NTs can say whatever they like and we can't

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cyberdad
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21 Aug 2020, 4:56 am

I'm hoping one of you will write a "how to understand jokes for Aspies" as my daughter is still at a stage where she knows something is a joke but tries to deconstruct too much so it loses its original meaning.



SharonB
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21 Aug 2020, 8:14 am

Joe, how fun, that you've shared lots of jokes with your NT boyfriend. My NT husband and I have had a few really good ones (but mostly I'm stressed: employment/childcare).

cyberdad, in general I joke about a thing ("a swivel chair would solve that"), NTs joke about a person ("like you're his family"). In general I joke about the complex, NTs joke about the simple. I laugh when it's a relief (action taken), not when it adds to the stress (don't take action). My joke was making fun of a process, the NT joke was making fun of a person. I find NT jokes are a way to enforce social norms or propagate biases: "why did the chicken cross the road?" ---- don't overthink things (which AS folks do). Facetiously, the NT-to-AS guide would be: One is supposed to laugh at a joke that indicates a hurtful social norm has been violated or enforces hurtful biases against people or indicates lack of initiative and action (enforces bystander nonintervention or lack of compassion). At work they constantly make jokes about people and things "outside" their control and I am like: stop joking and doooooo something about it. Was that chicken acting alone, or is it a general chicken thing? Are the chickens enlightened? Should we be following the chickens? Or do the chickens need help? See, that is funny to me!! !! (because of course an NT would say the chicken doesn't know - it means nothing, but an AS person holds the possibility that it does ---- "pig saves owner" ----I bet most folks laughed at that pig acting weirdly in the street, but one person didn't laugh, they stopped and said "this means something" --- I bet that person had AS-like traits and someone is alive today b/c of it.) Deconstruct the joke, help the situation. And, yes, I know it's good to laugh, but it's easier when the "joke" is about a need that is being met (although maybe not yet), or not related to an unmet need. Assure me the chicken is safe and there are no needs, and I can laugh. Otherwise the "joke" is just sad to me.



KT67
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21 Aug 2020, 8:18 am

I think nobody ever found the chicken joke funny.

I know for a fact that (using least offensive eg I can think of) aspie kids find this funny cos I did when I was about 9:

"What do you get when you cross a sheep and a kangaroo?
A woolly jumper"

Would an NT kid find that funny? I guess they must if it makes a joke book.

I hate laughing at people, either for being socially different or for falling over for eg because I'm likely to do that (aspie & dyspraxic) and it's not funny. My auntie finds You've Been Framed funny even when little kids fall over/walk into doors on it.

I don't find the UK Office funny. Haven't seen the US one. It just looks like someone being awkward.

I find Red Dwarf funny. Two people with vastly different personalities bantering off each other. Sometimes one gets the upper hand, sometimes the other, sometimes another person (ok cat or computer) is involved and they too have a different personality. It's not supposed to be ordinary to our own times in the first place, just a bit relatable.

But if I dislike someone I'll take part in such cruel humour tbh... It's just not something I think I'm a good person/neutral person for doing.



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21 Aug 2020, 8:36 am

KT67, I envy that you have childhood memories like that (what was funny or somewhat mundane). My AS-like BFF does also. So I don't know what I thought of it then ---- I find it funny now only from the perspective of all the options and that it would be one and insignificant.

Yep, when I am one AS person, I am one AS person. :D (joke related to cliché "when you've met..." and individual experience that may or may not generalize)

This morning's humor example:
On FB person makes a joke: no matter the generation, everyone knows their Hogwarts' house.
(Ok, I "get it", Harry Potter fans -not offended by the author's recent shenanigan's- not particularly laughable for me)
People reply with their house.
I replied with percentages: 30% this house, 25% that house...
A person replies to me: "You're supposed to pick 1" ---- are they sharing my humor? :P



KT67
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21 Aug 2020, 12:27 pm

Wait - that kind of thing is a joke?

Idk if I'm aspie or just old but I've seen similar questions/comments around & didn't know they were jokes.



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21 Aug 2020, 9:18 pm

Everyone wants to control what you say and think now I dont worry about it just let this become your theme song


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alex
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21 Aug 2020, 10:02 pm

i make jokes.

People think they're funny.

You have to have good timing.


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SharonB
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21 Aug 2020, 10:35 pm

KT67 wrote:
Wait - that kind of thing is a joke?

Well, not everyone knows their Hogwarts' house so it must be a joke, right?
8O

Brehus wrote:
[Eminem]
That song resonates with an alter ego of mine. What a relief it would be to speak (sing) the truth.

alex wrote:
i make jokes. People think they're funny.

Teasing: Are you sure? :twisted:



cyberdad
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21 Aug 2020, 10:43 pm

@SharonB

I think it may be linked to my daughter being a late bloomer in understanding social cues/interaction so her analysis is partly based on looking at a joke for what it is (like a lego construction) rather than the intent behind it.

