What does "lack of eye contact" refers to?

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QFT
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10 Oct 2022, 8:08 am

ToughDiamond wrote:
As for touching, I think it's different for different Aspies, and different cultures have different ideas about when touching is appropriate. Many Aspies seem OK with "firm-pressure" touch but not light touch.


I am okay with both kind of touching.

The only light touch I won't be okay with is tickling. Are you saying a lot of aspies are ticklish?

I don't like to feel tickled. But I don't think I would feel tickled by a light touch, unless its too light.

ToughDiamond wrote:
If somebody unexpectedly tries to touch me, I usually discourage them as a reflex reaction before I've had time to think about whether or not I want them to touch me.


Well, for some reason nobody ever tries to touch me. Which leads to a question why not? Especially since, apparently, they do try to touch you.

The only example of unexpected touch that I remember is a lady that were greeting us gave me a hug two weeks ago. That was the sole reason why I came back to that church a week later. Otherwise I would have come to a different church as I like the other church's doctrine better. But her giving me a hug (which nobody ever did in ages) --- along with talking to me for entire 5 minutes (which nobody did either) is what made me come back there the next week.

However, going back to your "reflex reaction", I can relate if you replace "touching" with "trying to talk". Like if I am on a way from A to B and someone tries to talk to me, then my reflex reaction is to ignore them because B is more important. But then when I re-think it, it is too late. For example, around a month before covid started, I was standing in a line to get a drink. Some girl said hi to me. I ignored her since I really wanted to drink. She commented to the older lady "I said hi and he is like its okay". Then after I got a drink I tried to fix it by starting a conversation with her, but this time she was the one giving me one word answers. I didn't apologize to her though. I just started a conversation on some other random topic. As an afterthought, I should have brought up that incident that she commented on. But I didn't. Unfortunately I didn't know who she was. Then half a year later, I had one of my students who looked like her. I emailed that student about that incident and ask her if she was her. She said she wasn't: in fact it was her first semester there so she wasn't at the university back when the incident happened. So I feel bad that I can't find that girl and make it right.

And that is not the only example. It doesn't matter if I want to drink, or if I want to check internet, or if I want a number of other things. Whenever I want something, and somebody interrupts me to talk, I brush them off, and then few seconds later feel bad about it. And then obsess as to how can I make it right. Yet don't know how.

ToughDiamond wrote:
Of course ever since the pandemic started, responsible people have had to re-think the whole touching game.


Nobody touched me before pandemic either.

When pandemic just started, my first reaction was "I am so glad all streets are empty and everyone social distances: I don't have to envy anyone".

I know some aspies like social distancing so that they don't get touched. I am not one of them. I like social distancing so that I don't have to be reminded how I am the only one *not* being touched.

But now the pandemic is effectively over. Unless it is an excuse. I remember a girl at the front desk didn't get into elevator with me. I later asked her whether she thought I would grope her or what. She said no: it is just a pandemic thing (she actually said it as if she felt fine to be in an elevator with me, she was worried if I won't be fine, since I was still wearing a mask (actually I was wearing a mask because I got religious exemption from a vaccine and that was one of the conditions, but she didn't know it)). Well, to me it sounds like an excuse. Maybe in her case it was true who knows, but she isn't the only woman who didn't want to be in elevator with me, and I highly doubt its because of pandemic.

I also asked my (male) roommate why people don't talk to me. He also cited pandemics. But like I said: they didn't talk to me pre-pandemic either. As evident by how much I enjoyed it when pandemic started. And now they again talk to each other, just not me. As evident by my constantly getting frustrated as I see them talking to each other.



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10 Oct 2022, 8:35 am

ToughDiamond wrote:
I think cities are very different to rural areas when it comes to eye-contact with strangers. Often in the countryside the locals will greet people they don't know, in a way that would likely arouse suspicion in a city, and I would think some degree of eye contact would be one of the components of this rural friendliness.


Well, I live in the city (in Albuquerque). So then I am not sure why she gave me advice congruent with countryside.

