Armageddon MUD General Discussion Board

Non-Armageddon Discussion => Non-Armageddon Discussion => Topic started by: MeTekillot on December 18, 2018, 12:20:23 PM

Title: Social skills
Post by: MeTekillot on December 18, 2018, 12:20:23 PM
Does anyone know of any very clinical style books that examine and explain the dynamics of human body language and eye contact, or of any resources or professionals I could consult to help me blend in better? I suffer constant social rejection and ostracization because I don't have a good grasp on how to communicate my intentions and feelings and how to blend into conversations.
Title: Re: Body language
Post by: Jihelu on December 18, 2018, 02:39:47 PM
From my very limited schooling with this sort of stuff (Criminal justice dips into it because we talk about Psychopaths/other mental health issues/not fitting in and how it can lead to crime), I'm not very sure you can pick up a book that will give you any help for learning body language outside of its discussions on its importance and all sorts of other scholarly jargon.

I think your only real bet is a therapist/some sort of mental health professional. Even then, these things are learned, and usually learned rather young.
Title: Re: Body language
Post by: MeTekillot on December 18, 2018, 03:03:50 PM
Your last sentence is not exactly encouraging so I'm going to ignore it. I'll discuss with my therapist. Thanks.
Title: Re: Body language
Post by: mansa on December 18, 2018, 03:17:32 PM
Here are some public speaking books:

https://www.amazon.com/The-War-Art-Through-Creative/dp/1936891026/

https://www.amazon.com/The-Quick-Easy-Effective-Speaking/dp/0671724002/

If better communication is your goal, try reading them.
Title: Re: Body language
Post by: Lizzie on December 18, 2018, 04:13:03 PM
I suggest a modeling class. Not so you can become a model, but so you can present yourself with poise and grace. Or ballet, or jazz dancing.
Title: Re: Body language
Post by: MeTekillot on December 18, 2018, 08:19:30 PM
(https://media1.tenor.com/images/53a2bebdcead0fc26e1c483a6cffa986/tenor.gif?itemid=3915566)
Title: Re: Body language
Post by: deskoft on December 18, 2018, 09:37:39 PM
I disagree that body language gets learned at an early age and cannot be changed. That said - what do you think you are trying to achieve? You seem to have a very analytical way of approaching this. I think a lot of the body language things tend to come from just being relaxed and knowing what little things make your intentions known better: there are certain behaviors that are universally or unconsciously understood by most people. Crossing your arms is a closed posture. Fidgenting: nervous. Staring and frowning: angry.

Generally you want to look relaxed. Your eye contact should be there when needed but also not too much. People tend to look away when thinking. A lot of it is imitation too.

Because of what I studied, I used to look at docummentaries but they're mostly for analysis -what I wrote above. For roleplay, I have been trying to be able to portray body language that is not my own and more realistically: I have been watching some movies and noticing the little quirks.

It's a process. The hardest time definitely was battling through the little bit of anxiety I had some time ago. Competing in sports, doing sports, going out while doing sports: it helped me be more relaxed and feel more confident. I don't know if that helps. It's my experience.
Title: Re: Body language
Post by: MeTekillot on December 18, 2018, 09:46:42 PM
You seem to have a very analytical way of approaching thiseverything
I analyze until I internalize.
Title: Re: Body language
Post by: Pale Horse on December 18, 2018, 10:14:57 PM
"Fake it till you make it."

Take some classes on Method Acting, Acting and Improvisation.
Title: Re: Body language
Post by: RogueGunslinger on December 18, 2018, 10:18:46 PM
Isn't that what an actor does? The good ones at least, change their body language, their voice, their general demeanor. The very best ones, who can actually emulate behavior and make it believable, train, and study, and make it their life's work. They are preparing constantly. And even they fuck it up all the time. They need to do multiple takes, and they need everything around them set up perfectly. They have to do all sorts of things to get in the right headspace.

You shouldn't be trying to force your own body language. If you want to be seen as confident and charming, you need to practice enough in social situations to be relaxed. You don't simply adopt the mannerisms a confident person has. You put yourself through something enough times that you know it in and out and the confidence comes naturally.

If you're trying to use your own body language to subtly manipulate people, you're trying too hard. I mean that both proverbially and literally. Not only does it make you come off awkwardly to anyone paying lots of attention, but it's just not needed. People are fucking easy to manipulate. It's hard not to manipulate people. The older I get the more I see all the ways I've manipulated people, and the was they have manipulated me. And it just makes me sad. Eventually you find yourself in a situation where you wonder if anyone knows the real you.

