Girls with Asperger's are reading mental scripts always?

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nerdygirl
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30 Jan 2016, 11:51 am

Tawaki wrote:
kraftiekortie wrote:
There are times when I could be successful just "winging it"--doing it off the cuff.

Many times, though, I become flustered, and I stutter. There are many times when I can't convey my thoughts well at all.

I don't really "rehearse" any longer. However, I believe there are times when "rehearsing" might be to my benefit.


My husband drew out what he meant by his scripts. It is mostly for small talk situations with strangers.

It reminded me of the number factor trees you did in school.

Someone says, "Hello, have you been waiting long?"

That breaks down to choices a or b response.

If the stranger say this...you can pick from c or d.

Basically, it is what a child would learn in a social skills class.

Have you waited in line long? That could be the person inquiring about a statement of fact (length of time) OR they found you interesting and want to chat while waiting OR they want information (length of time) and have a chat.

The suck part is body language, facial expressions and tone of voice sort of dictate whether it is 1, 2 or 3. My husband is horrible at judging any of those instantly. So his scripts are the polite middle of the road.

When he is with strangers, his anxiety sky rockets. The ability to read people plummets, and that is why he thinks the scripts help him.

My husband says be barely does it anymore for family or folks he has known for a long time.


Wow, I would never have taken that as an opening to a conversation. I would have given a simple factual answer, probably yes or no, unless someone then asked for more detail. I probably would also have acted like I thought the conversation was over, which probably would communicate I don't want to talk more. Not so, necessarily. Just wouldn't think to keep talking.



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30 Jan 2016, 6:02 pm

I think the "reading mental scripts" thing is more about patterns of interactions than specific word choices, if that makes sense.

Although, I do pre-plan conversations, including word choices.


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30 Jan 2016, 6:47 pm

I also do the Mental Scripts thing; I am generally afraid to speak without going over what I'm going to say in my head first. I have so much experience of people reacting in a(n) unexpected, negative, or sometimes hostile manner to me making spontaneous comments that I don't do it much anymore. When I do say something without thinking ahead, I can usually look back at it and realize it was either a character line from movie/TV/web video, extremely sarcastic or cruel, or so random it was completely bizarre and out of place.

Of course people don't like waiting while I "vet" my next line; they get impatient and either angrily demand that I answer, or turn their attention to someone else to talk to if there's someone else available. Once in a while I meet someone who accepts my unusual way of conversing. They are rare and lovely people. I wish there were more people who could appreciate and accept eccentric conversation over standard shallow typical drivel.


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oldbarn
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31 Jan 2016, 8:30 am

Yes, it's a huge part of my life. I also rehearse facial expressions and body language. It does sometimes (for me) seem like a bit of a wasted effort because yes, topics vary so wildly and I try and keep up when in conversation and sometimes it can be so frustrating to imagine a conversation going one way, only for it to go another and for my rehearsal to have been invalid!

I try and console myself with the idea that at SOME point, a lot of the stuff I've rehearsed will come up in another situation and I can use it then.



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31 Jan 2016, 12:11 pm

I do this but not for every conversation I think I'll ever have -- that's impossible. But I will rehearse if I know there is a specific conversation that will very likely happen soon and I want to be prepared with what I want to say, and with various responses I want to give various things the other person might say. For example, when I know I need to go talk to my apartment manager, when I'm about to speak to a client about something, or when I know I'm probably going to run into an acquaintance with whom there is unfinished conversations or something I wanted to add.

For example recently, a few months ago an acquaintance and I had a disagreement about a topic to do with wildlife. I haven't seen him since that day. I've been going over and over the conversation since it happened, and thinking of how I didn't manage to raise certain issues that would have been pertinent. I don't process fast enough to always says what I wanted to say in any communications that happen in real time. I was angry with myself for not making my case as articulately as I can when I get a chance to think about it.

So I scripted out in my head what I had wished I had to said to explain myself better. We ran into each other recently and he raised the topic of that disagreement. I finally got to fill in the blanks because I had had time to rehearse the pertinent things I didn't get processing time to raise that other time.

But no, I don't rehearse or script every day of my life, just important things I know for sure are coming up.

There is also, however, the concept of scripting commonly occurring things we need to say. Scripting in your head a standard reply to ordinary greetings. It's probably hard to believe but I used to have trouble even knowing instinctively what I ought to be saying in reply to someone wishing me a "Good morning" or "how are you?" ! It honestly didn't come naturally to me just to make the kind of stock reply that all people make to these pleasantries.

I wasn't being rude, my brain just didn't seem to come up with the right responses fast enough.

At a certain point in my life I literally had to deliberately script-out for myself what to say, like an actor learning lines.


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02 Feb 2016, 8:15 pm

oldbarn wrote:
Yes, it's a huge part of my life. I also rehearse facial expressions and body language.