But then again, what you just said might be due to the fact that in cities they trust each other less. Which, in turn, might be the reason they don't talk to me.

But then you have to ask yourself: which way is it? Are they not talking to me because in a city not talking is a norm? Or are they not talking to me because they expect me to make an eye contact and I didn't? You can't have it both ways.

Also, if in a city they didn't talk to each other, I won't feel bad. The whole entire reason I feel bad is that they *do* talk to each other, just not to me.

ToughDiamond wrote:
But again, I suspect the received wisdom about "proper" eye contact fails to convey the whole detailed truth of the matter. For example, the model of typical conversational eye contact that Desmond Morris documented is unlike anything I've ever seen from those who advise Aspies how to "fit in." DM reckoned it goes like this:
The speaker looks briefly at the listener's face and eyes as he/she starts to speak, looks away during the body of his verbal offering, and then looks back at the listener at the end. Meanwhile the listener looks at the speaker more or less continuously. Then they reverse those roles, and so on. Now, DM had studied human behaviour very closely across a variety of cultures. I'm not so sure that all the people who advise Aspies have really looked at the matter quite so carefully. Not that I know for sure that DM is right.


That reminds me of what my counselor told me few years ago. In contradiction to other people, he said I make too much eye contact rather than too little. And he advised me that I look at the person then look away then look at the person again, etc. But he wasn't so detailed as to say exactly when to do which of those things the way you described Desmond Morris doing.

I guess if I put together counselor saying I make too much eye contact with others saying I make too little, I can arrive at the following conclusion. When I am interested in a topic, I make too much eye contact. If I am not, I make too little. With counselor, I kept talking about people rejecting me. As you can tell from my WP posts, I am interested in that topic. So I made too much eye contact with him. But when others are talking about something I am less interested in, I make less eye contact.

Or perhaps it is also because I am more eager to speak than to listen? I think I am more likely to make eye contact when I am the one who is talking.

With tone of voice it is the same concept. Usually people (including my mom) tell me that my voice is too loud. But when my mom tries to remind me to say please or thank you (yes, she still does it), then my voice is quiet. And then my mom says "say it louder; you usually have no problem with a loud voice, why is it when it comes to please and thank you you can't say it loud enough". Well maybe its because I am a lot more excited about everything else I talk about, than about please and thank you.

ToughDiamond wrote:
None of it does me much good anyway, because although I'm perfectly capable of gazing into a speaker's eyes till the cows come home, when I do so it gets in the way of my attention on what they're saying. So paradoxically, if I use the supposed NT way of showing that I'm listening to them, then I'm not really listening to them at all, and when I look away and close my eyes I'm listening much better but they probably think I'm ignoring them.


Could it be that there is a difference between "looking" vs "trying to make sure that I look". When you try to make sure about something (doesn't matter what), then of course it will disract you. But maybe even if you don't try to make sure, you would still look. Kind of like you are breathing without trying to make sure that you breath? I guess maybe the difference between looking and breathing is that if you don't try to make sure that you breath, you will still breath 100% of the time, but if you are not trying to make sure that you look, you will only look, say, 75% of the time. But perhaps 75% is good enough, based on what you just said?

By the way, this is actually a reason why I can't say *for sure* that others are wrong when they say I am not making eye contact. Because you see, I never paid attention to this, or asked myself if I do. I *assume* that I do, since its natural to do so. But I don't actually know whether my assumption is true or not since I am not paying attention.

ToughDiamond wrote:
Interestingly, Alan Watts also said that gazing at a speaker's face gets in the way of attention, so if he was neurotypical, that may suggest that NTs would rather pretend to listen than actually listen.


Well, if all neurotypicals are that way, then the "pretending" won't work. After all, if Neurotypical A makes eye contact with Neurotypical B, then Neurotypical B would think "I know that when I make eye contact I don't pay a full attention, so Neurotypical A doesn't pay a full attention to me either". But if Neurotypical A looks away from Neurotypical B, then Neurotypical B would think "I know I pay attention when I look away, so Neurotypical A pays attention to me too".

