have you constructively criticised an NT's communication?

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Jayo
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06 Aug 2021, 8:42 am

I mean, in a situation when there's some sort of misunderstanding "after the fact", i.e. something went awry based on unspoken assumptions on the NT's part that you shared a common "operating system" and it turns out you didn't, i.e. you missed the unstated albeit expected nuances and failed to see the pragmatics of what was required based on what the other person's frame of mind was likely to be, given the situational context (sigh, the bane of our existence) - and then it kind of "blew up".

So, in THOSE situations - have you been able to pinpoint flaws in the NT's communication and then propose some modifications to what they said, i.e. constructive criticism?
I've done this in the past, e.g. "Well you said X, had you made a clause that this depends on condition B and not just condition A, and said this and that, then I would have understood."
Sometimes, the other person actually agreed with me (although I couldn't tell if they were being sincere - maybe they were just "being Japanese" about it, as I derisively call fake-agreeing responses :roll: ) - but other times, they still looked at me like "WTF??" and I could tell, with my limited ToM, that they were probably thinking this doesn't happen with other people when I give similar instructions or statements, it only happens with Jayo. :(

Very important: when you impart this constructive criticism, you may want to preface it with "can I make a better suggestion to rephrase that statement, or similar statements, to avoid misunderstanding" - showing the good intentions part, that you weren't being passive-aggressive or flippant or such, and if they say "yes" then you can proceed. Also, at least as important, you need to be pre-emptive on this tactic: meaning there's a good chance when such misunderstandings occur, the NT will curtly tell you "in future, if you're not sure, then ASK." 8O But the fallacy, as many of us know all too well, as that we can only ask if we detect any ambiguity. If somebody explained something one way that to us only meant one thing b/c we couldn't intuitively "fill in the blanks" like an NT based on the triad of ToM, central coherence and "common sense", then there is no basis for us asking for clarification. So, you may want to additionally tell your interlocutor that "because there was only one way for me to interpret (original statement X), there was no basis for me to question it."

And hopefully, they won't bury their face on their hands, with awkward yet derisive laughter and say something patronizing like "ohhh...why does this sort of thing only happen with you..." :x :(



Fnord
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06 Aug 2021, 8:56 am

Since there is no such thing as "constructive" criticism (it is all destructive in some way), I usually wait until the moment when they say something like, "What I meant was..." to tell them that they should say what they mean.

The default mode of interpretation is "Literal", because no one can read anyone else's mind to learn their true intent.


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Fireblossom
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06 Aug 2021, 9:23 am

I've tried, but they usually refuse to listen. The worst cases have been with my half sister who I used to be roommates with (as in splitting rent and such stuff, not living at our childhood home. When I tried to explain why I did something the way I did, she just automatically dubbed it as a worse way. It was always her way or she started sulking. Sometimes she even got mad if I started doing laundry when she had wanted to do hers, too... how was I supposed to know when she didn't say anything and her laundry basket was in her room where I couldn't check if it was full!?



Jayo
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06 Aug 2021, 9:49 am

Fireblossom wrote:
I've tried, but they usually refuse to listen. The worst cases have been with my half sister who I used to be roommates with (as in splitting rent and such stuff, not living at our childhood home. When I tried to explain why I did something the way I did, she just automatically dubbed it as a worse way. It was always her way or she started sulking. Sometimes she even got mad if I started doing laundry when she had wanted to do hers, too... how was I supposed to know when she didn't say anything and her laundry basket was in her room where I couldn't check if it was full!?


Yeah, that's just downright perverse. Maybe she has some sort of Cluster-B personality disorder?? Or maybe she thinks she's superior to you b/c she's "normal" and you're not, so she acts congruent to that mindset :evil:



Benjamin the Donkey
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06 Aug 2021, 9:51 am

Fnord wrote:
Since there is no such thing as "constructive" criticism (it is all destructive in some way), I usually wait until the moment when they say something like, "What I meant was..." to tell them that they should say what they mean.

The default mode of interpretation is "Literal", because no one can read anyone else's mind to learn their true intent.


There is such a thing as constructive criticism. If my kid burns the eggs, and I explain that adding a bit of oil to the pan first will help prevent that, it is constructive. If a friend makes a mistake in conflating two words in Spanish, and I explain the distinction to help him avoid that in the future, it is constructive. If a newbie on a film set doesn't understand the meaning of "room tone" and I explain that, it is constructive. None of these things are remotely destructive.


