My therapist thinks I can just learn social cues...

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BTDT
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10 May 2024, 5:23 am

I posit there is a hard wired friend or foe routine hard wired into humans.
It is very useful to know whether someone you meet is a friend or foe without thinking about it.

IFF Indentification Friend or Foe was developed during WW2 for aircraft.
You don't want to shoot down your own airplanes.

There are more advanced techniques. How do you know someone is a spy or not?
A good test is to see if they like native foods!
Someone claims they are a Pacific Islander who doesn't know much living out in the middle of the Pacific.
Truth or a ruse? Give them a plate of SPAM! Pacific Islanders love to eat SPAM!
A Russain spy? Highly unlikely!



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10 May 2024, 5:48 am

BTDT wrote:
I posit there is a hard wired friend or foe routine hard wired into humans.
It is very useful to know whether someone you meet is a friend or foe without thinking about it.

IFF Indentification Friend or Foe was developed during WW2 for aircraft.
You don't want to shoot down your own airplanes.

There are more advanced techniques. How do you know someone is a spy or not?
A good test is to see if they like native foods!
Someone claims they are a Pacific Islander who doesn't know much living out in the middle of the Pacific.
Truth or a ruse? Give them a plate of SPAM! Pacific Islanders love to eat SPAM!
A Russain spy? Highly unlikely!


You can posit whatever you want - it doesn't make it true.

Taking a person already grown up in a culture, and then dumping them into another culture, is not the same thing as someone being raised from birth in a culture different from their genetic heritage. Furthermore, if they've only just arrived, and haven't been there very long, then of course they don't know the specifics of the culture, they haven't been there long enough to learn them yet.



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10 May 2024, 12:32 pm

Like many here, I often found it awkward to socialize for decades.
But, I discovered when I changed my gender presentation from male to female,
I could do things automatically and the other person would respond without confusion.
Could I have been learning the wrong gender clues?
Maybe my appearance was so feminine no matter what I did that there was a mismatch?
Anyway, socializing is much easier now with random people I don't know.



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19 May 2024, 11:10 pm

A belated reply to this reply to my post here:

uncommondenominator wrote:
It's rather difficult to know what your limits are, until you bump against them. To arbitrarily decide what your limits are, before you've even found them, is the same thing as self-defeat. Doing so is to decide the limits of your willingness, not the limits of your ability. At that point, you've decided you're not willing to try any more, regardless of whether or not you've actually hit that limit.

Autism and blindness both exist on a spectrum - but I love how autism gets compared to full black-out blindness, as though autistic people are simply incapable of learning the things they have difficulty with - another fine example of self-applied helplessness. Difficult does not mean impossible. Pardon me if I'm not terribly swayed by the "blindness" analogy.

And to be fair, if someone isn't very good with social skills, then they're also probably not very good at gauging social ability - including their own - so even if they do decide that they "can't" learn social skills, they're still hardly the "expert opinion" necessary to actually decide that. It's like saying "I don't know anything about singing, but I know I'll never be a good singer!" - they're hardly an expert on the matter, so how would they know?

One does not need to be an expert to recognize that some people can't carry a tune.

Anyhow, I wasn't talking about "arbitrarily deciding what one's limits are." I was talking about recognizing specific neurological issues. For example, I have a lot of difficulty with multi-tasking -- a difficulty that affects many aspects of my life, not just my social life.

I also didn't mean to advocate that a person should give up on learning social skills of all kinds. But it may be best to find ways to work around one's specific areas of greatest difficulty.

uncommondenominator wrote:
If there's a reason people get burned out, it's cos they invent a thousand unnecessary rules that they've convinced themselves they have to comply with in order to "fit in" or "act normal", and try to achieve these unrealistic and ineffective goals in a matter of days or weeks, with no patience for anything that takes months or years. It's not their potential that was the issue - it was their unrealistic and ineffective strategies, implemented frantically and desperately.

The latter is indeed a problem for many of us.

