Why do some NTs invalidate our (accurate) interpretations?

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Jayo
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30 May 2021, 1:57 pm

Have you noticed this pattern too??? In the past, when I've complained to a trusted "third party" in my small circle of accepting friends, or my enlightened and supportive father (who's a very wise man) about some baffling interaction where NT's aren't speaking their mind but expecting me to "just get the hint", I've told the said 3rd party about my interpretation of the situation - reading between the lines and what I thought they were *really* getting at - only to be told that I've likely misinterpreted the situation.

A couple of examples:

1) On more than one occasion, while trying to go on a date with a female, or hang out with a male acquaintance to build some sort of friendship...they said they were really busy, or someone's coming from out of town, or they had to help someone move...and I got this more than once. In between the first and second times, the person suggested an approx. date for meeting up the second time, only to renege with a similar excuse. So I told the trusted 3rd party "I think the person's blowing me off b/c they don't want to be around me / they don't like me." Only for them to told me that I was "reading too much into it", and maybe they're just absent-minded or really busy. :roll:

But in hindsight, I WAS ALMOST CERTAINLY ACCURATE IN MY ASSESSMENT ALL ALONG!! !

2) On another couple of occasions, in my young adult days at job interviews, I'd get mixed messages with the "OK we've got your resume which we'll keep on file, so we'll call you if anything comes up" which is usually code for rejection. And I guess there was something subtle in the tone or a disappointed facial expression that I may have unconsciously clued into, because even at 18-20 years old I thought "there's no way he/she is serious about that statement". And again, some well-wishing NTs told me that he/she probably meant it at face value.

To us folks on the ASD spectrum, it's as if [Western] folks are "speaking Japanese", even though we're not in Japan :roll:

So, yeah, that really bugs me... I think that if the 3rd party were the proverbial "fly on the wall", they would gauge nonverbals accurately and come to the same conclusion (even on the phone, there are uncomfortable pauses, tone sounds uncomfortable and slow speech, etc. which would clue in an NT), but since they weren't...I think this is just a case of good intentions backfiring, they probably didn't want me to obsess or lament over the lost opportunity for human companionship. They may have suspected the truth all along. :(

To my credit, I think the only saving grace is that I didn't more aggressively confront said fickle person about "look, if you're not interested, just say so!! Why play charades or 'speak Japanese' with me??!" - because I had enough social intuition to know that if you do *that*, then it will give the other person an "out", i.e. they will respond with "Oh! well if THIS is how you're going to be, then forget it!" - so you've just absolved them of any responsibility, for lack of a better word, in the matter.

As an aside, maybe this is why in the past certain people have thought that I don't have full-blown Aspergers, b/c I can accurately assess, a lot of the time, someone's mind-state / opinion of me and when to not be too in-your-face annoying with them. Because hey, don'cha know, all people with REAL Aspergers don't have this ability :roll:



ToughDiamond
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30 May 2021, 3:19 pm

Sounds like they were trying to soothe what they thought was your bruised ego by giving you a bit of baloney, which seems quite rash in cases where you're likely to find out the truth later, but it seems people in general are quite forgiving about that. There's a lot of that kind of thing around. I've seen "social skills gurus" on the Web advising their audience to use "white lies" when asked such questions as "what do you think of my haircut?" And when you're feeling quite down and somebody asks how you are, you're supposed to say you're fine. Me, I refuse to do it. I'll temper my negative ideas to some extent, but I'm not likely to say anything that I know to be untrue if I'm talking to somebody I like. Clearly the people who do the BS thing are often just trying to be nice, but I'd rather they gave me their sincere opinions. I'm not a snowflake.



Joe90
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30 May 2021, 3:59 pm

A lot of Aspies say they'd like an honest answer, but then if you give them your honest opinion they get offended.

I don't have the guts, or the heart, to tell someone my honest opinion, in most situations anyway. I know it seems illogical, but if an NT is trying to be nice by saying they like your haircut then it means they respect you enough to be nice (if they don't like your haircut). Usually if an NT doesn't like or respect you they'll tell you their honest opinions that can be quite hurtful. That is why a lot of Aspies have been told that we're weird or stupid to our faces, by NTs that don't care about our feelings and want to hurt us.

