ASD and my frustration with my lack of social skills

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FranzOren
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02 May 2021, 10:25 am

How do I start a conversation?

It feels very annoying to have Autism Spectrum Disorder. It causes me not to understand simple language.

I don't even understand anything you are guys talking about. I feel frustrated at my lack of social skills.

I feel frustrated at myself!



Double Retired
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02 May 2021, 12:28 pm

I've often found that I shouldn't start the conversations. I wander around and listen to the existing conversations, find one that sounds interesting and the people seem OK, and I linger there...and on occasion I tend to get pulled into the conversation.

In general, though, decades of experience has lead me to believe that, in reality, almost no one really cares. So it is best to be polite and clear and not talk too much. As near as I can figure that is sort of true in most NT conversations...they're just talking to each other because they like talking to each other. And they often seem happiest with the innocuous topics: weather, sports, pop culture, etc. BORING! That often makes it easier for me not to talk too much.


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I finally knew why people were strange.


cbd
Snowy Owl
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02 May 2021, 12:53 pm

the purpose of words in conversation is to open bonding / comfort / commonalities .

the more you speak or trade words with a person the faster you can understand if you wish to interact further or involve in activities / social meetings



cbd
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02 May 2021, 1:06 pm

FranzOren wrote:
How do I start a conversation?

It feels very annoying to have Autism Spectrum Disorder. It causes me not to understand simple language.

I don't even understand anything you are guys talking about. I feel frustrated at my lack of social skills.

I feel frustrated at myself!


.. " Hi , "

"hows your day going ?"

"what do you think about ___ ?" (current event such as covid)

"do you like scary movies ?"

"whats your favourite food ?"

"Hi , i see your like Ironmaiden (person is wearing Ironmaiden T Shirt) . whats your favourite Song ? "


in Conversation the Aim of opening Questions is to gain information for further conversation


example

person 1 : " Hi "

person 2 " " Oh , Hi There .. Nice weather isn't it "

person 1 : " Yes , Beautiful Weather .. reminds me of my Holiday in Spain Last Year "

person 2 " .. i Love Spain , where Did you Visit ? "

person 1 " i visted Barcelona with my Family .. Great Local Atmosphere . Visited the Football Stadium .. Interesting Club History ! "

.. Now . Person 2 now knows that Person 1 has Visited Barcelona . They Are interested in Footbal and have an interest in History .

Conversation Builds Mental Pictures of the Other Person's interests . at this point Person 2 can chime in on those specific subjects and ask further questions ..

They Might have visited Barcelona and ask if the other person has visited a specific place . or what time of year . even draw comparison between Barcelona Football Club and Rivals Real Madrid . Person 2 may also ask who Person 1 supports .. this can create a bit of banter if they support opposite teams or even a sense of familiarity if they support the same team .

Person 2 might suggest that they tried a particular Spanish food (Spicey Chicken for example ) and if the other person has tried or likes this type of food. Based on answers .. both people can guage what the other person likes and if they are friendly / forward / reserved .. and even if they display a particular emotional response to certain topics during the interaction



IsabellaLinton
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02 May 2021, 1:58 pm

Double Retired wrote:
I've often found that I shouldn't start the conversations. I wander around and listen to the existing conversations, find one that sounds interesting and the people seem OK, and I linger there...and on occasion I tend to get pulled into the conversation.

In general, though, decades of experience has lead me to believe that, in reality, almost no one really cares. So it is best to be polite and clear and not talk too much. As near as I can figure that is sort of true in most NT conversations...they're just talking to each other because they like talking to each other. And they often seem happiest with the innocuous topics: weather, sports, pop culture, etc. BORING! That often makes it easier for me not to talk too much.


Brilliant!

I've never had strategies in place. I normally just ignore everyone unless I'm forced to interact, and then I mess up by oversharing or showing obvious disinterest.

I'm always amazed when other people see productive patterns or figure out clever ways to cope in social situations.



FranzOren
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02 May 2021, 8:46 pm

Thank you!



FranzOren
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02 May 2021, 9:21 pm

I learned that in order to start a conversation, I need to listen what others have to say and ask appropriate questions.

