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Featured Why ask a complete stranger how they're doing? Just me?

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Autistic Yoda, Nov 11, 2020.

  1. VictorR

    VictorR Random Member

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    I can say if you've ever worked at a call center, asking someone how they're doing to start things off is an invitation for trouble.
     
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  2. Ursus Chainus

    Ursus Chainus Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Small talk is a "carrier wave" for non-verbal communication. This is why we have a hard time understanding why people say and ask questions that do not make sense. This is why they "lie" and say "doing well, and you?" even if they are really not doing well and really don't care if you are as well.

    "What a nice day" used to bug the crap out of me... now I try to get what their non-verbal communication is when they say it. Culture is pretty nutty really. Sometimes they are trying to figure out your status, age or if you are in the same groups as them. They are also trying to figure out if you are strange or odd. This is all subconscious for the most part and they are just following cultural patterns.

    Every culture has small talk. The theories I have been working on show that autism has a gene spreading function. What easier way to get kicked out of a birth group or tribe than to not do small talky things. Getting kicked out of the tribe means being adopted into a new tribe with our precious different genes to help the "foreign" tribe prevent mutational meltdown from interbreeding.

    You may think... but humans are not in tribes now... but evolution is somewhat slow when there is no "reason" to change. Humans are within 10,000 years of living in a tribal society.

    Our misery is the point of this... as is our cluelessness.
     
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  3. Joshua Aaron

    Joshua Aaron ️Autistic Pansexual ️, Chaotic Good V.I.P Member

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    To be fair, if I was a retail worker, I would not spend 5 minutes on nonsense small talk. You say hello, you purchase stuff, you leave. That is how shopping should be. None of this faked polite BS. It's completely unnecessary for the extra politeness. The only polite phrase should be just an initial greeting, followed my "how may I help you?" I'd rather be asked, "Hello, how may I help you?" by the cashier instead of "Hello, how are you?"

    "Hello, how may I help you?" is actually better in my opinion, since it fits the store setting better. However, "How are you doing?" is just unnecessary. It fits more into a casual atmosphere with family and/or friends rather than something being said by a cashier at a store or restaurant. We all know that most retail workers are dead inside due to the nature of their job, anyways, so why bother hiding it that much?
     
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  4. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I like those simple greetings/querys. The person initiating it is making an effort to make it a pleasant interaction and it makes the experience just a little bit better.
     
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  5. Autistic Yoda

    Autistic Yoda Do. Or do not. There is no 'try'. V.I.P Member

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    Ok, some people enjoy polite casual insincerity. They get off on that sort of thing. It's a basic conversation opener, and not meant to be taken literally. Sure, I get it.

    But others dislike insincere words, small talk, and we take communications far too literally. I did ask if it was just me for a reason, since I have an extra layer on top: A rejected religious zealot upbringing. Forced to say 'amen' on cue a quarter million times and so much more, reciting other people's ritual words on cue just isn't my thing.

    This world wasn't built for us, but at least we're no longer forced to shake hands. Now that handshakes are out of style I'm keeping that one for life, no matter how 'back to normal' we are in a couple years. It'll be like; '2019 called. They want their primitive unnecessary dude touching back.':grinning:
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2020
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  6. Soleil

    Soleil Well-Known Member

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    Honestly, I don't even bother responding with the appropriate "fine, thanks; and you?" I just can't bring myself to ask this; if you're my friend you'll tell me without my needing to ask. If you're not, then the question is rather personal.

    I treat it like another way of saying "hi" and typically just respond with "Hi".
     
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  7. Ylva

    Ylva Well-Known Member V.I.P Member It's My Birthday!

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    Super awkward. Never liked it when people ask personal questions like that.
     
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  8. SusanLR

    SusanLR Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Noop. But the words and questions are all so alike, there must be some type of training as what to say.
     
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  9. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

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    @Autistic Yoda
    But remember they hold onto that for a very strong reason,why should they not believe what they want they are fighting to survive,I know what you mean but it's the same in other religions or philosophies ,I still say amen but freely .
     
