Have you come back from a "first impression deficit"?

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Jayo
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05 Jun 2022, 12:11 pm

Wondering if my fellow ASD folk on here have ever come back from "first impression deficit"? Like if someone viscerally had negative feelings towards you on first meeting them, and were somewhat aloof thereafter, but warmed up to you afterwards? Of course, given our lack of nonverbal fluency seamlessly paired with intuitive ToM, this may be hard to tell if someone "thin-slices" us (to use Malcolm Gladwell's term) and reacts with a certain subtle revulsion or contempt, a-la "uncanny valley"... because it's much harder for us to auto-interpret nuances in nonverbal communication, e.g. a smile and a certain chuckle and turning of the head that indicates discomfort rather than happiness or openness with someone... we may not know that we've succumbed to "first impression deficit". (However, peers and onlookers could certainly tell - and if they could interpret that we couldn't, based on our expression, they may have resorted to ridiculing us behind our backs, or even worse to our faces thru sarcasm and disinformation. :( )

Here is a very revealing, albeit emotionally unpalatable passage from Wikipedia on the thin-slicing first impression:

Further research published in 2017, a meta-analysis of three studies, demonstrated that "first impressions of individuals with ASD made from thin slices of real-world social behavior by typically-developing observers are not only far less favorable across a range of trait judgments compared to controls, but also are associated with reduced intentions to pursue social interaction." The meta-analysis continues, "These patterns are remarkably robust, occur within seconds, do not change with increased exposure, and persist across both child and adult age groups."[

It's the "do no change with increased exposure" that had me :( 8O Back in my young adult years in the '90s, before I knew what the heck Asperger's was, this was very much my experience - I can't recall ever coming back from a deficit as such, and could only faintly perceive that there was such a first-impression deficit in the first place. When I learned to mask much better letter in my 20s, I bypassed most NT's radar and when they found out "something's off" they weren't quite as frosty to me. Well, I had to get to that stage to at least get sexual experiences with women...I would've probably had been branded what they call "an incel" today, back in those days 8O



autisticelders
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05 Jun 2022, 1:18 pm

Have you heard about the "uncanny valley"??? Instincts we have that are subliminal will send messages to us on sub conscious levels... we register things like gender, appearance of health status, involuntary almost immeasurable motions, "unhealthy" body odors and so much more without even realizing it. As animals first and humans second, we might try to think through instinctive dislike, but our sub conscious still makes us uncomfortable even as we try to consciously overcome it. Of course for many people, there is no "try" to overcome initial or first impressions. This goes back to human beginnings and "natural selection". I gave up long ago on trying to win anybody over if they gave any indication at all that I was not acceptable to them. And there have been far more unaccepting individuals over my 70 years than there have been accepting. I guess I have learned that I can't win in that struggle.

There has been a recent study of autistic individuals and NT interactions where this instinctual behavior was demonstrated yet again. I'll see if I can find the link and post it here.


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autisticelders
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05 Jun 2022, 1:20 pm

Autism / NT interaction studies
Not the one I was thinking of, but there seem to have been many.
https://www.nature.com/articles/srep40700


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autisticelders
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05 Jun 2022, 1:23 pm

not this one either, but still looking for the one I remembered

https://link.springer.com/article/10.10 ... 21-04963-4


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05 Jun 2022, 1:28 pm

Late hubby used to say you can never get a second chance to make a first good impression.

So actually when meeting in person, I used to strive to make a neutral impression, so that I might get a second chance .?? Now as time has passed am alittle less concerned as I used to be.

Have to admit , that sometimes the stress of masking was to great.. and generally was on the edge of a meltdown.
Consistently . And could take a few days to recover depending on the level of the interaction. At least once went into a meltdown in such a situation .


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05 Jun 2022, 1:35 pm

I *instinctively* see that use of first impression is so unfair. Yet nobody else seems to agree. Have anyone ever justified WHY they trust first impression so much?



Jayo
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05 Jun 2022, 1:45 pm

QFT wrote:
I *instinctively* see that use of first impression is so unfair. Yet nobody else seems to agree. Have anyone ever justified WHY they trust first impression so much?


Well, heck yeah, they SHOULD! But it's not gonna happen, is it...
I'm sure plenty of people trusted their first impression of Ted Bundy :( :roll:



Jayo
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05 Jun 2022, 1:51 pm

autisticelders wrote:
Have you heard about the "uncanny valley"??? Instincts we have that are subliminal will send messages to us on sub conscious levels... we register things like gender, appearance of health status, involuntary almost immeasurable motions, "unhealthy" body odors and so much more without even realizing it. As animals first and humans second, we might try to think through instinctive dislike, but our sub conscious still makes us uncomfortable even as we try to consciously overcome it. Of course for many people, there is no "try" to overcome initial or first impressions. This goes back to human beginnings and "natural selection". I gave up long ago on trying to win anybody over if they gave any indication at all that I was not acceptable to them. And there have been far more unaccepting individuals over my 70 years than there have been accepting. I guess I have learned that I can't win in that struggle.