Look for the people who think you're a good enough friend that they can just be themselves around you, and try to do the same in return.
Title: Re: Body language
Post by: Aruven on December 18, 2018, 10:43:25 PM
https://books.google.com/books/about/Interplay.html?id=y-FbKaUgSTkC&source=kp_cover
Title: Re: Body language
Post by: lordcooper on December 19, 2018, 03:06:57 AM
Have you been trying to 'fake it' wrt body language?  If so, it might be worth experimenting with not doing so at all.  Some people just aren't very physically expressive, and while some will find them less likeable for it I'm fairly sure most won't really give a damn.  That said, it's usually really obvious when a person is forcing body language (something I've most often encountered with crap salesmen who've recently heard of 'mirroring') and while i can't speak for anyone else, I personally find it quite unnerving.  A bit like those gits who insist on forcing your name into every sentence, it just raises my guard and evokes an 'uncanny valley' kind of feeling.

If that doesn't pan out then take some acting classes.  If you're gonna fake it, you'd better fake it well. 
Title: Re: Body language
Post by: James de Monet on December 21, 2018, 01:51:42 PM
Iíve started paying more attention to my body language also, but more because looking at how Iím reacting physically can sometimes give me clues into how Iím feeling emotionally that I wasnít aware of (and sometimes donít necessarily find warranted).

Yesterday I was in a meeting and felt myself begin to grow defensive (chin comes down, blood pressure rises, brow begins to knit), but I was able to dismantle the feeling and relax myself and my posture before I reacted any further (by getting louder or crossing my arms, turning toward the person, etc).  I was there presenting someone elseís proposal based on a third partyís set of ideas, and the decision was a no brainer.  The other people only reacted negatively because they didnít understand (and maybe wanted to show off a little, which is acceptable).  There was no reason for me to be defensive.

On the whole, Iíd say you might be trying too hard.  Paying a lot of attention to this stuff (and I include myself in this charge) is usually a sign that you care too much about what other people think of you.  The simple ways to not offend people with your body language, though, are:
Title: Re: Body language
Post by: MeTekillot on December 21, 2018, 02:38:44 PM
I don't have an inherent natural sense for "normal" body language is why I asked. I have to consciously manipulate my body language or I'd stare at the ground and flap my wrists or other body parts as I spoke because that's what's "comfortable" for me. I am extremely sensitive to eye contact and other people's expressions, uncomfortably so, and I block it out by reflex or distraction if I don't force myself to pay attention.

Thank you for the advice, James.
Title: Re: Body language
Post by: MeTekillot on December 21, 2018, 02:42:22 PM
Things I've noticed matter:

Partial and full body facing
Leg spacing
Leaning forward or away
Posture tension
Length of held gaze
"Stirring" slightly when you intend to speak
Speak slightly over the end of someone's statement or question to communicate interest and enthusiasm
Rhythm of conversation matters A LOT, pay attention to rhythm
Display of palms
Shifting about when you intend to leave
Sighing, have had to learn to do breathing exercises for anxiety quietly or people think I'm angry
Bouncing body parts usually mean anxiety, but sometimes mean ADHD
Title: Re: Body language
Post by: MeTekillot on December 21, 2018, 02:51:58 PM
Look toward the person speaking
Look toward what everyone else is looking at when attention is on it or brought to it, hold the gaze even if you've assessed it at a glance
Don't glance around at every sight and sound or people will think you're anxious
Stay with groups, walk at their pace, dont go to the destination as fast as you can
Don't emote every feeling you have, maintain neutral or thoughtful expression unless it seems like you're supposed to react
Title: Re: Body language
Post by: Riev on December 27, 2018, 11:53:40 AM
Joe Navarro's "What Every Body is Saying" is a decent read. Its not fully clinical, it is more about reading a person's intentions and feelings behind their posture or facial twitches.

Its not super scientific, and I think a lot of what you're asking has a lot to do with cultural mores (holding gaze, stay with groups, etc), but it might be interesting for you to maybe see if you're performing any of the behaviors in the book and what you might be saying unconsciously.
Title: Re: Body language
Post by: MeTekillot on December 27, 2018, 12:44:17 PM
Thank you, Riev.
Title: Re: Body language
Post by: X-D on December 28, 2018, 06:07:01 PM
First off...body language is not something some of us learn young but actually have to spend time teaching ourselves.

