1. Welcome to Autism Forums, a friendly forum to discuss Aspergers Syndrome, Autism, High Functioning Autism and related conditions.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Private Member only forums for more serious discussions that you may wish to not have guests or search engines access to.
    • Your very own blog. Write about anything you like on your own individual blog.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon! Please also check us out @ https://www.twitter.com/aspiescentral

Featured Subtext, Reading Between the Lines and Hidden Meanings

Discussion in 'Friends, Family & Social Skills' started by Clueless in Canada, Sep 10, 2019.

  1. Clueless in Canada

    Clueless in Canada Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    435
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2019
    Karma:
    +1,045
    I often read about Autistic people being surprised or frustrated when allistic people assume they have a hidden agenda or mean something other than what they are saying and I can relate to that but there is something I find more difficult and more frustrating. Rather than being oblivious to the hidden meanings in the communication of others, which is a trait I often see assigned to autistics, I know that there is probably some sort of hidden meaning but cannot figure out what it is. I can guess. I can torture myself coming up with options. I might get quite anxious worrying about it in certain situations but I am certainly not oblivious to it. What are your experiences with this? Is it perhaps a more common female trait?
     
    • Agree Agree x 5
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
  2. BraidedPony

    BraidedPony Just Enjoying Survival V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    1,378
    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2018
    Karma:
    +4,109
    If I just take people at their word, then I'm wrong and/or naïve. If I try to understand the true intentions, I drive myself crazy because either I can't come up with the right answer or there were no hidden agendas in the first place.
    It's good to have friends at these times to give their insights.
     
    • Agree Agree x 6
    • Like Like x 2
  3. Creep

    Creep Haunted French pancakes give me the crepes.

    Messages:
    619
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2018
    Karma:
    +385
    Talk is cheap. I tend to “read” people more by their patterns of behavior. But that’s just me.
     
    • Useful Useful x 3
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 2
  4. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    3,634
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2018
    Karma:
    +7,302
    I have this problem all the time, or like I know they're joking but don't understand the joke.
     
    • Agree Agree x 5
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Peter Morrison

    Peter Morrison Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    558
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2018
    Karma:
    +1,707
    Being oblivious most of my life, I recently began to understand the word "mansplaining". I see a lot of correlations between NT communication and the concept of mansplaining. To us, "yes" means "yes". In NT language, there is an understood "maybe" involved that seems to go missing in our ASD heads. It is easy for us to misunderstand an exaggeration as fact, and a promise is not necessarily a real promise - just an imaginary one. I notice this in TV shows more often than in real life. If someone says "stop by anytime", they don't mean it. They don't want you stopping by whenever you feel like it. We tend to take information for its literal meaning. The phrase "stop by anytime" simply means that the hosts enjoyed your company. They don't want you coming over to hang out with them.

    Those of us on the spectrum have to be vigilant about statements as fact vs. politeness. Be wary of the boss who says "my door is always open". I see that to mean "100%", any day, anytime. It simply means that the boss is there for everyone if you really, really, really have an issue requiring the boss. I think these types of casual expressions are learned through years of traditional NT socializing. We still take things literally, and we don't have tons of socializing experiences to show us how that system works. We didn't understand it then, and we don't understand it now. Just be vigilant. When in doubt, ask.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Informative Informative x 3
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  6. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    5,021
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2015
    Karma:
    +11,084
    Human communication definitely isn't an exact science. You have the words, the tone, the body language, the alternate meanings, the context/situation and speaker's track record so to speak.

    Sometimes I am unsure and with more then one possibility am left to fall back on probabilities. Rather then feel embarrassed and ask for clarification I will often just go with my best guess and let them make the correction. Which might be something like 'Oh, no! Don't do that, I was only kidding!" :D
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
  7. Aspychata

    Aspychata My Art Work

    Messages:
    1,277
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2019
    Karma:
    +2,308
    l was thinking about this a lot. Are people on the spectrum more easily duped because we don't catch the nuances of communication, because of our emotional needs to fit in and be accepted which is a very universal theme?

    I feel that l suspect the complete stranger in front of me will bomb at some point, and l can wade through and spot the lies. I would like to have a better mindset than this but experience has left me thinking this.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. Rectify

    Rectify Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    549
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2018
    Karma:
    +740
    I don't know about the female thing but I can relate to this. It's anxiety provoking just trying to understand and it takes up so much headspace. It really is often easier to converse online than face to face.

    I hadn't read about this but this DOES bother me. All my life people have not understood my motives or lack of motives. From partners saying that I 'must' have slept with a particular person because I was in a particular situation. Others thinking I wanted a particular thing when I had a totally different motive. Yeah, it's really crazy stuff. I still will never understand them.

