Conversations where it's like you're not there

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Capriccio
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19 Dec 2008, 11:04 am

This happens to me all the time, does this happen to you?

You're sitting in on a conversation with about three or more people including yourself. You think you find a good spot to interject something, but then one of them starts talking immediately, as if you said nothing. You find another spot, but you get interrupted again, as if no one heard you, and they continue on. They talk awhile, you're getting a bit irritated, and next time you speak a little bit louder to try and make yourself heard, but you get interrupted AGAIN, and they talk again like they never even heard you! This will happen about two or three more times until you've become so irritated that you decide it's not worth trying to say anything anymore.

Sound familiar at all? This happens constantly. I don't think they mean to ignore me, but somehow I'm not either being heard or not making myself relevant enough to the conversation.

This was more of a vent btw.



drowbot0181
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19 Dec 2008, 11:06 am

Capriccio wrote:
This happens to me all the time, does this happen to you?

You're sitting in on a conversation with about three or more people including yourself. You think you find a good spot to interject something, but then one of them starts talking immediately, as if you said nothing. You find another spot, but you get interrupted again, as if no one heard you, and they continue on. They talk awhile, you're getting a bit irritated, and next time you speak a little bit louder to try and make yourself heard, but you get interrupted AGAIN, and they talk again like they never even heard you! This will happen about two or three more times until you've become so irritated that you decide it's not worth trying to say anything anymore.

Sound familiar at all? This happens constantly. I don't think they mean to ignore me, but somehow I'm not either being heard or not making myself relevant enough to the conversation.

This was more of a vent btw.


It happens to me all the time. I just hardly talk anymore.



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19 Dec 2008, 11:10 am

Yeah and thats definitely not nice. That used to happen to me a lot, but not so much anymore... not sure what changed. I am sorry you had to put up with that.


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19 Dec 2008, 11:14 am

Yes that has happened to me.

I am usually soft-spoken unless I concentrate on doing otherwise.
In conversation, I come off as something of a ghost. As you said... like I'm not even there.
On the rare occasion that I'm comfortable enough to be social around people and lucid enough to conjure up meaningful words to say, I end up speaking too softly or sometimes too loudly, or mis-speaking, or stuttering, or otherwise screwing up. That tends to make me retreat into myself again, and I don't say much at all.



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19 Dec 2008, 11:16 am

I've seen people do it to other peoples' threads... I think that was where they got into a good side conversation. Meanwhile the distressed person is not getting any feedback!



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19 Dec 2008, 11:48 am

Yes, and it is annoying. It gets me so frustrated!



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19 Dec 2008, 11:49 am

You've just described my life's conversational history, so far.


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19 Dec 2008, 11:54 am

yeah, happens a lot. as well as the awkward silence and everybody staring at me for a while after I'd said something, and then returning to the conversation as if nothing had happened. :roll:


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drowbot0181
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19 Dec 2008, 11:56 am

anna-banana wrote:
yeah, happens a lot. as well as the awkward silence and everybody staring at me for a while after I'd said something, and then returning to the conversation as if nothing had happened. :roll:


The awkward stare would be a step up for me. I rarely even get that.



MemberSix
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19 Dec 2008, 11:59 am

There's nothing unintentional about it.
It's simply someone setting out to be as rude and disrespectful as they can.

Usually arises from their perception that you've disrespected them in some way.

This is the unfortunate reality of AS.
However well-intentioned you may be, your lack of non-verbal 'language' is (mis)interpreted as wilful disrespect.

But that's what hierarchy's all about.
If you can't show that you're sufficiently socially competent (for which, read : 'in'), then you're most definitely out.
And however positive your intentions, you WILL be perceived negatively.
It's this that gives much rise to our feelings of 'guilt', that we are in some way 'bad' - like we TRY to cheese people off.

If only people could see beyond the imagined slight, to the good intentions.
What a world this would be.



ephemerella
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19 Dec 2008, 12:03 pm

No I have to say I don't get ignored. But I say things that bother people.

