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Mountain Goat
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23 May 2019, 9:35 pm

I was just thinking. I have heard it said that those on the spectrum are good at masking. I have used humour like a mask as it gives some sort of linking means by which I can become acceptable, I mean.... If I don't use humour getting a conversation going can be hard. Usually I would keep quiet.
My main way is to act thick. Oh gosh, isn't it useful. It sometimes takes people years to work out what I do. But then they feel a little betrayed. Like I have been decieving them? So I use more humour. That teld them! :D

Does anybody else use humour as a mask? It is only when I started to think about masking. What someone said that I realize why and how I use my sense of humour.


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Twilightprincess
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23 May 2019, 9:43 pm

In my experience, I’ve seen guys do this more than women.

My dad who is on the spectrum is constantly joking around. It works out pretty well for him. People like him and think he’s funny.

Where I live, if women employed the same method of socialization as my dad does, it wouldn’t go over well at all. The expectations are a little different. I usually keep stuff to my self unless I think the situation warrants a one-liner. That’s the way I like it.



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23 May 2019, 9:57 pm

Yes, humor is a brilliant form of communication. It can make people feel better, diffuse potentially bad situations, help people remember information (if it's funny, it's usually more memorable), improve physical health... so many benefits.

I hope to discover as many of life's "sacred elements" as possible. Hopefully it doesn't sound mawkish, but I think humor and love are two of them.



Mountain Goat
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23 May 2019, 11:00 pm

Love... (In a dating way). Thinking about things. Apart from a few difficulties, for many I would say dating someone on the spectrum (From the perspective of those not on the spectrum) can be a very good "Catch" as those on the spectrum can have so much to offer. I can imagine difficulties of understanding, especially due to reclusiveness of some, but I am thinking of my parents. If I am found to be on the spectrum I definately know my Mum is as well. Now my Mum and Dad were very different and it worked amazingly. Yes, they bery often had ups and downs, but how did it work so well in general? Love conquers all. The differences were overcome through love. I don't believe my dad could habe ever been classed as autistic. However he did have a few issues of his own. (Who doesn't?) But this is how my parents differences worked. My dads failings were covered by my mums strengths and vice versa. Altogether, I am amazed how strong they were and how it worked. My dad is no longer with us as he passed away over a decade ago. It is only after my dad passed away that I realize his amazing strength to get on and be sociable with people from all walks of life that we realized how my dad doing this enabled us to function as a family and gain so many family friends with which we'd be rather lost without them. My dad brought stability to the family. He did have a sudden temper which I found for me was difficult to get that close to him as I found I am a little shy and withdrawn, my mum and being the opposite to this. I was and in a way still am very clingy to my Mum, and it is only recently I have realized why. Prosoprognosia. In other words, faceblindness. Of corse I would be clingy. One of the real fears I had as a child when we went places was that I would get lost in a sea of people. I never strayed far from my mother. I could so easily get lost, and not knowing who is who amongst many people... And why I was so, so shy and withdrawn in school and even after my schooling where if I go to a workplace my general thoughts are to get back home... a homesick feeling... It is how prosoprognosia effects me. Out of my home enviroment where I have the security of my Mum I am like a fish out of water.
However, one trait I do have from a young age is as soon as I realized what a map was and how it relates to the outside world, I study maps to know where I am. As I have studied the maps of Wales so many times I roughly know where I am as long as I stay in Wales and out of the city like parts of the South East of Wales. Most of the rest of Wales I am perfectly happy in as I have a rough idea where I am and which way home is. Put me somewhere where I had not studied a map and could not make sense of where I was and I would absolutely fall to pieces. Hence why the thought of travelling abroad is not me. If I had to go abroad I would bring my car and cross to France and drive from there so I could remember the journey. I would have to remember the roads I drive out on to know my way back.

Just thoughts...

Oh dear. I have gone astray on a subject title I started! Oops!


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purplecloud
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24 May 2019, 6:15 am

Yeah, I think I do. It depends on who I'm talking with though. If I don't know the person I don't really joke around, but I might say something funny once in a while (intentional or not).

A few days ago we had a family gathering with people from my dad's side of the family. I was suddenly caught in a small talk session with one of my cousins and his girlfriend (I hadn't seen him since I was 15 and I'd never met his girlfriend) and he asked me how old I was now. I said I'll be 21 and then he said that he's 27 and for some reason my response was "oj" which basically means you are surprised about what was said. He started laughing and thought I meant that I was surprised he was that old... I started laughing a little too to go along with it, even though I didn't mean it like that.

I think I use smiling as a mask a lot of the time too. I try to smile a lot when I'm having conversations with people, especially if I don't know them well, as well as a lot of nodding and "oh" "mhm" "ah" "ok". So even if I don't know how to keep the conversation going and I don't ask them questions back (like when they ask what I do for a living, I don't ask them what they do etc.), I at least come off as friendly.



Mountain Goat
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24 May 2019, 6:27 am

purplecloud wrote:
Yeah, I think I do. It depends on who I'm talking with though. If I don't know the person I don't really joke around, but I might say something funny once in a while (intentional or not).