Or are you saying that each Neurotypical assumes that they are the Unique Neurotypical who is like that, and doesn't realize that all the other Neurotypicals are that same way and hide it for that same reason? Kind of like the story with the naked emperor?



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10 Oct 2022, 10:56 am

Usually it means literal lack of eye contact, but I suppose it could also mean wrong kind of eye contact. As in, looking too long (staring) or too short of a time or something.

But yeah, if you're in a group of strangers and want those strangers to approach you, then I could see how turning your eyes away when they look in your direction would be seen as a "I don't want to talk to you." I hadn't really thought about it, but that's how it goes in movies and TV series, isn't it? The characters tend to turn their eyes away if someone they've had a fight with or something looks at them. People tend to have some kind of eye game before they approach each other, too...

...I'm getting a horrible itch of doing a social experiment regarding eye contact in the next hang out of the local anime club. Is it unethical to knowingly experiment on people like that without telling them? Or does it depend on what the experiment's like? (Asking everyone here.)
I was planning on doing what I usually do there, but just knowingly make way more eye contact and see if there's a difference in how I'm treated. It's fine to do something like that, isn't it?



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10 Oct 2022, 11:13 am

NTs have a choice. Do they want us to listen to them or make eye contact with them? Because it seems they only want us to really do the first one.



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10 Oct 2022, 12:44 pm

lostonearth35 wrote:
NTs have a choice. Do they want us to listen to them or make eye contact with them? Because it seems they only want us to really do the first one.


To me it seems more like that they (well, some of them) just can't understand that not everyone can maintain eye contact and listen at the same time, even if it's explained to them.



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11 Oct 2022, 12:06 am

Shyness was more than a lack of eye contact. It was a reluctance to socialize. That was and is me. As a kid, I was called "painfully shy" by adults. My classmates had other names.


My lack of eye contact has been interpreted as lying, trying to hide something, or being insecure. The latter was definitely true and still is to a lesser degree. And that does not count all the times I just do not understand when people are reacting negatively to me. I do not know how often that is for obvious reasons.


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11 Oct 2022, 11:10 am

QFT wrote:

I am okay with both kind of touching.

The only light touch I won't be okay with is tickling. Are you saying a lot of aspies are ticklish?

I don't like to feel tickled. But I don't think I would feel tickled by a light touch, unless its too light.

If I remember right, there was a thread a few years ago where quite a few people said they were OK with the "firm-pressure" kind of touch but that light touch felt unpleasant. I don't think the word "ticklish" was used, but I think it may be approximately correct.

In my own case, my skin is prone to itching, and a light touch can easily set it off. Usually it's from my clothing or the bedsheets, but it's much the same effect whether the source is animal, vegetable or mineral. I've heard that Aspies often like to use weighted blankets, and I suppose that might be related to this aversion to light touch.



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11 Oct 2022, 11:58 am

Fireblossom wrote:
Is it unethical to knowingly experiment on people like that without telling them? Or does it depend on what the experiment's like? (Asking everyone here.)


As far as "without telling them" part, I would say don't tell them before experiment, but tell them after its over.

Telling them beforehand would ruin the experiment. Because the whole reason why people react a certain way to unusual eye contact, is that they are confused what is going on. But if you tell them its an experiment, then they won't be confused. Of course you can ask them to manufacture a confusion. But they might not have enough self-knowledge to correctly predict how they "would have" acted in this hypothetic situation. They might try and guess, but their guess won't be correct. So its better not to tell them beforehand.

However, after the experiment is over, you can tell them then. In fact, telling them after its over will only help. Since then you would be able to ask them to reflect on their own responses. And they would do better job reflecting on their own responses rather than you doing it for them. Since they actually remember what they felt, while you are only guessing it from their external reaction.

So if you don't tell them before the experiment yet tell them after the experiment, then no long term damage would be done, since experiment lasted only limited time.