At the same time, though, people don't have infinite potential, nor infinite lifetimes in which to develop their potential. People need to budget their time and resources and make decisions about which skills they will work on developing.


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20 May 2024, 2:00 am

The trait of struggling with body language is called dyssemia.
The trait of struggling with verbal social cues -- I wonder if there's a specific term for that... SCD cannot be diagnosed in conjunction with autism spectrum disorder after all.

Not all autistics have dyssemia.
It's a common misconception that all autistics do because of how it is portrayed, the common issues around cognitive empathy and double empathy problem.

First layer is the social motivation, the social interests in humans.
This is sort of how some autistics mimic social cues from others; they still have to learn NT socialization in an explicit manner -- but social cues are still visible, 'audible' and can be deduced with enough observation.

Some had it easier with visual and pattern recognition strengths. Had it easier with body language.
Some had it easier with hearing and verbal strengths. Had it easier with tone and wording.
Some have it both.

And even a rare few that has all the intuition; empathic and can read humans intentions that can even surpass NTs; yet is autistic and still as 'culture blind'.
The ability to read people and sense their intentions, and the ability to integrate the cultural and it's contexts in socialization may look the same, yet is not necessarily the same.

Many definately have difficulties because they have executive dysfunction -- whether it's dysregulation of senses, emotions, behaviors itself, or issues related to memory, learning, attention, processing...

And some have more direct sensory issues; whether it causes distractibility due to intensity, having issues with perception, stimuli comprehension issues or having slow processing speed.
It can be one, it can be all.

Making the process incomplete, slow or more difficult to master.
These issues had nothing to do with the common autistic social issues, but it can interfere with social learning and socialization.

If you are truly have dyssemia and issues with decoding other cues -- it will never be as easy nor as simple as OP say even if you're allistic.
Some cognitive profiles won't simply allow learning social cues.

If you have dyspraxia, your self expression might be compromised.
If you have NVLD; it is definitely not as simple as watching and listening to people.

If you have alexithymia, it may complicate the process of putting context over self expression and observed expressions in others.


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uncommondenominator
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24 May 2024, 4:44 pm

Mona Pereth wrote:
A belated reply to this reply to my post here:

uncommondenominator wrote:
It's rather difficult to know what your limits are, until you bump against them. To arbitrarily decide what your limits are, before you've even found them, is the same thing as self-defeat. Doing so is to decide the limits of your willingness, not the limits of your ability. At that point, you've decided you're not willing to try any more, regardless of whether or not you've actually hit that limit.

Autism and blindness both exist on a spectrum - but I love how autism gets compared to full black-out blindness, as though autistic people are simply incapable of learning the things they have difficulty with - another fine example of self-applied helplessness. Difficult does not mean impossible. Pardon me if I'm not terribly swayed by the "blindness" analogy.

And to be fair, if someone isn't very good with social skills, then they're also probably not very good at gauging social ability - including their own - so even if they do decide that they "can't" learn social skills, they're still hardly the "expert opinion" necessary to actually decide that. It's like saying "I don't know anything about singing, but I know I'll never be a good singer!" - they're hardly an expert on the matter, so how would they know?

One does not need to be an expert to recognize that some people can't carry a tune.

Anyhow, I wasn't talking about "arbitrarily deciding what one's limits are." I was talking about recognizing specific neurological issues. For example, I have a lot of difficulty with multi-tasking -- a difficulty that affects many aspects of my life, not just my social life.

I also didn't mean to advocate that a person should give up on learning social skills of all kinds. But it may be best to find ways to work around one's specific areas of greatest difficulty.

uncommondenominator wrote:
If there's a reason people get burned out, it's cos they invent a thousand unnecessary rules that they've convinced themselves they have to comply with in order to "fit in" or "act normal", and try to achieve these unrealistic and ineffective goals in a matter of days or weeks, with no patience for anything that takes months or years. It's not their potential that was the issue - it was their unrealistic and ineffective strategies, implemented frantically and desperately.