I am starting to understand others as well.

Thank you!



Double Retired
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03 May 2021, 12:01 pm

In case anyone liked my advice above, I'll throw in some more for no extra price!

Sometimes people go someplace new and think the folk there are cliquish... the people there talk to each other and the new person feels neglected and shutout.

Often I think the new person is misreading the situation. The old-timers aren't trying to exclude the newcomer. They see people they already know (not the newcomer) and naturally want to catch up with their old friends.

That's when wandering around, listening politely, and not talking too much might help. Let them get used to seeing you and they'll eventually start thinking of you as someone they already know.


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When diagnosed I bought champagne!
I finally knew why people were strange.


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Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
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03 May 2021, 3:16 pm

It is all so difficult. I start by saying hello. Then if I see them again I'll say hows it going maybe they'll reply or maybe they won't. Then the conversation may progress. Then the next time you see them you might have something else to say to them. Or if something happened that day or recently you can mention it to them and that may start a conversation. I watched a YouTube video on this. It was actually really good and gave a good insight into the dynamics of a 'normal' conversation.



Danusaurus
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03 May 2021, 3:39 pm

FranzOren wrote:
How do I start a conversation?

It feels very annoying to have Autism Spectrum Disorder. It causes me not to understand simple language.

I don't even understand anything you are guys talking about. I feel frustrated at my lack of social skills.

I feel frustrated at myself!


Oddly I learned a lot of my social things through movies and observing people. If it's something that is spontaneous and has little to no emotional connection than bs in this way is usually alright. In very small doses. I had a friend whom one day I trusted enough to ask .. I am well aware some things are not what people socially ask and that's something cool about WP.
I still have pretty obvious selective mutism in social settings though and it does get very embarrassing / shamed bout it.



FranzOren
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03 May 2021, 4:57 pm

Thank you!



Something Profound
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03 May 2021, 6:39 pm

When I was young I had somebody actually tell me how conversations worked. As I said elsewhere I am not sure I can explain it to others, but I will try here:

It is basically like a game that has turns. You have person A take a turn, then person B takes a turn, then it is Person A's turn again, and then person B's turn.

The way the game works is that Person A begins a conversation by introducing themselves and introducing a subject: "Hi, how are you?"

In this case "How are you" is the subject. You are meant to give info about what you think regarding the subject. When you are done, it is their turn. It is usually ok to prompt them by asking them how they feel about the same subject, but sometimes you can introduce other subjects:

"I'm doing fine." This is the response. "How about you?" You are passing the turn to the other person.

"I am not doing so great." This is their response. "My great aunt died." This is them passing the turn.

"I didn't know about that!" This is the response. "Is there more about her you need to talk about?" This is you passing the turn back again.

This process is sometimes grueling, especially if you do not care about the subject (and can make you seem callous or insensitive if you disregard the subject), but the point of the conversation is to allow social connection, and the conversation will gradually change and alter to other subjects.

That last part was the thing I had issues with until I found out about it. The turn taking made sense to me. But when I found out that any conversation can be gradually changed to any other subject, conversations became a lot easier for me to do. I just have to be patient enough to slowly shift the conversation towards a subject that fits my interest, and allow the other side the ability to feel like their conversation subjects are satisfied. It can be a slow process, but that is how I understand it to work.

But then when I tell other people about this they seem a bit dismayed that you can break down a conversation that way. Which I find surprising. I am not the one who made the rules of conversation, but once I understood them I became good at them. In a way it helps me make sense of it, to look at it as a set of rules that need to be followed in order.



Last edited by Something Profound on 03 May 2021, 6:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

FranzOren
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03 May 2021, 6:50 pm

Thank you!



Danusaurus
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04 May 2021, 12:32 am

cbd wrote:
FranzOren wrote:
How do I start a conversation?

It feels very annoying to have Autism Spectrum Disorder. It causes me not to understand simple language.

I don't even understand anything you are guys talking about. I feel frustrated at my lack of social skills.

I feel frustrated at myself!


.. " Hi , "

"hows your day going ?"

"what do you think about ___ ?" (current event such as covid)

"do you like scary movies ?"