There has been a recent study of autistic individuals and NT interactions where this instinctual behavior was demonstrated yet again. I'll see if I can find the link and post it here.


Yes, I HAVE heard of "the uncanny valley", and as the OP, I actually mentioned in there :)
You are absolutely right about that - neurotypical humans have some built-in rejection mechanism, that seems to work both individually and at a hive-mind level (you may have recalled subtle cues in early adulthood of NTs anxiously darting glances at each other if you were around them).

This is why, during the 90s (most of my 20s) before an ASD diagnosis, I couldn't for the life of me comprehend the paradox that in some way I was perceived as genetically inferior and thus rejected, but then how would such genes ever get propagated in the first place?? It was a real torment for me to be constantly rejected by females, like they were repulsed by me even though I was good-looking and a good height - even though I couldn't read their thoughts by and large, they definitely conjured up some unspoken message of "I don't want you anywhere NEAR my reproductive organs, condom or no condom." 8O

Yes, I at least had a fairly accurate visceral grasp of what I was going through in relation to NT society and mindset.



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05 Jun 2022, 2:23 pm

The "getting to know me" is very important. If a person won't do that - it's game over for that relationship. I get friends and jobs and opportunities from people who I see repeatedly and get to know me. This is why classes, contracting and volunteering have led to my employment, b/c (NT) meet-and-greets and interviews don't.

I don't understand the non-verbal problems associated with ASD. From a sensing standpoint, like some (or many) ASD folks, I am hyperaware of other people's non-verbal expressions. I can tell very easily (and magnified) when people are frustrated, upset, interested, etc. My difficulty is that I don't know exactly why and I don't know the appropriate (NT-defined?) responses. It would be easy to say: "I see you are frustrated, what is it?" But I've been taught that's not appropriate in an NT world. I'm supposed to ignore it or say something indirect or subtle. From what I've read NTs are more likely to know what another NT thinks, b/c they think alike, but still it's only guessing. I am more likely to understand an Austistic person relative to an NT, but I would be guessing also. My problem is that I will entertain the unlikely options (openness), while it seems NTs go with high probabilities (effective, but narrow-minded). So if I can see non-verbal's and I can guess about non-verbals --- it seems that all that is missing is that I don't think like an NT and have been trained not to behave as an Autistic person.

As an aside, my directness and "innocence", can be disarming. Outside a bar, a guy with a loaded gun rack stopped my then-boyfriend and I and started yelling at us.... I made my ASD moves (direct, honest) and ends up his garage door broke that morning and things just hadn't been going his way. I never would have guessed that, but asking got us out of a world of misunderstanding.



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05 Jun 2022, 3:05 pm

No, that never happened. The toxic environment only enforces their negative ideas of me. They don't even care to actually get to know me. I don't even get a chance. Such people are not worth getting to know any way.



Jayo
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05 Jun 2022, 3:09 pm

SharonB wrote:
The "getting to know me" is very important. If a person won't do that - it's game over for that relationship. I get friends and jobs and opportunities from people who I see repeatedly and get to know me. This is why classes, contracting and volunteering have led to my employment, b/c (NT) meet-and-greets and interviews don't.

I don't understand the non-verbal problems associated with ASD. From a sensing standpoint, like some (or many) ASD folks, I am hyperaware of other people's non-verbal expressions. I can tell very easily (and magnified) when people are frustrated, upset, interested, etc. My difficulty is that I don't know exactly why and I don't know the appropriate (NT-defined?) responses. It would be easy to say: "I see you are frustrated, what is it?" But I've been taught that's not appropriate in an NT world.


Well, that last sentence isn't entirely true (at least, IMO and IME) - like almost everything else in an NT-dominated world , "it all / really depends on the CONTEXT".
Sometimes, it's perfectly acceptable to ask that question. I can't think of an example offhand - but I can tell you some general situations when NOT to say it - situations where it's obvious that you or something you did is the cause of that frustration, or you saw someone give them bad news or a hard time about something.
Perhaps the instances in which you were told "it's not appropriate to ask someone's emotions" was when you missed a social cue, leaving them frustrated - basically they invoke the legal-ish dictum of "you ought to have reasonably known" or "a reasonable (normal) person would have been expected to have known this".
Except it's in the court of NT social norms, such as it is :roll:

Whereas other NTs would either (a) automatically intuit the "WHY" behind the emotion (not just the what) or b) avoid doing the thing / missing the social cue to frustrate them in the first place.



