Do you tend to get along better with foreigners?

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swbluto
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21 Sep 2011, 12:03 am

I often found that I seem to more easily communicate with those who are foreigners. I wondered why this was but I don't know (Maybe it's because my life experiences are more "global" than most people's?), but I kind of wonder if it's common among aspies. If it is common for aspies, the only reason why that I can guess is that foreigners tend to be less idiomatic and more literal in their speech of the english language and so the "speech style" of foreigners and aspies would be more similar than between aspies and natives, and so aspies would tend to get along better with foreigners than natives. I'm just guessing, though. :)



abc123
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21 Sep 2011, 1:53 am

I think I do. I have read this in an Aspergers book. I think people in a different country speaking a different language feel a bit isolated and like an outsider and I am sensitive to that where I do think other people notice. They are also not sure of cultural aspects, or not confident with the language so maybe talk at a slower pace. They really appreciate someone assisting them and explaining aspects of your culture and acting as a buddy for support socially.



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21 Sep 2011, 1:55 am

lol, my boyfriend is from another country, so I guess so!



swbluto
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21 Sep 2011, 2:11 am

Fern wrote:
lol, my boyfriend is from another country, so I guess so!


lol, getting along better with them because you're attracted to their sexy accent doesn't count. :)



cyberdad
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21 Sep 2011, 3:07 am

swbluto wrote:
I often found that I seem to more easily communicate with those who are foreigners. I wondered why this was but I don't know (Maybe it's because my life experiences are more "global" than most people's?), but I kind of wonder if it's common among aspies. If it is common for aspies, the only reason why that I can guess is that foreigners tend to be less idiomatic and more literal in their speech of the english language and so the "speech style" of foreigners and aspies would be more similar than between aspies and natives, and so aspies would tend to get along better with foreigners than natives. I'm just guessing, though. :)


Living in Australia, almost 90% of my friends have been British born. Does that count?



Mummy_of_Peanut
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21 Sep 2011, 4:06 am

I have a strange habit of forming acquaintances with foreigners or people from a different culture. Since the birth of my daughter, I've been meeting other mums. Of the ones who have given me their phone numbers, one is Chinese, one is Afro-Carribbean, one is African, one is English, two are from around here and the others are Scots too, but not local. Here, the majority of people are white, born here, with a Scottish/Irish heritage, so for this to have happened by chance is quite unlikely.



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21 Sep 2011, 4:39 am

It's not so much foreigners, it's outsiders. I tend to get on with people that know how it feels to not belong. Whether thats foreigners, different races, people with disabilities, gays, doesn't matter, for me it's because they can't properly tell that i'm different from the norm because they're different from the norm too.

I think in the same way i tend to get on with people that are older/younger and quite often females. It's only when u stick me with someone that's my age and sex that it becomes really obvious how different to normal i am.



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21 Sep 2011, 5:25 am

I get along with English people, but I do feel I can make friends with foreign people a lot easier and quicker. My best friend is Polish, and he really struggles at his English, and so if I say something wrong, he doesn't notice. Also I have more confidence, because I can be the dominent one, and that goes to show that all I need is a little more confidence in my speech with any people and I will socialise better - but I can't seem to do that when speaking to English people. I don't know why.

Also I feel that he (or any other foreign person) doesn't judge me as much, because they are from a different country and I am foreign to them. They are too busy learning the language and hoping they are saying it right, than worrying about how I'm saying it. The way I interact with them isn't important to them. Once when I was with my Polish friend, and 3 of his Polish friends came upto us, and I was actually the life and soul of the crowd! The first time in my whole life I had a taste on NT life!

Even if I was in a crowd of Aspies, I probably wouldn't be the life and soul or popular. Well, I don't know that yet because I haven't met another Aspie before.


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Keeno
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21 Sep 2011, 6:51 am

swbluto wrote:
If it is common for aspies, the only reason why that I can guess is that foreigners tend to be less idiomatic and more literal in their speech of the english language and so the "speech style" of foreigners and aspies would be more similar than between aspies and natives, and so aspies would tend to get along better with foreigners than natives. I'm just guessing, though. :)


Never thought of it like this, but I think you are probably guessing right.

Karuna wrote:
It's not so much foreigners, it's outsiders. I tend to get on with people that know how it feels to not belong. Whether thats foreigners, different races, people with disabilities, gays, doesn't matter, for me it's because they can't properly tell that i'm different from the norm because they're different from the norm too.

I think in the same way i tend to get on with people that are older/younger and quite often females. It's only when u stick me with someone that's my age and sex that it becomes really obvious how different to normal i am.