Next off....this is a rather huge subject and I agree with the ones that say that books and such will be of little help...at least when trying to learn others.

They can be of help to how you wish to portray yourself though.

Hell, I think I have posted such before on the GDB. Myself for instance, I carry myself erect, shoulders back, eyes fully open and I look everybody in the eye, when I see them, meet them, talk to them, I keep my arms at my sides and do not fidget...confidence with the risk of aggression. Of course that way of presenting yourself, you need to be willing to back it up. Relaxed expression with an easy smile that uses the entire face...disarms people usually without losing a commanding presence. Crossing arms is a defensive sign...I never use. Looking down or to the sides shows as being timid, eyes not showing as quite open enough as well, also means likely not so alert and not ready to fight. Not saying this is for everybody, I am a pretty big guy who has spent his life in hard physical jobs and been jailed 32 times...29 were simple battery...I shudder to think of how much I have paid in attorney fees and fines.
Title: Re: Body language
Post by: MeTekillot on December 29, 2018, 09:16:30 AM
I'll say that X-D seems to have the same understanding of the inherent dominance dynamics in human social interaction that most people don't seem to be conscious of, but I don't think being extremely dominant alpha all the time is the way to be most successful. It's more of a dance than a zero sum game.

I've also found that men seem to eat louder in situations where they feel like they're not in control when they'd like to be in control. This behavior seems both conscious and unconscious depending on the person.

Anyway:
*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *


I'd like to preface this question with the request that I not be called delusional, a narcissist, or an attention whore:

How do I keenly, but not cruelly, communicate disinterest in sleeping with a woman without attacking her self-esteem? I'm running into the problem of women (who are involved with men I'd like to be friends with) unsubtly (seemingly subtly in their minds) flirting with me and this is causing tension between me and the men in question. I don't have a girlfriend, but should I lie about having a girlfriend, or perhaps talk about a woman I'm seeing? I've tried studiously avoiding eye contact and looking the other way whenever they do things to display their body, but it's not working. I find that many women will talk about their boyfriends/husbands when they want to communicate they don't want to date, but I don't want them to take that as a "try harder", which I'm afraid they will.
Title: Re: Social skills (formerly: body language)
Post by: cnemus on December 29, 2018, 02:13:27 PM
Have you tried, I dunno... the truth?

"You're making me uncomfortable."
"I'm not interested."
"What exactly are you looking for? I'm only looking to be friends, nothing more."

Body language is not uniform across cultural and geographical boundaries. What someone is attempting to express and is actually perceived are often very different things. A good communicator will confirm their perception without making assumptions and then phrase their response (verbal or non-verbal) in a way the other person can understand.

These resources divide communicators into four groups (each example has four different groups):
https://www.uky.edu/hr/sites/www.uky.edu.hr/files/wellness/images/Conf14_FourCommStyles.pdf
https://www.forbes.com/sites/markmurphy/2015/08/06/which-of-these-4-communication-styles-are-you/#50b54bcc3adb
https://communicationstyles.org/the-four-communication-styles/
Title: Re: Social skills (formerly: body language)
Post by: X-D on December 29, 2018, 02:21:36 PM
Another tough one...to many women...and men, simple flirting is normal and harmless, not a true sign they are really interested in you sexually and could simply be a sign of being comfortable. And some are simply flirty period....and the reasons can be many that have nothing to do again with sex or real interest.

If it really does seem to be true interest that you do not share or do not want to share...your best bet is simple and straight forward. Put them in the "friend zone" All women understand that...not that they like it mind you but, meh. I like you as a friend but you are not my type otherwise. Or some variation. Don't worry so much about her self esteem, in most people that is something far more durable then you might think and less likely to be damaged by a straight response then by say...ignoring what she is doing...women ignored when flirting or actually hitting on you tend to simply try harder.

Beat to the post by Cnemus...drats!
Title: Re: Social skills (formerly: body language)
Post by: MeTekillot on December 29, 2018, 02:53:38 PM
snip
It would not go well if I said "Hey, stop making eyes at me/bending over/trying to touch me. You have a boyfriend.". Do you really think they'll just take that at face value instead of getting offended and upset? Do you think I could say something directly to their boyfriend and not have HIM get defensive, as well? What guy do you know would be totally okay with another man approaching him and communicating his discomfort about his girlfriend being too flirty?

