Do you come across differently than you think you do?

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lissa1212
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08 Feb 2016, 11:28 pm

I've noticed lately that the way I try to act around people and the way I actually come across are completely different. I had a phone call with a client today (I'm a freelance writer) and the client recorded it so I could have something to reference when writing my article. But listening to the file she made was painful to say the least. While I tried to act confident during the phone call, I noticed that I sounded nervous and less than enthusiastic at parts. I also mumbled quite a bit and my voice sounded weird. It was really bizarre to see that I seemed way different than I thought I had.

Does anyone here have a similar problem? If so, have you done anything to overcome it? Thanks in advance!



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08 Feb 2016, 11:35 pm

I come across (depending on the person) completely different from what I intended. And before when I was a little bit less aware of myself, I often left an interaction COMPLETELY befuddled as to why the person came away with that opinion of me and what in the world I could have possibly done to engender such a thought or belief in that person. :?

I haven't really come up with any mechanisms for that as of yet though. I'm still working on the self awareness part of the equation.



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09 Feb 2016, 1:24 am

Had the misfortune to hear myself giving what I thought were clear instructions that were not clear on a recording. What I thought I said and what came out, the words dropped and incomplete sentences was not the same and the force I heard was staggering.

This was just shortly before I started this journey in earnest. One of the many things that I had been piling up in my personal database.


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Yigeren
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09 Feb 2016, 4:25 am

Yes. One reason I hate seeing pictures, videos, and recordings of myself. I look, act, and sound very different from how I feel in the inside.

Although I do look better than I think I do, I also look very different. It's strange.



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09 Feb 2016, 5:02 am

Being trans this is a given. But sometimes, I forget that I have changed significantly and no longer look, sound, or get gendered in the way I used to. I forget this and just be myself, without remembering that behaviour is heavily gendered, then wonder why people think I'm gay. :wink:
I also seem to think I come across as too frantic, energetic, eager, etc, whereas others tell me it's the complete opposite, and I come across as very zen and calm, or as disinterested and remote.
I hate photos or recordings of myself - if you do speech therapy they put a recording device on you and play it back at the next session - eek.



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09 Feb 2016, 9:03 am

I've actually read and or heard more than one movie actor saying they were/are unhappy with seeing themselves onscreen. "Is that how I really sound, is that how I really move?" Johnny Depp refuses to watch movies he's in because he can't stand watching himself. And he's supposed to be the sexiest man alive or whatever.


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kraftiekortie
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09 Feb 2016, 9:19 am

It took me a LONG time to actually not cringe when I watch myself on a video or something.



zkydz
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09 Feb 2016, 9:26 am

The Frau Stroodle doesn't understand my not wanting pics taken of me. She does have that cliche Asian thing of photographing everything. I try to hide as much as possible.

C2V made an interesting point about behaviour being heavily gendered. I agree. Went to a costume party once all dolled up in drag to win a pot (I did). Nobody knew I was a man until I did one, silly little thing. One woman noticed how I flicked the ashes off my cigarette.

So, it can be very subtle too.


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09 Feb 2016, 4:18 pm

Yes I've always hated the recorded sound of my speaking voice and the sight of myself in videos and on CCTV. Always have. I can cope with some still photos of me, but not very many. I don't think it's as bad as it looks or sounds to me, or I'd never get invited to social functions. I think it's partly because I spot small flaws in posture, gait, eye movements, intonation etc., and they seem huge to me because I rarely see them and small details often do stand out to me as much larger than they really are. If the sound is high quality or the pictures are high-definition, it's slightly less horrendous, perhaps because of distortions masquerading as ugliness, e.g. telephone-quality sound really is unclear so it comes over as mumbling. I think I probably have a jaundiced view of how nice I look and sound as well, which seems to work unconsciously - I once heard one of my music recordings without realising it was mine, and was envious about how good it sounded until I realised what it was, then it immediately sounded mediocre.

