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Jabberwokky
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14 Jun 2013, 3:01 pm

How often have you been told that you aren't listening?

For me it is a constant criticism that i have had to put up with over the years. When I say 'put up' with it, I think the criticim is misguided but i can't seem to shake it and if many people say the same thing, then I am the common denominator and therefore they must be right. Right?

As a result I have acquiesced under the criticism but always with a uneasiness because I really don't think its because I don't listen. I have been pondering what the issue is and think there are two things at play. The first is that there are definitely times when I am not listening. I have a chronic case of aspie stare; I tune out without realising I'm doing it and then I am in that other abstract interior mental space and oblivious to the immediate realities. This happens mid conversation. Then, there is my mental thought processes that go along with listening. For me listening requires me to process the information a lot more than others and so it appears as if I'm not listening. I will hear what a person says but take a lot longer than most to digest what I am hearing and offer up a view. Often, the view I'll offer up will be a fragment of my internal cognitive process and then the other party grabs on it and starts pushing for closure. Often, I am not ready for closure and I leave conclusions to a later time, often with mutually exclusive (contradictory) ideas in my mind that I am evaluating. The other person gets really frustrated with me and then come the 'You are not listening to me.'

Are you often told you aren't listening when you are and what do you make of it?


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NEtikiman
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14 Jun 2013, 4:02 pm

I just had to read this to my fiancé because every word of it describes me in a conversation.
I've gotten through this by pretending to do something else while assuring the other person that I'm listening. That way, when my answer's delayed, they assume I'm finishing up my other task (I'm not really doing anything... The other task is usually just mindless fidgeting).


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Jabberwokky
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14 Jun 2013, 4:19 pm

So its true then, we sometimes aren't listening but not always. I think its important to understand this because its a source of confusion. I have spent many years in bewilderment because if I listen intensely, the cognitive process becomes more intense such that I am listening intensely but it appears like I'm not. Its a no-win situation because the result is the same i.e you are told 'you are not listening to me'. Its infuriating.


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NEtikiman
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14 Jun 2013, 4:46 pm

When I'm really not listening is often when people start talking to me without making it extraordinarily clear that they're talking to me (even if it's just the two of us there). My brother came up with this trick for me: he snaps his fingers and says, "Pat, 10 seconds," and I can tune in better/quicker. Now that I see it in writing, it seems a little demeaning, but it works, so I'm pretty okay with it.


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Jabberwokky
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14 Jun 2013, 6:57 pm

Interesting. I am aware that if someone simply launchs into conversation in my general direction, I'll have to stop them after while (when I have managed to cognitively pack away what was in my mind) and tell them to start again. If what I am doing is important, I jgenerally ignore them or growl at them and continue with what I was doing. If I have taken the time to stop and listen and they communicate poorly or if 3rd parties (such as kids or maybe just some other distraction occurs) I get irritated, blunt and abrasive. One thing that really gets my blood presssure up is when I respond to what the person has said to me and they ignore me or worse, start badgering me with a whole lot of emotional tactics. When I let them know of my displeasure, I'm told I have no room to talk because of my poor listening skills etc.


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chris5000
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14 Jun 2013, 10:31 pm

I actually had a conversation about this with my uncle

he thinks im not listening because im not making any eye contact or im doing something when hes talking. apparently nts drop whatever they are doing to talk



Jabberwokky
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15 Jun 2013, 5:11 pm

I don't feel I need to fix anything like I used to. I used to want to fix all these communication issues (and the raft of other aspie-related things) and got into big upsets when nothing that I tried worked.

Nowadays, if someone says 'you don't listen to me', I am nothing more than mildly bemused and general response is something like, 'It is what it is' and that is if I even bother to respond.


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KingdomOfRats
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15 Jun 2013, 5:42 pm

oh dear god who doesnt get this?

have had this every day for entire life,by family,teachers,support staff,strangers etc.
with family/support staff/those who are in regular routine,am only able to process them and interact with them if they say em, __________, and it has to be small sentances otherwise head cuts them off due to information overload,its stupid because am able to post essaes of crap on forums due to having had significant multiple brain injury over the years from head banging-am only processing several words at a time and it wipes out as am going along. :P

it isnt that am ignoring them,its that am in own world and unable to process anything outside it if am not given clear instructions.
with strangers who are not in regular routine,am not able to process them,and its like they do not exist,again it isnt that am ignoring them as do not like offending anyone.

hate it [u] when they really rant on about ignoring them because are not looking at them,whoever came up with that rule? obviously wasnt an autist who doesnt need to be overloaded with visual feedback when trying to process what people are saying.


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UDG
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15 Jun 2013, 6:49 pm

I had a series of hearing tests because I didn't seem to hear my parents calling when I was younger. I turned out I was just lost in my thoughts.



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15 Jun 2013, 7:14 pm

I heard this a lot when I was a kid. Both my parents and my elementary school teachers would say this to me. I was very hyper and inattentive as a child, so it's no surprise that I would hear this sometimes.


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Wycca
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15 Jun 2013, 9:27 pm

I hear it almost everyday. Sometimes I just don't hear them while I'm off in my own world. Sometimes they don't say they were talking to me so I think they're talking to someone else, or on rare occasions my dad thinks he's talking to me but in reality he's talking to my sister since we look a lot alike. Then others it's because what they said sounded like gibberish to me so I just nodded and hoped that they forget since when I ask people to repeat themselves they get ticked off at me.

What really seems to bug people though is when I don't answer right away. I have to think about what I'm going to say before I say it so that I don't stumble over my words and sound like an idgit. They they interrupt my thought process so I end up doing it anyway.



ianorlin
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15 Jun 2013, 11:16 pm

This is annoying when it sometimes happens to me.