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Featured What one particular social cue or courtesy you most struggle with?

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by theporgsnest, Dec 7, 2020.

  1. theporgsnest

    theporgsnest Well-Known Member

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    (Apologies in advance if this thread has already been done to death...)

    Whether you chose to mask or not at all, or you only do so in specific situations like work etc: is there any particular one you really have to combat, or can't seem to get the hang of?

    For example, mine would be the supposedly very simple, 'How are you/how have you been?' and variants thereof. Now in my mind I know that it's a pure social courtesy to begin a conversation and the person is not asking for my actual life story - just a brief response and then I ask them likewise, and so on.
    But what really happens, is I almost panic trying to formulate the right words. My heart begins to race. Double that if I am in a group of people, because my social anxiety convinces me I'm being 'watched' for my correct, socially appropriate response. And this happens, without fail, everytime. (I remember when I was a not-so-younger adult, reeling off a lengthy response to a family friend at a gathering. Then, later I was pulled aside by my mum in which she told me that what I did wasn't wrong per se, but the family friend in question wasn't actually asking me how I was. It was just a formality: to which I said quite frankly 'why do people ask questions they don't want honestly answering.'

    And yes I suppose the solution would be to save myself the anxiety and stress and go with the appropriate short answer. But then in mind it isn't adequate enough. Sometimes I can come away from a conversation not having learned anything interesting about these new people because of small talk. I guess that's how the NT world works, though.
     
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  2. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

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    Just looking at people
     
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  3. HeroOfHyrule

    HeroOfHyrule Chicken Chaser

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    Holding still while in public. I can't just sit or stand still, for multiple reasons. I've never been able to do that, and I honestly don't think I'm distracting since I just fidget with something or sway a bit while standing, but people get annoyed sometimes or give me weird looks.
     
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  4. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I don't really try to fulfil social smalltalk expectations on the whole. I do speak and smile if greeted. But I don't extend the conversation. I mean well, so I hope I don't offend anyone, but it's how I am. Mostly I seem to miss any signals implying others wish to engage,

    I found it puzzling for many years how that all happened, but when I understood autism i realized it was me that didn't have the whatever it is, and gave up trying to work out how to do it. It's all a blank. Hey i tried hard for 50 odd years though. Now I get time off.
     
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  5. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Probably "Resting B**** Face" . Where people constantly tell me to smile or ask me, "What is wrong?"

    That my facial expression at any one time may reflect thought processes not reflecting what the social norm is, whatever that may actually be. :confused:

    Though clearly this is problematic for some no matter what their neurological profile may be.

    Sorry folks, I just can't smile like Jim Carrey in "The Mask". :oops:

    Another reason why I was nicknamed "Judge"- for looking so serious. Go figure.
     
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  6. Wolfsage

    Wolfsage In training to be Wolf King.

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    Nt kindness or mourning rituals.
    The kindness part for me is easily misinterpreted or has strings attached.

    As for mourning. Due to difficulties with emotional stability. I do my best not to get sad or depressed. It takes me a long time to come back from those emotions. So I can come across cold and unfeeling.
     
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  7. Au Naturel

    Au Naturel Au Naturel

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    I get too excited when I need to be chill. Always a social situation. Usually, when they stumble into a topic I'm interested in and I start data dumping.
     
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  8. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    l use to have a hard time being patience with small talk because my brain checks out (and naps or l channel surf ongoing thoughts in my brain). So now l focus on being in the moment. It's been a work in progress. Also when any boss gives direction , l need to really focus.
     
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  9. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member

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    A farewell or saying goodbye to more than one person, and then leaving.

    I have many scripts. Just feels awkward somehow. Not knowing exactly when to walk away.
     
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  10. SusanLR

    SusanLR Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Same as the OP...the social greetings.
    I know they don't want the truth so it seems silly.
    It is next to impossible to remember to give the "fine how are you?" answer they expect.
    If I give a brief smile and nod of the head, they are lucky.
     
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  11. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Being in a group of people. I just cannot cope with zoom, because it is like constantly in my face, so I choose a becoming picture ( not me) and use that in place of me.

    I find it hard asking for someone's name. I do not know why, but there you go.