The latter is indeed a problem for many of us.

At the same time, though, people don't have infinite potential, nor infinite lifetimes in which to develop their potential. People need to budget their time and resources and make decisions about which skills they will work on developing.


Sounds like philosophical mud to me. A pleasantly worded and logically framed excuse to do nothing, or as little as possible. Having a neurological issue is one thing - using that standalone "fact" as the sole deciding factor as to what one can or can't do sounds pretty arbitrary. Simply "having dyslexia" in no way determines the finality as to whether or not someone can improve their ability to read, or how much they can improve.

Whereas some might say "I have adhd, therefore I CAN'T concentrate!", others might say "I have adhd, therefore I have to work harder to learn to concentrate, or perhaps ways to concentrate differently." Both people have the same issue, but one is wallowing in the label, while the other is resisting it.

One may not have to be an expert to tell that someone can't carry a tune - but that still doesn't mean that the novice with zero skill or ability can perform the same determinations.

One does not need infinite potential to simply "improve slightly from yesterday", nor does it require infinite time to "practice for 30 minutes each day". What it does require is "effort", or perhaps "willingness". And that seems to be the actual resource(s) lacking here - not "potential" or "time".



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25 May 2024, 12:45 am

uncommondenominator wrote:
Sounds like philosophical mud to me. A pleasantly worded and logically framed excuse to do nothing, or as little as possible.

I don't advocate doing "nothing, or as little as possible." But you, on the other hand, seem to be a near-absolute believer in the idea that anyone can accomplish absolutely anything if only they try hard enough, and you apparently dismiss any attempt to find a reasonable middle ground between that and the opposite extreme as "philosophical mud."

uncommondenominator wrote:
Having a neurological issue is one thing - using that standalone "fact" as the sole deciding factor as to what one can or can't do sounds pretty arbitrary. Simply "having dyslexia" in no way determines the finality as to whether or not someone can improve their ability to read, or how much they can improve. Whereas some might say "I have adhd, therefore I CAN'T concentrate!", others might say "I have adhd, therefore I have to work harder to learn to concentrate, or perhaps ways to concentrate differently." Both people have the same issue, but one is wallowing in the label, while the other is resisting it.

There are different kinds and degrees of ADHD. Different people may be best off handling it in different ways. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. For some, it may indeed be best to try to arrange their lives so as to have an absolute minimum of boring details that need to be concentrated on.

If you don't know a specific person very well, then it is, in my opinion, not your place to judge what kinds of self-improvement efforts would (or would not) be worthwhile for that specific person. Yes, a person may be incorrect in their self-assessment. But, if you don't know the person well, then you are far less likely to be correct in your assessment of what kinds of self-improvement efforts would be worthwhile for that person.

I do agree that people may sometimes give up on some things too easily. For example, when I hear that someone has "dyscalculia," I often wonder whether they truly are innately incapable of math, or whether they just weren't taught math in a way that works well with the way their brain works, and could perhaps learn it if taught a different way. But it would be quite arrogant of me to run around telling people with dyscalculia that they can all learn math if only they just try to learn it a different way.


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25 May 2024, 5:25 pm

Mona Pereth wrote:
uncommondenominator wrote:
Sounds like philosophical mud to me. A pleasantly worded and logically framed excuse to do nothing, or as little as possible.

I don't advocate doing "nothing, or as little as possible." But you, on the other hand, seem to be a near-absolute believer in the idea that anyone can accomplish absolutely anything if only they try hard enough, and you apparently dismiss any attempt to find a reasonable middle ground between that and the opposite extreme as "philosophical mud."

uncommondenominator wrote:
Having a neurological issue is one thing - using that standalone "fact" as the sole deciding factor as to what one can or can't do sounds pretty arbitrary. Simply "having dyslexia" in no way determines the finality as to whether or not someone can improve their ability to read, or how much they can improve. Whereas some might say "I have adhd, therefore I CAN'T concentrate!", others might say "I have adhd, therefore I have to work harder to learn to concentrate, or perhaps ways to concentrate differently." Both people have the same issue, but one is wallowing in the label, while the other is resisting it.