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  10. HeroOfHyrule

    HeroOfHyrule Chicken Chaser

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    I just see it as a conversation starter. I'll ask people how they're doing because they often mention certain things going on in their lives afterwards, whether good or bad, and that gives me a chance to either ask more questions or talk about something similar. Otherwise I don't know how to start talking to people and it gets awkward fast.

    I also noticed people don't really react bad if you respond honestly, as long as you don't go on a spiel about how bad your day is going. So, when people ask me I am honest but just leave it at "Ah, my day isn't going that well. How's yours?" and if they ask more questions I'll explain further. That also usually starts a conversation.
     
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  11. _eri_bellehumeur

    _eri_bellehumeur Member

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    It is weird, but with people in public service positions, they're just doing their job. Of course they don't care to hear about the life story of a stranger, so yes, scripted responses are expected, but you don't have to respond insincerely. I've gotten complaints from people in the work place if I didn't greet them in a sufficiently pleasant way, so people at work are usually just trying to make interactions less robotic and to avoid being harassed by "Karen" types and their employers.
     
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  12. neilwalker1970

    neilwalker1970 Well-Known Member

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    I've got to say that check-out staff, call centre people etc asking me "how I am" is irritating. I don't like being forced into a social interaction, especially, for example, when I'm just trying to sort out my car insurance. I also don't like being called by my first name. If you are trying to get my custom, I am "Mr..." "Sir", not my first name.

    A simple "Good Morning", "Hello" is all that's needed.

    That said, there is the local health food shop I go in regularly. I sometimes make a remark about the weather or something else (COVID lockdown), but that's only because I see the same people serving me every time, and I only do it if I feel like it.

    Other people, like people I work with is different, although sometimes I feel awkward when they ask me. But at least you know it's because they are at least slightly interested in you. As others have said above, with shop people, it's probably because they've all gone on the same customer service course.
     
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  13. Esa

    Esa Well-Known Member

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    I mostly agree with this. Although I do actually care about complete strangers sometimes. It’s true that most people are dishonest and insincere, and that’s not only when they are asking one another how they are doing. It’s frustrating. I’d like to care less about them. And I certainly wish they stopped pretending to care. It’s confusing and time consuming.
     
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  14. Ihaveaspergers

    Ihaveaspergers Active Member

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    Sometimes when I watch a movie or a tv series, eg Columbo, in English they say "How do you do ma'am". They don't get an answer and never wanted one.
    This seems to be common in English speaking countries.
     
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  15. Esa

    Esa Well-Known Member

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    I notice that, too and find it amusing. It’s not exclusive to English speaking countries though. I think that it’s a lot like “ça va” in French, since it could mean “how’s it going?” or just a simple and casual greeting like “hi” since they don’t always seem to expect an answer, either.
     
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  16. Soleil

    Soleil Well-Known Member

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    Of course, "how do you do?" became "howdy", but nobody ever goes up to someone and asks, "howdy?" That's just weird.
     
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  17. VictorR

    VictorR Random Member

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    I have to say that that I personally prefer using "que ce que c'est" as an informal greeting even though my French lessons started with “comment ça va” / “ça va (tres) bien / mal / comme ci comme ça.”
     
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  18. Esa

    Esa Well-Known Member

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    I don’t speak French but I enjoy watching people say “ça va” to greet each other and act like that wasn’t a question. Like it’s never happened. It’s very funny.
     
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  19. Joshua Aaron

    Joshua Aaron ️Autistic Pansexual ️, Chaotic Good V.I.P Member

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    Idk about all y'all, but randomly asking strangers how they are doing ain't normal in my opinion.
     
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  20. Autistic Yoda

    Autistic Yoda Do. Or do not. There is no 'try'. V.I.P Member

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    Three days ago:
    Me: So did your kid's thesis go alright?
    Friend (the real type): Yes, and kind of you to ask.
    Me: That wasn't kindness! I'd never ask such a question just to be polite. Just invested in his story now.:smiley:
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2020
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