I actually remember 20 years ago one of my fellow students did it to me. So we were working on a physics problem for the class we were taking, and I was explaining them how to do it. Suddenly one guy started to object to things I was saying in a loud voice. I was thinking to myself "am I being that obviously wrong? and even if I was wrong, why is he so angry about it?" Then a minute later, he switched back to quiet voice and told me that this is how I sound and that I put people on defensive when I talk that way. It all made sense and no long-term damage was done.

Or another example is what economics teacher did to me in high school. I was sitting at the chair, waiting for the class. She looked at me as if I was doing something wrong. I wasn't sure what it was but I burshed it off and didn't say anything. Then she looked at me the same way again. Then I asked her "why are you looking at me?" She said "and why are you looking at me? Its not polite to stare is it". Again, once she said what was going on, no long term damage was done. But I understood the point she was trying to make.

I guess the difference here is that in both of the above examples they were trying to communicate something that is related to my behavior while in your case its not related to the people in that group. But still, if you are good friends, you can still probably pull off something similar to the above two examples, and then tell them after the fact why you did it.



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11 Oct 2022, 12:59 pm

QFT wrote:
As far as "without telling them" part, I would say don't tell them before experiment, but tell them after its over.


Yes, I know that telling them would affect the results, so if I wanted to do it, that wouldn't make sense. But I feel like telling them afterwards isn't a good idea either since that would probably just get me a reputation of a weirdo, assuming I don't already have it, that is. I mean, making an experiment like that in my autism support group and explaining it afterwards wouldn't feel weird at all and would feel less unethical 'cause we're all there to get support for socializing, but the group I was talking about is another kind of thing all together and, well, one just doesn't say that kind of stuff there. So, if I did it, I would probably do it without telling them. If I did it and told them afterwards (plus apologized, just in case), that would help me not feel as guilty, but since I want to keep going there and try to build connections, possibly make friends, I'd rather not say something that I know would likely hinder the progress.

Quote:
I guess the difference here is that in both of the above examples they were trying to communicate something that is related to my behavior while in your case its not related to the people in that group. But still, if you are good friends, you can still probably pull off something similar to the above two examples, and then tell them after the fact why you did it.


In your examples, one person was trying to get a point across to another, while in my case, I'd just be trying to see how people react. I'm not trying to drive across a point nor do I have a specific target, so it's rather different.

And I'm not good friends with those people, not even sure if I'd use the word "friends." We're paying members of the same association that come to hang out when the association has an event. I mean, lots of them are friends with each other, but I feel like I'm not in the circles yet. My prosopagnosia is probably a huge reason why; I've been going since 2018 and yet I can only put together three names and faces. But of course, me not picking up all the signals and such is a thing in it, too. And probably the fact that I'm not a gamer, but that feels pretty irrelevant in comparison to the other two.



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11 Oct 2022, 2:52 pm

QFT wrote:

Well, for some reason nobody ever tries to touch me. Which leads to a question why not? Especially since, apparently, they do try to touch you.

The only example of unexpected touch that I remember is a lady that were greeting us gave me a hug two weeks ago. That was the sole reason why I came back to that church a week later. Otherwise I would have come to a different church as I like the other church's doctrine better. But her giving me a hug (which nobody ever did in ages) --- along with talking to me for entire 5 minutes (which nobody did either) is what made me come back there the next week.

However, going back to your "reflex reaction", I can relate if you replace "touching" with "trying to talk". Like if I am on a way from A to B and someone tries to talk to me, then my reflex reaction is to ignore them because B is more important. But then when I re-think it, it is too late. For example, around a month before covid started, I was standing in a line to get a drink. Some girl said hi to me. I ignored her since I really wanted to drink. She commented to the older lady "I said hi and he is like its okay". Then after I got a drink I tried to fix it by starting a conversation with her, but this time she was the one giving me one word answers. I didn't apologize to her though. I just started a conversation on some other random topic. As an afterthought, I should have brought up that incident that she commented on. But I didn't. Unfortunately I didn't know who she was. Then half a year later, I had one of my students who looked like her. I emailed that student about that incident and ask her if she was her. She said she wasn't: in fact it was her first semester there so she wasn't at the university back when the incident happened. So I feel bad that I can't find that girl and make it right.