"whats your favourite food ?"

"Hi , i see your like Ironmaiden (person is wearing Ironmaiden T Shirt) . whats your favourite Song ? "


in Conversation the Aim of opening Questions is to gain information for further conversation


example

person 1 : " Hi "

person 2 " " Oh , Hi There .. Nice weather isn't it "

person 1 : " Yes , Beautiful Weather .. reminds me of my Holiday in Spain Last Year "

person 2 " .. i Love Spain , where Did you Visit ? "

person 1 " i visted Barcelona with my Family .. Great Local Atmosphere . Visited the Football Stadium .. Interesting Club History ! "

.. Now . Person 2 now knows that Person 1 has Visited Barcelona . They Are interested in Footbal and have an interest in History .

Conversation Builds Mental Pictures of the Other Person's interests . at this point Person 2 can chime in on those specific subjects and ask further questions ..

They Might have visited Barcelona and ask if the other person has visited a specific place . or what time of year . even draw comparison between Barcelona Football Club and Rivals Real Madrid . Person 2 may also ask who Person 1 supports .. this can create a bit of banter if they support opposite teams or even a sense of familiarity if they support the same team .

Person 2 might suggest that they tried a particular Spanish food (Spicey Chicken for example ) and if the other person has tried or likes this type of food. Based on answers .. both people can guage what the other person likes and if they are friendly / forward / reserved .. and even if they display a particular emotional response to certain topics during the interaction


It's freaking hard to draw images of others feelings.
Your conversation pointers are pretty practical though.. *hurries to try them* :?



FranzOren
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04 May 2021, 8:10 am

Makes sense.



cbd
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04 May 2021, 9:18 am

Danusaurus wrote:
cbd wrote:
FranzOren wrote:
How do I start a conversation?

It feels very annoying to have Autism Spectrum Disorder. It causes me not to understand simple language.

I don't even understand anything you are guys talking about. I feel frustrated at my lack of social skills.

I feel frustrated at myself!


.. " Hi , "

"hows your day going ?"

"what do you think about ___ ?" (current event such as covid)

"do you like scary movies ?"

"whats your favourite food ?"

"Hi , i see your like Ironmaiden (person is wearing Ironmaiden T Shirt) . whats your favourite Song ? "


in Conversation the Aim of opening Questions is to gain information for further conversation


example

person 1 : " Hi "

person 2 " " Oh , Hi There .. Nice weather isn't it "

person 1 : " Yes , Beautiful Weather .. reminds me of my Holiday in Spain Last Year "

person 2 " .. i Love Spain , where Did you Visit ? "

person 1 " i visted Barcelona with my Family .. Great Local Atmosphere . Visited the Football Stadium .. Interesting Club History ! "

.. Now . Person 2 now knows that Person 1 has Visited Barcelona . They Are interested in Footbal and have an interest in History .

Conversation Builds Mental Pictures of the Other Person's interests . at this point Person 2 can chime in on those specific subjects and ask further questions ..

They Might have visited Barcelona and ask if the other person has visited a specific place . or what time of year . even draw comparison between Barcelona Football Club and Rivals Real Madrid . Person 2 may also ask who Person 1 supports .. this can create a bit of banter if they support opposite teams or even a sense of familiarity if they support the same team .

Person 2 might suggest that they tried a particular Spanish food (Spicey Chicken for example ) and if the other person has tried or likes this type of food. Based on answers .. both people can guage what the other person likes and if they are friendly / forward / reserved .. and even if they display a particular emotional response to certain topics during the interaction


It's freaking hard to draw images of others feelings.
Your conversation pointers are pretty practical though.. *hurries to try them* :?


i agree , it can be difficult when one is not used to a particular way or framework .. like you say , if you can't draw upon others emotions or visualise what they are conveying .. even ADHD can effect what you gain from conversation .

the aim is to build this through repetition . even some of the most intellectual speakers may respond very narrowly to a question.. or refrain from elaboration .

Just gotta keep reinforcing a habit to improve . Trial and Error in a sense , until you are able to flow . sure it might come off awkward . But you might find alot of fun in getting to speak and folow into conversations with others .. especially people you currently don't know