What did my neighbor actually mean when she told me this?

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alexagirard98
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05 Sep 2020, 7:23 pm

I have a neighbor across the street from me who really likes me as a person. Back in 2019, before there was a pandemic, she told me i'm welcome to come over anytime. I'm just wondering! What do people actually mean when they say that, "You're welcome to come over anytime!"? I thought it meant I could just show up at their house anytime I wanted. No, I wouldn't go into someone else's house without permission. I would ring my neighbor's doorbell. BEFORE the pandemic, I asked my parents if I could go across the street and visit my neighbor, and they said "No. You can not just show up at someone's house uninvited.". I thought that if someone told me I was welcome to come over to their house anytime, it meant I was ALWAYS invited. I told my parents that our neighbor told me I was welcome anytime, and they told me that she didn't really mean what she said. If that's true, then why did my neighbor lie to me? I would NEVER tell someone they were welcome to come to my house anytime unless I really meant it! I just need to know what my neighbor really meant when she said what she said. Thank you!



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05 Sep 2020, 8:43 pm

Yes, I have learned that it is common for people to say that line about coming over anytime, but the socially adept people around me always tell me it's not meant literally and I'm still supposed to wait for a specific invitation or prearranged visit. Why do they say it then? I think it's code for communicating being very friendly and kind, liking you, and wanting to have you over sometimes. I don't get it, but I think it's the way it is. I'd accept it as a gesture of friendship and well-meaning, even though it's one of those weird social "lies." The intent was not to lie or harm you. If you can think of it as using a code with an accepted, commonly understood translation, in that sense it isn't a lie at all (though I could never say it if I didn't mean it literally). I do think it means they would be happy to have you over sometimes, but you have to wait for more specific invitations.

However, this is different in different cultures. I'm in the US. My Chinese friends tell me this American custom of always having to pre-schedule a visit seems very sad and lonely to them; they actually can just drop by the homes of their friends and family anytime.

Editing to add: I think in some cases it's okay to call and ask if you can come over in half an hour or so. Most people want at least that much notice so they can pick up their house to be ready I think. This may vary in different parts of the US. I'd definitely go with what your parents told you for your specific region and situation.


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05 Sep 2020, 9:01 pm

alexagirard98 wrote:
What did my neighbor actually mean when she told me this?
You would have to ask her to find out; but if I have to hazard a guess, I would say it means nothing -- just another empty and insincere pleasantry like, "Have a nice day" or "It's good to see you".


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05 Sep 2020, 9:19 pm

I find myself wondering if these types of statements are in fact largely drive by culture rather than inherent neurotypical behavior.

For example, here's an article comparing American friendliness with German willingness to directly criticize:
https://magazine.areweeurope.com/storie ... h-kindness


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05 Sep 2020, 10:35 pm

It is better to be safe than sorry , It is probably just a kind gesture . Seen many NTs give the verbal impression of one thing and mean complete opposite . Generally not intending harm. But Are not used to the “ literal “ translation of words as we are able to . It s intended as a innocent gesture . This presents as a deficit ( drawback) in social
Communication to The autistic person. , often . But is invaluable . In science, math , and often in legal definitions .


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alexagirard98
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06 Sep 2020, 12:12 am

I forgot to mention that when my neighbor said "You're welcome to come over anytime!", she then said "Just don't come over next week, because we'll be on vacation.". Does that mean she really meant what she said?



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06 Sep 2020, 1:04 am

I think that it'd always be polite to sometimes ask ask if you can come over not show up so much.

One time when I was dating this girl I had drove her to my moms house unannounced so that they could meet, which I regret doing. I had already told my mom about her so I didn't think it was a big deal. My mom made an excuse to not let us in and she later revealed that she wasn't comfortable letting us in.

MY OWN MOTHER wasn't very comfortable with us showing up like that. I don't think you need to ask all the time, but use common sense in the best way you can. Don't go over there too early in the morning or too late at night unless it's an emergency.



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06 Sep 2020, 4:57 am

It is not necessarily a lie. She probably just meant that you could arrange a day with her to come round and she'd like that.


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06 Sep 2020, 5:19 am

alexagirard98 wrote:
I have a neighbor across the street from me who really likes me as a person. Back in 2019, before there was a pandemic, she told me i'm welcome to come over anytime. I'm just wondering! What do people actually mean when they say that, "You're welcome to come over anytime!"? I thought it meant I could just show up at their house anytime I wanted. No, I wouldn't go into someone else's house without permission. I would ring my neighbor's doorbell. BEFORE the pandemic, I asked my parents if I could go across the street and visit my neighbor, and they said "No. You can not just show up at someone's house uninvited.". I thought that if someone told me I was welcome to come over to their house anytime, it meant I was ALWAYS invited. I told my parents that our neighbor told me I was welcome anytime, and they told me that she didn't really mean what she said. If that's true, then why did my neighbor lie to me? I would NEVER tell someone they were welcome to come to my house anytime unless I really meant it! I just need to know what my neighbor really meant when she said what she said. Thank you!


I don't get it either. To me that means you are welcome to call in anytime. Ok, maybe after midnight would be inappropiate, but... Yes. To me it is an invite. She wants you to call in on her I think.

Mind you. I often get things wrong!

