Can you discern shock or discomfort in people?

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Jayo
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26 Jul 2023, 9:27 am

Particularly, in discerning a change in colour in people's faces when they're aghast or really worried or that sort of thing? You see this in prose, e.g. "I told her such-and-such, and her face suddenly went pale as a ghost", or that someone sees another person's face reddening, even though that person hasn't raised their voice they might be talking in a low voice which are precursors (the protagonist of the book the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, Christopher, had this trouble with his dad).

I have on occasion noticed it when I had to break some bad news to someone, or when I accused them of something for which I had evidence... or have seen it when I was a "third party" observer to such an interaction - but only when I was consciously looking for it, and thinking about it for a few seconds. Whereas I think most NTs just pick up on such facial state changes unconsciously within a second, and they just know how the other person feels. This is, incidentally, one of the reasons why I missed "obvious" signs of discomfort from women for the first half of my twenties before I was diagnosed with ASD. I think at that point, it's like the point of no return, where you can't say anything to allay their fears, not even a concerned "what's wrong? you've suddenly become all pale and shocked...why?" - then you really sound clueless or weird. :? :(
Or, perhaps if we stare at them too long to discern their emotional state when NTs can do it faster, they might also think THAT looks unnatural. So I got into the habit that whenever I broke something negative to someone, I'd copy their facial expression right after, look at them and say something like "I realize this is not the best thing to hear, but I felt that I had to tell you."



KitLily
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26 Jul 2023, 9:52 am

Shock, yes.

Discomfort, generally no. Although I'm very good at realising when people are annoyed or bored by me, because it happens a lot.


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FleaOfTheChill
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26 Jul 2023, 11:24 am

I can if it's blaringly obvious...something like someone dropping their mouth wide open and saying "oh my god". That I would recognize. But more subtle things? Nah. That's going to go completely over my head.



Jayo
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26 Jul 2023, 11:40 am

KitLily wrote:
Shock, yes.

Discomfort, generally no. Although I'm very good at realising when people are annoyed or bored by me, because it happens a lot.


Well, being a female, I don't think you get the uncomfortable subtle non-verbals like us Aspie men do... it's well known that ASD presentation can cause vibes like "gives me the creeps" or the "uncanny valley". I trained myself to recognize subtle cues of discomfort and rehearsed my presentation in front of a mirror while watching some TV shows, went out and practiced, and got these emotional reactions less. Prior to that, I'd hear it second-hand that so-and-so felt "uncomfortable" around me, and I was like, WTF??!?
:?

Again, the bane of our existence being that non-verbal communication makes up something like 85-90% of what people truly think and feel during a conversation.



Jayo
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26 Jul 2023, 11:44 am

FleaOfTheChill wrote:
I can if it's blaringly obvious...something like someone dropping their mouth wide open and saying "oh my god". That I would recognize. But more subtle things? Nah. That's going to go completely over my head.


Yes, we need it to be more explicit / expressed openly. Due to deficits with ToM (theory of mind), and lack of non-verbal fluency, much of that eludes us - unless we consciously practice it on a regular basis which can cause us a good deal of angst.



Edna3362
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26 Jul 2023, 6:58 pm

I only sense that something is wrong...

Whether I did it or not, that's always uncertain. (Stupid programming, stupid inputs, stupid reactions, stupid ego...).

But likely I do not know what or why. It's annoying.


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KitLily
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27 Jul 2023, 6:42 am

Jayo wrote:
KitLily wrote:
Shock, yes.

Discomfort, generally no. Although I'm very good at realising when people are annoyed or bored by me, because it happens a lot.


Well, being a female, I don't think you get the uncomfortable subtle non-verbals like us Aspie men do...


haha, yes I do. Women will never clearly state 'you are annoying me.' or 'you are boring me.' Women will never clearly state anything, it's all hinted at. Subtle and mysterious, so hard to understand.

What happens is:

They give me a confused stare, look at each other with perhaps a little laugh, and quickly start talking about something else. Then that's the last I hear of them, they don't contact me again. Occasionally they might say 'what's she talking about?' but that's more of a male thing to say.

And often when I'm talking, I see women rolling their eyes at each other, and I'm not monologuing, just answering a question/ making an observation. And there is the whispering and giggling behind their hands- that might not be at me but I know that sometimes it is, because they look at me- giggle- look at me- whisper. And repeat again and again.

This has happened to me more times I can count. I know that when I get THE STARE from a woman, the friendship is over.


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