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HeroOfHyrule
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06 Aug 2021, 9:58 am

I've done this quite a few times. NTs aren't perfect and make a lot of social mistakes themselves, so I've given criticism on that type of stuff before. Sometimes people accept it and sometimes people get angry, but that's more up to personality than them being NT. I know quite a few autistics that get angry if you criticize anything about them, even if you're right.



Fnord
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06 Aug 2021, 10:24 am

Benjamin the Donkey wrote:
Fnord wrote:
Since there is no such thing as "constructive" criticism (it is all destructive in some way), I usually wait until the moment when they say something like, "What I meant was..." to tell them that they should say what they mean.  The default mode of interpretation is "Literal", because no one can read anyone else's mind to learn their true intent.
There is such a thing as constructive criticism. If my kid burns the eggs, and I explain that adding a bit of oil to the pan first will help prevent that, it is constructive. If a friend makes a mistake in conflating two words in Spanish, and I explain the distinction to help him avoid that in the future, it is constructive. If a newbie on a film set doesn't understand the meaning of "room tone" and I explain that, it is constructive. None of these things are remotely destructive.
I can go along with all that; but why engage in criticism after the fact when a little instruction before the fact is better?


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naturalplastic
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06 Aug 2021, 12:16 pm

Fnord wrote:
Benjamin the Donkey wrote:
Fnord wrote:
Since there is no such thing as "constructive" criticism (it is all destructive in some way), I usually wait until the moment when they say something like, "What I meant was..." to tell them that they should say what they mean.  The default mode of interpretation is "Literal", because no one can read anyone else's mind to learn their true intent.
There is such a thing as constructive criticism. If my kid burns the eggs, and I explain that adding a bit of oil to the pan first will help prevent that, it is constructive. If a friend makes a mistake in conflating two words in Spanish, and I explain the distinction to help him avoid that in the future, it is constructive. If a newbie on a film set doesn't understand the meaning of "room tone" and I explain that, it is constructive. None of these things are remotely destructive.
I can go along with all that; but why engage in criticism after the fact when a little instruction before the fact is better?


Because we all live in the real world where that isnt always possible.



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06 Aug 2021, 3:53 pm

naturalplastic wrote:
Fnord wrote:
Benjamin the Donkey wrote:
Fnord wrote:
Since there is no such thing as "constructive" criticism (it is all destructive in some way), I usually wait until the moment when they say something like, "What I meant was..." to tell them that they should say what they mean.  The default mode of interpretation is "Literal", because no one can read anyone else's mind to learn their true intent.
There is such a thing as constructive criticism. If my kid burns the eggs, and I explain that adding a bit of oil to the pan first will help prevent that, it is constructive. If a friend makes a mistake in conflating two words in Spanish, and I explain the distinction to help him avoid that in the future, it is constructive. If a newbie on a film set doesn't understand the meaning of "room tone" and I explain that, it is constructive. None of these things are remotely destructive.
I can go along with all that; but why engage in criticism after the fact when a little instruction before the fact is better?
Because we all live in the real world where that isn't always possible.
You and I must live on different worlds, then.


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Harry Haller
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06 Aug 2021, 4:15 pm

Fnord wrote:
Since there is no such thing as "constructive" criticism (it is all destructive in some way), I usually wait until the moment when they say something like, "What I meant was..." to tell them that they should say what they mean.

Yeah ---- I usually just go for the nuclear option early.
- That way they stop yammering at me so much :lol:



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06 Aug 2021, 6:14 pm

HeroOfHyrule wrote:
I've done this quite a few times. NTs aren't perfect and make a lot of social mistakes themselves, so I've given criticism on that type of stuff before. Sometimes people accept it and sometimes people get angry, but that's more up to personality than them being NT. I know quite a few autistics that get angry if you criticize anything about them, even if you're right.


I get angry and offended when people point out my social mistakes, depending on what they are of course. If it's the sort of social mistake an NT might make I don't get angry or offended, but if it's an autism-related mistake I beat myself up about it because I hate having ASD. Somehow I seem to know which mistakes are common in NTs and which are more Aspie.


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Benjamin the Donkey
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06 Aug 2021, 11:18 pm

Fnord wrote:
Benjamin the Donkey wrote:
Fnord wrote:
Since there is no such thing as "constructive" criticism (it is all destructive in some way), I usually wait until the moment when they say something like, "What I meant was..." to tell them that they should say what they mean.  The default mode of interpretation is "Literal", because no one can read anyone else's mind to learn their true intent.
There is such a thing as constructive criticism. If my kid burns the eggs, and I explain that adding a bit of oil to the pan first will help prevent that, it is constructive. If a friend makes a mistake in conflating two words in Spanish, and I explain the distinction to help him avoid that in the future, it is constructive. If a newbie on a film set doesn't understand the meaning of "room tone" and I explain that, it is constructive. None of these things are remotely destructive.
I can go along with all that; but why engage in criticism after the fact when a little instruction before the fact is better?