She love's Bender in futurama because of his funny one liners but he tends to draw her in because of his slapstick antics. A little like silent movies where you didn't need to know the dialogue to laugh at Charlie Chaplin or Laurel and Hardie, partly because of the slapsticks but also because NTs learn to read facial cues and intent.



SharonB
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22 Aug 2020, 11:55 am

cyberdad wrote:
@SharonB
I think it may be linked to my daughter being a late bloomer in understanding social cues/interaction so her analysis is partly based on looking at a joke for what it is (like a lego construction) rather than the intent behind it.


I am glad your daughter is blooming now in this area and I hope that life is a bit easier for her as a result.

That intent thing just blows me away still (in my late 40s). My boss makes a joke, it's not funny to me - he intends it to be funny, I can "understand" that --- everyone else laughs - I can "see" that. I smile out of politeness (yes, I've "learned"). If I do not find it funny, does that mean I do not understand the cues or intent, or that I simply don't agree with them?

[Warning on Soapbox]
It's a trigger for me when I read in books or articles or studies(!) that the (stereotypical?) AS don't understand social cues. This may very well apply to a set of AS folks, like your daughter, but in my family, it's more that we don't react "appropriately" or don't agree with the cues and can't articulate it (my daughter and I both have low verbal IQs relative to non-verbal). My type of AS is that I score near 100% intellectual EQ and score over 95% for understanding body language - better than most NTs even, but yet I am under 50% for practical EQ (action). AS seems to be folks at extremes --- the intense world theory, eh?

I suspect my daughter is the same. By 3 mos I could see she was notably watchful, thoughtful, but seemingly unreactive (unless she's overreactive ;) ) - at age 3 caretakers could see it: "she sees everything" - and says little (unless she's talking "too much"). For my family (four generations of AS women at least), I think it's not so much a lack of seeing and understanding the cues (we are all hypersensitive), it's about our differing perspective or what to do about it.

I "taught" my daughter to return smiles, I "taught" her to give return hugs (when appropriate) --- again, it doesn't mean she doesn't see and understand the input, it's about the "disconnected" output. She still runs past classmates who are calling out to her --- it appears she doesn't hear, but when I check with her, she does hear them... she doesn't take action. Sometimes her younger NT brother (age 6) or I will say to her "your friends are calling you..." and sometimes she'll call out over her shoulder, or slow down enough to give a distracted wave. At age 9 she doesn't play catch yet. At one time, my (NT) dad played catch with me for hours, but I think I was a teenager. All in good time. :)

It's fantastic that your daughter has you to look out for her growth... and play (your version) of "catch" with her.



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22 Aug 2020, 12:19 pm

Have noticed this effect too around NT. Type of people. And even one autie, which really threw me off , as this person had confided some personal things to me , based on casual interactions . But. Not being able to judge feedback from him. It was hard to say if it was a faux paux , ( something misspoken) or. Something else. It felt very unfair , when I tried to confide something to him.


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KT67
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22 Aug 2020, 1:34 pm

SharonB wrote:
KT67 wrote:
Wait - that kind of thing is a joke?

Well, not everyone knows their Hogwarts' house so it must be a joke, right?
8O

Brehus wrote:
[Eminem]
That song resonates with an alter ego of mine. What a relief it would be to speak (sing) the truth.

alex wrote:
i make jokes. People think they're funny.

Teasing: Are you sure? :twisted:


More like a massive exaggeration though.

I don't see how it's meant to be funny?

It's something you're meant to relate to. Like 'every 90s kid remembers these trainers' etc.



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22 Aug 2020, 4:50 pm

Joe90 wrote:
Whale_Tuune wrote:
It's not just what you say, it's how you say it.

Someone who is dressed well, neatly, has no obvious speech impediment, and projects confidence gives off a "I'm totally normal" vibe. They can say a lot of stuff in a confident, charismatic way, and it's no problem.

Someone who gives off a rather...unique vibe as we tend to, will get labeled "odd" (to put it nicely) by NTs very quickly. Saying weird stuff only serves to confirm that perception.

Social inertia and what people's first impression of you is really is important. It'll affect how they frame your behavior thus onward.


This is very true.

I remember in college when some new students joined our class and I screwed up so bad that I had to have a few days off because I kept on having panic attacks from severe social anxiety and didn't want to show my face.
It all started when we were sitting at computers, and I was next to one of the new boys. My monitor kept flashing and doing weird things, and while the boy next to me was over the other side of the room getting his work from the printer, I looked at his screen to see if his was doing the same. Then I switched his monitor off and put it back on, but he was coming back and said, "what are you doing?" I did explain, but he just said, "you switched my monitor off, what a freak!" And he turned away. I felt so silly and I wished I hadn't done such a stupid thing. He never spoke to me for the rest of the year.

So, yeah, first impressions are very important, and I hate when people say, "people will forget the silly little thing you said or did", to people with social anxiety. Because, believe me, they don't.