Like the last time I was out with girlfriends, it was a "spa night" and we met up at a restaurant before our spa appointments. We were talking about what our interests were lately & I showed them the lectures I had downloaded on my iPhone from ITunesU -- Philosophy, public policy talks, Yale medical school seminars, PBS broadcast stuff. They just acted a little uncomfortable and one said that she never gets bored of just listening to music on her iPod. I think I gave them too much detailed information about the lectures I was listening to, and maybe made them feel like I was lecturing them, too.

I have a problem with giving too much information and not cutting it off soon enough.

Then, one asked about my necklace & I said I had made it myself. She said she never heard of that before. I told her I learned how to do that in Arizona. You only need a few tools and sometimes a small torch. That seemed to create a silence, too, where they didn't know what to say.

Mostly, I think even when it comes to girly stuff, like what's on my iPhone and a necklace, I'm an unusual geek and people don't know what to say.



Last edited by ephemerella on 19 Dec 2008, 12:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Rain_Bird
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19 Dec 2008, 12:06 pm

Yep, and then they wonder why I don't say much. :roll:



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19 Dec 2008, 12:07 pm

ephemerella wrote:
No I have to say I don't get ignored. But I say things that bother people.

Like the last time I was out with girlfriends, it was a "spa night" and we met up at a restaurant before our spa appointments. We were talking about what our interests were lately & I showed them the lectures I had downloaded on my iPhone from ITunesU -- Philosophy, public policy talks, Yale medical school seminars, PBS broadcast stuff. They just acted a little uncomfortable and one said that she never gets bored of just listening to music on her iPod. I think I gave them too much detailed information about the lectures I was listening to, and maybe made them feel like I was lecturing them, too.

I have a problem with giving too much information and not cutting it off soon enough.

Then, one asked about my necklace & I said I had made it myself. She said she never heard of that before. I told her I learned how to do that in Arizona. You only need a few tools and sometimes a small torch. That seemed to create a silence, too, where they didn't know what to say.

Mostly, I think even when it comes to girly stuff, like what's on my iPhone and a necklace, I'm an unusual geek and people don't know what to say.


What were the lectures about? I hardly listen to music anymore on my iPod. It's filled with audiobooks, lectures, and podcasts. I'm a big geek, though.



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19 Dec 2008, 12:13 pm

Funny, I just came home thinking precisely about this and found this thread! I agree, there's nothing unintentional about it. It's just one of the many forms of passive (covert) aggression.

People do this to me all the time. So nowadays I hardly ever open my mouth. Then they go on and on about why I'm not more talkative.

I was even threatened with being fired at my previous job if I didn't talk more. I was afraid to say that I don't talk more because I get this ignoring treatment, because it'd be like admitting that I'm worth firing for not being liked. A year into the job I was indeed fired for social problems.

It's very painful to be on the receiving end of such nasty behavior. What pains me the most is that so many of the people who get this kind of aggression don't realize that it's intentional and cut the aggressors slack. And most of all it pains me that for decades I too thought I wasn't speaking loud enough to call their attention or that what I said wasn't interesting enough. I constantly grieve for my decades of naivete.


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19 Dec 2008, 12:16 pm

Oh, that's the story of my life - socializing in groups of 3 or more people.

So lately, I experimented with asserting myself by talking more loudly and trying to get a word in just as the person was finishing what they were saying. Interrupting, but just by one syllable, so it didn't seem to matter much to me.

But afterwards, my friend told me that I had been acting rude and selfish, as if I was trying to dominate the conversation. I explained my problem, and that people take more kindly to those who are overly socially dominant than those who say nothing at all. He agreed and sympathized, saying he went through the same thing himself.

I'm really lucky to have a friend who started out as silent and socially awkward as I did and then overcame it, as I have been. He's about ten years older than me, so he's ahead of me in some ways, but he also relies on alcohol as a social crutch - something I am trying not to make a habit of.