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Jamesy
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02 Jul 2012, 12:14 pm

Why do you think somtimes people with aspergers can misunderstand other people's intentions?



katwithhat
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02 Jul 2012, 12:48 pm

I do because I never know what peoples intentions are. It would be a hellova lot easier if people would just tell me point blank what they want.


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Monkeybuttorama
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02 Jul 2012, 12:49 pm

A lot of times, people's intentions and what they *say* their intentions are are two different things, and we generally have trouble picking up on that, or we don't pick up the non-verbal cues that tell other NTs what the intentions are. A lack of Theory of Mind doesn't help, either, and many of us are lacking.



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02 Jul 2012, 2:09 pm

Between our inability to understand non-verbal communication & the assumptions made based on our usually painful life history, it's nearly impossible to get a clear idea of what a person's intentions are. And often, people are not fully aware of what their intentions are.



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02 Jul 2012, 2:14 pm

I think it has to do with troubles reading social situations and other people. But how do we know we are misreading them? People correct us perhaps so that is how we know, we just have to take their word for it is all.


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02 Jul 2012, 2:32 pm

With our general social inexperience (usually), body language reading skills, and empathy difficulties, figuring out other's intentions is quite difficult. I make myself an idea through psychology knowledge, conscious body-language and other non-verbal cues, and experience... but yeah, it's hard.


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questor
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02 Jul 2012, 2:32 pm

Non verbal cues including body language, facial expressions, and gestures are a big part of communication. Unfortunately, many of us on the spectrum are not good at reading these. At the same time many people have the unrealistic idea that others can basically read their minds by reading their body language, facial expressions, and gestures. They also tend to be the type of people who like to hint around a thing instead of coming out and speaking plainly. When others fail to read such a person's mind (what mind :lol:), the silly ones who think others should have known what they meant get mad at the one who failed to read that person's mind--"But you should have known what I meant!" How the heck can anyone know what is meant if it isn't plainly stated?! !! People can't read minds! :duh: :wall:

In the future, just tell the ones who believe you can read their minds that you are not a mind reader, so they will just have to speak plainly, if they really want you to know what they mean. :roll: If they don't get the message and keep doing that, maybe you should start charging them for mentalist act readings, but with no guarantees of accuracy. After all first they have to have a mind to read. :lol:


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kirayng
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02 Jul 2012, 2:36 pm

katwithhat wrote:
I do because I never know what peoples intentions are. It would be a hellova lot easier if people would just tell me point blank what they want.


This. Even going through life thinking I knew gave me such psychological complexes I'm only now starting to unravel after nearly two decades. Now I just stay with, I don't know. Yeah, it takes getting used to but it sure beats thinking I know... then being wrong... so, horribly, wrong. :oops:



btbnnyr
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02 Jul 2012, 2:37 pm

Because I don't think like they do. They don't understand my intentions either.



Ennui
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02 Jul 2012, 3:11 pm

I usually tend to think that intentions are worse than the people mean them to be, that everyone has an alterior motive, because that was my experience growing up. My husband (I think he's on the spectrum but he won't take the tests) assumes everyone's intentions are good and gets burned more often than not.

I guess I figure that even if I read someone wrong I've erred on the side of caution and if they are offended by my assumption that their intentions were not good, even subconciously not good, then whatever, I'm not a people person friend maker anyway so, no difference to me.

I'm thirty five now and just starting to understand why I think the way that I do. I never even considered that I might be an Aspie until some issues lead me to a test about it. Point is, you learn through trial and error, and error, and error, how to read people, how to communicate enough to get by or, with effort (and sometimes alcohol) to be social.
I constantly try to stay conscious of what is the normal thing to say or do and do that instead of what may be my first reaction or pops into my head first.

It's not easy but, bright side is that you know why you think the way that you do and that a lot of people out there think that way too. :)



Chevand
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02 Jul 2012, 3:38 pm

questor wrote:
Non verbal cues including body language, facial expressions, and gestures are a big part of communication. Unfortunately, many of us on the spectrum are not good at reading these. At the same time many people have the unrealistic idea that others can basically read their minds by reading their body language, facial expressions, and gestures. They also tend to be the type of people who like to hint around a thing instead of coming out and speaking plainly. When others fail to read such a person's mind (what mind :lol:), the silly ones who think others should have known what they meant get mad at the one who failed to read that person's mind--"But you should have known what I meant!" How the heck can anyone know what is meant if it isn't plainly stated?! !! People can't read minds! :duh: :wall:

In the future, just tell the ones who believe you can read their minds that you are not a mind reader, so they will just have to speak plainly, if they really want you to know what they mean. :roll: If they don't get the message and keep doing that, maybe you should start charging them for mentalist act readings, but with no guarantees of accuracy. After all first they have to have a mind to read. :lol:


I was speaking with one of my best friends the other day. In the sense that she's not on the autism spectrum, I suppose one could classify her as an NT-- although, she has OCD which in some ways manifests similarly to AS, and for that reason she and I have established a very strong empathic relationship. One of the big ways in which we differ, though, is precisely this sort of disconnect between how we normally communicate. I was asking her for relationship advice, and I inquired, "Why do people say one thing-- or sometimes, nothing at all-- and mean something completely different? Why can't people just say exactly what they mean?" She answered, "Because usually, it's easier." That was when it truly clicked in my mind. This body language and mindreading act that people try to pull off-- it may not always work, but when it does, it's an efficient way of communicating with minimal expenditure of energy.

I thought back about the relationship between this friend of mine and myself. It hasn't always gone so smoothly. For a period of time, there were serious communication breakdowns between us. Realizing that what we were doing was not making either of us happy, we had a few discussions, during which I made the case that I was simply not capable of reading her silence as adroitly as her NT friends could. We decided to compromise: from that point forward, she, to her great credit, would be more patient and forgiving with me, and I in turn would try not to interpret paranoid negative signs in her silence where there were none. Both of us would be open and honest with each other about our intentions. Since then, our friendship has, for the most part, been rather stable and satisfying for each of us. She now tells me that the extra couple of seconds she has to take each time she is explaining her position to me is a small price to pay for one of her most loyal and trusted friends.

From my experience, it is true-- in most cases, it's best to be honest and forthright with yourself and your friends and family concerning your communicational limitations. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. The people who truly care about you won't fault you for yours being different than theirs. So long as some sort of compromise can be reached about being more patient with each other, there really shouldn't be a problem.


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Ganondox
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02 Jul 2012, 3:43 pm

Because our intentions are different than there's on a deeper level.


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Radiofixr
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02 Jul 2012, 6:50 pm

I also have a problem when someone sends mixed messages-I get totally confused and if it happens to be another aspie like my nephew it can be downright frustrating.


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lostgirl1986
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02 Jul 2012, 6:51 pm

I think it's a true symptom for some people with AS, not all of them but some of them.



edgewaters
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02 Jul 2012, 6:53 pm

Because I don't have telepathy and NTs are practically useless at honest verbal communication, and not because of freezing up (they're the same online, too).



Ennui
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03 Jul 2012, 11:46 am

Chevand (a few posts up) said "I in turn would try not to interpret paranoid negative signs in her silence where there were none. "

It seems like every day something else clicks with me, something else that I do that I always just chalked up to me being weird or nuts. I do that, "interpret paranoid negative signs in silence". Is that a common thing to Aspies?