Author Topic: Social skills  (Read 3466 times)

MeTekillot

  • Posts: 10458
Re: Social skills (formerly: body language)
« Reply #25 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.
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roughneck

  • Posts: 848
Re: Social skills (formerly: body language)
« Reply #26 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.

MeTekillot

  • Posts: 10458
Re: Social skills (formerly: body language)
« Reply #27 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
« Last Edit: April 04, 2019, 04:13:57 PM by MeTekillot »
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Hauwke

  • Posts: 1972
Re: Social skills (formerly: body language)
« Reply #28 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.

MeTekillot

  • Posts: 10458
Re: Social skills (formerly: body language)
« Reply #29 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.
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roughneck

  • Posts: 848
Re: Social skills (formerly: body language)
« Reply #30 on: April 04, 2019, 07:16:43 PM »
Dude. Just. Talk. Less.

MeTekillot

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Re: Social skills (formerly: body language)
« Reply #31 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.
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Cind

  • Posts: 1833
Re: Social skills (formerly: body language)
« Reply #32 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
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Cind

  • Posts: 1833
Re: Social skills (formerly: body language)
« Reply #33 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.
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Yam

  • Posts: 7609
Re: Social skills (formerly: body language)
« Reply #34 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.

MeTekillot

  • Posts: 10458
Re: Social skills (formerly: body language)
« Reply #35 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.
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Bebop

  • Posts: 4055
Re: Social skills (formerly: body language)
« Reply #36 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.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2019, 12:15:38 PM by Bebop »

deskoft

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  • Posts: 426
Re: Social skills (formerly: body language)
« Reply #37 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.

MeTekillot

  • Posts: 10458
Re: Social skills (formerly: body language)
« Reply #38 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.
My thoughts.

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Akaramu

  • Posts: 6795
Re: Social skills (formerly: body language)
« Reply #39 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.  :)

MeTekillot

  • Posts: 10458
Re: Social skills (formerly: body language)
« Reply #40 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.
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MeTekillot

  • Posts: 10458
Re: Social skills
« Reply #41 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.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2019, 09:58:03 AM by MeTekillot »
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Riev

  • Posts: 5604
Re: Social skills
« Reply #42 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.
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MeTekillot

  • Posts: 10458
Re: Social skills
« Reply #43 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.
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Riev

  • Posts: 5604
Re: Social skills
« Reply #44 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.
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Lizzie

  • Posts: 8049
Re: Social skills
« Reply #45 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.
Talia said: Notice to all: Do not mess with Lizzie's GDB. She will cut you.
Delirium said: Notice to all: do not mess with Lizzie's soap. She will cut you.

MeTekillot

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Re: Social skills
« Reply #46 on: July 17, 2019, 02:08:37 PM »
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MeTekillot

  • Posts: 10458
Re: Social skills
« Reply #47 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.
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Riev

  • Posts: 5604
Re: Social skills
« Reply #48 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.
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MeTekillot

  • Posts: 10458
Re: Social skills
« Reply #49 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.
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