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Jleger91
Hummingbird
Hummingbird

Joined: 31 Mar 2018
Age: 29
Gender: Male
Posts: 21

23 Jul 2021, 3:08 am

I was just thinking about this. Sometimes when in public I feel like some kind of blank-faced sociopath like a kind of monster rather than a person, or maybe other people look like monsters. Or is it just me? Regardless, the business side of me that likes to get things done quickly tries to be perfect and comes off as a cold turkey sandwich. So that song "Sometimes I Feel Like A Monster" on the radio makes sense now. That's because of the business side of me trying to be perfect all the time. If I could ease off the throttle and be a little more vulnerable, maybe I'd appear more warm and inviting. There's some kind of odds between Slytherin and Gryffindor. One wants for itself and knows that it can do everything itself (feels like I'm a blank-faced sociopath) and the other is open and unified with others, realizing its own vulnerabilities in that we should all work together and not at odds. Of course sometimes Harry Potter needs to be strong and grow more to prepare for the future - but the stronger I become, the more of an animal and the less human. There has to be a careful balance.



Mona Pereth
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Joined: 11 Sep 2018
Age: 63
Gender: Female
Posts: 4,170
Location: New York City (Queens)

23 Jul 2021, 9:19 am

Hi Jleger91!

Your post above looks like it might be the beginning of a very interesting discussion!

But it's not clear to me how it relates to the topic of assertiveness, or to any previous post in this thread. Perhaps you might want to ask the mods to move it to its own separate new thread? Or perhaps you meant to post it as a reply in some thread other than this one?


_________________
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AngelL
Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl

Joined: 13 Jul 2021
Age: 56
Posts: 163

23 Jul 2021, 12:56 pm

Mona Pereth wrote:
AngelL wrote:
Mona Pereth wrote:
If so, have you ever been in a social situation where your knowledge was in demand? For example, have you ever worked as a tutor?


Interesting; I have never considered tutoring to be a social situation. Is this subjective? To answer your question specifically, yes I have worked as a tutor. Since you're framing it as a social situation, I have to ask....actually, before I ask, let me preface this by saying that the reason that I'm asking is because I approached each of these situations in the same way as I approached tutoring - as a job. With that said, my question is, would you consider...I developed the curriculum and opened a school in which I taught all the classes - to be a social situation? Or, I've given presentations to the A.P.A. and F.B.I....social? In each case (including tutoring) I was teaching and was being paid for my efforts so I didn't consider it social. Where am I going wrong?

In the broad sense of the word "social," every interaction between people is "social." This includes any job that involves interaction with other people.

This is consistent with definition #2 of the APA's dictionary listing for the word "social." And, when psychotherapists talk about "social skills," they are talking about the ability to interact appropriately with other people in all contexts -- including one's job, if any.

Apparently the word "social" has a narrower meaning to you? If so, what is it?


Yes, a much more narrow meaning. A social interaction, to me, involves...well, some sense of back-and-forth interaction amongst people in the same social roles. i.e., attendees at a party, friends going out for a drink, passenger's on a bus, etc. Ultimately, to socialize (imo) one needs to be interacting in a 'social situation'. Therein may lie the issue I am finding with this. You seem to be using the word 'social' the same whether you are speaking of 'social skills' and 'social situations' (Apologies if I interpreted this wrong) while I consider them different.

The first category of human interactions that I would definitely not call 'social' would be any relationship/interaction in which...oh hey, not sure how to do this on this site but some places would suggest a trigger warning here and so, fair warning...two people can't legally enter into a sexual relationship because of the power disparity. For instance, teacher/student, prison guard/inmate, Lt. Colonel/sergeant, etc. My therapist would violate professional rules by socializing with me - therefore the APA rules say she can't be in a social situation with me but by their own definition she's in social situations with me every time I attend a therapy session with her? That just seems weird - even by NT standards.

Mona Pereth wrote:
Perhaps this is just another case where the popular meanings of a word (see the definitions of the word "social" on dictionary.com) are different from that word's technical meanings?

Anyhow, apparently you find tutoring and teaching to be much easier than other kinds of social interaction? This is true for quite a few (though not all) autistic people, including myself. Quite a few Aspie kids have been called "little professors," after all.


Oh absolutely! I just read my notes out of my head - and if they ask a question, well there's an overwhelmingly likely chance that I've already written a subroutine for that question and will find the corresponding page in my memory and read it back complete. As a matter of fact, I probably wrote a joke into my subroutine to put them at ease and give the impression that we're connecting. Aside from the possibility of a question though, teaching relieves me of the task of interpreting what you say because I'm the one talking. Since I already know the topic I'll be talking about, since I know the material well, and because I've hyper-prepared - I'm typically very successful.