I would absolutely love if direct, concise communication were accepted in the vast majority of social situations but it's not. I'm young and I'm trying to hang out with other young people and their self-esteem is brittle and can only be marginally dinged with passive aggression if you don't want to end up looking like an asshole.

Thank you for the resources that I can consult and the advice.
Title: Re: Social skills (formerly: body language)
Post by: cnemus on December 29, 2018, 04:14:17 PM
Learning to express yourself without imposing your expectations on others can be a difficult thing. It is a very rewarding quality to have. People are much more receptive to open and honest communication than you may realize. Instead of trying to tell others how they should behave, contemplate ways you can share your thoughts and feelings constructively.

Instead of "Stop doing x" try "When you do x it makes me feel y" Trying to empathize with their own similar experiences could be helpful.

"I would imagine you get a lot of looks that make you feel uncomfortable. I hope I haven't ever done that to you. Sometimes, the way you look at me makes me uncomfortable. I really hope we can be friends without adding those unnecessary complications to our relationship."

Telling someone else how to act rarely goes well, but if you can explain to someone how it makes you feel it goes much better. When it comes to unwanted touching, however, you always have the right to shut that down. Hoping for others to read your mind about what you want and correctly interpret your body language is an unreasonable expectation.

Why do you feel you should be talking to the boyfriend in this equation? Are they doing something that is bothering you or do you just think they should control their girlfriend?
Title: Re: Social skills (formerly: body language)
Post by: MeTekillot on December 29, 2018, 04:36:18 PM
I'm saying women seem to be attracted to confident, dominant behavior and their boyfriend not putting a stop to it when their girlfriends start coming on to me is likely a contributing factor.
Title: Re: Social skills (formerly: body language)
Post by: MeTekillot on April 04, 2019, 10:14:50 AM
It seems like it's ME accidentally flirting with my poor grasp of body language/eye contact. Whoops.
Title: Re: Social skills (formerly: body language)
Post by: roughneck on April 04, 2019, 02:03:18 PM
Learn to walk before you run.

I'm leading a group of managers through this book right now. It's very practical, and while catered to work life, has value for your personal life.

None of us are as self-aware, intuitive and intelligent as we believe we are and could all use some deliberate effort at getting better. 

https://www.amazon.com/Emotional-Intelligence-2-0-Travis-Bradberry/dp/0974320625

Practical book to work through, if you can stomach corporatey executive coaching material.
Title: Re: Social skills (formerly: body language)
Post by: MeTekillot on April 04, 2019, 04:11:08 PM
Thanks, I'll take a look at that if I can.

Things I've learned recently:
You're supposed to announce your entrance/exit to social engagements.
Glance away occasionally if you're conversing with someone, length of eye contact communicates interest and apparently how attractive/interesting you find the topic or person speaking
Pointing your body toward someone with your torso/groin uncovered communicates dominance/confidence(??)
People fidget in the direction of things that make them anxious. I notice this because people fidget in my direction a lot since I'm silent and probably staring to try to observe the correct behavior for the situation.
Touching? People touch each other a lot but I'm lost to the appropriate dynamics of it

I have almost no grasp of how to control my voice/tone so I default to mumbling or raising my voice just to be heard, but I think the stringent quality of my raised voice makes people think I'm agitated? I want to take speech therapy classes for it. I almost never know when people are being sarcastic so I end up getting confused or offended a lot by it.

Oh, and mimicking the posture and energy of groups is important if you're interacting in them
Title: Re: Social skills (formerly: body language)
Post by: Hauwke on April 04, 2019, 05:11:47 PM
Tip: Just be nice, most people I know will overlook awkwardness if you are the correct level of nice. Don't go overboard with it but if they got a haircut, mention it. If they appear to be growing a beard? Mention that you like a particular style of beard.

It depends on the environment of course, but I find just being a nice person gets you a lot further in day to day activity than purposefully going out if your way to match posture or make the correct amount if eye contact.
Title: Re: Social skills (formerly: body language)
Post by: MeTekillot on April 04, 2019, 06:54:39 PM
I'm able to blend in passable enough to be awkward instead of a freak to be avoided but I'm more interested in actually being able to socialize to have friends and dates and job prospects and that requires being able to not just pass as normal, but be a certain sort of confident at the right time to the right people.

