Can Someone Explain this Social Phenomenon?

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StarTrekker
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19 Aug 2012, 12:35 am

First of all, are all NTs like this, or is this just my mom's thing? She was talking to me the other night about a hike she and some of her friends would be taking later this week, and invited me to come along. I had to think about it for a couple of days since hiking isn't really my thing, but eventually I figured why not, and told her sure, I'd come. When I told her this, she started saying things like, "Are you sure? It's a long way, I just don't want you getting tired... are you sure you wouldn't rather wait and then later you and I can go someplace that's not quite so far?" She followed it up with, "But I'd still be happy if you wanted to come" which I've figured out is just a face-saving measure for both of us which just means "I'd rather you not come, but to save me from embarrassment I'm going to claim it's no big deal either way." My question is, why do people invite friends to do things and go places when they'd just as soon not have them along? Especially when the extending of the invitation wasn't even socially necessary in the first place? I wouldn't even have thought of asking to join them if my mom hadn't suggested it. Can anyone explain why NTs do this? Is it common?


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Lucywlf
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19 Aug 2012, 12:53 am

I've found they do this sort of thing all the time. If they don't invite you or say you can't go right away, they think it will hurt your feelings. Sometimes people don't invite you or tell you you're not invited, even when the activity would bore you silly, just to hurt your feelings. It is totally illogical, but what can you do.



SpectrumWarrior
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19 Aug 2012, 1:52 am

I'd say it's so they make sure you're aware of their pity. They like to excuse their judgmentality that way.



Nerdtopia
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19 Aug 2012, 2:20 am

I think she was asking you if you were sure because she wanted to know if you really wanted to come or if you were just being nice by accepting. She probably didn't wanted you to come if you really didn't wan't to, and end up having a terrible time. I,don't think it was about pity or being judmental.



Rascal77s
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19 Aug 2012, 2:26 am

StarTrekker wrote:
First of all, are all NTs like this, or is this just my mom's thing? She was talking to me the other night about a hike she and some of her friends would be taking later this week, and invited me to come along. I had to think about it for a couple of days since hiking isn't really my thing, but eventually I figured why not, and told her sure, I'd come. When I told her this, she started saying things like, "Are you sure? It's a long way, I just don't want you getting tired... are you sure you wouldn't rather wait and then later you and I can go someplace that's not quite so far?" She followed it up with, "But I'd still be happy if you wanted to come" which I've figured out is just a face-saving measure for both of us which just means "I'd rather you not come, but to save me from embarrassment I'm going to claim it's no big deal either way." My question is, why do people invite friends to do things and go places when they'd just as soon not have them along? Especially when the extending of the invitation wasn't even socially necessary in the first place? I wouldn't even have thought of asking to join them if my mom hadn't suggested it. Can anyone explain why NTs do this? Is it common?


Maybe after both of you thought about it for a couple of days she thought that you would be uncomfortable going indicated by you needing a couple of days to decide. Maybe when you came back and said yes she thought that you agreed only to please he and you would be uncomfortable during the hike. It's possible that she doesn't know how you truly feel so shes doing her verbal dance to pick up some clue from you by judging your reaction to her comments. NTs have as hard a time reading us as we do them. We're only the screwed up ones because we are a minority. Anyway, why she does it would probably be better answered by an NT. I'm just offering one possibility.



nrau
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19 Aug 2012, 4:15 am

StarTrekker wrote:
"I'd rather you not come, but to save me from embarrassment I'm going to claim it's no big deal either way"



She never said that.



whirlingmind
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19 Aug 2012, 5:30 am

nrau wrote:
She never said that.


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McAnulty
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19 Aug 2012, 6:44 am

I'm NT. I personally don't invite people to things if I don't really want them to come. Some people will do it to be polite. It sounds like she might just want to be sure you know what it's going to be like, especially since you mentioned you don't particularly like hiking. I find the trouble when you try to dissect NT behaviours is that while there are some things groups of people tend to do similar, it's impossible to be sure of someone's motivation. We've all been raised differently, with different social rules. Unfortunately even for NT's there is no magic way to interpret someone else's thoughts completely accurately.



CWA
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19 Aug 2012, 7:12 am

I do it but it's because i do think I want them along and then I get anxius and chicken out entirely and decide to not socialize at all.



Janissy
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19 Aug 2012, 9:28 am

Rascal77s wrote:
Maybe after both of you thought about it for a couple of days she thought that you would be uncomfortable going indicated by you needing a couple of days to decide. Maybe when you came back and said yes she thought that you agreed only to please he and you would be uncomfortable during the hike. It's possible that she doesn't know how you truly feel so shes doing her verbal dance to pick up some clue from you by judging your reaction to her comments. NTs have as hard a time reading us as we do them. We're only the screwed up ones because we are a minority. Anyway, why she does it would probably be better answered by an NT. I'm just offering one possibility.


I think this is the most likely explanation. I have done the exact same thing as the mom and for the exact reason you theorize.



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19 Aug 2012, 3:44 pm

In close relationships, NTs tend to be less ambiguous about their motives for acting a certain way. So it depends on your relationship with your mother. If she tends to be, like most mothers, quite open and direct with you, I think she might have been trying to coordinate expectations with you, i.e. what she said would probably be quite frank. If coming from someone you're not close to, they would have to clarify to you that they were trying to coordinate expectations or you would have the legitimate right to see it as trying to discourage you from joining. The key here is the closeness factor.

This is why it's so hard for aspies to learn the "social rules" - there are NO universal social rules, they all depend on specific context, which has to be taken into account in order not to make fools of ourselves. This is, actually, how we aspies are often seen as "weird" - we're often applying correct social rules, but in the wrong context.

Example:
Once a guy who was very likely aspie was told to make a round of calls to convince people to come to the next meeting. When I answered him I couldn't come because I had at long last found a job so I'd be busy at work at the time of the meeting, he continued trying to persuade me that it would be lots of fun, instead of congratulating me for finding a job and wishing me all success. This is how we make fools of ourselves when we apply fixed scripts to novel social situations.


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