There are different kinds and degrees of ADHD. Different people may be best off handling it in different ways. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. For some, it may indeed be best to try to arrange their lives so as to have an absolute minimum of boring details that need to be concentrated on.

If you don't know a specific person very well, then it is, in my opinion, not your place to judge what kinds of self-improvement efforts would (or would not) be worthwhile for that specific person. Yes, a person may be incorrect in their self-assessment. But, if you don't know the person well, then you are far less likely to be correct in your assessment of what kinds of self-improvement efforts would be worthwhile for that person.

I do agree that people may sometimes give up on some things too easily. For example, when I hear that someone has "dyscalculia," I often wonder whether they truly are innately incapable of math, or whether they just weren't taught math in a way that works well with the way their brain works, and could perhaps learn it if taught a different way. But it would be quite arrogant of me to run around telling people with dyscalculia that they can all learn math if only they just try to learn it a different way.


Please explain to me how "nobody can truly know their limits until they try to reach and surpass them" means the same thing as "anyone can accomplish anything". Sounds like more hyperbole to me.

My ACTUAL point is, almost everyone CAN IMPROVE, in more ways, and at more things, than they give themselves credit for. Regardless of how you portray me as claiming "everyone can do anything!", my actual point is, NOBODY knows what someone's limit is, without actually having a go at TRYING. This includes someone estimating their own limits.

On the other hand, your counter arguments, also heavily resting on hyperbole, consisted of making it sound like learning some things or overcoming some obstacles would take "infinite lifetimes" to learn. You argue that "some people just can't!" - which in no way violates my point that equally so, some people probably can, at least to some degree - and you can't know which is which until you TRY.

To the contrary, while I am in no way saying that literally everyone can do literally anything, you seem to be implying, deciding for others, that some people will NEVER improve, no matter what they do. So I guess I'm in the wrong for believing in human potential, instead of encouraging helplessness?

I am not obligated to accept a supposed "middle ground" just cos it presents and proffers itself as one. Not everything can be split down the middle and happily called a compromise. Nor am I obligated to compromise my beliefs or integrity simply because someone doesn't like the fact that I won't move my position more towards their side of things. Reasonableness is not found by simply dividing the distance between two endpoints.

I've also never implied that everyone requires the same solution. However, ANY course of action still requires effort to make it happen. Just cos effort is an indispensable component to affecting change doesn't mean that that's the only component to change. I already addressed that previously, when I stated that while effort matters, a lot of individuals burn themselves out because they're not practicing the right thing, or the right way, and are merely pushing as hard as they can, in the wrong direction.

As for judging the potential in others, there are literally whole careers where one's job is determining the potential of someone you've only just met. They're called "talent scouts". Hiring managers also benefit from these abilities. One may not have to be an expert to tell that someone can't sing - but a good enough expert can tell very quickly whether or not someone could become a great singer, or a decent singer, or even just a better singer. Some people are actually rather good at judging the potential of others - even others they've only just met, or barely know. It's not actually necessary to know someone "very well".

So lets take your dyscalculia example. I wouldn't "run around telling people with dyscalculia that they can all learn math if only they just try to learn it a different way" - yet another dishonest representation of what I am actually saying. What I WOULD do is TALK TO every person I met who had problems with math, and determine the source of the issue, and point them in a direction most likely to help them with their specific issue - probably give them a little help myself - if they're willing to put in the work. And even then, only if they expressed a desire to overcome said problem.

I would make no promises as to how far it would take them, nor would I expect anything of them other than an honest attempt - but I would bet an honest hard-earned Jackson that if they honestly worked at it, over time, they would improve. Not "lifetimes", but weeks or months. And in some cases, I have in fact helped people make substantial improvement in a matter of days. Would they become an expert? Probably not. Would they master it in a week? Probably not. Most people don't - not even NTs. Would they be better off than they were before? Probably.

