught up with myself.
     
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  9. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Nairobi's mention of Kindergarten brought back a memory.

    The first day, parents escorted us thru these huge black wrought iron gates into a small courtyard next to an old gothic looking church (Catholic School) where a few nuns in habits stood smiling. And then the parents quickly retreated back thru the gates and a nun shut the gate silently but quickly. But we heard the 'click'. The kids looked around wildly for half a second and then all bedlam broke out. There was a mad rush towards the gate and the kids piled up half crushed screaming for their parents not to abandon them.

    Meanwhile I stood still, taking it all in. I knew this was school. I had seen nuns before. They weren't Morlocks getting ready to take us in and eat us. I was a little embarassed by the kids, my peers. I still am sometimes to be honest. So yes, very serious from the beginning.

    I learned to like humor very much though and the good tonic that laughter is.
     
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  10. Yeshuasdaughter

    Yeshuasdaughter You know, that one lady we met that one time. V.I.P Member

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    I'm very smiley. I always like to make people comfortable and happy.

    That being said, I find it hard to process jokes. If I'm watching a movie or someone tells a joke, I might sit there for a few moments with a flat face while I'm figuring out what they just said, and then laugh later or not at all.

    I've had so many people say something like "Come on, don't be so serious, it's funny." And I genuinely did think it was funny, but I didn't laugh, or maybe I didn't understand it.
     
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  11. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative V.I.P Member

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    This is one I've gotten as well.

    "The spoiled rich kid who never says thank you". I actually cant deny that first half if I'm being honest, but... "never says thank you"? Really? As I've likely shown on this forum... or at least I hope I have... I do my best to be polite and friendly at all times (usually). Showing gratification and appreciation kinda goes with that...

    That line, I got that one very recently too. Over on Steam, where quite a bunch of people know me. I found that one particular one was going around and giving that description to everyone, because... oh I dont even know what I did to bother him so much that'd get him to do that.

    Gotta say, I was none too pleased when I heard about it. It was also rather implied that this wasnt the only thing he was telling people, either, though I never found out what the other stuff was.


    Now, as for like, the whole serious demeanor, I get that to a degree. That Wednesday Addams sort of expression of constant "FEH", I'm pretty sure I do that pretty much constantly, based on how people react to me. Though, come on, I use the name "Misery" for a reason.

    That being said, when actually talking, I'm an endless fountain of sarcasm. Thank you Garfield. This seems to surprise people when they hear me do it for the first time, like, "oh I didnt know you could be sarcastic and funny". And then I'm like "oh well I didnt know you were gonna judge just based on first appearances... OH WAIT I TOTALLY DID LOLOLOLOL"

    Well okay I dont actually say that bit but it's usually what I'm thinking.
     
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  12. Nairobi

    Nairobi Active Member

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    It's odd, but when I was young, I was seen as much more mature than other kids my age - but that made my parents even more frustrated when I seemed to fall into socially "foolish" problems, they didn't see how I could be that "stupid" for my actual age or for my seemingly advanced maturity. But my mother (who never minced words - but in her defense, she had no idea I might have ASD, nor did I) told me that I seemed very mature until high school or college, at which point she said I began to decrease in maturity.

    a) I think might have I peaked in a way - my peers seemed to take off or at least continue on, whereas I still feel like teen mentally and emotionally. I mean, I have continued to grow in wisdom and knowledge and experience, but inside I still feel like a teen somehow. Actually, one thing I like about this forum is that it reminds me of the only time I had a group of friends around me, and that was elementary through high school - those were good times for me when I was with my friends.

    b) I think this is when I began to feel very overwhelmed and unable to cope well - especially when I started college. Not just from new demands and new surroundings, but a lot of my past traumas began catching up with me - and without the ability to make new friends, and my old friends, all scattered to other campuses, were also just growing beyond. I still feel much younger mentally (though not intellectually) than people who are even younger than me - I truly still feel like a teen, just doing my best.

    My mother always hated my serious face - she thought I just had a bad attitude on purpose, most unpleasant. Nevermind in addition to natural RBF I was dealing with a toxic home and coping with undiagnosed ASD and trauma and everything else. But...I wish I had a more simple, easy, gentle face. I always look intense. Just yesterday my husband and I were watching some silly clip from a Japanese show - and all of the women looked so sweet and friendly and....normal. I myself can see why that is more appealing to people. But no matter what I try to do with my face, I can't fake it till I make it - I end up just looking kind of strained. So when I smile, people see a different side - so I smile as much as I can. But you can't just smile all the time without looking and feeling like a weirdo. And the times between the smiles and the niceness (no matter how nice I try to be) - the other parts, the resting parts - that mixed in with the smiles seems to cancel out the idea that I am anything but serious and intense and mysterious. People also seem to feel suspicious in a different way of how much my face changes (as if I am two-faced or unstable/unpredictable). So...whether I keep trying or stop trying, maybe it's not much difference.
     
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  13. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Nairobi, I haven't peaked yet and I am 54. On the contrary, I am a late bloomer. I don't mean physically. But as a person I have taken a very long time to mature. Why? Poor guidence as a child and young woman, trauma and an elephantine memory coupled with redwood stubborness. I am my own worst enemy.
     
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  14. unperson

    unperson Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Have the opposite problem, get told I lack 'serious demeanour', usually in employment.
     
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  15. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    If I needed a job we could team up. I'll make us "look" serious and professional, you can make us fun to be around LOL
     
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  16. Nairobi

    Nairobi Active Member

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    Though my face looks ultra serious, the way I carry myself or speak can seem immature, too young.
     
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  17. Nairobi

    Nairobi Active Member

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    I think I can relate to this. And maybe it would help for me to reframe things this way, to see it as late blooming, going up, up, up like a flower:)
     
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  18. Au Naturel

    Au Naturel Au Naturel

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    I like Wednesday Addams.

    And the actress grew up pretty good.
     
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  19. unperson

    unperson Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    yuh, I look like i'm 'playing' at working, sorta like you see in some teens - a lot of work is acting, but serious acting. It's a SERIOUS game.
     
  20. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Whoa! That is serious stuff indeed! Maybe we could start with knock knock jokes? : D
     
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