I seem to ping either uncanny valley vibes when I'm not trying to blend in, and my "blending in" is trying to appear confident no matter what, but that seems to be projecting hostility/arrogance/inappropriate sexual interest with many people. I've said before it seems to be a dance instead of being direct all the time. I'm just struggling with the subtleties of it... as I seem to struggle with subtlety in all things.
Title: Re: Social skills (formerly: body language)
Post by: roughneck on April 04, 2019, 07:16:43 PM
Dude. Just. Talk. Less.
Title: Re: Social skills (formerly: body language)
Post by: MeTekillot on April 04, 2019, 07:19:58 PM
I'm silent almost always actually. I post a lot here but I'm extremely reticent in person.
Title: Re: Social skills (formerly: body language)
Post by: Cind on April 05, 2019, 07:07:32 AM
If you're interested in a problem I have myself, look up 'theory of mind' online.

For example, a 16-month old infant watches someone put down two boxes, and puts a toy in one box. His mother approaches, looks in the box with the toy, and smiles and exclaims happily. They repeat this a few more times later on, with some space between each time, establishing this knowledge in the child's brain that his mother is happy when she finds a toy in the box. Then once more--- the person puts a toy in one of the boxes, but this time the mother looks in the box that the baby knows has no toy. The mother, however, exclaims and seems happy. A baby that has theory of mind would be startled or confused by this, because they would know that the mother should not be responding like that unless she found the toy, which the child knows is not in that box.

Theory of mind is a person knowing that they have their own beliefs and intentions, while also knowing that other people have beliefs and intentions different from their own. Being able to deceive someone requires knowing this. Most people understand this to some extent, but some people with mental disorders have an incomplete picture. When I started writing this, I honestly thought this would help, but now that I have I realize its more of an information dump. But that's kind of part of it for me--- once in a while, I think things that aren't true, because I follow logic paths in my brain that aren't actually relevant in the same way they are for other people.

If it helps even a little bit then I'm glad, but its still an interesting page on wikipedia regardless.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_mind (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_mind)
Title: Re: Social skills (formerly: body language)
Post by: Cind on April 05, 2019, 07:32:45 AM
Things I've learned recently:
You're supposed to announce your entrance/exit to social engagements.

Touching? People touch each other a lot but I'm lost to the appropriate dynamics of it

I almost never know when people are being sarcastic so I end up getting confused or offended a lot by it.

1. Yes.

2. I would just not touch if you don't want to. Maybe this one's easy for me because if the people are strangers/acquaintances, touching is absolutely NOT okay for me in either direction (probably a culture/regional thing.)

3. I would just assume they are never being sarcastic, rather than adding this to the long list of things you seem to have on your social plate. If someone laughs at it, then they are probably being sarcastic, as sarcastic things are almost near-identical to jokes in how people seem to react to them.
Title: Re: Social skills (formerly: body language)
Post by: Yam on April 08, 2019, 08:14:11 AM
Eat humans so you can absorb their ways. That's what the alien in The Thing did and... well, I don't want to spoil it in case you haven't seen it. It's a great movie.
Title: Re: Social skills (formerly: body language)
Post by: MeTekillot on May 06, 2019, 10:32:03 AM
Sometimes people's significant others will flirt with you, not because they want you, but instead to piss off said person (to exert control in the relationship?). And they'll take your notice/discomfort as interest and that makes them feel attractive. Humans are strange.
Title: Re: Social skills (formerly: body language)
Post by: Bebop on May 06, 2019, 12:12:28 PM
I'm saying women seem to be attracted to confident, dominant behavior and their boyfriend not putting a stop to it when their girlfriends start coming on to me is likely a contributing factor.

Everyone is Metekillot's collective therapists - a thread.

In all seriousness, stop acting like you're an alien learning to emulate human behavior.  Stop being concerned on what you feel you should be and start focusing on how to express who you really are without being a total jerk and you'll be a much happier adult.  You're over-analyzing everything and everyone and your questions seem to come from the place of how can I get the reaction I want out of people which is an extremely narcissistic mind set.  You can not control others through your actions, just as other people are not responsible for your actions.

A lot of what you're saying is about how you're trying to be this and that.  You're overthinking it I guarantee it.  You can't look outward for confidence in other people.  You will never find it.  There are a lot of weirdos in this world with amazing magnetism not because other people accepted them initially but because they learned to be comfortable in their own skin.