In a social interaction (my definition) I need to interpret what they mean from what they say - even when the two are nothing alike. Then I have to come up with a response, then run that response through a filter that looks for places they'll misunderstand, make the appropriate adjustments, run the new fangled response through the filter again... and don't allow any lulls in the conversation while I'm doing that.

Interesting regarding the 'little professors' reference you made...didn't know that, but yeah, I was referred to as "a little Einstein". If, for instance, you needed to know the escape velocity of Neptune, and I was the only five year old around, you were in good hands. ;)



Mona Pereth
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Joined: 11 Sep 2018
Age: 63
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Posts: 4,170
Location: New York City (Queens)

23 Jul 2021, 4:41 pm

AngelL wrote:
Mona Pereth wrote:
In the broad sense of the word "social," every interaction between people is "social." This includes any job that involves interaction with other people.

This is consistent with definition #2 of the APA's dictionary listing for the word "social." And, when psychotherapists talk about "social skills," they are talking about the ability to interact appropriately with other people in all contexts -- including one's job, if any.

Apparently the word "social" has a narrower meaning to you? If so, what is it?


Yes, a much more narrow meaning. A social interaction, to me, involves...well, some sense of back-and-forth interaction amongst people in the same social roles. i.e., attendees at a party, friends going out for a drink, passenger's on a bus, etc. Ultimately, to socialize (imo) one needs to be interacting in a 'social situation'. Therein may lie the issue I am finding with this. You seem to be using the word 'social' the same whether you are speaking of 'social skills' and 'social situations' (Apologies if I interpreted this wrong) while I consider them different.

To me a "social situation" is any situation involving two or more people interacting with each other for any reason.

AngelL wrote:
The first category of human interactions that I would definitely not call 'social' would be any relationship/interaction in which...oh hey, not sure how to do this on this site but some places would suggest a trigger warning here and so, fair warning...two people can't legally enter into a sexual relationship because of the power disparity. For instance, teacher/student, prison guard/inmate, Lt. Colonel/sergeant, etc. My therapist would violate professional rules by socializing with me - therefore the APA rules say she can't be in a social situation with me but by their own definition she's in social situations with me every time I attend a therapy session with her? That just seems weird - even by NT standards.

Looking up the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct and clicking on the only section that looks relevant -- "Section 3: Human Relations" -- I find the following relevant sub-sections:

3.02 Sexual Harassment
3.03 Other Harassment
3.04 Avoiding Harm
3.05 Multiple Relationships
3.06 Conflict of Interest
3.08 Exploitative Relationships

Also relevant is "Section 4: Privacy and Confidentiality."

The combination of all of the above, especially the concern about inappropriate "multiple relationships," does make it inappropriate for a therapist to become personal friends with a client (at least during the duration of the therapeutic relationship).

But nowhere in the code of ethics is there a general prohibition on "social interaction" or even "socializing" with a client. There are quite a few specific kinds of social interaction that are off-limits. But, if your therapist has told you that s/he "would violate professional rules by socializing with" you, that's probably just an over-simplified summary of numerous other, more specific prohibitions.

AngelL wrote:
Mona Pereth wrote:
Perhaps this is just another case where the popular meanings of a word (see the definitions of the word "social" on dictionary.com) are different from that word's technical meanings?

Anyhow, apparently you find tutoring and teaching to be much easier than other kinds of social interaction? This is true for quite a few (though not all) autistic people, including myself. Quite a few Aspie kids have been called "little professors," after all.


Oh absolutely! I just read my notes out of my head - and if they ask a question, well there's an overwhelmingly likely chance that I've already written a subroutine for that question and will find the corresponding page in my memory and read it back complete. As a matter of fact, I probably wrote a joke into my subroutine to put them at ease and give the impression that we're connecting. Aside from the possibility of a question though, teaching relieves me of the task of interpreting what you say because I'm the one talking. Since I already know the topic I'll be talking about, since I know the material well, and because I've hyper-prepared - I'm typically very successful.

In a social interaction (my definition) I need to interpret what they mean from what they say - even when the two are nothing alike. Then I have to come up with a response, then run that response through a filter that looks for places they'll misunderstand, make the appropriate adjustments, run the new fangled response through the filter again... and don't allow any lulls in the conversation while I'm doing that.

Perhaps I should start a separate thread on the kinds of social interaction we find relatively easy and relatively difficult. Is it okay with you if I quote the above-quoted section of your post in the first post of the new thread?


_________________
- Autistic in NYC - Resources and new ideas for the autistic adult community in the New York City metro area.
- Autistic peer-led groups (via text-based chat, currently) led or facilitated by members of the Autistic Peer Leadership Group.
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Last edited by Mona Pereth on 23 Jul 2021, 5:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

AngelL
Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl

Joined: 13 Jul 2021
Age: 56
Posts: 163

23 Jul 2021, 5:13 pm

Mona Pereth wrote:
Is it okay with you if I quote the above-quoted section of your post in the first post of the new thread?


Sure.