Now, can we please stop pretending that I'm trying to claim that literally anyone can do literally anything? It is very much not what I am saying. What I am saying, if anything, is that not all obstacles are as insurmountable as they seem - or are presented.



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25 May 2024, 7:17 pm

MiguelTheOrtiz wrote:
The title is all there is to it really. I was in therapy today (as I've been for the past few months for the horrible mental stuff I've dealt with for the last 30 years) and I was just talking with him about anxiety with work and the upcoming university semester I'm gonna be in and how I can't get social cues to save my life...and he has the idea of just looking up YouTube videos on social cues and how to catch them.


...like there's no way that's a thing for high functioning autists right? Am I gaslighting myself? ...should I just get a new therapist because it sounds like he's being ableist? I don't know anymore....I need help.


You can learn to read social cues better, you just have to go about it differently than neurotypicals. You may never become really good at reading social cues but you can improve in that area for sure. For neurotypicals a lot of that just comes naturally where for us we have to actively learn it.

So, I actually think that is a good suggestion from your therapist, you may even be able to find videos that are intended for autistic people, maybe even some made by fellow autistic people and tips they might have. I know youtube has plenty of nonsense videos but there is plenty of educational stuff to if you look for it.


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25 May 2024, 7:26 pm

Mona Pereth wrote:

uncommondenominator wrote:
If there's a reason people get burned out, it's cos they invent a thousand unnecessary rules that they've convinced themselves they have to comply with in order to "fit in" or "act normal", and try to achieve these unrealistic and ineffective goals in a matter of days or weeks, with no patience for anything that takes months or years. It's not their potential that was the issue - it was their unrealistic and ineffective strategies, implemented frantically and desperately.

The latter is indeed a problem for many of us.

At the same time, though, people don't have infinite potential, nor infinite lifetimes in which to develop their potential. People need to budget their time and resources and make decisions about which skills they will work on developing.


I agree, I always struggled to learn math, seemed like no matter how much I tried or stayed after for 'extra help' from the teacher it just never clicked. And so it felt kind of pointless to keep trying because it's just not a skill I have. Then later on when I finally got diagnosed with autism as an adult the neurologist said I also had a significant learning disability in math which makes a lot of sense with how much I struggled in that class as a kid. So yeah like maybe there is some way I could improve my math skills but is it really worth the time and energy? plus I can just use the calculator app on my phone if I need to do math.


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25 May 2024, 7:44 pm

To uncommondenominator:

Looks like both of us may have been misinterpreting each other and talking past each other.

While no one effort at self-improvement needs to take "infinite lifetimes," what would take "infinite lifetimes" would be to attempt to improve oneself in every conceivable way, pushing oneself to one's limits in every conceivable aspect of every conceivable dimension of life.

Therefore, people do need to make decisions about what kinds of self-improvement efforts they will pursue, and how much time and effort they will put into them. These decisions may not be fully-informed, but people do need to make such decisions, especially if they also work for a living and thus have very limited time.

Perhaps this isn't your intent, but you do come across (to me, at least) as condemning or looking down on people who don't make the same decisions you think you would make if you were in their shoes.

You also come across to me as denying that people need to make such choices, subject to constraints of limited time, energy, and resources. That's how I got the "anyone can do anything" impression.


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26 May 2024, 9:45 pm

Mona Pereth wrote:
To uncommondenominator:

Looks like both of us may have been misinterpreting each other and talking past each other.

While no one effort at self-improvement needs to take "infinite lifetimes," what would take "infinite lifetimes" would be to attempt to improve oneself in every conceivable way, pushing oneself to one's limits in every conceivable aspect of every conceivable dimension of life.

