Good social skills are about being a good liar/pretender

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Nikkt
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22 May 2013, 11:08 am

qawer wrote:
Janissy wrote:
qawer wrote:
The reason why people need to read body language and all the other stuff is because they cannot trust each other.

No. It's because words are insufficient for full communication. What is happening here online is only partial communication. Emoticons/smileys help but they are in no way enough. Words are also a very slow form of communication. That doesn't matter in text because there is all the time in the world. But in face to face communication, time is often of the essence and having to say literally everything would be too slow.

Absolute and unswerving honesty could get around the deception problem. But it couldn't get around the speed and efficiency problem.

You're right about the speed and efficiency issue.

But there is also some truth to the trustworthyness...if you need to know what people really think and mean you have to watch their body language and behaviour. You cannot just rely on what they say because you might get tricked.

'Tricked' makes it seem like people do this on purpose. Chances are they think you're completely capable of picking up (what is to them blatantly obvious) behaviour signals, even if you've told them a million times that you can't. To NTs, they often don't have to spend an ounce of energy on interpreting body language - it comes so naturally to them that it's inconceivable how anyone might not be able to read it.
qawer wrote:
The reason why people need to read body language and all the other stuff is because they cannot trust each other.
Janissy wrote:
No. It's because words are insufficient for full communication.
^This took me a long time to learn, but now I realise how true it is.


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marshall
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22 May 2013, 11:11 am

1000Knives wrote:
See, most adults tell me I'm much more polite than most people my age. Being polite does not equal good social skills.

My problem is that I'm not a cool enough bro. Our modern society much favors a communication style like this:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5oXCm4N3J_M[/youtube]


:huh: That's pretty hilarious but in the real world NT's and Aspie's alike would have to be incredibly mind-numbingly foolish to act like that.

I think maybe I know what you're getting at though. For guys it does seem like being entertaining enough to attract attention is a part of the "social skills" package. Too polite == stiff and boring == get ignored by everyone. Having my own sense of humor that's on the same wavelength as others is a struggle for me. I've always felt like I had to imitate people and act like a different person to fit in with different social circles and that leads to the point where I don't feel like I'm my own person. I learned pretty early on that it was not possible to fully relate to people just being myself. Only under internet anonymity can I be my true self. :wall: Kind of explains my addiction to sites like this.



Nikkt
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22 May 2013, 12:27 pm

Five defenses of non-verbal/social cues come to mind as I read this thread:

• Just because non-verbal communication* creates the possibility of acting nefariously or selfishly does not mean that that is why most people do it. It’s like saying: ‘Chemistry can cause explosions therefore everyone involved in Chemistry wants to blow stuff up for their own gratification’.

• It’s much harder to convincingly falsify non-verbals than it is to falsify words, so the indirect communication can primarily reveal (or at least hint at) what another person is truly thinking/feeling. In this way, it’s not ‘tricking’ or ‘lying’, it’s actually providing more information and can indicate the level of truth to the words being said– as long as you can perceive the information that is being conveyed, of course.

• People don’t ‘act socially’ purely for self-benefit, it’s also a solid indication to others that we care about them and their feelings enough to modify impulsive behaviours and make them comfortable in our presence.

• Non-verbal communication can also be used to soften the impact of hard truths. Part of my job is to break very bad news to patients and their families, and there are a lot of non-verbals that can be implemented to ensure the information is received and processed as gently yet efficiently as possible without inducing an emotional brick wall. This is not lying, this is telling the truth in a way that will be best received.

• Non-verbal communication can also convey a somewhat veiled complement or praise when delivering one outright would seem crass and sycophantic. For example, I have two ways of saying “Not bad” that differ in pitch, facial expression and head movement; one indicates that I mean exactly what I said, while the other indicates that what I really mean is “That’s insanely fantastic!”

Of course, everyone’s experiences are different and everyone runs into someone (or many someones) who just wants to take advantage of them and others, but I think it’s important to not jump into the defensive position that all NT social interactions are built on lies and are therefore fake and therefore worthless. Not understanding something doesn’t make it automatically useless or nefarious.

------------------
(*Footnote: I’m using the term ‘non-verbal communication’, but what I mean to encompass is ‘meta-communication’, which not only includes body language, facial expressions etc, but also verbal intonation, cadence, syllabic stress, etc)


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qawer
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22 May 2013, 12:59 pm

Nikkt wrote:
Of course, everyone’s experiences are different and everyone runs into someone (or many someones) who just wants to take advantage of them and others, but I think it’s important to not jump into the defensive position that all NT social interactions are built on lies and are therefore fake and therefore worthless. Not understanding something doesn’t make it automatically useless or nefarious.



True. I see one should get good at finding out who belong to those "someones" and who do not.