A few days ago we had a family gathering with people from my dad's side of the family. I was suddenly caught in a small talk session with one of my cousins and his girlfriend (I hadn't seen him since I was 15 and I'd never met his girlfriend) and he asked me how old I was now. I said I'll be 21 and then he said that he's 27 and for some reason my response was "oj" which basically means you are surprised about what was said. He started laughing and thought I meant that I was surprised he was that old... I started laughing a little too to go along with it, even though I didn't mean it like that.

I think I use smiling as a mask a lot of the time too. I try to smile a lot when I'm having conversations with people, especially if I don't know them well, as well as a lot of nodding and "oh" "mhm" "ah" "ok". So even if I don't know how to keep the conversation going and I don't ask them questions back (like when they ask what I do for a living, I don't ask them what they do etc.), I at least come off as friendly.


Oh. Due to prosoprognosia I smile at everyone just incase I know them and don't recognise them, and my Mum often tells me off for my conversations where she said if someone asks you how you are you are supposed to ask them back. The problem is that as I am not that good at small talk, if I try to ask back it is obviously false and things becoem awkward. If I genuinely want to know I can do it fine as I have latched onto the subject. I use the word "Latched" as if I have not latched onto whatever is being talked about things go a little awkward, so I will end the conversation. It is like my mind can't think how to talk about things that I have not latched onto. Probably why I don't do so well in a social setting other then sitting there smiling! Unless someone mentions trains or bicycles or even cars or something I can relate to.

Now I use humour as a link to go between my not latching onto things and having a conversation if that makes sense? Without humour, or talking about things that switch me on (E.g. Trains), conversations don't get very far!


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strings
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24 May 2019, 7:21 am

Mountain Goat wrote:
I was just thinking. I have heard it said that those on the spectrum are good at masking. I have used humour like a mask as it gives some sort of linking means by which I can become acceptable, I mean.... If I don't use humour getting a conversation going can be hard. Usually I would keep quiet.
...
Does anybody else use humour as a mask? It is only when I started to think about masking. What someone said that I realize why and how I use my sense of humour.


Interesting that you raise this point. I just recently started to become aware of the fact that my standard MO in a conversation is to use humour as a mask. It makes for a way of keeping the conversation from becoming too involved, and it is relatively easy to escape from it at any point. It has taken me a long time to realise that this is my way of masking, and keeping at arm's length from anything that gets too deep.



timf
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24 May 2019, 9:06 am

It has been said that all the world is a stage.

Most people accommodate social interaction by playing a part. The objective is first to be accepted, but also to avoid rejection. Humor can be a successful tactic to gain acceptance and possibly excuse some social awkwardness.

NTs generally come to take on their social roles so completely that it becomes who they are (like an actor who gets "lost in his part").

The conscious intentional thinking common to Aspergers does not easily allow such, what might be called self-delusion.

There was an Aspergers video once with a black guy being interviewed and asked why he did not marry. His answer was that he had to adopt a persona to function at work. It was so tiring that he could not adopt one to use with a spouse as well as he would have no time to actually be himself.

Social situations are driven by emotions. Because Asperger people tend to operate on manual control and have more conscious internal thought processes, they risk making others feel bad when they share how they think about things. To be emotionally appealing in a social context one has to be wealthy, famous, entertaining or solicitous. If one can master humor, it seems to be the least disingenuous.



dyadiccounterpoint
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25 May 2019, 12:09 am

I relate to most of what others are posting here.

I think humor projects dominance in the "I feel at ease and in control" aspect. Done correctly, this produces respect. Everyone likes that feeling.

Sarcasm is my weapon of choice.

It's empowering in some circumstances, but in others it feels kind of bad realizing you're deflecting your authenticity to cope with others' expectations of how you are supposed to be.


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Mountain Goat
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25 May 2019, 4:20 am

I do have to go easy with my humour though. At times when those around me get it, I have had whole rooms full of red faced people struggling to breathe which makes me feel a little guilty just in case someone has a heart attack or something. I would be the culprit. Mind you. When I am nervous I can't help it. I can just imagine someone dying and me going to court and having the whole court in stitches. The thought of that makes me calm down a bit on what I say. Just in case, eh?


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Dear_one
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25 May 2019, 5:04 am

If I can't get a laugh, I can barely relax. The successes have more than made up for the failures. The bonus is that when I do some social error, it can often be passed off as a failed joke.
The laugh is an involuntary signal which means "this alarming situation is not dangerous (to me, now)" so even very strange characters such as Emo Phillips can quickly seem non-threatening. I'm fascinated that verbal humour always depends on timing and delivery, but anything from deadpan to manic can work equally well.



purplecloud
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07 Jun 2019, 6:50 pm

Mountain Goat wrote:
purplecloud wrote:
Yeah, I think I do. It depends on who I'm talking with though. If I don't know the person I don't really joke around, but I might say something funny once in a while (intentional or not).