I have chronic PTSD, in my mid-twenties I got really cavalier on talking about it, and now I have a following over almost 7K people on YouTube.  Not because I cured my mental illness, but because I accepted it, analyzed it and worked from the inside out and just began talking.  Not saying I'm an authority on overcoming mental illness (far from it), just giving you my two cents.  Point being, people relate to struggles --- the same reason we're all trying to help you on here.  Nothing "freakish" about it.  It seems your identity is caught up on the idea that you're some where outside of society because you have mental issues.  Not true, though I do understand that's a lie mental illness tells quite well.

You've got being forthright (at least on here) about your issues down.  I think acceptance of yourself is the next step.  You can read all of the books in the world, but it's going to take a shift in your actions and thoughts internally to really feel at peace.  Know what I mean?

Also, I have found that just injecting the cold hard truth into a situation is often times the best way to negate a negative situation's power over you.  There's gentler ways to put it, and you can frame it without being accusatory, but if someone is bothering you and you've thought long and hard about it - sometimes the best way to shift the situation is be honest.

Hope all of this rambling helps.

PS:  Stop referring to yourself as a freak.  How you talk to yourself is a big part of what makes up your internal, mental landscape.

PSS:  All women are not one collective consciousness with the same attractions.  So stop generalizing what women seem to want, please and thank you.
Title: Re: Social skills (formerly: body language)
Post by: deskoft on May 06, 2019, 02:08:37 PM
It's normal to misjudge mesages, yeah. It's why people study communications - to try and learn how to reduce this incident. A message can be if people are uncomfortable, if people are being sarcastic, etc. For some of us, it comes naturally - but understand naturally as our body received enough exposure as a child and as a teenager so that our body can immediately process cues and react to it- but also you can practice it and train it as an adult. Definitely many of us have had this kind of stuff.

I have learned a lot about social cues recently. There is no master list. Just go out there, practice. What you can do is study body language, I guess. But in my case if I do it, I do it mostly as a support for professional endeavors. For a social setting, be it if you want to flirt with a girl, or get to know new people, you have to get out there and experiment. Put yourself in the scenario where through trial and error you're going to learn the right things to say. Be predisposed to fucking it up (but try not to!!).

You seem to have some mindfulness going on so I do think that's a huge step in your favor. Most people aren't predisposed to even analyzing what other people's bodies are saying - you seem to have an interest to comprehend other people's social cues which is a great step.
Title: Re: Social skills (formerly: body language)
Post by: MeTekillot on May 25, 2019, 09:04:18 PM
For reasons that escape me, my social skills actually IMPROVE when I'm hungover or angry, which I find kind of bizarre.

Smalltalk seems to be a social litmus test to make sure you're not a crazy person and to set the tone of the interaction, rather than just banal bullshit for idiots like I thought it was for so many years.
People respect a strong handshake. Which is good for me, because I have the grip strength of a spastic. Need to remember to make eye contact during handshakes, I have a tendency to look at the hands instead
Constant projection of confidence affects arrogance instead, it seems. I get nervous as anyone else but I've taught myself to suppress my weird twitches and fidgets, because my go-to is a grudge-like snapping around of my head (only when I'm utterly overwhelmed) or a flappy wrist and finger wiggle. Normal people fidget too, usually hand drumming or leg bouncing. Trying to channel into that instead when I'm ill-at-ease.
Occupying more space is a dominance play. Elbows akimbo, legs spread apart, etc. Not always socially appropriate.
Hands covering your torso is a sign of discomfort and nervousness. I kinda cheat with this by wearing tight undershirts. The pressure soothes me.
The way people's feet point is where their interest is, whether it's another person or the door.
People display their hands when they're comfortable, they hide them when they're not
Sharing common experiences is a good way to build a little common ground with people beyond talking about the weather. Sharing anecdotes characteristic of the group members or subculture is an even better way to do so.
Title: Re: Social skills (formerly: body language)
Post by: Akaramu on May 25, 2019, 09:30:00 PM
You sound very Aspie-like, tbh. What you describe are everyday issues most everyone in my group struggles with.