Because, before the fact, we don't always know what someone else doesn't know.


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starkid
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07 Aug 2021, 2:05 am

Jayo wrote:
I couldn't tell if they were being sincere - maybe they were just "being Japanese" about it, as I derisively call fake-agreeing responses :roll: )

I suggest you not say that sort of thing unless you want to be considered a racist.



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07 Aug 2021, 4:19 am

Jayo wrote:
Fireblossom wrote:
I've tried, but they usually refuse to listen. The worst cases have been with my half sister who I used to be roommates with (as in splitting rent and such stuff, not living at our childhood home. When I tried to explain why I did something the way I did, she just automatically dubbed it as a worse way. It was always her way or she started sulking. Sometimes she even got mad if I started doing laundry when she had wanted to do hers, too... how was I supposed to know when she didn't say anything and her laundry basket was in her room where I couldn't check if it was full!?


Yeah, that's just downright perverse. Maybe she has some sort of Cluster-B personality disorder?? Or maybe she thinks she's superior to you b/c she's "normal" and you're not, so she acts congruent to that mindset :evil:


Haha, probably the later.



cyberdad
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07 Aug 2021, 6:15 am

Jayo wrote:
But the fallacy, as many of us know all too well, as that we can only ask if we detect any ambiguity. If somebody explained something one way that to us only meant one thing b/c we couldn't intuitively "fill in the blanks" like an NT based on the triad of ToM, central coherence and "common sense", then there is no basis for us asking for clarification.


From what I have observed, there seems to be two common traits that overlap in a majority of people with autism. The first relates to social deficits, i) being unable to pick up social cues via body language/facial expression, ii) expression in terms of voice/tone when responding iii) processing speech/language fast enough to comprehend what's going on

The second relates to compulsive behaviour that are linked to anxiety. This ranges from simple twitch all the way to self-stimulating behaviours and repetitive rituals. Another is subconciously shifting conversation away from what the NT is talking about to topics/thoughts that alleviate anxiety

There are probably others, but many of the above issues require an NT to move down a gear and go through some effort to patiently explain something or slow down/deconstruct to allow the aspie to keep up. I'm afraid most NTs don't have the patience or inclination to make that effort unless they have to, To be honest, before dealing with autism as a parent, I would probably not had the patience to communicate with a "stereotypical Aspie". Not because I was an as*hole (although maybe I was?) but because I wouldn't be sure if I would sound offensive or patronising? It's easier to just move on and avoid an awkward situation.

it had nothing to do with what NTs think of autism or people on the spectrum.

And (I am going to be unpopular for saying this). Most of the posters here would behave in exactly the same way if they had to communicate with somebody else on the spectrum who was less capable of social communication than them. For all the good intentions I'm guessing everyone here (including the OP) would do the same to somebody less capable than themselves in deciphering or decoding ambiguity in language/communication. Please don't pretend you wouldn't,



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07 Aug 2021, 10:32 am

My previous wife used to occasionally say things that I doubt anybody could have understood, and when she did, I would say it back to her in the hope that she would notice that what she'd said wasn't intelligible, but she never once took kindly to it, and objected to me doing that, saying it was discourteous of me. I think I replied that saying unintelligible things could equally be viewed as discourteous, and that I was only trying to show her how difficult it was to understand what she was saying, but it never did any good as far as I know.

Apart from that I don't remember criticising anybody's communication to their faces. In my experience people generally are never as unclear as that ex-wife could sometimes be, so it's usually been possible to get clarification by just asking relevent questions about what they've said - "how do you mean?" or "when you say x, do you mean y?" or I might make a guess at what they mean and say "do you mean [guessed meaning]?" Or I might give just them a puzzled look and hope they'll rephrase it more clearly. Sometimes when I don't have much time, patience or interest, I might say "yes." That's not quite honest of me but probably more polite than saying "You're not making yourself clear and I'm not interested in probing it any further." Sometimes I wish it was more socially acceptable to say things like that. It's a bit hurtful but at least everybody would know where they stood. But I suppose just saying "yes" with an unenthusiastic tone of voice usually conveys much the same thing, only more gently. Even I pick it up when I get a response like that.