I find that to keep friends I need to avoid seeing them because I can over see them and things go pear shaped. I mean... Well... I will get enthusiastic where I will see them often when somehow they are "Oh no. It's him again".
It actually happens more in text form where I will text assuming the other person likes texting back, and then later find the other person will have made attempts to change phones etc. Yet they never say "Don't text" or things like that so that I know.
One of the common things I get is when I text someone and they don't reply. I text again after a few days. Nothing. Then after a couple of weeks... Nothing. So I assume it is another person who I have somehow upset. But then when they need something from me, they are texting or phoneing as if we were best friends? I just don't get this so I will distance myself from those people.
When I find someone that could be a friend I will avoid calling in or texting etc so I can keep themas a friend if that makes sense.

The main exception is the few people who are like me and enjoy lots of texts or messages etc. I have one friend like this but unfortunately because he does not live in the same country, he can text me but if I try texting back it costs a small fortune and wrecks my Mums phone plan. I have not been able to text back on most phones I have had (Currently don't have my own phone as want a Dorro so it is nice and simple. I prefer simple).

I also have a lovely special person who I text lots.

So I have three people I text and one I want to text but cant but we can chat in here or on other sites, and that is the lot. Aren't I famous! Haha!

It puzzles me when people say they have hundreds of friends. How do they do that?

I do have a friend who stopped replying to me and I text several times about a week ago but he had ignored them... (This is a frequent pattern) and he wanted something yesterday and text me so I have given up replying. Everything has become one way which is not what I think a friendship should be.

I would love to be able to text the friend from another country though.


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06 Sep 2020, 5:49 am

When I was young, in the American Midwest, dropping in on someone was an accepted practice. Guests were met with joy and you always had coffee and ideally cookies to offer the guest.

(That said, my mother taught me to always refuse an offer of refreshment when I was a guest because everyone knows the first two offers are just to be polite! :?: :pale: )

I don’t know what it is like now in the Midwest, I haven’t lived there in decades.

I do know, where I live now, it is considered rude not to make visit arrangements ahead of time, no matter what the other person says.

Another empty, confusing NT practice. :|


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06 Sep 2020, 6:40 am

Fnord wrote:
just another empty and insincere pleasantry like, "Have a nice day" or "It's good to see you".[/color]
You've told me to Have a nice day. So it was insincere! I knew it!! ! :)



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06 Sep 2020, 4:10 pm

alexagirard98 wrote:
I have a neighbor across the street from me who really likes me as a person. Back in 2019, before there was a pandemic, she told me i'm welcome to come over anytime. I'm just wondering! What do people actually mean when they say that, "You're welcome to come over anytime!"? I thought it meant I could just show up at their house anytime I wanted. No, I wouldn't go into someone else's house without permission. I would ring my neighbor's doorbell. BEFORE the pandemic, I asked my parents if I could go across the street and visit my neighbor, and they said "No. You can not just show up at someone's house uninvited.". I thought that if someone told me I was welcome to come over to their house anytime, it meant I was ALWAYS invited. I told my parents that our neighbor told me I was welcome anytime, and they told me that she didn't really mean what she said. If that's true, then why did my neighbor lie to me? I would NEVER tell someone they were welcome to come to my house anytime unless I really meant it! I just need to know what my neighbor really meant when she said what she said. Thank you!


You're overthinking it. Your neighbor probably meant exactly what she said. You're welcome to come over anytime within reason (not late at night when she's sleeping, while she's at work, or visiting every single day). Most people don't mention obvious exceptions that are considered common sense.



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06 Sep 2020, 4:19 pm

It's often difficult for most of us to understand certain things. Common sense isn't so common for many of us. For example, "Call me anytime." That doesn't mean you can call them at 3:00 a.m. because you can't sleep. It means to call them anytime that is reasonable. Don't call during meals or when they have company over, or too early or too late. Never just drop in. Always call first. "call me anytime" or "come over anytime" means They like you and you are always welcome BUT WITHIN REASON. Before you do anything, ask your parents if it is reasonable. I ask my husband - he helps me not make a fool of myself all the time.



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06 Sep 2020, 4:26 pm

Steve1963 wrote:
Fnord wrote:
just another empty and insincere pleasantry like, "Have a nice day" or "It's good to see you".[/color]
You've told me to Have a nice day. So it was insincere! I knew it!! ! :)


eerrr...gulp... :oops:



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06 Sep 2020, 4:27 pm

Fnord wrote:
alexagirard98 wrote:
What did my neighbor actually mean when she told me this?
You would have to ask her to find out; but if I have to hazard a guess, I would say it means nothing -- just another empty and insincere pleasantry like, "Have a nice day" or "It's good to see you".


probably :)



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06 Sep 2020, 4:53 pm

RightGalaxy wrote:
It's often difficult for most of us to understand certain things. Common sense isn't so common for many of us. For example, "Call me anytime." That doesn't mean you can call them at 3:00 a.m. because you can't sleep. It means to call them anytime that is reasonable. Don't call during meals or when they have company over, or too early or too late. Never just drop in. Always call first. "call me anytime" or "come over anytime" means They like you and you are always welcome BUT WITHIN REASON. Before you do anything, ask your parents if it is reasonable. I ask my husband - he helps me not make a fool of myself all the time.


Yes. I made this mistake with a friend once and I lost her as a friend. I texted her at 0500am or there abouts while working a train (No passengers) and I tend to forget that I could be awake when others are asleep. She has not really been in touch since she told me off for texting her. She no longer has my contact details and I lost hers when my brothers ex, girlfriend "Stole" my phone so she could sell it on. (She was looking for old phones to sell on and somehow she put my phone in as well knowing full well it was my phone and I wanted it. She hid it from me as she took it).
But anyway. Yes. Loosing track of time and texting people is not a good idea!


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