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robbokris
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05 Jun 2009, 6:00 pm

I've always had the problems of speaking rather fast and not showing much intonation with my voice, although I can express more emotion in my voice now, I still speak rather fast and people often find it hard to understand me. I can't look people in the eye when speaking as well (which I know is a problem for LOTS of aspies).



ToughDiamond
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05 Jun 2009, 6:52 pm

It's a complex picture in my case.

Generally I find it hard to talk in anything more than a quiet voice. What I say is usually pretty coherent. But it might not always be audible, and other people don't always listen to me.

If there is significant background noise, I find it very hard indeed to raise my voice above it in order to be audible, and I usually stop speaking alltogether. Of course the noise plays havoc with my thinking anyway, but it's also that I have an aversion to competing, even if it's only against an inanimate background noise, and I have an aversion to talking loudly, as I dislike it in others.

If the other people are in any way loud, or if they glibly interrupt, I seem quite unable to "shout up," so I shut down, usually ceasing to take in what the other people are saying. I just want to get away, though I'm unlikely to walk out if there's any chance of offending anybody. So there I sit, bored and unnoticed as the rabble continues to do its own thing "without" me. Naturally, I try to anticipate these occasions and avoid them, and I must confess to some resentment that anybody ever sees it as OK to conduct any conversation in such an insensitive, competitive way, where small voices go unheard and valid ideas and opinions are walked over.

So I always seek a quiet place, and quiet, non-competitive people to have a "proper" conversation. More than one other person is usually too complicated. I believe in conversing slowly and deeply on a one-to-one basis, because it's pretty much the only method I can handle. I do pick up things of value from less ideal situations, but I'm always sadly mindful of how much is lost.

But I sometimes find myself breaking my own rules - I've often talked way past the point, occasionally caught myself talking too loudly, and I've even talked over people who were being quiet, and interrupted them. I think I'm getting better at avoiding doing these things, and apart from talking past the point, I don't think they happen very much at all. But it's not easy. I need the help of my companions to gently interrupt me or signal to me when I go on too long. Keeping calm helps me to perform better, and I've made some inroads into that, though conversations can still feel quite stressful and have a precarious feel to them.

There can also be situations in which perceived enemies are present, or in a dire emergency, where I begin to feel that I needn't operate according to my ideals of courtesy.

As for intonation, I seem to have got that quite well these days, for a lot of the time. It's a very conscious thing, I usually imagine somebody else I know of saying whatever it is, and "copy" them. I know how much it helps to have a vivid, warm intonation, because when I hear somebody who does it just right, I can focus much better on what they're saying. My attention power is very fussy, and seems to switch off if the speaker sounds contrived, monotonous, or outside my range of preferred verbal styles. I don't necessarily blame them for it, I just find it hard to tune into, so I strive to keep the same problems out of my own vocal delivery. But sometimes I do blame them, e.g. if they're putting on airs, or trying to sound smarter than they really are, or posturing. I hope I never do those things.



ToughDiamond
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05 Jun 2009, 7:13 pm

robbokris wrote:
I can't look people in the eye when speaking as well (which I know is a problem for LOTS of aspies).

According to Desmond Morris, you mostly don't have to - the norm is supposed to be to look at them when you begin to speak, then look away during the main part of your talking, then look back at them at the end, to check from their face what effect your words have had on them. Though I still hardly ever manage it, even though I've known about that method for ages, and don't see why it should be all that hard. The hardest part would be the listener's part - watching the speaker's face almost continuously - I could just about do it, but would then ignore the words and focus on a spall part of their face, that's if I could even remember to look at them at all.



ryan93
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05 Jun 2009, 7:39 pm

Quote:
According to Desmond Morris, you mostly don't have to - the norm is supposed to be to look at them when you begin to speak, then look away during the main part of your talking, then look back at them at the end, to check from their face what effect your words have had on them.


That's pretty much what I do, I glance at them, shoegaze, and look back at the end. I don't try to make eye contact as I realise it's better to appear shy than weird.

I slur my speech a lot, but that's because my speech is an incomprehensible pile of garbage. I've got a high verbal IQ, and yet I can't articulate myself ever remotely IRL. I bet this post barely even makes sense. It's extremely embarrassing, but I realise that my confused speech is just a bi-product of my confused mind. I don't have opinions on most things because I'm starting to see how superfluous and inherently meaningless words like "evil", "good", and "beautiful" are. I have a fixed mind, and these things are flexible concepts, and hence my opinions are constantly changing and meaningless. I have no "content" in my speech anymore, I simply communicate to confuse and amuse people, the one thing I think has value is randomness and surrealness :)



robbokris
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05 Jun 2009, 7:44 pm

What does IRL mean?



dalurker
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05 Jun 2009, 10:31 pm

I can't speak clearly enough of the time and I can't pronounce things. Nobody can usually understand what I say. I don't know how to put words together in phrases right either. I can't understandably explain things or even ask questions.



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06 Jun 2009, 6:17 am

robbokris wrote:
What does IRL mean?

In Real Life

ryan93, your post does make sense. It's strange because I'm just on the edge of discovering that I too have an irrational idea that what I say to people is incoherent and inadequate, though I think it's nothing like that bad in reality....just that I somehow can't see that myself at the time. I'd have said more about my experiences in that respect in my earlier post, but I got carried away talking about quietness and interruption,and completely overlooked it, which is a shame because it would have been more on-topic.

You've got me wondering, is this feeling of talking gobbledegook a known condition?
My father used to talk way past the point, adding extra explanations and clarifications as if he felt his first statement just wasn't cutting it. And I also catch myself doing the same thing when I talk past the point. Though years ago I said to a counsellor (about the way I gabble on for hours) that I was sure that most talking could be cut short after the first sentence, without losing very much of the meaning. Yet here I am, still suffering from this powerful conviction that I don't make sense. I repeat - is this a known condition?

Main thing to remember is that you are getting through more than you think you are.



Last edited by ToughDiamond on 06 Jun 2009, 2:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.

MysteryChild
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06 Jun 2009, 6:49 am

if I'm repeating something, say from a script, I am usually fine. Loud as all get out, but fine just the same. It's when I'm having nomal conversations(especially with multiple people) that my tongue starts to feel too big for my mouth and I start to slur, stutter, and repeat and/or lose words and phrases. Alcohol just makes me louder and slower. And I always over-share. Can't summarize to save my life(I would be a miserable villain... always getting caught monologing) and can never ever answer a simple yes or no question without a five minute explanation of my answer.


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Ben_Shapiro
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06 Jun 2009, 7:01 am

My parents often tell me to "stop" because I give an answer and then prove it over and over which, I assume, annoys them. It looks like I am not alone. On the other hand I would prefer it if sometimes people let me in on their thought process for example when some one is cold and "cant be bothered" to put a jumper on, does that make any sense, they would warm up by moving and then (respiration) and then some of that heat would be kept in by the extra layer of air and fabric.