To be fair, that guy does sound like a jerk. A decent person might find it kind of odd but try to be understanding. You did have a logical reason for doing that. :roll:


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SharonB
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23 Aug 2020, 8:26 am

KT67 wrote:
SharonB wrote:
KT67 wrote:
Wait - that kind of thing is a joke?

Well, not everyone knows their Hogwarts' house so it must be a joke, right?

More like a massive exaggeration though.

I don't see how it's meant to be funny?

It's something you're meant to relate to. Like 'every 90s kid remembers these trainers' etc.

That's why I don't find many jokes at work funny, b/c I don't relate (to the "ism"s enforced by humor, it's oppression). These two examples are funny to me (relatively harmless). Are they just a group hug for most people?

* The suggestion that everyone knows their Hogwarts house - a playful Theory of Mind error - :lol:
* The calling forth of folks to reminisce - a sneaky way of gathering support to face the fragility of aging - :lol:

Ah, well. That's what is challenging about Theory of Mind --- it's about likelihoods. For one poster it's humor and for another poster it's serious. Yesterday a friend came up with a statement: she was completely serious, but if my other close friends had made that statement, it would have been a joke (since it was far from their beliefs). That's why I fail in the sarcasm area: does this person believe this or not? I'd be surprised but it's possible (serious), otherwise (joke).

So back to topic a bit: to generalize, NTs in a group of NTs can say something and like-minded folks are more likely to interpret it "correctly". Likewise ASs in a group of like-minded ASs are more able to say "whatever they like". Clearly there are exceptions NT-AS can be like-minded and AS-AS or NT-NT can not be in some areas.

To reverse it: I was at a work event. I happened upon a like-minded person (a spouse of colleague). There was the two of us (both AS-like) and a third person (very NT) in a conversation. It was funny when the NT (whom I like personally) asked a question that was sooooooo NT-like (surface). We both looked at him quietly for a moment ---- his question was completely out of line with the (AS) line of conversation. We were compassionate of course and responded kindly, then quickly finished the topic (deep) and passed the next topic to the NT (after all it's nice to share). I would say this NT felt more awkward with just two AS, then I am with a dozen NTs --- b/c I've had more practice.



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23 Aug 2020, 10:04 am

Whale_Tuune wrote:
Joe90 wrote:
Whale_Tuune wrote:
It's not just what you say, it's how you say it.

Someone who is dressed well, neatly, has no obvious speech impediment, and projects confidence gives off a "I'm totally normal" vibe. They can say a lot of stuff in a confident, charismatic way, and it's no problem.

Someone who gives off a rather...unique vibe as we tend to, will get labeled "odd" (to put it nicely) by NTs very quickly. Saying weird stuff only serves to confirm that perception.

Social inertia and what people's first impression of you is really is important. It'll affect how they frame your behavior thus onward.


This is very true.

I remember in college when some new students joined our class and I screwed up so bad that I had to have a few days off because I kept on having panic attacks from severe social anxiety and didn't want to show my face.
It all started when we were sitting at computers, and I was next to one of the new boys. My monitor kept flashing and doing weird things, and while the boy next to me was over the other side of the room getting his work from the printer, I looked at his screen to see if his was doing the same. Then I switched his monitor off and put it back on, but he was coming back and said, "what are you doing?" I did explain, but he just said, "you switched my monitor off, what a freak!" And he turned away. I felt so silly and I wished I hadn't done such a stupid thing. He never spoke to me for the rest of the year.

So, yeah, first impressions are very important, and I hate when people say, "people will forget the silly little thing you said or did", to people with social anxiety. Because, believe me, they don't.


To be fair, that guy does sound like a jerk. A decent person might find it kind of odd but try to be understanding. You did have a logical reason for doing that. :roll:


I think I was trying to be confident and I overdid it. It's situations like these that sometimes make me shy away from social situations. Social situations are boring when you're shy and you aren't into drinking, but trying to be something you're not is just a risk of messing up. Some people are forgiving but some people aren't.

Now that I'm older I have developed better social skills, so I don't mess up so much any more. Also I've found I enjoy being around people, even if I'm shy I still like listening to people, because I am just interested. And I use social body language and facial expressions, so people usually pick up on that and start chatting to me, whereas I used to look shy and awkward and "try too hard". This is where the "be yourself" cliche isn't as dumb as it sounds. Trying to be something you're not makes you do more social errors, at least in my experience.


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26 Aug 2020, 7:28 pm

Joking was my first line of defense as a kid. I figured if I could make people laugh, they were less likely to bully me. But autistic humor is not the best--but that wholly jumper joke is a classic! I am not sure if it was the best choice in the long term.

A penguin walks into a bar. He goes up to the bartender and asks, "bartender, have you seen my brother?" The bartender looks at the penguin and says, "I don't know, what does he look like?"

There are three kinds of people in the world: there are people that can count and there are people that can't.

Of course, it never occurred to me that my bullying could be a result of my humor...