And that is not the only example. It doesn't matter if I want to drink, or if I want to check internet, or if I want a number of other things. Whenever I want something, and somebody interrupts me to talk, I brush them off, and then few seconds later feel bad about it. And then obsess as to how can I make it right. Yet don't know how.

People don't try to touch me very often, but it has been known. It seems to have happened the most when I've been performing music to left-wing, hippiesque types of people, so maybe it's a cultural thing, and also, as one chap said, "women like a guy who plays the guitar and sings" - there might be some truth in that.

As for your experience of being hugged by a woman at a church, somebody here on WP once mentioned that he'd seen churches in which some of the women in the "core group" seemed to do that deliberately in order to get the male newcomers to attend there regularly. He said that they'd soon stop bothering once he was going there all the time, so that the only did it if they thought the male in question hadn't committed himself to the church. Of course I don't know if that applies to "your" church.

When I'm at a social event, I can't help but be very aware of whether or not I can attract people's attention, and I'm usually relieved when people do come up and talk to me (I hate going to a social event and getting ignored, which is what often happens), so I don't usually blow them off as a reflex reaction. At other times, if I'm just trying to get from A to B or whatever, it depends how much time I have and how difficult I perceive my mission to be. If it's an easy mission and I've got plenty of spare time, I'm generally quite sociable and approachable by reflex. If my mission is hard and I'm pushed for time, I usually feel rather trapped, wishing they'd go away but not wishing to seem rude, though if it's just a marketer or an evangelist, I'm more likely to forget I'm a gentleman. If I see them coming I usually make sure I don't look at them, and I pretend I haven't noticed them and I give them a wide berth. I guess I learned to do that because I realised that if I looked at them they'd take it as permission to accost me.

I'm quite interested in the art of getting rid of people without hurting their feelings, so I might practice that skill on them and try to let them down gently. I used to feel very desperate to be accepted by people, so when I read Dale Carnegie I skipped the chapter about how to get rid of people, thinking "that'll be the day, when I need to know that." It wasn't until I got more skilled at winning friends that I realised that knowing how to blow them off politely would be quite useful.

I think I can relate to your feelings of remorse about accidentally pushing innocent people away. When I've gone and done that it haunts me forever if I can't put it right. I suppose it comes from the fact that I know only too well from experience how much it can hurt to be pushed away. So I think "What a jerk I am. I berate the world for being so heartless to me, and then I show that I'm no better than they are."



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11 Oct 2022, 2:59 pm

Additional: Now I come to think, I blew off 3 girls who suddenly made advances towards me during my early teens, when I was desperate for a girlfriend. I felt like kicking myself afterwards, but it was too late. I've still no idea why I did that.



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11 Oct 2022, 3:51 pm

QFT wrote:
Could it be that there is a difference between "looking" vs "trying to make sure that I look". When you try to make sure about something (doesn't matter what), then of course it will disract you. But maybe even if you don't try to make sure, you would still look. Kind of like you are breathing without trying to make sure that you breath? I guess maybe the difference between looking and breathing is that if you don't try to make sure that you breath, you will still breath 100% of the time, but if you are not trying to make sure that you look, you will only look, say, 75% of the time. But perhaps 75% is good enough, based on what you just said?

By the way, this is actually a reason why I can't say *for sure* that others are wrong when they say I am not making eye contact. Because you see, I never paid attention to this, or asked myself if I do. I *assume* that I do, since its natural to do so. But I don't actually know whether my assumption is true or not since I am not paying attention.