It's a matter of who will use their social skills in positive ways.



qawer
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22 May 2013, 1:26 pm

littlebee,

I'm not out to "get a hit on the NTs". NTs can be more compassionate than AS people. I love NT persons in my own life.

What bothers me is that being able to dominate and make yourself seem better than other people via social skills is what you "should" do to be considered at great mental health. When you act like this people start to treat you better (often out of fear) - because what if you were to use those social skills on them!! It's the whole snobbery/social status/manipulative/sarcastic approach some people have I think is awful.

But I see it pays off, that's what I find sad. It's what you are supposed to be like. That's what I mean when I say social skills have this element of being a good liar/pretender.



androbot2084
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22 May 2013, 8:58 pm

I can fit in as well as any neurotypical if I lie but how can I live with myself?



tjr1243
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23 May 2013, 12:07 am

BTDT wrote:
Another perspective--normal communication isn't as exact as Aspies believe or would like to think.

I think there is a lot of wasted effort in trying to make it so.


Unfortunately, this seems to be true. For example, social reciprocity. I like to think that if someone said "hi" to me, I say "hi" to them back; if they say "How are you?", I also say "How are you?" -
Then these mathematical exchanges carry on to more complex social interactions, such as: If someone asked me a question, I should answer it. If they asked 2 questions, then I should answer both. If they hugged me one day, then I should greet them with a hug the next.

But (very, very unfortunately), "normal" exchanges don't work that way and I find myself forever befuddled and confused... :(



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23 May 2013, 12:53 am

I think are aspie powers give us a kind of X-ray vision into the NT world and it looks alot like this. ENJOY!!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqMKQQa5ARc[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Go_VtqtxCHY[/youtube]



qawer
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23 May 2013, 3:11 pm

androbot2084 wrote:
I can fit in as well as any neurotypical if I lie but how can I live with myself?


True. Aspie problems are often more a matter of willingness, than capability.

In some sense one could say that one isn't capable, because one isn't willing enough.

It's in some sense a matter of accepting: "In love and war all is fair"...but for aspies this concept often seems to be much wider because they generally have quite high moral standards.

If all is fair in love and war, why would lying suddenly be unfair? That's in some sense the mentality. Life is almost too important to make anything unfair. Lies and manipulation are almost neglectable actions in the big scheme of things.

The general opinion is that survival is more important than moral standards. When survival is at risk, moral standards are simply prioritized less. In love and war, there are no moral standards left.



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23 May 2013, 3:24 pm

Absolutely awesome videos!! Thank you so much for sharing! How did you discover them? I wish I was a native English speaker because I miss a lot of the dialogue, but it's an amazing idea. The best portrayal of society I've ever seen.


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Sweets
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23 May 2013, 3:53 pm

I think you're close OP but I think you took a wrong turn by implying it's inherently dishonest. I prefer to think of it as "acting" rather than "lying" - if you're doing it right, the other person knows what's really going on and they don't at all mind.



qawer
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23 May 2013, 5:00 pm

Sweets wrote:
I think you're close OP but I think you took a wrong turn by implying it's inherently dishonest. I prefer to think of it as "acting" rather than "lying" - if you're doing it right, the other person knows what's really going on and they don't at all mind.


I know what you mean. I can just find it offending that people often will exploit it if you don't really know what's going on (due to autism for instance). It is a way of "sorting out the weak", and you are supposed to also sort out those who don't get your "acting". I'm just not fond of social status games in general. The weak need help, not sorting out.

The more you do it yourself, the less you mind. If you have AS and don't do it at all, you mind a lot. I see that's how it works.



loner1984
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23 May 2013, 9:42 pm

No wonder I'm bad at it then. I won't lie or pretend. I say things straight.



Sweets
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24 May 2013, 1:07 am

qawer wrote:
Sweets wrote:
I think you're close OP but I think you took a wrong turn by implying it's inherently dishonest. I prefer to think of it as "acting" rather than "lying" - if you're doing it right, the other person knows what's really going on and they don't at all mind.


I know what you mean. I can just find it offending that people often will exploit it if you don't really know what's going on (due to autism for instance). It is a way of "sorting out the weak", and you are supposed to also sort out those who don't get your "acting". I'm just not fond of social status games in general. The weak need help, not sorting out.

The more you do it yourself, the less you mind. If you have AS and don't do it at all, you mind a lot. I see that's how it works.


Yeah, you're right. I don't think the "sorting out the weak" effect is deliberate, though.



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24 May 2013, 6:03 am

The way I see it, I have to pretend I'm a nice person, act polite (Well, I can say please and thankyou, I'm talking about using a clother to wipe myself instead of my hands when eating and that kind of stuff), and talk in a bright sounding voice which is put on simply for show. Hardly me at all.