Therefore, people do need to make decisions about what kinds of self-improvement efforts they will pursue, and how much time and effort they will put into them. These decisions may not be fully-informed, but people do need to make such decisions, especially if they also work for a living and thus have very limited time.

Perhaps this isn't your intent, but you do come across (to me, at least) as condemning or looking down on people who don't make the same decisions you think you would make if you were in their shoes.

You also come across to me as denying that people need to make such choices, subject to constraints of limited time, energy, and resources. That's how I got the "anyone can do anything" impression.


At no point did I even remotely suggest that all people should improve all things in every way at all times. I have not once specified any thing or things that should be worked on. Nor have I said or implied that these endeavors, whatever they may be, are mandatory and must be undertaken. If you took it to mean anything other than that, that's on you. If you were unsure, you could have asked.

The most extreme thing I may have said, is that most people, at any given task, can probably improve more than they think they can - and that someone who isn't good at a thing, probably isn't a very good judge of how to be good at that thing, or how to improve at that thing - or how good at that thing they possibly could be, if they tried.

A poorly informed decision is a poor decision. Poor decisions lead to poor results. If it's important enough to take action, it should be important enough to take correct action - anything less is self-sabotage, intentional or not. To that end, the only question the individual needs to ask, or answer, is "how important is this to me?" - if it's not that important, then it's not that important, and there's no pressure or need to improve.

But these conversations - the ones held on this forum - tend to revolve around skills or abilities that people endlessly moan about how they wish they could, they wish they did, if only they had these abilities, their lives would be so much better, and they would be so much happier... to the point of anger and desperation, that then gets directed at people who don't deserve it - like society, or NTs, or women, or anyone else they can direct their anger at, other than the real source of their problems - themselves.

It's when people scream at god and parlay with the devil for something they so enthusiastically claim to want, but won't lift a finger to actually do anything about it, other than make a lot of noise, or make a lot of excuses. Even if I were of a mind to, I do not need to condemn people for this - they've taken care of that for themselves, painting themselves into corners and walling themselves off with their own beliefs and justifications, arguing themselves into inaction.

That which I do have, is contempt - for those who so emphatically desire change, but stomp and flail and exclaim that they don't WANT to, and shouldn't HAVE to, when presented with a path to success, just because it's not as easy a path as they would like. I do not begrudge the person who makes no effort to improve, if they also have no desire to improve. I would not hound the dyslexic who expresses no interest in reading nor desire to read, nor criticize the writings of one who cares not what or how they write.

People who frantically wail about how a lack of social skills is ruining their lives, but won't do a thing to practice social skills. People who desperately want to be popular and liked, but won't do anything to stand out or actually be likeable. People who want something to change, but don't actually want to have to change anything.

Sure, people need to make such choices - obviously there's no need to practice pitching curveballs if your dream is to become an accountant. That's not the choice I begrudge people. Nor do I take issue with someone who chooses to learn to cook instead of learning calculus - or who chooses to learn nothing at all, if they're happy with that.

My issue is when people have already decided that they want or need a thing, and move on to deciding that that thing is "impossible" for them, only to whine about not having it, but also not doing anything to get it. Or when people decide what they want, but think they then also get to decide what it takes to get there - like people who think they can make their business successful by putting a better sign up on the building, or guys who think being popular is just a matter of dressing trendy and acting "cool" - and get angry when they do that, and it doesn't work, and use that one half-assed attempt to "prove" that they really did try, but it didn't work, so it's hopeless.

I am more inclined to believe that the reason people keep "mistakenly" believing I'm saying that "everyone can do everything", despite me having said numerous times over numerous conversations that that is simply not the case, is cos replying with "jeez, I can't do EVERYTHING" is a great way to foil any attempt to ask someone to do anything at all. Same goes for ridiculous comparisons between autism and amputees, or autism and total-blindness.

It reeks of straw-man argument. It's far easier to argue against "so you're saying literally everyone can be an expert at literally everything, huh?" than it is to argue against "let's give it some effort and find out if improvement happens, you might be surprised".