Yes, the breathing analogy seems a good one to me. I think neurotypicals do their eye contact thing intuitively whereas we have to think about it. So we're devoting a lot more of our mental system resources into it, and that distracts us from the actual conversation. Plus, we tend to hyperfocus on one thing to the exclusion of everything else. I guess some neurotypical advisers just don't understand the matter from the autism perspective, they don't see that it's a big ask to urge us to "do proper eye contact." And as I think you suggested, we can't even recognise when we're doing it properly, and then there's the problem of not knowing whether the adviser knows what proper eye contact is. And that's just for the Aspies who happen to be able to look into people's eyes without feeling sick.

So it looks like "proper" eye contact is impossible for many of us. The only saving grace I can think of is that maybe with a lot of practice it would become second nature, in the same way as I can play rhythm guitar and sing at the same time because I'm so used to playing the guitar that I barely have to think about it, and my brain is free to concentrate on the singing. I couldn't do that when I first started learning. Though we still have to know when we're getting the eye contact thing right, and the only way I know to achieve that would be to have somebody watching us very closely in a controlled, laboratory situation, and giving us immediate feedback on it, like an instructor does when teaching us to drive.

My own "solution" is to not bother about it much. I expect my eye contact is often miles away from what it "should" be, but the eye contact thing is only one tool in the social skills box, and somehow I've managed to get by without it. I might not have many friends, but I think there are many other reasons for that.



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11 Oct 2022, 4:04 pm

QFT wrote:
ToughDiamond wrote:
Interestingly, Alan Watts also said that gazing at a speaker's face gets in the way of attention, so if he was neurotypical, that may suggest that NTs would rather pretend to listen than actually listen.


Well, if all neurotypicals are that way, then the "pretending" won't work. After all, if Neurotypical A makes eye contact with Neurotypical B, then Neurotypical B would think "I know that when I make eye contact I don't pay a full attention, so Neurotypical A doesn't pay a full attention to me either". But if Neurotypical A looks away from Neurotypical B, then Neurotypical B would think "I know I pay attention when I look away, so Neurotypical A pays attention to me too".

Or are you saying that each Neurotypical assumes that they are the Unique Neurotypical who is like that, and doesn't realize that all the other Neurotypicals are that same way and hide it for that same reason? Kind of like the story with the naked emperor?

Yes, I think you've spotted a flaw in my conclusion. Also, as I later realised, neurotypicals probably can focus well enough on the conversation while they're giving eye contact. And I suspect they have an easier time capturing the gist of what's being said to them than we do. In my case I'm a slow thinker and therefore a slow listener, so most people talk too quickly for me to keep up. And I try to understand every detail of what's said to me perfectly instead of just going for the take-home message, and tend to (wrongly) feel that if I miss anything at all, I've completely failed.



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12 Oct 2022, 7:31 pm

ToughDiamond wrote:
People don't try to touch me very often, but it has been known. It seems to have happened the most when I've been performing music to left-wing, hippiesque types of people, so maybe it's a cultural thing, and also, as one chap said, "women like a guy who plays the guitar and sings" - there might be some truth in that.


Is it just guitar, or is there a generalization to it, such as men who do arts? If so, is being into science rather than arts part of my problem (and no I won't change fields, science was my life time goal since I was 9)

ToughDiamond wrote:
As for your experience of being hugged by a woman at a church, somebody here on WP once mentioned that he'd seen churches in which some of the women in the "core group" seemed to do that deliberately in order to get the male newcomers to attend there regularly. He said that they'd soon stop bothering once he was going there all the time, so that the only did it if they thought the male in question hadn't committed himself to the church. Of course I don't know if that applies to "your" church.


Thanks for letting me know. You just helped me make a choice between churches. I will stick with the church that I like in terms of the doctrine, and forget the one where I was hugged. If the doctrine of that other church was just as interesting, then maybe I would have still went there for fake hugs. But seeing that doctrine-wise I don't really like it, I guess those hugs aren't worth it, given what you just said.

Prior to reading your reply, I thought the opposite. Namely, "if I don't come back, she will decide its because I don't like being touched, thus I would reinforce that false idea about me". But, given what you said, I think she is less likely to think that, then I originally though.

