Avoiding one-sided conversations or "oversharing"

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unciauncia
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16 Apr 2011, 1:11 pm

I've gotten into quite a bit of trouble with my friends lately because of this and I know this is an issue for many aspies so I figured I'd post this. I used to be waaaaaay worse as a child but I've gotten better, although not socially "there" yet.

I've learned to keep most special interests to myself in very formal situations and I don't usually share personal things with acquaintances or strangers/authority figures. But I still can't shut up about the things I'm interested in and TMI-ing the heck out of my friends!

I just get really excited about some new fact or event that I want to tell everybody I know. And I'm reeeally bad about steering conversations back to my interests.

Does anyone else have this issue, and how have you dealt with it? I know awareness of the problems is the first step but I still get overexcited and share too much.



rabidmonkey4262
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16 Apr 2011, 1:26 pm

Well you have the opposite problem from me. I tend to go mute in conversation when I'm not at ease with the person. With the few people I'm actually comfortable in talking to, I do have your problem but it's really just about self-control and really thinking things through. I recently attended a funeral, which is already awkward, so I was mute the entire time. I heard Temple Grandin's name pop up from a complete stranger, and I perked up and started talking. I forgot all my learned social skills about introducing and interrupting, and I was off. Again, it's just about self-control and thinking about how you sound to others around you. Obviously I wasn't doing this :(


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Merculangelo
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16 Apr 2011, 3:14 pm

the past couple days i've been recovering from a social embarrassment of this nature. I had a meeting in which, in my monologuing, I just forgot where I was and the fact that there was someone else in the room whose time I was taking up. I was getting into thinking or monologuing in my head and just saying things like, "and then..." " maybe" "but then again..." outloud, with the rest in my head. finally this other person said she was pressed for time, and I was grounded back into place, but then so disoriented I did not know how to close the conversation that had been there, and eventually jsut sort of rushed out the room in a panic, stuttering or just unable to get even a whole phrase out, to say thank you for meeting with me or anything that would have been nice to say, but only , "umm...and....um..um...um....um...uhhh...b-b-b-b-ye"

then I dwelled in some thick self-hatred for the rest of the day....and the next...and today I'm doing better.



Chronos
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16 Apr 2011, 4:06 pm

unciauncia wrote:
I've gotten into quite a bit of trouble with my friends lately because of this and I know this is an issue for many aspies so I figured I'd post this. I used to be waaaaaay worse as a child but I've gotten better, although not socially "there" yet.

I've learned to keep most special interests to myself in very formal situations and I don't usually share personal things with acquaintances or strangers/authority figures. But I still can't shut up about the things I'm interested in and TMI-ing the heck out of my friends!

I just get really excited about some new fact or event that I want to tell everybody I know. And I'm reeeally bad about steering conversations back to my interests.

Does anyone else have this issue, and how have you dealt with it? I know awareness of the problems is the first step but I still get overexcited and share too much.


Let the other person steer the conversation more. Once you enter into a conversation, think of it as a maze game with many doors and the other person is the gate keeper. Before you path through a door you want to pass through, you must make sure your responsibilities in the level you are in have been fulfilled.

Example:
Person A: Hey, I just got a new car today.

Your responsibility to is acquire information about the car and you cannot move on until you do this by asking questions. For example:

You: Really? What kind?

They may lead the direction of the conversation. Example:

Person A: A 2010 Honda Accord. I got a really great deal on it.

Since they mentioned they got a good deal, they generally want you to ask how much they paid for it and they would like to share with you why it's a good deal.

You: Yeah? How much?
Person A: $17,000, and they threw in chrome rims and leather seating.

At this point, your job is to usually congratulate the person and find out more details about the car. You might also share some experiences you have that related to the subject of buying a car.

Only after you fulfill these requirements can you pass to the next level and tell the person about what you wanted to tell them. It can be difficult to decide when this is because unlike in an actual video game, you don't have anything to keep track of how many mission requirements you have fulfilled. You have to try to gauge this by asking "If I bought the car, have I told the person everything I would want them to know?"

You might think "No, I haven't told them with my old car," So you would ask "So what are you going to do with your old car?"

Or, the person might "open the door" for you when they feel the requirements have been fulfilled and say something like "So what's new with you?"



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17 Apr 2011, 11:52 am

Is this really a bad thing? So you might make someone uncomfortable... making people uncomfortable can be a good thing. I like it when people just relax and be themselves, and in the long run, other people like it too, once they get over the initial discomfort.

So, I encourage you to just roll with it. Are there actually any negative consequences? If people just try to act proper and never say the "wrong" thing all the time thats just boring. Some people might get annoyed, but other people will love you.

To help though, put yourself in the other person's shoes. Try to guess what they are thinking and focus on that instead of what's on your mind.



OhNowIGetIt
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17 Apr 2011, 1:54 pm

I have had this struggle ever since I "found my voice" so to speak in my early teens. I was "shy" and mute a lot as a child and when I found my voice I didn't understand how to steer it. It worked in some situations, when my interest was in line with socially acceptable norms. Such as when being accepted seemed to linked with ones appearance and I directed my arts talent in my make up. Lots of other teen girls liked talking about make up and liked the tips and tricks I could give due to hours of my reading magazines and trying out on myself or friends.