    Because I know that when people ask how you are, they are not really wanting to know that. I learned that a long time ago, that it is just a platitude, so when I ask, I actually further the conversation. So, if one says they have suffered a headache, I ask how they are now. Because I do not want to be guilty of the same thing as nts.

    When I am on zoom with another person ( my faith) and their partner leans in and says hello, I can feel myself panicking and so relieved when they disappear.
     
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  12. Raggamuffin

    Raggamuffin Well-Known Member

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    I can relate to a lot of these posts. Difficulty commencing or breaking eye contact, overthinking and feeling frustrated by social cues, small talk and niceties, my default face supposedly looking sad/angry, not displaying "proper" feelings during times of grieving etc.

    I struggle to feign interest in conversations these days. I want them to end as soon as they've began, and I begin to feel more and more frustrasted the longer they continue. It feels pretty defective of me if I'm being honest. On the rare occasion a topic comes up that I am interested in, I will talk people's ear off. Usually I get to a point of realisation that they're bored of me talking, or that I'm distracting them etc.

    I got to work today and the women in accounts were gathered around someone's phone going "awww!" at baby photos. My initial thought was just to slam my head against the desk as hard as I possibly could. That can't be normal - to have such vivid mental images of hurting myself whenever I hear things I don't like and can't relate to.

    Sobriety and depression has created a lot of anger. But it's all bottled up inside with no real outlet. Feels rather poisonous to tell the truth.

    Ed
     
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  13. ftfipps

    ftfipps Well-Known Member

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    Yesterday this lady winked at me about four times and she actually wanted to hook up looking back at it. I wasn't interested and didn't realize it until I had walked away bc it was in public and I'm nervous enough as it is when i'm in public and I have to worry about blowing my cover as a non-npc.
     
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  14. Raggamuffin

    Raggamuffin Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't dare do a wink. I'd be scared I would mess it up.

    "Can't retract the wink..."

    frOXaZ3.gif

    Ed
     
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  15. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

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    I don't think a company could afford to keep me what I don't break I burn or burn out, my house is a grave yard for electrical things .
     
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  16. Soleil

    Soleil Well-Known Member

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    I cannot do small talk. Unless I'm answering questions or talking about something I know about, I just have no idea what to say. It's just a total blank.

    A big problem is when people try to joke with me. Aside from some polite laughing, I really can't respond, leaving an awkward silence.
     
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  17. GadAbout

    GadAbout Well-Known Member

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    I'm terrible at doing introductions, and a good part of that is uncertainty whether I remembered someone's name correctly. If I really, really try, I can usually pull this off, but I'm always uneasy about it.
     
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  18. CDMcVey

    CDMcVey If you don't want to know the answer, don't ask..

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    Small talk....why does there have to be small talk? Lets just say the important things and be done with it? At least that's often what I think of when people try to "beat around the bush". It drives me up the wall. Work has always been a struggle in that department. I do not really have a filter except on swearing, but other than that, I say what is on my mind when I am asked a question. Gossiping is not my game, and I don't really buy in to that sort of nonsense. I don't get overly excited, or in the lowest of lows. I find it hard to really be engaged in group conversations. Usually they talk to other people and I'm left out so I just leave the group when that happens, often times just by saying "Excuse me, I need to jet." or some other thing like that. I rather like holding deep and meaningful conversations. Other than that...Small talk... Not good at small talk, reading social cues, and when people talk to me like I'm stupid. I did mention in my intro that I do have a higher than average IQ. So yeah, annoyances are all around me. Yes, the list goes on.
     
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  19. hatfullofrain

    hatfullofrain Well-Known Member

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    New things. I've learned through trial and error, but new things throw me still.

    Someone asked me yesterday if my pets were looking forward to Christmas. I wasn't expecting this. I said, "Oh I don't think they know what time of year it is." Then I realised it was light hearted banter and I should have made some joke about them getting excited. I'm too literal some times.
     
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  20. zozie

    zozie Well-Known Member

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    That's exactly what I was thinking when I read this. Guess great minds think alike :)

    Let's see. The most awkward depends on the situation.

    At work settings: asking 30 questions about a simple instruction. Used to think this was because I was a philosophy major.

    At social settings: I'd say steamrolling the conversation out of pure nerves. I can be quite expressive when I've got my mask on, but I have definitely never known when to stop talking and the drama of my overdone inflection and volume has led to some really awkward moments.
     
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