Noticing different things about body language/mannerisms?

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lekrons
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01 Apr 2017, 12:03 am

I know that reading body language is supposed to be one of the things that aspies are supposed to be less good at. Myself I think this is something that's not so much a problem to me, lucky me.

I've noticed that I pick up things in people's body language and/or mannerisms that others don't. For example, in some movies and tv series I find that some actors playing really poor people from bad neighbourboods have totally wrong body language and mannerisms for that upbringing. I mention it to my friends and they have no clue what I'm talking about.

I guess I'm wondering if it's an aspie thing to pick up on different aspects of body language like this?



slw1990
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01 Apr 2017, 11:57 am

I feel like I notice different mannerism and facial expressions, but I don't always know what they mean unless it's more obvious.



Dear_one
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01 Apr 2017, 11:29 pm

That was a recent Aha! moment for myself and my counsellor recently. She thinks I make normal eye contact, but that's because I'm practising on her, since I feel safe there. Usually I avoid direct eye contact, and navigate by body language instead. Even when driving, I won't look at the people, but have a very sharp eye for lane drift signalling a change. I like cartoons partly because so much depends on posture instead of realism, although the faces may be exaggerated enough for reading, too.



SurferJeff
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02 Apr 2017, 12:03 am

I notice that NTs seem not to notice these differences; they seem to feel them. You and I (HF Aspie) see them, we analyze and verbalize them. An NT will see them and as a result not trust some one, or have a bad feeling about some one, but not be able to explain why. They have a subconscious emotional coprocessor doing all the work for them. And yes, when asked directly, they will honestly deny they saw any such details.



Dear_one
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02 Apr 2017, 12:12 am

I've also met an NT who had read maybe three pages about body language, and considered herself an infallible seer as a result. When we met a guy with a stiff arm, my ex thought he was pointing at his crotch all the time.



scaevity
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04 Apr 2017, 1:29 pm

I think that because we have to consciously learn to notice and interpret body language, once we have mastered the basics we can pick up on more things than others would, because we've spent more effort practicing to do so. Whereas a NT person might unconsciously have an idea of how another person is feeling through their body language, unless they are incredibly social or intuitive that's all it is--a general feeling. But aspies notice specifics and actually spend the time to think about what it means (obviously, the more practice you have the less conscious the thought becomes, but it's still more so than for NTs). It seems to be particularly true of female aspies, as society seems to push us to fit in socially from a younger age so we are more likely to develop skills like reading body language.

For instance, in my office, I seem to pick up on how certain people are feeling more often than most of my coworkers, because I'm paying attention to body language that others miss, but there is a guy who is incredibly emotionally intuitive who picks up on things I'd never in a million years be able to notice, no matter how much I practiced.



idonthaveanickname
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04 Apr 2017, 2:09 pm

I tend to pick up on other people's body language and mannerisms, too, but I think NTs notice the same things I do. I can sort of tell how someone's feeling or what they're thinking just by looking at them. What confuses me, though, is when people smile when they're upset or feeling negatively about something. My stepmom does that and I can't tell if she's angry or happy or what. My guess is that she smiles to help improve her mood or to try not to show that she's upset. I heard that simply smiling helps you feel better. I beg to differ. If I don't feel like smiling, then I'm not going to smile. :x Anyway, I've been told by people that I have weird mannerisms, but I don't even notice. And if other people's body language and mannerisms are subtle, then I don't notice them.