Page 1 of 1 [ 15 posts ] 

Maxx
Sea Gull
Sea Gull

User avatar

Joined: 30 Aug 2007
Gender: Male
Posts: 244
Location: Syracuse, NY

04 Sep 2007, 9:37 pm

I'm pretty sure my issue has popped up more than once in this forum, but I didn't find it.

Yeah...I have kinda been observing myself lately when it comes to conversation. When I am in a one-on-one conversation, if often lasts about a minute at most. I just can't come up with anything more to say. I don't know why this is (well I know it's asperger's, but...). What exactly do I do? I can't possibly lay a finger on exactly what it is that keeps me from continuing a conversation. This is only when trying to come up with something new to talk about.

I'm pretty sure this problem will greatly inhibit my social life unless I find a way to mitigate it even slightly. But I have not been able to do so myself it seems.

Does anyone else have this problem? Has anyone overcome it?



Asparval
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 2 Jul 2004
Gender: Male
Posts: 847
Location: UK

05 Sep 2007, 1:37 am

Maxx wrote:
Has anyone overcome it?


Yes. You have!

By conversing in writing on WP.

OK, so there is a major difference.

The gap between posts allows you to think more about what you want to say but if you were talking to someone who understood AS and who allowed for reasonable gaps in the conversation the effect should be the same.

People who understand will agree to sit in silence when necessary without it having to feel unconfortable and also understand when you have struck 'interest gold' and need to ramble on.

Once that is understood it is actually really nice to just be with someone in silence.



Macbeth
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 27 May 2007
Age: 42
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,984
Location: UK Doncaster

05 Sep 2007, 6:52 am

"Small Talk" is a complete bane. It is essentially pointless conversation, used to fill uncomfortable silences. Begs the question.. if a silence needs filling, why not fill it with something worth talking about?

Course then the problem is.. whats worth talking about? Opinions vary.

I find it helps to have at least a broad awareness of the days news, and a sprinkling of information about as many subjects as I can think of. Being aware of the weather and weather-based anecdotes helps in some places. Also, there are a couple of tactics that you can use to shift the onus of responsibility in small talk.

Example:

Person A : "Hey, how you doing?" (Or Hows s**t, hows it hanging, how goes it, etc etc)
Person B (You) : Not bad. Yourself?

Thus you make them responsible for the conversation. Gives you time to think, and is often all they want you to do, so they can regale you with whatever dullness they wish.

If youre talking to NTs its surprising how often they actually have an obsessive subject they will rattle on about for hours, much like Aspies. (Apparently its only socially inept when WE do that.) If you want to avoid carrying the conversation, try shifting it towards their pet subject. Often its their kids, or cars, or sports.

And you can never go wrong with observation (done SUBTLY.) Observe small talk on public transport between people, or in pubs, clubs and the street, and see if you can pick up any tips, hints, and meaningless pleasantries to use. I stress SUBTLE. if people think youre listening, you can get into all manner of trouble.

Once you pick up the basics of small talk, it becomes easier to extend conversations beyond a short span, and failing that, try and talk to people who share your interests.


_________________
"There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart,
that you can't take part" [Mario Savo, 1964]


edal
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 4 Jul 2007
Gender: Male
Posts: 739
Location: Gyor, Hungary

05 Sep 2007, 8:33 am

1) Keep a few subjects in the back of your mind that you think both you and the person you're talking to might find interesting.

2) Practice, practice, practice. Practice with friends, practice with your family, practice on your cellphone, practice using any opportunity that comes along.

Ed Almos



Asparval
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 2 Jul 2004
Gender: Male
Posts: 847
Location: UK

05 Sep 2007, 11:34 am

edal wrote:
2) Practice, practice, practice. Practice with friends, practice with your family, practice on your cellphone, practice using any opportunity that comes along.


And repeat yourself lots (it fills up the silence) :lol:



woodsman25
Supporting Member
Supporting Member

User avatar

Joined: 18 May 2007
Age: 39
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,064
Location: NY

05 Sep 2007, 4:47 pm

Asparval wrote:
edal wrote:
2) Practice, practice, practice. Practice with friends, practice with your family, practice on your cellphone, practice using any opportunity that comes along.


And repeat yourself lots (it fills up the silence) :lol:



hahahaha, that has always been my tactic, tho after a while ppl catch on. Indeed, im decent having conversations, but before I was bad at it, my whole life (i dont have to explain im sure we all understand how we do things) indeed, i have had lots of practice, and find i listen more then I speak, i ask alot of questions and so im able to keep a conversation that means nothing to me going long enough to appear normal. Id definatly take the advice of those above, as these have been my tactics for almost a decade and I have found great success.