Jayo
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05 Jun 2022, 3:13 pm

autisticelders wrote:
not this one either, but still looking for the one I remembered

https://link.springer.com/article/10.10 ... 21-04963-4


Yeah, I'm pretty sure I've seen this one before. It almost seems like a paradox of sorts, that we are disarmingly honest with others to the point of offence, so if anything we should be THE LAST ones to be suspected of shiftiness... but I think it's something people attribute to the mentally disordered in general - they can't be trusted, because they're "not all there" or they're out of touch with reality.

They mention the FAE or Fundamental Attribution Error in there. I know that one all too well!
:)



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05 Jun 2022, 6:59 pm

It’s not easy and some times , I think of correct response days later . But have used rapid fire deductive reasoning based on past experiences . When my alertness is good , usually am relying on adrenal push to do that as well as I can , while still masking . Usually try to disengage ..Before losing my stamina . It has become a automatic reaction in my life .. So not always tried to consider, to make a comeback, if my first impressions from the NT are kinda negative . So am guilty of doing that with NTs , cause mental self abuse is not really my thing .


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06 Jun 2022, 4:54 am

Jayo wrote:
autisticelders wrote:
not this one either, but still looking for the one I remembered

https://link.springer.com/article/10.10 ... 21-04963-4


Yeah, I'm pretty sure I've seen this one before. It almost seems like a paradox of sorts, that we are disarmingly honest with others to the point of offence, so if anything we should be THE LAST ones to be suspected of shiftiness... but I think it's something people attribute to the mentally disordered in general - they can't be trusted, because they're "not all there" or they're out of touch with reality.

They mention the FAE or Fundamental Attribution Error in there. I know that one all too well!
:)


When you say they aren’t all there, do you mean that they won’t lie to others but they don’t understand themselves very well? I had many examples from the past where I felt that is what they insinuated and it was really hurtful. Surely I understand myself: I know exactly what I want, enough so to obsess about it day in and day out,

As a matter of fact, I would rather be accused of lying than of not understanding myself. Because lying is logical (and yes, contrary to stereotype, I do lie at times). Not understanding myself is not (and so I never misunderstand myself: I misunderstand others, yes, but not myself). So if someone were to tell me “I suspect you lied about X in order to gain Y”, fair enough. That’s logical. But if they say “I suspect you misperceived X because you don’t understand yourself very well”, that’s illogical and gets me angry.

One example was when I was given an advice to question my own intentions of finding a girlfriend. Well that guy who gave me that advice has every right to question my intentions: he isn’t me. But why on earth should I question my own intentions: I am me, I know exactly what my intentions are!

Also the assertion that someone is not all there because they are different is illogical. If someone is different it can, logically, imply three possibilities:

a) less self-awareness

b) more self-awareness

c) Neither

So why they assume it is “a”, instead of considering all three?

I for one think it’s “b”. Just like most people notice, I am self obsessed. If you are obsessed about something, your awareness about the topic of your obsession goes up, not down. So since people know I am self obsessed (as evident by them criticizing me for that very thing) how come they still assume I am not self aware? They basically (rightly) assume I am self obsessed and (wrongly) assume I lack self awareness at the same time, without noticing the obvious contradiction between two assumptions.



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06 Jun 2022, 1:37 pm

Seems I can follow the logic in the above post .


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06 Jun 2022, 6:07 pm

Jayo wrote:
Except it's in the court of NT social norms, such as it is :roll:


Exactly that.

IMHO there typically isn't sufficient context.

Stranger shuns me: is it because of my high energy, is it because I'm not wearing make up, is it because I talked for over 30 second or under 5 seconds, is it because I look like their estranged sister, is it b/c I remind them of their partner who dumped them last week?

Customer service person is grumpy: is it b/c they don't like their job, is it b/c their parent went into the hospital this morning, is it b/c I said something "wrong"?

But even with context.... I don't see things the way an NT does ---- my NT husband can turn towards me at a festival and cross his arms and frown ----- um, obviously it's too loud and too bright and too crowded and of course I'd be upset by those things, but he's NT, so... umm... I'm looking around... thinking of what he's (or I have) said recently... nothing jumping out at me... it's supposed to be obvious? :twisted:

But to your point, I have a horrible social memory, so even for a friend it's hard for me to keep in mind what's going on in their life to have that context in mind.