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BeggingTurtle
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03 Aug 2015, 12:30 am

Usually it's my parents and I say, "For what reason?"
It asks for too much effort out of me. When I smile, I am not trying.


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Soomander
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03 Aug 2015, 1:15 am

I dread when people tell me to smile as not smiling(or showing any facial expression) is my natural facial expression. Smiling takes too much effort and it makes it hard for me to analyze my environment which has become a habit.



Ettina
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03 Aug 2015, 11:31 am

questor wrote:
Although I am not deaf, I look at lips while conversing with people. I have difficulty looking other people in the eyes. It makes me extremely uncomfortable, and feels so wrong and unnatural. I also find looking at their lips while they speak seems to help me input and process the conversation better.


Most hearing people lipread a bit without even knowing they do - this is proven by the McGurk effect. For someone with auditory processing issues, this unconscious lipreading could be enhanced in order to compensate.



Raptor
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03 Aug 2015, 12:34 pm

I still get told to smile or asked why I don't smile more often. It's simple, I have to have something come over me strong enough to make me smile. I can be very pleased and not crack a smile.


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Raleigh
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07 Aug 2015, 8:54 pm

Update:

I found myself alone with the "smile" person at work yesterday so I asked, "Why do you always tell me to smile?"
She said, "Because you always look so serious. And you have a really nice smile."
I explained that it was difficult to concentrate on what she was saying and remember to smile at the same time.
She said she didn't necessarily expect me to smile when we were talking. She just wanted me to give her some kind of sign that I was still breathing. Apparently I stand so still and transfixed while listening that at times I appear catatonic.

I'm sorry I asked now.


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justkillingtime
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07 Aug 2015, 9:16 pm

Raleigh wrote:
Update:

I found myself alone with the "smile" person at work yesterday so I asked, "Why do you always tell me to smile?"
She said, "Because you always look so serious. And you have a really nice smile."
I explained that it was difficult to concentrate on what she was saying and remember to smile at the same time.
She said she didn't necessarily expect me to smile when we were talking. She just wanted me to give her some kind of sign that I was still breathing. Apparently I stand so still and transfixed while listening that at times I appear catatonic.

I'm sorry I asked now.


I think it is good you asked. You gave her good feedback on why you don't smiled and she gave you good feedback on where she was coming from.


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Raleigh
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07 Aug 2015, 9:26 pm

Note to self:

:lol: :lol: :lol: I must try to look less catatonic. :lol: :lol: :lol:

I don't think I'll be able to look at her without smiling now.


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steelysunshine
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07 Aug 2015, 11:13 pm

It looks like things worked out well. But, as I was reading I thought the next person that tells me to smile, I am going to say my dog died or something equally tragic.



ToughDiamond
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08 Aug 2015, 9:20 am

I can see two possibilities:

1. She's being a butt, by nagging you and assuming it's any of her damned business whether you smile or not, and her behaviour equates to low-level bullying. You have tried to resolve the situation but she's not given any ground at all.

2. She really fancies you and is teasing you in an attempt to flirt.



glebel
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08 Aug 2015, 9:32 am

Girl_Kitten wrote:
This is a very common NT complaint, too. I'm not sure if it's bullying, but it is sexism because men are not told to smile like women are told to smile. It's not a social thing; it's a sexist thing.

I get told all the time to smile. Not female. Definitely male. This is not sexism, this is just another case of people not getting where we're coming from.


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08 Aug 2015, 1:34 pm

glebel wrote:
Girl_Kitten wrote:
This is a very common NT complaint, too. I'm not sure if it's bullying, but it is sexism because men are not told to smile like women are told to smile. It's not a social thing; it's a sexist thing.

I get told all the time to smile. Not female. Definitely male. This is not sexism, this is just another case of people not getting where we're coming from.