I have to say though that I saw her hugging everyone in the row, male and female, as they were entering (I guess I came at a time when nobody else was there next to me, thats why I got her attention for longer). So if she was hugging females too, then I guess its not "exactly" what you said. But its still fake.

I wish someone could hug me, as in "me", in a way that its personal. Didn't happen for ages.

Are you saying that there are other men who never get hugged? I mean, that would be the only reason this strategy would work.

ToughDiamond wrote:
I'm quite interested in the art of getting rid of people without hurting their feelings, so I might practice that skill on them and try to let them down gently. I used to feel very desperate to be accepted by people, so when I read Dale Carnegie I skipped the chapter about how to get rid of people, thinking "that'll be the day, when I need to know that." It wasn't until I got more skilled at winning friends that I realised that knowing how to blow them off politely would be quite useful.


How did you get to this point, despite Asperger.

ToughDiamond wrote:
I think I can relate to your feelings of remorse about accidentally pushing innocent people away. When I've gone and done that it haunts me forever if I can't put it right. I suppose it comes from the fact that I know only too well from experience how much it can hurt to be pushed away. So I think "What a jerk I am. I berate the world for being so heartless to me, and then I show that I'm no better than they are."


I was thinking more along the lines of "I only get this opportunity once in a year, and I just missed one"



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12 Oct 2022, 7:41 pm

ToughDiamond wrote:
QFT wrote:

I am okay with both kind of touching.

The only light touch I won't be okay with is tickling. Are you saying a lot of aspies are ticklish?

I don't like to feel tickled. But I don't think I would feel tickled by a light touch, unless its too light.

If I remember right, there was a thread a few years ago where quite a few people said they were OK with the "firm-pressure" kind of touch but that light touch felt unpleasant. I don't think the word "ticklish" was used, but I think it may be approximately correct.

In my own case, my skin is prone to itching, and a light touch can easily set it off. Usually it's from my clothing or the bedsheets, but it's much the same effect whether the source is animal, vegetable or mineral. I've heard that Aspies often like to use weighted blankets, and I suppose that might be related to this aversion to light touch.


I read on the internet that if you brush your skin with a feather, you would itch. It wasnt talking about autistics though. So it applies to NTs.

Could it be that autistics pertain light touch as if its a feather?

In any case, this doesn't apply to me either. So I guess I am NT when it comes to touch.

There is one exception though. I absolutely HATE the texture of burdock leaf. Touching it would be a nightmare. I dont care if it is light touch or not light. I can NOT touch burdock leaf, period. I would rather fall down and injure myself, or burn myself or whatever. Just to avoid burdock leafs at all costs.



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13 Oct 2022, 12:02 am

QFT wrote:
ToughDiamond wrote:
People don't try to touch me very often, but it has been known. It seems to have happened the most when I've been performing music to left-wing, hippiesque types of people, so maybe it's a cultural thing, and also, as one chap said, "women like a guy who plays the guitar and sings" - there might be some truth in that.


Is it just guitar, or is there a generalization to it, such as men who do arts? If so, is being into science rather than arts part of my problem (and no I won't change fields, science was my life time goal since I was 9)

I think any kind of public performing (if it's done well) tends to make a person likeable to the audience, who would after all generally be there because they like that kind of performance, and I guess some of that would spill over into the area of sexual attractiveness. Science isn't really much of a performed thing and I suppose the stereotype view says that science bores women. My own limited experience bears that out to a degree, though science bores a lot of men too and I've known some refreshing female exceptions.

I think it's much better for a person to just do what they like doing, whether it's music, some other art, science, or whatever, rather than trying to do what they think will get them more positive attention from potential mates. Some interests might be more popular than others, but the great thing about a person just sticking to what they themselves genuinely like is that when they do find friends or partners, they'll have stuff in common and the friendships / relationships will be stronger and more interesting for both parties, and more genuine than what they'd be if they pursued interests they didn't like for the sole purpose of popularity. So if you stick to science, then to some extent you'll repel people who don't like science and attract those who do, which would be a good thing.