A few days ago we had a family gathering with people from my dad's side of the family. I was suddenly caught in a small talk session with one of my cousins and his girlfriend (I hadn't seen him since I was 15 and I'd never met his girlfriend) and he asked me how old I was now. I said I'll be 21 and then he said that he's 27 and for some reason my response was "oj" which basically means you are surprised about what was said. He started laughing and thought I meant that I was surprised he was that old... I started laughing a little too to go along with it, even though I didn't mean it like that.

I think I use smiling as a mask a lot of the time too. I try to smile a lot when I'm having conversations with people, especially if I don't know them well, as well as a lot of nodding and "oh" "mhm" "ah" "ok". So even if I don't know how to keep the conversation going and I don't ask them questions back (like when they ask what I do for a living, I don't ask them what they do etc.), I at least come off as friendly.


Oh. Due to prosoprognosia I smile at everyone just incase I know them and don't recognise them, and my Mum often tells me off for my conversations where she said if someone asks you how you are you are supposed to ask them back. The problem is that as I am not that good at small talk, if I try to ask back it is obviously false and things becoem awkward. If I genuinely want to know I can do it fine as I have latched onto the subject. I use the word "Latched" as if I have not latched onto whatever is being talked about things go a little awkward, so I will end the conversation. It is like my mind can't think how to talk about things that I have not latched onto. Probably why I don't do so well in a social setting other then sitting there smiling! Unless someone mentions trains or bicycles or even cars or something I can relate to.

Now I use humour as a link to go between my not latching onto things and having a conversation if that makes sense? Without humour, or talking about things that switch me on (E.g. Trains), conversations don't get very far!

I don't have prosoprognosia, so at least that's not an issue for me. I'm pretty bad at remembering names, though.

I actually don't think anyone ever told me that I have to ask things back to people, or I just don't remember. It was nothing I used to think about, but last year I realised that I pretty much never ask questions back... In high school a few people in my class used to ask me how I was when we met first thing in the morning and I never thought about it just being a polite gesture. I just thought they wanted to know and I used to say things like "well, I'm alive" and similar joke-y stuff haha. It never occurred to me to ask how they were and after realising that, I feel a bit bad about it. Now that I'm aware of it I try to ask back, but I still don't really do it because it feels so unnatural and forced to ask something I'm not interested in. It's the same with things like asking about their job etc. Personally, I feel like if they want me to know something they will tell me, so why should I ask?

Yeah, I relate to "latching" onto conversations if they are interesting to you. That's probably why I got so much s**t in middle school from "friends" and new people I met, when I didn't say much, because they were so damn boring! I did try to be like them, but I couldn't really. In high school I was in an art program, so most people had similar interests. What I noticed then was that I seemed to get these "energy spikes" thoughout the day. I would be pretty quiet for a good while and suddenly I could get talkative if the subject interested me or I would be all silly with my friends and start to randomly role-play weird, made up characters lol. But then again, it also depends how comfortable I am with the person/people. Though I have noticed that even when I hang out with my two best friends I can still have trouble keeping the conversation going. Luckily it's not really a problem, since they won't scold me for not talking all the time.

About ending conversations; I struggle with that a lot of times. That's another thing that usually feels unnatural. Same thing with "events" like if I have been hanging out with people. I usually wait for the other person/people to end it so I don't have to. Like when I talked to my cousin and his girlfriend, we all became quiet for a few minutes and I thought "am I supposed to leave or are we still talking??" so I just stood there until I had a reason to leave or something (I don't remember). In high school I was quite often stuck in a situation where I was with a group of classmates after school ended, waiting for our buses or rides home. If my two friends were there with me I was fine, but if I was alone with people that weren't my closest friends I didn't really know what to do. I always waited until the very last minute until I really had to leave to not miss the bus. I mean, they were talking to each other and I was just standing there wondering "should I say goodbye now that I'm standing with this group, even if I haven't said much? Or should I just go? When should I say goodbye then??? They are talking, so when should I interrupt? What should I say? Do I just say bye or do I say something like 'gotta catch the bus'?". It felt really awkward.

...Went a bit off topic maybe. Sorry about that.



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07 Jun 2019, 7:28 pm

Sometimes people resort to jokes in order to tell somebody the truth in a way that is less abrasive. They trade little barbs back and forth in situations where the direct truth is too hurtful. I find it a rather sneaky tactic.



Mountain Goat
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07 Jun 2019, 7:34 pm

I tend to go off in tangents where I lose track of the conversation or I can add so much information to a conversation subject that the other person ends the conversation way before I get to the origional point I was intending to make. This is most anoying for me as it feels frustrating, where I may not bother communicating if a person I know shuts off the conversations before I finish. I don't often show emotion as I will just go quiet when frightened or unsure or anoyed etc. When anoyed I just walk off or keep quiet and not reply. As a young child I learnt to bottle up this emotion.
The problem is when I was very young I used to get frustrated tempers which I would lash out. My dad stopped me doing this (Ended up with a few red behinds!) which I am greatful for as I could have easily killed someone and I was only 5 years old. However, it was when I was about seven years old onwards that I started getting energy loss instead.


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