I also used to hate my singing voice on recordings, but was so determined to sound good that I practised and practised for years until I got something I liked. Sound and pictures are an excellent learning tool precisely because they show up the faults that we don't usually notice, as long as they don't demoralise the student so much that they give up.



seaweed
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09 Feb 2016, 4:41 pm

I think I speak clearly but in recordings I still have a speech impediment, like what I hear from inside my ears is different than what I project outside.

but that doesn't bother me so much since what I'm actually saying is still pretty understandable. what does bother me is how often I think I'm expressing a positive or neutral emotion and it is interpreted negatively by others.



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09 Feb 2016, 5:01 pm

I've seen myself on security monitors in stores and it's always a shock. Everything about me looks so different than I expect, the way I walk, move, stand, the way my face looks. It's hard to explain what I *think* I look like...I guess I just expect to look smarter somehow, lol, like all the sharp mental calculations I'm making about things should show on my face. I think I should look really definite. Instead I just look sort of dopey, floaty, dreamy-eyed and spaced out.

And none of the features of my face really stand out. I've noticed this in group photos too, other people's faces are more defined, like you can really see their eyes, their mouth, what kind of expression they have. Mine is just, I don't know, sort of like there's a mist in front of me and I'm fading back behind it. I have light skin and small features, and I don't wear makeup, so that's part of it, but I think there's more to it, like I just don't use my face the same way other people do.

I guess all this explains a lot about how people treat me, like they think I'm confused or unsure, or they don't take me seriously about things (unless I get mad enough to really start running my mouth and set them straight). Or why that girl in elementary school always called me "ghost." I do look very ghost-like.

How I WANT to come across to people is like a 5-star general, someone with a very commanding presence, that people would just take one look at me and know that I mean what I say and say what I mean and they should just stay out of my way. When I speak I want to come across like it's the word of god coming down on people's heads, so they don't dare to question it, so they don't ask me "are you sure?" in a whiny voice when I say I don't want a beverage. NO for the ten thousandth millionth trillionth time, NO I don't want a beverage with my meal. NO. @#*^$*&@#!



Ashariel
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09 Feb 2016, 5:12 pm

I look horrible in pictures, and the few times I've seen myself on video. Awful posture, weak voice, facial expressions that look completely wrong. It's painful to watch.



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09 Feb 2016, 6:53 pm

I think a lot of people hate how they sound and look when recorded: what Ezra mentioned about Johnny Depp is common among actors, who are probably pretty self-critical about their performances. And in a lot of ways, people on the spectrum are actors too--we are pretending to be NTs, unless we are out as autistics, and even then, some of us may try to minimize our autistic traits to fit in.

Keep in mind, too, that you look and sound different in a recording because you don't hear and see the same thing everybody else does. Your voice sounds different because you are hearing it transmitting through your skull instead of through the air. Your face looks different to other people because you are used to seeing a mirror image of it. This is why a lot of public speaking classes record the students, so they can see and hear how they sound to others. If you really hate how you act or sound, you might want to practice with a video camera, or take a public speaking class or join community theater to get some coaching. I have one autistic friend who LOVES acting because she doesn't have to worry about what to say or how to act--it's all in the script! She's a lot more outgoing than I am (or if she's nervous, it doesn't show), so maybe it helped.

I've asked a couple of close friends how I come across (did I sound nervous in a presentation, was my voice funny, did I look like I was going to pass out) and they said I sounded okay. I think we are a lot harsher critics than other people, who are more interested in what you are saying.


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09 Feb 2016, 7:44 pm

The first times I heard my voice on a recording, I was shocked at how childish and silly my voice and my behavior sounded. I still get shocked for the same reasons, and I'm an adult now! But then, I don't think anyone in the world isn't surprised and disappointed when they hear their recorded voice - it's true that what we hear from within our bone structure is actually different from the sound coming out to other people's ears.

I do get the impression that I come across differently than I think I do in other ways also.


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09 Feb 2016, 11:06 pm

Absolutely. My boss recently went on a crusade about everyone setting a custom message for their voice mail for their office phone because he doesn't like the default one. Listening to mine played back made me cringe because I thought that I sounded pretty natural with a passable voice when I was talking, but when I played it back it sounded like this stilted, robotic girl was talking into the phone (I'm a transman).


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