_________________
DX'ed with HFA as a child. However this was in 1987 and I am certain had I been DX'ed a few years later I would have been DX'ed with AS instead.


arem
Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl

User avatar

Joined: 31 Jul 2007
Age: 37
Gender: Male
Posts: 155

05 Sep 2007, 9:10 pm

There are a few things that most people have in common:
* Weather ("Brr, it's cold today! I thought it'd be warmer, given it's almost summer")
* TV ("Did you watch Heroes? I thought it was great, and it's starting again soon - you should have a look")
* News ("Did you hear about the accident on the freeway this morning? Man, the traffic must have been backed up for miles...")
* The future ("So what are you up to this weekend?")
* The past ("So, how did you end up as a programmer; was that your plan all along, or did it just happen that way?")

If it's someone you see on a regular basis, there may be more you can ask about:
* How are the kids?
* How did your (snowboarding, romantic evening, whatever they answered to the fourth point above, etc.) go.
* How's work?


_________________
I'm... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


alyks
Hummingbird
Hummingbird

User avatar

Joined: 31 Oct 2005
Gender: Male
Posts: 23
Location: Montana

09 Sep 2007, 10:00 pm

edal wrote:
1) Keep a few subjects in the back of your mind that you think both you and the person you're talking to might find interesting.

2) Practice, practice, practice. Practice with friends, practice with your family, practice on your cellphone, practice using any opportunity that comes along.

Ed Almos


Personally I don't like 1, because it always seemed unnatural to me. But 2 is gold. You need to talk to everybody. I would practice by talking with the person in front of my in line at the store, then chatting with the cashier after. The idea is to talk even to strangers.
(Doesn't work in new york)

Also, while it's good to be able to keep a conversation going, you need to accept that sometimes there will just be pauses in it. I'll be talking and the conversation will just drop. Usually when this happens to me, I wait for something to happen that I can comment on. But most of the time people will say or comment on something hoping you'll start the conversation again. When it happens, you need to recognize that they're just as uncomfortable with the silence as you are, and are looking at you to fill it again.



alyks
Hummingbird
Hummingbird

User avatar

Joined: 31 Oct 2005
Gender: Male
Posts: 23
Location: Montana

09 Sep 2007, 10:29 pm

Macbeth wrote:
"Small Talk" is a complete bane. It is essentially pointless conversation, used to fill uncomfortable silences. Begs the question.. if a silence needs filling, why not fill it with something worth talking about?

Course then the problem is.. whats worth talking about? Opinions vary.

I find it helps to have at least a broad awareness of the days news, and a sprinkling of information about as many subjects as I can think of. Being aware of the weather and weather-based anecdotes helps in some places. Also, there are a couple of tactics that you can use to shift the onus of responsibility in small talk.

Example:

Person A : "Hey, how you doing?" (Or Hows sh**, hows it hanging, how goes it, etc etc)
Person B (You) : Not bad. Yourself?

Thus you make them responsible for the conversation. Gives you time to think, and is often all they want you to do, so they can regale you with whatever dullness they wish.

If youre talking to NTs its surprising how often they actually have an obsessive subject they will rattle on about for hours, much like Aspies. (Apparently its only socially inept when WE do that.) If you want to avoid carrying the conversation, try shifting it towards their pet subject. Often its their kids, or cars, or sports.

And you can never go wrong with observation (done SUBTLY.) Observe small talk on public transport between people, or in pubs, clubs and the street, and see if you can pick up any tips, hints, and meaningless pleasantries to use. I stress SUBTLE. if people think youre listening, you can get into all manner of trouble.

Once you pick up the basics of small talk, it becomes easier to extend conversations beyond a short span, and failing that, try and talk to people who share your interests.


Dude, small talk is important. When people talk, they aren't just trying to fill a silence, they're getting to know the other people. They're finding out what type of person they are. This is done with body language, the way they talk, what they talk about, and finding rapport. It's all done with small talk.



wsmac
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 31 Aug 2007
Age: 61
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,888
Location: Humboldt County California

10 Sep 2007, 2:49 am

Do you think props would help?

Something like carrying a book you are reading? Sometimes the sight of the book can generate a line of conversation either about the book or related events to the story, something about the author, or a book the other person is reading or has read.

If you carry something that is of interest to you, or relates to something you're interested in, you might find something to say about that.

I could probably talk endlessly even after the person walks away :roll:

I have trouble if the person wants to talk about current events, sports, the latest movie/actors, because I can't keep that kind of information in my head. Parties are especially bad for me, so I avoid them.

Sometimes I think you just have to let there be silence.

This reminds me of when I lived in Alaska and dealt with the natives up there.
I used to shoe horses and I worked on a firecrew where I had plenty of contact with native Alaskans.
They speak slower, and have more distinct pauses than anyone I was around before.
They would pause, I'd wait a second then figure it was my turn to jump in and talk.

This was not only ignorant of me, but really rude also. I finally figured out what was going on and worked harder at keeping my mouth shut.

So, it's not just Aspies who talk little or with pauses the NT's can't deal with.



siuan
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 Aug 2007
Age: 40
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,270

11 Sep 2007, 2:29 am

I'm really bad at small talk.