Are you seeing a psychologist? It might be helpful to let an expert provide feedback on your body language (based on their observations, or you could watch yourself on a video), and offer advice based on their observations.  :)
Title: Re: Social skills (formerly: body language)
Post by: MeTekillot on June 29, 2019, 07:13:29 AM
The dynamics of appropriate eye contact vary based on your status within a group. Generally, if you're more often deferred to you can make more eye contact when conversing and people will affect or actually take more interest in what you're saying. I'm still working out whether people (me included) become subconsciously more interested in subject matter toward preferred people or if perhaps we refract our interest in the person into interest in the conversation, that the topic is not trying if we don't have a piqued engagement in it. Or maybe people just let their friends ramble on boring shit because they love them. Big think emoji

I find myself defaulting to more normal-ish body language and facial emoting when I'm comfortable, though proper voice modulation, prosody, and emphasis at an acceptable volume still poses a challenge. My normal speaking voice is slurred and sleepy, in my opinion, and has a tendency to trail off. Working on training my voice, currently.

I'll need to conquer my aversion to mirrors so I can soon began practicing how to emote with my face a little more. Also purchased an eye patch to mitigate the uncanny quality my lazy wall-eye has on eye contact, because even if I center it it causes my eyes to unfocus and it makes me look glassy and far away instead of focused.
Title: Re: Social skills
Post by: MeTekillot on July 17, 2019, 09:26:00 AM
I've been studying more into confident body language that doesn't come across as superior and arrogant. Also, I've researched into where to stand in relationship to other people in social situations. Directly opposite to a person is either confrontational or romantic interest if you don't know them well, whereas off to their side is more platonic and sociable.

EDIT: Also, one of the guides I read described social and body language behaviors in "clusters" and I think that will be a very helpful way of looking at it.
Title: Re: Social skills
Post by: Riev on July 17, 2019, 10:12:18 AM
There's an unfortunate trend, when it comes to reading body language, that as soon as someone throws off a deceptive gesture, they're "caught" in some bald-faced lie.

Joe Navarro has said numerous times that you need to cluster the indicators. Was it 3 deceptions in an hour long chat? Were they right after one another? And even then, are they lying about what they're saying, are they unconfident because THEY don't know if its the truth, or are they using deceptive body language because they are uncomfortable in the conversation?

Its a lot.
Title: Re: Social skills
Post by: MeTekillot on July 17, 2019, 10:45:02 AM
There's also considering people's individual quirks when it comes to how they express themselves. The tells for anxiety/aggression/deception/attraction also have some overlap. Now I know what normies mean when they say that people are hard to read or give off mixed signals.
Title: Re: Social skills
Post by: Riev on July 17, 2019, 11:47:14 AM
I think this PARTIALLY plays into the arrogance of "That server really liked me!" when its just their job. People read the server's face, body language, and tone as a happy, interested party who wants to ensure you are having a good time. That sounds like an attractive mate, so clearly they're into you.

Some people can read the signals 100% correctly, and have no clue about the intention. I want you to think I'm friendly and into you, because you're likely to leave a bigger tip than if I'm a robot-jerk.
Title: Re: Social skills
Post by: Lizzie on July 17, 2019, 01:47:56 PM
There is no instruction manual for constructing a human being. The sooner you learn to accept that fact, the closer to human you will become.
Title: Re: Social skills
Post by: MeTekillot on July 17, 2019, 02:08:37 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7z_pmoaKpM
Title: Re: Social skills
Post by: MeTekillot on July 18, 2019, 08:39:25 AM
Funny thing about the positioning other people thing I mentioned (off to the side or in front) is that I've been consciously orienting myself to face people fully so that I seem interested in what they're saying and that may be why they find me intimidating.
Title: Re: Social skills
Post by: Riev on July 18, 2019, 09:25:04 AM
Funny thing about the positioning other people thing I mentioned (off to the side or in front) is that I've been consciously orienting myself to face people fully so that I seem interested in what they're saying and that may be why they find me intimidating.

What is your closeness factor when doing that? Close-talkers are a nightmare, and when you have an imposing build to begin with, squaring off is an intimidating stance in a casual, social situation.
Title: Re: Social skills
Post by: MeTekillot on July 18, 2019, 09:38:33 AM
I'm pretty good at personal space in most cases, these days. I just think it's the squaring off and jittery body movements due to anxiety that are at odds with my attempts to appear confident.
Title: Re: Social skills
Post by: chrisdcoulombe on July 20, 2019, 10:33:37 AM
If someone is too close to me I have no problem telling them to step back a little bit.
Title: Re: Social skills
Post by: valeria on July 20, 2019, 12:35:39 PM
A better instruction manual for showing you're interested in what someone has to say than just straight facing them is:

1) facing them, but at an oblique angle so that your shoulders aren't in line with theirs, since squaring off is literally a fight pose
2) small bursts of eye contact and gentle nodding, but not staring.  I find that looking at the nose is great for this if you don't like actual eye contact all that much, and it makes the twitch to look at someone's eyes for brief eye contact a lot less noticeable
3) some comment that indicates you heard what they said and have reflected on it
4) THEN a comment about yourself, your personal interest, and how what they said relates to you

A lack of eye contact and skipping #3 is what gives people the impression that neurodivergent people are self-centered and disinterested.  Source: my shrink
Title: Re: Social skills
Post by: MeTekillot on July 20, 2019, 08:42:30 PM
I do all of that but it still seems people get edgier and edgier until they flee the interaction. Also, people forget I'm present in interactions even if I'm standing beside them and participating in the conversation. It happened several times at a show tonight.

It feels kinda like that scene in Invasion of the Bodysnatchers where the guy points and screams. Interacting with other people, I mean. I wonder if the blows to the head I took as a kid are factoring into the whole ordeal.

It seems like people block out things they don't understand or that make them uncomfortable.
Title: Re: Social skills
Post by: chrisdcoulombe on July 20, 2019, 08:45:10 PM
You might just be over thinking it.  Worry less about what others think.
Title: Re: Social skills
Post by: MeTekillot on July 20, 2019, 08:57:37 PM
Thank you for the advice but I'm near certain I'm not overthinking it. In all honesty, it's frustrating for you to tell me to just stop thinking about it. I didn't overthink it the first ~20 years of my life. I just thought I was surrounded by assholes.
Title: Re: Social skills
Post by: MeTekillot on July 20, 2019, 09:13:17 PM
Regardless, the only avenue is to stay determined and keep at it.
Title: Re: Social skills
Post by: chrisdcoulombe on July 20, 2019, 09:25:04 PM
Cool, I'm not trying to offend you.  I am not saying I know better than you either.  You may very well just be surrounded by assholes.
Title: Re: Social skills
Post by: Hauwke on July 21, 2019, 03:50:13 AM
Can confirm. Am surrounded by assholes.
Title: Re: Social skills
Post by: RogueGunslinger on July 21, 2019, 05:32:32 AM
It does kinda sound like you're surrounded by not-friends. Find some friends (not people you want to fuck or compete with) who share a hobby that isn't destructive. Go all in on that hobby when you're around them, so you don't have to focus so much on your social game.

If they're your friends they should be able to move pass any sort of social faux-pas you commit without making it overly awkward or turning it on you in someway. That way you can learn more comfortably without turning every social mishap into a ptsd-worthy memory.
Title: Re: Social skills
Post by: Lizzie on July 21, 2019, 06:26:22 AM
Is it possible that at this "show" (you didn't give any information about that so that's all I have to go by) your group was more interested in the show than they were having a conversation with you?

If I'm at some kind of thing where entertainment is provided to me, as opposed to opportunities to entertain myself, I don't want people I'm with to keep interrupting my entertainment for a conversation. That's a movie, a music concert, a play, opera, ballet, during a wedding ceremony, or if I'm on the dance floor actively dancing.

I want ZERO conversation during these things. If I want to talk to someone I'll go somewhere quiet to talk to them, where I'm not paying someone else to do all the talking or otherwise occupying my ears.

Could be as simple as that. There are a lot of people who don't comprehend this, you wouldn't be alone. Some of us have trouble following the plotline when there's a running commentary sitting next to us.
Title: Re: Social skills
Post by: MeTekillot on July 21, 2019, 06:31:40 AM
No, that was not the case either.
Title: Re: Social skills
Post by: MeTekillot on July 27, 2019, 10:53:48 PM
Scientist's log: confident body language and silence seems to unnerve the normies. But wearing my anxiety through my mannerisms (folded arms, crossed legs, etc) seems to assuage the discomfort normies feel at my presence and they approach me more readily. The conversation is still a tad stilted, but perhaps there's something to this methodology. I will update as I discover more. Perhaps they will accept me as one of their own.
Title: Re: Social skills
Post by: MeTekillot on August 26, 2019, 11:21:34 AM
You seem to be supposed to make smalltalk every time you see someone after an absence. Most people don't have an eidetic recollection of the last conversation you had and will interpret this as a fixation on them if you make it known you remember.

I don't think I'm properly making microexpressions when I interact with people. I'm going to practice doing that.