Social Skills: do you think they can be learned?

Page 2 of 2 [ 28 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2

Callista
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 3 Feb 2006
Age: 37
Gender: Female
Posts: 11,395
Location: Ohio, USA

26 Aug 2007, 2:29 pm

Yep! Just like learning a second language. You may always have an accent, but with enough practice you'll be understandable.


_________________
Reports from a Resident Alien:
http://chaoticidealism.livejournal.com

Autism Memorial:
http://autism-memorial.livejournal.com


edal
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Jul 2007
Gender: Male
Posts: 759
Location: Gyor, Hungary

26 Aug 2007, 2:52 pm

Yes, social skills can be learned but it takes a long time if you are an AS sufferer. After my nervous breakdown I spent hour upon hour with a psychiatric social worker watching people interact, trying it myself, and then analyzing my failures to see where I went wrong. There is only one solution, practice, practice, practice.

Ed Almos



HydroPurity
Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl

User avatar

Joined: 6 Mar 2006
Age: 32
Gender: Female
Posts: 152

26 Aug 2007, 4:24 pm

Definatly. Even some "NTs" are constantly acquiring new social skills.



greatballzofire
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

User avatar

Joined: 12 Aug 2007
Gender: Male
Posts: 68
Location: A little cabin in the mountains

26 Aug 2007, 9:27 pm

Learning social skills is something everyone does, anyway. You've all heard the stories of children "raised by wolves" so to speak, or denied social interaction from birth. These poor souls have even been able, with much help, to learn some social skills, however rudimentary.
When I was a child I was told I was socially retarded. I was just an introverted, slightly schizoid kid. It didn't occur to me to make friends. I was content with one friend at a time. Even then, I mostly lived inside my own world. As I got older I learned how to deal with people so I could survive in the adult world. It was akin to learning math skills, another area I was weak in. I can do basic math and I can do basic social interaction. I'm still the introverted schizoid I was when I was little, but I am also bright and can learn new things, even if sometimes the subjects are a challenge! So I will never be a social butterfly, but on rare occasions I actually enjoy socializing!:lol:


_________________
I always think outside the box; I can't get the box open!


MrMacPhisto
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 20 May 2007
Age: 33
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,416
Location: Chatham

27 Aug 2007, 7:10 am

Yes definetly taught but I feel it is something you have to teach yourself. I had social lessons at school and to be honest at the time I had reasons why I didn't really take it seriously

The reasons were

1. Any lessons in the unit I was in I didn't like
2. It wasn't until I was in year 8 that I knew I had Asperger Syndrome and even then I didn't know I had social problems
3. I had a love/hate relationship with my teachers


Thats about it



rachel46
Pileated woodpecker
Pileated woodpecker

User avatar

Joined: 6 May 2007
Gender: Female
Posts: 193
Location: Midwest US

27 Aug 2007, 9:14 am

My 10 year Aspie son has learned how to have a conversation and not just talk AT someone. He has learned to argue with someone without having a huge meltdown because the person doesn't have the same point of view. HE has learned what he should and should not do to hurt someones feelings (he does still struggle with wanting to verbalize his laser like Aspie truthfulness) He is still learning to keep his voice at a more reasonable level. He is learning to care about what the other person is saying. He actually has friends that he can be with for 3 hours at a time and sustain the conversation/play. For him I think that is a huge accomplishment. He doesn't always WANT to be social but he can be in his 10 year old Aspie sort of way (most of the time) when needed.



Grimfaire
Deinonychus
Deinonychus

User avatar

Joined: 5 Aug 2007
Age: 49
Gender: Male
Posts: 354
Location: Michigan

27 Aug 2007, 9:41 am

I used to think so. But there is a point at which you can't learn some things. You can get better but you're most likely going to always be out of sync with NTs.

This was recently brought crashing down on top of me. That no matter how hard I try it really doesn't matter unless the people you're interacting with understand and accept your shortcomings.



mmaestro
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 Aug 2007
Age: 41
Gender: Male
Posts: 522
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

27 Aug 2007, 10:42 am

Yes, these skills can definitely be learned. That's one of the reasons that older people with AS who then seek a diagnosis often have a hard time getting it - they've learned enough social skills to get by, they can look people in the eye if they have to, a lot of what makes them AS is hidden. It's still there, but not visible enough for the formal diagnosis to be easy.
I tend to think I'm pretty good at social skills - for the most part, I don't think about what I'm doing, and only have to stop and try to analyse what someone else is trying to get across occasionally (of course, my wife tells me that I misunderstand more often than I think, so I may just be kidding myself). I know that wasn't the case when I was younger.


_________________
"You're never more alone than when you're alone in a crowd"
-Captain Sheridan, Babylon 5

Music of the Moment: Radiohead - In Rainbows


shopaholic
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 31 Jul 2007
Age: 54
Gender: Female
Posts: 624
Location: UK

28 Aug 2007, 6:07 am

Yes, of course it is possible to a certain extent. I have learnt enough to be able to "fake it" for most purposes - the problem comes when things are going well and I forget that I am supposed to be "watching" myself and then say or do something inappropriate.

The major thing I still have problems with is starting a converation in a large gathering of people. I usually just stand by the buffet & eat so it looks like I am doing something, rather than just standing there out of it.

And if I do talk to someone, then someone else will come up & interrupt & they will talk across me or even go off with them leaving me standing. Yet if I go and interrupt people think I am being rude....



DJKhaleedBRjan
Hummingbird
Hummingbird

User avatar

Joined: 1 Oct 2016
Gender: Male
Posts: 24

02 Oct 2016, 3:21 pm

Yes, you can study and learn them but we all learn differently. For myself I learn best from negative examples. I studied cringe vids, 4chan, chrischan, the otaku community, and other autism hotbeds to see for myself what the absolute worst an autistic person can be. That scared me straight and made me want to be a good person and a solid contributing member of society.

https://youtu.be/bXjnakAlF-s



racheypie666
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Aug 2016
Age: 25
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,382
Location: UK

02 Oct 2016, 3:32 pm

Yes, you can learn them through observation, trial and error, and even through instruction if you have someone nice/blunt enough to help you.

My social skills are good in familiar situations, but I'm not very flexible in the application of what I've learned. I don't think I'll ever be good at small-talk or certain types of humour, but that's OK. Eye contact is the main thing I would like to work on; sometimes I think I've got it down but then the person I'm speaking to looks at me weird, and I realise I've maybe given too much or too little (or maybe I hold my eyes too wide/still? I don't know, it's something about my eyes though).



AlmostHuman
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

User avatar

Joined: 21 Sep 2016
Age: 27
Gender: Male
Posts: 64

02 Oct 2016, 4:44 pm

Social skills can definitely be improved with time and effort. Just in the time since this thread was posted, I've seen my social skills rise from zilch to nearly adequate.



Soulsparrer
Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl

Joined: 1 Oct 2016
Gender: Male
Posts: 150

02 Oct 2016, 6:57 pm

I believe so; I believe on of the biggest deficits is in problem solving and conflict resolution (which can have serious impacts in relationships or career), so books on those subjects would be very helpful.

The other part though which might be the hardest is that I believe many of the social problems are caused by "thinking too much", which causes a person to seem overly formal, rigid, negative or "spaced out", so learning to be more mindful and in the present seems to naturally alleviate a lot of this.

(This is why simply 'reading books' on social skills or following a "formal set of rules" alone I don't believe will solve all the problems, and might be harder for some to accept if they feel the need to be able to control or predict every single event or situation which might come up, like in a video game, as this isn't possible in the real world).