I wish I knew how to do this. I think I need a coach for it. When I do try to practice with a mirror the facial expressions I see on my face are so different from what I was trying to do, it's really no surprise that I unnerve people. I would go home and cry on my pillow if others looked at me the way I look in the mirror.

Quote:
It does sometimes (for me) seem like a bit of a wasted effort because yes, topics vary so wildly and I try and keep up when in conversation and sometimes it can be so frustrating to imagine a conversation going one way, only for it to go another and for my rehearsal to have been invalid!


Yes. Also by the time I realize that a good moment for my rehearsed line has come up it's actually passed because most people converse so much faster than I can process.

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I try and console myself with the idea that at SOME point, a lot of the stuff I've rehearsed will come up in another situation and I can use it then.


Maybe. Or maybe not. Like I said I'm afraid to say anything anymore because I can't guess what they want to hear, and I'm so afraid they'll be mad if I say something else. :(

Anyway given the thread title I would say "Always" is an exaggeration for me and maybe for other Aspie girls. But yes I think in general we do use Mental Scripts a lot of the time.

Quote:
...an acquaintance and I had a disagreement about a topic to do with wildlife. I haven't seen him since that day. I've been going over and over the conversation since it happened, and thinking of how I didn't manage to raise certain issues that would have been pertinent. I don't process fast enough to always says what I wanted to say in any communications that happen in real time. I was angry with myself for not making my case as articulately as I can when I get a chance to think about it.

So I scripted out in my head what I had wished I had to said to explain myself better. We ran into each other recently and he raised the topic of that disagreement. I finally got to fill in the blanks because I had had time to rehearse the pertinent things I didn't get processing time to raise that other time. ...


Oh my goodness this too. Not with any acquaintance or about wildlife but almost every conversation I have with anyone. I feel like I've failed it and I go over it in my head trying to figure how I could have done it better. But I'm rarely brave enough to go back and say any of those things that sounded so right in my head to people. I know they won't follow my script. Especially when it comes to standing up for myself when I feel someone has misunderstood or taken advantage of me, I practice how I wish our next conversation could go. But I'm too spineless to actually do it, and when I've tried it's gone just as bad or worse as the original conversation that I was trying to "fix" went! :?


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02 Feb 2016, 9:06 pm

I don't do this, as it takes overwhelming effort to generate mental scripts.
It is too hard for me.
It is much easier to say whatever.


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Yigeren
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02 Feb 2016, 10:09 pm

I really only imagine hypothetical conversations to help me get an idea of what another's reaction might be to something I say or do. It's really important, because my first reaction or instinct is often a bad one, in that I'm going to get a reaction that I definitely don't want.

I do have a fairly good general idea of what is or is not appropriate, and of how another person may react in certain situations. But it often requires me to imagine the situation, and go over it in my head. The knowledge is not immediately there; I must have the time to analyze the situation, or to mentally play it out. Often I will know somewhat intuitively what an outcome will be once I have time to imagine it, so there is a certain amount of instinct there.

In regular conversation I usually do not have enough time to make the best decisions in deciding what or what not to say. The imaginary conversations do help to prepare me, especially when I know that I will need to speak about sensitive topics, or deal with difficult social situations.

I do not rehearse everyday conversations. I have a mental list of appropriate responses to some everyday things, such as greetings, goodbyes, responses to compliments, etc. I often use them incorrectly. :lol: But normally I just say what I want to say, and try not to offend anyone or seem too unusual. I most definitely do have my own personality, and it does show in my conversations. I just try to keep it in check.



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02 Feb 2016, 11:11 pm

I rehearse practical things because if I don't I'll forget something or get tripped up over my words, or blurt out something that makes me look stupid. Like when I went to buy tires the other week, it didn't involve that much talking but I had to think about it ahead of time and plan it out. And I realized I had completely forgotten what it is like to buy tires so I still wasn't really prepared. Sometimes for practical things I have to research ahead of time on the internet so I will know how to handle the conversation.

In my job I rehearse sales conversations mentally, but I think most salespeople do that. However if the person suddenly changes the subject or starts making chit chat it can be hard for me to shift gears mentally.

In social situations a lot of times I really just don't know what to say to people. It wouldn't matter if I try to rehearse ahead of time. I just draw a blank.

Sometimes I imagine having a really fanciful conversation with a person, and I think of all kinds of things we might talk about, things that really interest me. But then when it actually happens I realize the other person doesn't want to talk about the things that interest me, and I can't think of anything else to say.



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06 Feb 2016, 9:42 am

I don't think this is an aspie female vs aspie male thing, just an aspie thing. (I'm not sure I really buy that aspie girls are actually different from aspie boys - maybe the percentages are slightly different, but each feature is present in some girls and some boys.)

Anyway, I do mental scripts sometimes, for highly predictable conversations or if I feel anxious about an upcoming conversation. But I certainly don't do them all the time.



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10 Feb 2016, 12:19 am

I don't. Or at least, not anymore.