A very astute post.

All of this definitely applies to me (except the females part) and sounds like a common Aspie situation. To say it's not just foreigners but outsiders is an astute observation.

To age and sex, in many cases you can add location (i.e. the location you actually originate from, as witness the posts here). Which reminds me of the "asl" question asked on the internet and how even online, it seems I'm only able to get on with people if they're outsiders (almost always because of physical or mental health, remote location or often diversity of sexuality). Even online a clear separation between me, and socially mainstream/herd people, is absolutely guaranteed.

Joe90 wrote:
Even if I was in a crowd of Aspies, I probably wouldn't be the life and soul or popular. Well, I don't know that yet because I haven't met another Aspie before.


You never know. If you could attend Aspie meetups (do they still have them in London?) you would know. I have found I hold up very well in regular Aspie meetups where I live - even if it is usually only with a) the more neurodiverse types of Aspie, b) much older or younger, and c) not of local origin.



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21 Sep 2011, 7:27 am

Depends a bit. If it is someone just new to a group, and timid, then I can sometimes watch them and eventually find common ground with which to bond. If it is a true foreign national who at least speaks some english, I can usually be patient enough to understand them and clever enough to explain things in a way they can understand. I think the all human cultures are alien to me in some respect, so I can be a good and impersonal mediator in that regard.


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Mummy_of_Peanut
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21 Sep 2011, 7:55 am

Maybe newcomers find me a useful resource. I'm a fountain of knowledge about local stuff. I know about all the best places to take kids and, if I don't know what might be happening this weekend, I know how to find out. Quite often my conversations are about practical stuff like that.

Like others have said, I don't tend to have friends or acquaintances that you'd expect (I'm sure most people have friends who are a similar age to them and have a similar background). Of my 2 actual friends, one is a gran in her 50s and the other is 6 years older than me and the only Afro-Caribbean mum in the playground. I do feel at my most uncomfortable when I'm with women of the same age, race, etc. It helps when they think I'm younger than I am (which is often the case). Once my actual age is disclosed, I think they start to wonder a bit about me (or maybe they're just jealous of my youthful looks). :lol:



TheWingman
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21 Sep 2011, 9:23 am

swbluto wrote:
I often found that I seem to more easily communicate with those who are foreigners. I wondered why this was but I don't know (Maybe it's because my life experiences are more "global" than most people's?), but I kind of wonder if it's common among aspies. If it is common for aspies, the only reason why that I can guess is that foreigners tend to be less idiomatic and more literal in their speech of the english language and so the "speech style" of foreigners and aspies would be more similar than between aspies and natives, and so aspies would tend to get along better with foreigners than natives. I'm just guessing, though. :)


I absolutly do get along mutch better with foreigners.

This is so much tru that I decided to emigrate to live with foreigners. I didn't regret a single day that I did that.
Speaking a language this is not my native language has helped me enormously in my life. I thoughts are much clearer. My native language is French, when I speak it, I really struggle to find my words and finish my sentences. When I speak english, I never have this problem.



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21 Sep 2011, 9:24 am

It's not so much just language alone since most of the foreigners around here that I talk to have equal or superior capabilities to NTs, language wise, over here. Perhaps they use more literal expressions since social assumptions don't apply cross culture, and they're also more accepting of deviant body language from us since they don't quite know what the norm is yet.

Also, the outsider effect, where outsiders will tend to all band together to form their own 'reject group'. I find that if the foreigners don't have enough people to form a clique with from their own country, then they're more receptive to me. However, if they have enough, then they function identically to Neurotypicals from my country, clique formation wise.


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21 Sep 2011, 10:37 am

Twilightflame wrote:

Also, the outsider effect, where outsiders will tend to all band together to form their own 'reject group'. I find that if the foreigners don't have enough people to form a clique with from their own country, then they're more receptive to me. However, if they have enough, then they function identically to Neurotypicals from my country, clique formation wise.


Yes, I was thinking that. With cultural groups large enough to form NT-like cliques, is there an upper limit of outsiders any given population can naturally have?



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21 Sep 2011, 12:37 pm

When I was in elementary school, a lot of my friends were foreigners. It's because the popular girls were racist, so girls from other countries got treated as outcasts. One of them, an immigrant from Japan, became the closest friend I have ever had outside of my immediate family members. My friendship with her is a big reason why I am obsessed with anime; she was just as obsessed with it as I was - even though she was an NT - so I got to experience the joy of sharing my special interest with someone else who fully understood it.