Sometimes ignorance is bliss.


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30 May 2021, 5:07 pm

a few thoughts ..

people are threatened by intellect . what may have took said naysayer a brain racking effort might have been immediate to you . so they in their mind you couldn't possibly right .

some people like to be objective to anything outside their own train of thought .


i've had this alot .. and the threat is the more common analysis i've made .

people simpley get annoyed if other people are smarter or display greater attributes .

for example the world class athlete is ridiculed for bad performance by the public at large . but in reality .. maybe 0.0001 ( random guage ) of the ridiculers could even hold pace at their own greatest effort



naturalplastic
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30 May 2021, 7:29 pm

Jayo wrote:
Have you noticed this pattern too??? In the past, when I've complained to a trusted "third party" in my small circle of accepting friends, or my enlightened and supportive father (who's a very wise man) about some baffling interaction where NT's aren't speaking their mind but expecting me to "just get the hint", I've told the said 3rd party about my interpretation of the situation - reading between the lines and what I thought they were *really* getting at - only to be told that I've likely misinterpreted the situation.

A couple of examples:

1) On more than one occasion, while trying to go on a date with a female, or hang out with a male acquaintance to build some sort of friendship...they said they were really busy, or someone's coming from out of town, or they had to help someone move...and I got this more than once. In between the first and second times, the person suggested an approx. date for meeting up the second time, only to renege with a similar excuse. So I told the trusted 3rd party "I think the person's blowing me off b/c they don't want to be around me / they don't like me." Only for them to told me that I was "reading too much into it", and maybe they're just absent-minded or really busy. :roll:

But in hindsight, I WAS ALMOST CERTAINLY ACCURATE IN MY ASSESSMENT ALL ALONG!! !

2) On another couple of occasions, in my young adult days at job interviews, I'd get mixed messages with the "OK we've got your resume which we'll keep on file, so we'll call you if anything comes up" which is usually code for rejection. And I guess there was something subtle in the tone or a disappointed facial expression that I may have unconsciously clued into, because even at 18-20 years old I thought "there's no way he/she is serious about that statement". And again, some well-wishing NTs told me that he/she probably meant it at face value.

To us folks on the ASD spectrum, it's as if [Western] folks are "speaking Japanese", even though we're not in Japan :roll:

So, yeah, that really bugs me... I think that if the 3rd party were the proverbial "fly on the wall", they would gauge nonverbals accurately and come to the same conclusion (even on the phone, there are uncomfortable pauses, tone sounds uncomfortable and slow speech, etc. which would clue in an NT), but since they weren't...I think this is just a case of good intentions backfiring, they probably didn't want me to obsess or lament over the lost opportunity for human companionship. They may have suspected the truth all along. :(

To my credit, I think the only saving grace is that I didn't more aggressively confront said fickle person about "look, if you're not interested, just say so!! Why play charades or 'speak Japanese' with me??!" - because I had enough social intuition to know that if you do *that*, then it will give the other person an "out", i.e. they will respond with "Oh! well if THIS is how you're going to be, then forget it!" - so you've just absolved them of any responsibility, for lack of a better word, in the matter.

As an aside, maybe this is why in the past certain people have thought that I don't have full-blown Aspergers, b/c I can accurately assess, a lot of the time, someone's mind-state / opinion of me and when to not be too in-your-face annoying with them. Because hey, don'cha know, all people with REAL Aspergers don't have this ability :roll:


Interesting.

You tell trusted person A that you think that the folks in group B were "hinting at X".

Then person A says "no no they were not doing that", and then it turns out later that you were right, and that they were hinting at X.


The problem may be that person A misunderstands you. And that they assume that you want comfort and reassurance. When in fact what you want is Vince Lombardi - someone to give you coaching (even tough coaching), and to tell you that "the good news is that YES...you correctly assessed that you fumbled and yes...you did rub that group of folks the wrong way. But the bad news is ...you fumbled and rubbed the crowd the wrong way...so this is how to avoid doing that the next time".

You really wanna know how to read the crowd. And you also think that you maybe making progress in doing that, and in doing the NT "reading between the lines" thing. But they think that you want a shoulder to cry on...or like that.