1. I'm pop-culturally challenged.
2. I don't watch many movies or TV shows, so I am usually clueless on this very popular topic.
3. My interests are HTML programming, medical science, health, fitness/exercise and my book series. I could give a sh*t less about Nascar, sports teams, pop music artists, celebrities, fashion, social faux pas (I AM a social faux pas) and every other common thing most people enjoy musing over.
4. I never know when it's my turn, or when I should shut up.
5. I intrrupt and over-talk despite my best efforts.

I suppose props could be useful. Maybe a large, colorful Autism awareness tattoo on your arm where everyone can see so when they ask about it you have free forum to just go on and on about Asperger's? :lol: I like that idea a lot, except the part about actually having my arm tattooed.


_________________
They tell me I think too much. I tell them they don't think enough.


wsmac
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 31 Aug 2007
Age: 61
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,888
Location: Humboldt County California

11 Sep 2007, 11:14 am

siuan wrote:
I'm really bad at small talk.

1. I'm pop-culturally challenged.
2. I don't watch many movies or TV shows, so I am usually clueless on this very popular topic.
3. My interests are HTML programming, medical science, health, fitness/exercise and my book series. I could give a sh*t less about Nascar, sports teams, pop music artists, celebrities, fashion, social faux pas (I AM a social faux pas) and every other common thing most people enjoy musing over.
4. I never know when it's my turn, or when I should shut up.
5. I intrrupt and over-talk despite my best efforts.


You're the sort of person I would rather hang out with at a party or just in general! Well, depending on what your 'book series' is. :D


siuan wrote:
I suppose props could be useful. Maybe a large, colorful Autism awareness tattoo on your arm where everyone can see so when they ask about it you have free forum to just go on and on about Asperger's? :lol: I like that idea a lot, except the part about actually having my arm tattooed.


I like that idea too! I wouldn't get one because I don't like to be a faker and I am not an aspie.

BUT,

Wouldn't that be cool... hard-core tatoos, t-shirts, hoodies, caps, etc. with some sort of ASPIE logo on them, sorta like the OC Choppers stuff (which I am not a fan of)?



alyks
Hummingbird
Hummingbird

User avatar

Joined: 31 Oct 2005
Gender: Male
Posts: 23
Location: Montana

11 Sep 2007, 1:30 pm

siuan wrote:
I'm really bad at small talk.

1. I'm pop-culturally challenged.
2. I don't watch many movies or TV shows, so I am usually clueless on this very popular topic.
3. My interests are HTML programming, medical science, health, fitness/exercise and my book series. I could give a sh*t less about Nascar, sports teams, pop music artists, celebrities, fashion, social faux pas (I AM a social faux pas) and every other common thing most people enjoy musing over.
4. I never know when it's my turn, or when I should shut up.
5. I intrrupt and over-talk despite my best efforts.

I suppose props could be useful. Maybe a large, colorful Autism awareness tattoo on your arm where everyone can see so when they ask about it you have free forum to just go on and on about Asperger's? :lol: I like that idea a lot, except the part about actually having my arm tattooed.


So what, you have your interests. I have my interests: medicine, chemistry, writing. I still do ok mainly because I have an opinion on things. I'm not interested in things like sports, nascar, or celebrities, but I still know a little about them and can comment when they come up. I really think that's the key to being able to have good conversations with people, just have opinions on as many things as possible.

Just remember, having opinions and being opinionated are two different things.



Rourke
Emu Egg
Emu Egg

User avatar

Joined: 28 Aug 2007
Age: 29
Gender: Male
Posts: 6

16 Sep 2007, 12:16 pm

I'm terrible at small talk because I don't watch TV, I don't play video games (I do play computer games but I rarely get into them) and most people my age don't give a crap about the news (I'm a teenager.) It's gotten to the point where my mom has actually advised me to watch more TV. Oh, and I couldn't play computer games if I wanted to at this point because I don't have the money and I have a Mac, and not all good computer games come in Mac versions. Talking about the weather is okay, but it only goes so far. And when people gossip about this-or-that person, I don't know who that person is (and I dislike gossiping anyways) so I can't join in. Usually, I get about halfway into a good conversation and then I just...stop...because I can't think of anything else to say, and if it's just one person the other person can't think of anything either, and if it's more than one person I just sit there while other people have a conversation around me.

Eh...Sorry that I don't have any good advice. I wish I did, but I don't. Sorry.



Brittany2907
The ultimate storm is eternally on it's
The ultimate storm is eternally on it's

User avatar

Joined: 9 Jun 2007
Age: 29
Gender: Female
Posts: 4,718
Location: New Zealand

21 Sep 2007, 3:42 am

My tactic is...

I sit there and let the other person talk while every so often I will go "ok then" or "i see" or "why is that?". That way they get to talk about something completely boring to me and I seem like I am listening.
I get stuck if they go "have you ever had that happen to you before?" Because 1: I don't know what they were talking about and 2: Im not sure what I will say will pass the "NT conversation grading scale". :lol:


_________________
I = Vegan!
Animals = Friends.