It actually depends on the context. In a two way conversation or meeting it tends to be pretty evenly balanced gender wise. Males on the spectrum receive these critiques more than males without an ASD. Out in the streets with strangers it is predominantly unattended attractive young females that are told to smile by complete strangers they are not talking to, along with things like catcalls, cuties nicknames, and sexual innuendos and suggestions (often followed by insults and taunts when the woman doesn't respond or turns them down). In the former cases it tends to be more ablest and in the latter cases more sexist. There are also exceptions and cases where this distinction is less clear.



naturalplastic
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08 Aug 2015, 2:23 pm

Raleigh wrote:
Or...what really pisses me off!!

I'm listening to someone speak. I have to concentrate really hard because:
a) I'm hearing impaired and I often need to lip read.
b) There's usually a lot of background noise and distractions.
c) I'm trying to work out which words are important and which are merely embellishments.

Then there's a pause in the conversation where my mind is still trying to catch up. My face is expressionless because forming an expression would just be one more thing I would have to concentrate on. That's when the speaker says, "Smile, Raleigh!"

To me this feels like a form of low-level bullying. One person in particular does this to me constantly at work and it always leaves me feeling slightly humiliated, especially when done in front of the group. It's drawing attention to my 'difference' and holding it up for derision in front of an audience. It seems to be done in order to get a reaction from me - but I'm f****d if I know how I'm supposed to react?? I usually don't react at all, because often I can't. I don't have the necessary verbal skills.

The person who does this seems otherwise friendly and supportive, so I'm not sure if I'm just being too sensitive and in a way she's trying to make me aware of my expressions (or lack of). Maybe my no-expression face looks sad or worried? Idk.

What do you think? Bullying or not? How would you react in this situation?


Its not really "bullying". Its just annoying. They don't know what youre up against because they aren't hearing impaired (and not aspie on top of that).

If I were in a crowded restaurant listening to someone at the table - maybe they have a thick accent- and I have to hang on every word- and then they said "smile -Naturalplastic"- how would I react?

I dunno. Probably just say "im sorry, but I am having trouble following what you're saying. In fact could you repeat that last part again?".

Just politely ask them to do some of the heavy lifting of the conversation.



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08 Aug 2015, 2:52 pm

There may be something other than sexism at work here. Isn't a very slight smile the "default" expression on a woman's face with her muscles relaxed?


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08 Aug 2015, 3:56 pm

Spiderpig wrote:
There may be something other than sexism at work here. Isn't a very slight smile the "default" expression on a woman's face with her muscles relaxed?


No. There is no single standard default expression for any particular gender (the presumption that there is is based on stereotyping which can count as a subtle form of sexism). Every single person has their own natural default face which can vary drastically even in those of the same gender, ethnicity, age, weight and socio-cultural background. For many it is either a slight smile, slight frown or completely neutral face. For others it can be much more dramatic (mid to large smiles or frowns, a dazed look or an intense look, etc.).



Raleigh
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08 Aug 2015, 4:14 pm

militarybrat wrote:
Spiderpig wrote:
There may be something other than sexism at work here. Isn't a very slight smile the "default" expression on a woman's face with her muscles relaxed?


No. There is no single standard default expression for any particular gender (the presumption that there is is based on stereotyping which can count as a subtle form of sexism). Every single person has their own natural default face which can vary drastically even in those of the same gender, ethnicity, age, weight and socio-cultural background. For many it is either a slight smile, slight frown or completely neutral face. For others it can be much more dramatic (mid to large smiles or frowns, a dazed look or an intense look, etc.).

My default expression is catatonic. What am I supposed to do about that? Sometimes I feel like I should wear a mask. One of those Guy Fawkes ones should do.


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08 Aug 2015, 6:18 pm

Raleigh wrote:
My default expression is catatonic. What am I supposed to do about that? Sometimes I feel like I should wear a mask. One of those Guy Fawkes ones should do.

Absolutely nothing different. You think she seems otherwise nice......don't make too much of this. I think all she meant is it's hard for her to read what your facial expression means. And maybe that's hard for her. Be nice back and she'll probably smile some. Which will likely make you smile in return, it's automatic. If not, you're still pleasantly explaining, she might be fine with that.