I end up questioning myself why doing so? To be polite? To be appropriate? Or to be clear? And I don't want to rely on it. I want to say something what's really on my mind, and be decisive about it.

I want to learn how to speak, 2 to 10 steps ahead without rehearsing or scripting and hopefully no inconsistencies. I have my own progress going on...

The only problem I have is the tone, timing, and how to make things sounded simple or understandable. The rest is just a matter of wisdom.


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LyraLuthTinu
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11 Feb 2016, 8:17 pm

Edna3362 wrote:
I don't. Or at least, not anymore.

I end up questioning myself why doing so? To be polite? To be appropriate? Or to be clear? And I don't want to rely on it. I want to say something what's really on my mind, and be decisive about it.

I want to learn how to speak, 2 to 10 steps ahead without rehearsing or scripting and hopefully no inconsistencies. I have my own progress going on...

The only problem I have is the tone, timing, and how to make things sounded simple or understandable. The rest is just a matter of wisdom.


Are you getting counseling or coaching with that, like ABT or any similar method from a professional or perhaps a mentor? Or are you managing on your own?

If you can learn this on your own just by concentrating and determining you definitely have my admiration! I still think the reason I was never any good at chess is I can't anticipate the other player's moves. I can't anticipate my husband's needs, and I've read that this is a quality men desire in their wives. I so often just react in the moment--and so often my reaction is **other** than the people around me expected or hoped for. So they are continuously disappointed in me, as I am in myself.


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14 Feb 2016, 11:49 pm

LyraLuthTinu wrote:
Edna3362 wrote:
I don't. Or at least, not anymore.

I end up questioning myself why doing so? To be polite? To be appropriate? Or to be clear? And I don't want to rely on it. I want to say something what's really on my mind, and be decisive about it.

I want to learn how to speak, 2 to 10 steps ahead without rehearsing or scripting and hopefully no inconsistencies. I have my own progress going on...

The only problem I have is the tone, timing, and how to make things sounded simple or understandable. The rest is just a matter of wisdom.


Are you getting counseling or coaching with that, like ABT or any similar method from a professional or perhaps a mentor? Or are you managing on your own?

If you can learn this on your own just by concentrating and determining you definitely have my admiration! I still think the reason I was never any good at chess is I can't anticipate the other player's moves. I can't anticipate my husband's needs, and I've read that this is a quality men desire in their wives. I so often just react in the moment--and so often my reaction is **other** than the people around me expected or hoped for. So they are continuously disappointed in me, as I am in myself.

Aw...

I'm doing it myself, since my family cannot afford professional help.
A mentor? I can make everyone my mentor in their respective specialties if they keep perceiving me like a clueless child. (Some way to turn the tables :lol: ) Because in doing so, involving with other people is inevitable.

Sometimes, you can always ask others or themselves directly. That's also a choice.

Anticipation is a skill, almost like how luck is a skill. Too much could cause anxiety, which also causes disappointment or shock. Too little could miss chances, or even choices.


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16 Feb 2016, 8:04 am

nerdygirl wrote:
I often rehearse what I will say on the phone before making a phone call. The phone makes me more nervous than talking in person. I appreciate it when I get coached (usually by my husband) through a phone call I have to make to a different kind of company than I have ever called before. For example, I recently had to call a car insurance company because I had been involved in a car accident. My husband let me know what they were going to ask for and what information I needed to have on hand before calling. This was extremely helpful to me.

Not only have I greatly struggled with this (especially as a teenager: it literally took me 10 minutes to make a 10 second phone call I was so panicked) but I am starting to wonder if my Fiancee has a similar issue. I need her to call her insurance company to switch me over to a joint policy and she (uncharacteristically) keeps making excuses about not having enough time and tells me I need to be there (I don't). I also know she literally only calls two people: her parents and me. I guess I never stopped to think that women can be nervous making phone calls too. I was starting to get a bit forceful with her (Just call the #. It will take 5 minutes! What are you waiting for?) and maybe she is just nervous like I am!



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16 Feb 2016, 9:30 am

Sometimes, I muddle through phone calls.

I dislike making phone calls. I defer them till the last minute.

When I do make phone calls, I feel like a robot. I got according to a prescribed script

(unless I happen to like the voice of someone...then I might get flirtatious).



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16 Feb 2016, 7:41 pm

GiantHockeyFan wrote:
I guess I never stopped to think that women can be nervous making phone calls too. I was starting to get a bit forceful with her (Just call the #. It will take 5 minutes! What are you waiting for?) and maybe she is just nervous like I am!


It's very possible. I recognise the excuse. :D It's more common than people might realise, even among the non-autistic population. My psychologist and I were discussing my own discomfort with the phone and she mentioned that a sizeable chunk of her patients have the same problem - 40% I think was the figure she quoted. The percentage would probably be lower in the general population, as her sample is biased towards already having some pscyhological issue, but my guess is that there are still plenty of phone avoiders around.