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Wondering if I come off as cold?

Discussion in 'Help and Support' started by inkfingers, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. inkfingers

    inkfingers 19 year old Aspie artist and Jesus follower

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    I've noticed that people generally don't initiate conversation with me. If I'm with my dad, and he's talking to them, and I'm standing to the side, they won't say anything until I'm introduced to them, and then they kind of ignore me. I wonder if my body language is unconsciously saying "back off?" Not that I mind this, because I usually don't have the energy or am not in the mood to socialize. But I've noticed this time and again. If I want to talk to someone, I have to initiate the conversation.

    Also, if I'm talking to someone in small talk, I sometimes have a hard time keeping up a normal flow of conversation. Looking back on it, I forget to ask the other person questions, and just talk about myself until I can slip away from the interaction. I wonder if these factors make me seem cold and self-centered and uncaring. I don't know.
     
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  2. rubicks52

    rubicks52 New Member

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    I have the opposite thing happen and often have complete strangers coming up to me in stores and stuff asking me if I need help or offering advice, or just chit chatting. I think my body language somehow says "I don't know what I'm doing", even though that's not the case. That being said, I've found that just looking at someone is a great way to get them to talk to you, if that's what you want. Although I often find myself left out of group conversations so maybe I'm not the best person to give advice. I feel you on the small talk thing. I often find myself talking at someone rather than with them, and I don't notice until after the conversation is over. I don't think being quiet or talking a lot makes someone come off as cold, though.
     
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  3. Progster

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

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    I think that this is a normal people kind of thing - people tend to talk to whoever is more responsive or talkative/dominant, or confident and outgoing, they then overlook the quieter members of the group. It happens to me all the time - whenever I go out somewhere with my outgoing/talkative partner involving other people, they talk to him and not to me. It's also a cultural thing... in some countries they will always notice and try to include all the people in the conversation, in other countries, it's very much up to you to join in, and if you don't, they might take it as a sign of disinterest and not try to include you. Eye contact also plays a role... if you don't make eyecontact, again, they think you're not listening or not interested. It's nothing personal, and ok with me, because I don't usually want to take part anyway, I prefer to just listen and switch off if the conversation isn't interesting.
    Small talk makes me feel trapped and claustrophobic - unlike most people I don't like talking about myself, my news or what I did at at the weekend, etc, and I don't ask people these kind of questions it simply doesn't occur to me to do so, these are non-topics for me. I'm flat - I can't so this smiley-cheery-huggy thing that most people do when they see someone. I don't know whether it makes me seem cold - I think people might just think that I'm shy, not very open and outgoing.
     
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  4. Dark-Code

    Dark-Code New Member

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    Yeah me, too. People seem to instinctively know that they're not going to be able to talk to me so don't try. Good... Lol.

    I saw an old work colleague in town a while back and she trotted up to me with a big grin, arms out like she was going to hug me. She got within about six feet of me and seemed to hit an invisible wall or something. She dropped her arms, the smile disappeared and she just said "Hi, you ok?"

    I clearly give off a don't-you-dare-hug-me vibe. Again.... Good
     
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  5. SusanLR

    SusanLR Well-Known Member

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    @inkfingers your description is exactly like my interactions with people.
    When I was younger, people thought I was shy. Dad did the talking and business exchanges like
    paying for things when shopping or ordering food in a restaurant.
    I always just stood back and said nothing, and very few ever said anything to me.

    That still applies today with the person I live with.
    If we are out together, he does the talking and I stay in the background.
    I have a tendency to walk behind people. I do that with him all the time and he'll
    be looking around saying "Where are you?" Right behind you!

    I don't mind shopping alone or eating alone.
    At least no one is looking over my shoulder or telling me to hurry up and what to do.
    But, paying up at the cashier is the uncomfortable part.
    I don't mind the crowds. I don't pay them much attention. And if you don't look people
    in the face in crowds, they tend not to notice you or try to start conversations.
    At my age now, it probably comes off as cold or strange.
     
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  6. shysnail

    shysnail Well-Known Member

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    I think it very much depends on the person you're talking to, but in general, my experience is similar. If I'm with my mum and we come across someone she knows, the majority will greet me after being introduced, but then not speak to me again for the conversation because I'm not saying anything. After all, it's my mum they know, not me. Occasionally there will be a very chatty person who will ask me a lot of questions and such, but that's not the norm. I think it's important to remember that most people have at least some level of shyness and will be drawn to talk more to people that they already know or who are easy to talk to because they're talkative. I don't think it's a personal avoidance or anything.
     
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  7. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    When someone initiates a conversation with me, I am seriousy so shocked that very soon, they get fed up with me.

    It is so very, very hard to socialise, because one person doesn't think I am going on and other will think it and because I cannot read them so well ( thought I had got better), I end up asking if I am going on too much and feel relieved when they say: no, not at all, I am enjoying what you say and then, I can relax.

    I do not have any impact in life and learning to come to terms with that. My word really counts for very little.
     
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  8. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    On occasion depending on the circumstances, yes. :eek:

    My bad. :oops:

    Though as many of us know, appearances can be deceiving as well. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
  9. onlything

    onlything Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Possibly. Since you tend to talk about yourself, then most probably you got the 'self-centered' label. However, you may be seen more as an awkward or a distant person than a cold one. It depends on how exactly you behave. Try smiling a bit more and remember to ask questions during conversation. You can even make it into a project - how many things can you learn about this person in this amount of time? Start with five minutes and a single question. Listen to the answer, then ask another question about something you heard. This and a smile should help you to be seen as more approachable.
     
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  10. onlything

    onlything Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    If you get often confused by something, nervous or stressed out, you may have the 'deer caught in headlights' expression. It often makes people ask you if you're alright.
     
  11. inkfingers

    inkfingers 19 year old Aspie artist and Jesus follower

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    Thanks for the advice. The problem is that when I try to ask a question, I seem to ask at the wrong time. I have a lot of trouble with timing in conversations. I either end up interrupting, or asking the question long after its relevant.
     
  12. onlything

    onlything Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    This, unfortunately, can come only with practice. You learn to time it as well as you can. Eventually, you can count to 4 after they stopped talking to make sure you don't interrupt and then ask. I used to do it and it worked about half the time. It's still a first step, though.
    These are some of the most basic rules: never interrupt and ask about them at least as many times as they ask about you, possibly even more. Keep it about half-half, in moderation.
     
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