It didn't help my learning process that my parents didn't know what was going on, as AS was not yet in the books, and go figure no psycharist could diagnose me. Going to all those counsilors and drs just made it worse b/c there were times I got myself into so much trouble they were the only ones I talked to. Of course, these types of interactions are all one sided. Also, group therapy, where one is expected to bare their soul in front of a room of strangers to "move through the steps" of therapy or to attain rank. SIGH~

Once in the real world this "oversharing" of mine opened me up to getting used a lot, in which the listener would know everything about me and know how to play to what I'd said. Then I'd get used for their own purposes (often boys, but sometimes girls using me to borrow my clothes, get into a desired social situation, a ride, whatever) and not understand when they tired of me (after they'd gotten what they wanted) and felt so lost. I felt I gave a bit of myself away with each friendship or relationship but didn't come away with much in return but a broken heart, humiliation and confusion.

Now, as an adult, I can be totally "on" in social situations, but still feels fake and not all that rewarding. The idea is to build up to this intimate sharing and depth of sharing, but in my case this still hasn't really happened. When I get to a point when I can really be me and say what I mean and be myself I seem to still overload ppl and they don't seem to want or need what I have to give unless I am doing the "fake" social thing. I don't know what to say or if this helps to know you aren't the only one. I guess the up side is it can be learned, with thought and practice to be socially "normal" but in the end, it may not lead to true intimacy or friendship in my experience. Still, it is nice to not stick your foot in your mouth carrying on about ones own opinion only to realize after the fact upon mental replay that the person to whom they were speaking may have been offened, or held an oppostie opinion. Happens when I get excited and carried away too. I can keep it in check, but it isn't a lot of fun.

Maybe the best interactions I've had is when I can flow and be me and others need or want my advice on something that has become a special interest. Mothering, nursing, even cloth diapering became things I delved into so deeply I had many others calling wanting my excited instructions and insights. Of course, this is temporal and now that my babies are older I don't have this outlet and back to stifeling myself. I'm sure I'll find another outlet soon but it isn't the same as "real" friends who last through more than a passing phase or special interest (I've had many).

Good luck anyway and keep trying! We all have to live in this world and make our own way. It doesn't do us any good to keep someone captive audiance and alienate them. Hopefully each individual can find at least one niche that we can open up and be ourselves in, excited "gushing" I used to call it, and all.



anneurysm
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22 Apr 2011, 9:38 pm

Chronos wrote:
Let the other person steer the conversation more. Once you enter into a conversation, think of it as a maze game with many doors and the other person is the gate keeper. Before you path through a door you want to pass through, you must make sure your responsibilities in the level you are in have been fulfilled.

Example:
Person A: Hey, I just got a new car today.

Your responsibility to is acquire information about the car and you cannot move on until you do this by asking questions. For example:

You: Really? What kind?

They may lead the direction of the conversation. Example:

Person A: A 2010 Honda Accord. I got a really great deal on it.

Since they mentioned they got a good deal, they generally want you to ask how much they paid for it and they would like to share with you why it's a good deal.

You: Yeah? How much?
Person A: $17,000, and they threw in chrome rims and leather seating.

At this point, your job is to usually congratulate the person and find out more details about the car. You might also share some experiences you have that related to the subject of buying a car.

Only after you fulfill these requirements can you pass to the next level and tell the person about what you wanted to tell them. It can be difficult to decide when this is because unlike in an actual video game, you don't have anything to keep track of how many mission requirements you have fulfilled. You have to try to gauge this by asking "If I bought the car, have I told the person everything I would want them to know?"

You might think "No, I haven't told them with my old car," So you would ask "So what are you going to do with your old car?"

Or, the person might "open the door" for you when they feel the requirements have been fulfilled and say something like "So what's new with you?"


This, all the way. When I socialize, I let the other person have the reigns first...that way they fell like they've been acknowledged and are allowed to share their ideas. Active listening is key. Those "reallys?" and questions about each part of the topic go a long way...even if you don't like the topic.

With myself, I will often set a time limit for things I want to bring up...it will last about 3 or 5 exchanges (so times when the person asks questions or goes mmm hmm or something of that calibre) unless the person acts interested and wants to know more...and in which case we will have more exchanges about it. In between exchanges I only say a little piece or one fact about the topic to avoid going on a tangent...it will be between 1-3 sentences.

It's kind of weird how I've deduced things like this into a science. 8O


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My longtime psychiatrist has confirmed that I do not qualify for an ASD diagnosis (but have traits & OCD-like traits).

Mostly keeping a distance from ASD-related things (including WP).


Kimmy
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24 Apr 2011, 8:03 pm

SIMPLE SOLUTION: If I want to talk about something a LOT, then I ask if the listener is interested in hearing about it. And then While Im speaking, every now and then I'll ask if they want to hear more!


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tesseract49
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11 May 2014, 8:54 am

I definitely have this problem. One of my friends wouldn't reply to my messages and then when I asked them why, they got really angry and hurled a load of abuse at me. Then I when I tried to fix the situation I ended up making things worse and worse. I think I need to learn the art of conversation. I talk about myself too much, but the problem is that if I stopped talking about myself, I wouldn't have a reason to talk to them.



ReverieMe
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12 May 2014, 9:02 am

I keep notepad files for my actual ideas and drafts of things I might want to write about. Channel it somewhere else unless we're interested in the same things or it's something that might be of help, basically.