    Probably some of us are. But we do learn some over the years through experience, and mistakes, I guess.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  9. Wolf Prince

    Wolf Prince My future job title.

    Messages:
    731
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2019
    Karma:
    +1,104
    Yeah. Social drama not fun. Im blind to hidden motives.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  10. Rectify

    Rectify Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    549
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2018
    Karma:
    +740
    Exactly, its not fun. Yet by not understanding what his going on I have found myself inadvertantly wrapped up in it before. It's hard.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  11. Progster

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

    Messages:
    5,602
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2014
    Karma:
    +11,852
    I'm not very good at picking up on hidden meaning. I tend to take things at face value and am not aware of any hidden intention. I often misinterpret or miscommunicate.

    Sometimes I get it, for example, a 'friend' who tells me "we must get together some time, I'll give you a call" - and they never do. But it irritates me that they should make empty promises that they have no intention of fulfilling. It's a social device, an ememe, a feelgood thing for the moment where the emotion it conveys is important and not the action itself. It's superficial and annoys me, it's not in my nature to make promises I have no intention of keeping. If I tell someone that I'd like us to meet up, then it means that I fully intend to contact them some time. But they may not interpret it this way - miscommunication.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. Xerces Blue

    Xerces Blue Evil Overload

    Messages:
    237
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2014
    Karma:
    +241
    I was lucky in that my family liked to use quotes from history, movies and books in standard conversations around the dinner table, we made a game of it.
    We also love puns.
    This required me to think about things from multiple angles in order to get the joke or reference.
    One might call the game "Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra"
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Clueless in Canada

    Clueless in Canada Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    435
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2019
    Karma:
    +1,045
    I am not as good at reading behaviour as I think I am. It seems I miss quite a bit and cannot interpret what I do see.
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. Clueless in Canada

    Clueless in Canada Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    435
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2019
    Karma:
    +1,045
    Thanks everyone for all the great responses and sorry it took me a few days to come back and read them. Now, carry on being fabulous, all of you.
     
    • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
  15. Aspychata

    Aspychata My Art Work

    Messages:
    1,277
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2019
    Karma:
    +2,308
    Okay. l feel l have to think there are hidden motives until proven otherwise @Rectify This is in response to Rectify. l basically deal with so much subterfuge and suggestive crap and hidden motives that this is my modus operandi daily. Sorry to hear that people took you differently then you expect. But jump over to the other side and try to understand the other side's reasoning. Maybe people thought you slept with someone because you are highly desirable. Try to step out of yourself and maybe you will find a little compassion.
     
  16. Aspychata

    Aspychata My Art Work

    Messages:
    1,277
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2019
    Karma:
    +2,308

    If people don't understand your motives, then you are hiding and not giving a clear message. l try to think carefully of the msg l send. But l have little patience for double messages myself. l always get a friend who says l really like you, nope, l can kick you to curb yesterday. So l think why cant you give me one message instead of hiding behind 2 messages. Do l threatened you that much? Then it is my bad......
     
  17. Rectify

    Rectify Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    549
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2018
    Karma:
    +740
    What I look like is no good reason to be accusing me of anything. It's my actions that should mean something and never slept with anyone else while in those relationships. I didn't flirt either. In the end both of those people cheated on me. One also went on and on about me sleeping with someone he knew before we got married. I never slept with that person.

    There are people around who seem to think if you get a male and a female in the same space together, just the two of them, for any amount of time, that it will happen. It won't. That's completely crazy. Some people don't even like having sex. Some people only like it with relationships, with people they love. People aren't attracted to every single person of the opposite sex. So I stand by my comment that I will never understand many people.

    I admit I can lack compassion for some people. This has come about because those people continually misunderstand me, accuse me wrongly, are nasty to me, act abusively. I have limits and while I'm sorry they are so sad and need to hit out at others I've got more important people to be concerned about, myself included.

    I'm sorry :( I can relate. My experiences have damaged my sense of trust too. I wasn't like that when I was younger.

    This is a tricky one for me. I definitly mask but I don't feel like I'm masking the kind of thing that would make people believe I was a liar, a cheat, a gold digger (just to be clear the man in question was NOT rich so...). I have plenty of faults but it's ridiculous if you see my life and how I live to think these things about me. I note also that it's been mainly two people in my life who continually misinterpret me, saying things like the above, and those people are...well one I've cut off almost all contact with and the other I now have a 'tea-party' relationship with. Only talking to them about basic stuff like the weather.

    That would be difficult! :( I don't mind a little change of mind, but I am not a fan of too much flip-flopping.

    Do you mean you think it's actually your fault when you say 'my bad'? Because I don't necessarily agree.