You want them to responde with "yep...they were angry at you...so ...next time... do such and such to avoid rubbing a group like that the wrong way". Not with "there there...its okay".



Benjamin the Donkey
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30 May 2021, 8:42 pm

I've had very much the same experience. And I also wish people would just speak directly, even if it's not always easy to hear. It actually lessens the pain in the long run.


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31 May 2021, 1:44 am

I can totally relate to this.

/Mats


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ezbzbfcg2
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31 May 2021, 2:07 am

I remember some positive thinking guru once saying something like, "If you don't know for sure what the outcome of something is going to be, tell yourself it's the positive one."

So, if you're waiting for results from the doctor's office, he suggests assuming everything is fine until you actually get the results, rather than assuming doom and gloom. His argument was that since you can't know for sure, and since your mind is going to want to fill in the blank with something, he suggests fill it in with the positive over the negative, just for peace of mind.

I'm not saying I agree with this, but it's possible some of these folks are abiding by this belief. They can't tell you for sure that your assumptions are correct, so they're trying to nudge you to assume the positive until you can confirm/deny the actual truth. They're replying to you negative assumption by suggesting you consider the positive assumption.

But if you're usually correct, then you're much more socially intuitive than Aspies are given credit for. Or your really pessimistic, which many of us are notorious for.



ToughDiamond
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31 May 2021, 2:55 am

^
For that to work, the target would have to be somewhat easily led. I never could tell myself that a thing was true when I could see grounds for doubting it, and nobody else can tell me it's true either, if I can see grounds for doubting it. And I would think that even with NTs, who tend to do this hive-mind thing more than we do, there surely can't be many of them who would simply believe anything suggested to them. Personally I'd be OK with somebody saying something more honest, such as "you may be right that they don't like you, but they might not dislike you as much as you think." Perhaps there are groups of people out there who successfully jolly each other along in such an unrealistic way, but I suspect Aspies aren't the only people who don't swallow it so easily. It rather reminds me of a friend of my parents when I was a teenager. I'd just had some new glasses which I hated and was refusing to wear because I felt they made me look ugly. He said "I think you look fantastic in them." I knew he was using hype to get me to comply with what my parents wanted me to do. He'd have found it much easier to reach me if he'd just suggested that they might not make me look as hideous as I thought they did.

But maybe some people just don't express themselves all that precisely - maybe they overstate things without ever expecting to be taken too literally. If so, they're perhaps not really lying, if you define lying as deliberately trying to give a false impression. I do sometimes wonder why I take so much care to try to ensure that nothing I say will ever be found out to be not 100% accurate. I have a feeling that most people don't expect me to talk like a scientist all the time. It would neatly explain why I often felt more comfortable talking with bright scientists at work than I felt talking with the less well-educated people there. I suppose intellectuals and non-intellectuals would have trouble getting on with each other. And according to Hans Asperger, we come over as "little professors," or we did when we were kids.



Jayo
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31 May 2021, 12:01 pm

I TOTALLY concur with what naturalplastic said!! :D

Sometimes, if not most of the time...those well-wishing 3rd parties after-the-fact will be all wishy-washy and namby-pamby with you, so as not to bruise your fragile ego.
Whereas, us Aspies tend to think of advice as like debugging a computer program...you wouldn't inject new code that will just perpetuate the bug or create a worse one, that would be insanity.

A little anecdote: some time ago, back in my 20s, I had a "fake friend" housemate who was a covert narcissist in hindsight. He did even worse than give me wishy-washy interpretations; he fed me disinformation to sabotage me, like bits of advice on how to deal with women in "that situation, the next time" - which I viscerally KNEW to be dubious (and having developed so much more from experience and reflection since then, with much female success up to my current marriage with two kids) - shortly after moving out in 2001 I got my Aspergers diagnosis so clearly I didn't have the social intuition level of your average NT, but I had *some* grounding, enough to know that I was being BS'd by this cretin :evil:
The thing is (predictably, to my credit again) when I confronted him about the misleading advice, he just gaslighted me, saying I was paranoid and didn't know what a real friend was. :roll: