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Joe90
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30 Sep 2021, 6:24 pm

Today at work a guy who puts in a lot of extra hours and works really hard came across a task that he didn't know about until the last minute but it needed to be done. He asked me how to do it and then said that he'll do it when he gets a chance. I felt guilty for him, because he does enough work as it is, so I said that I'll do a couple of hours extra tomorrow to do this particular task. He then said "would you mind?" I said no problem, but I could tell that that was what he wanted me to say, not because he's an exploiting sort of person but because he's a very hard worker who has enough to do.
It seems that a lot of Aspies miss the cue that someone is actually saying the opposite to what they want, in the hope that you will feel guilty enough to do it.

So in this situation would you have just showed him what to do and go home thinking "phew, I'm glad he said he will do it"? Or would you have thought "hold on, I think he's trying to ask me to do the task without actually asking me to do the task"?


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ASD1
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30 Sep 2021, 11:39 pm

In this case, I believe your friend should have been clearer. "Just say what you want" - type of a thing. I would not blame myself if I were you. Most people are not mind-readers and things should be explained clearly, especially if you are asking someone for a favour. I might sound like a typical ASD talking but I used to talk just like your co-worker and no one has ever gotten (or wanted to get) these "cues." No one has ever offered what you did to him. I have learned to just directly say what I want.



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01 Oct 2021, 5:11 am

To me, it is and it isn't (reading between the lines, that is).

It fits the bill in regards to trying to say something without actually saying it... except that there were no subtle hints or clues regarding what they were actually trying to ask for. You couldn't even call it 'vague'. It seemed solely contextual, based on expectations of unspoken social contracts, at best, and expectations of mind-reading at worst. It's completely reasonable to assume it as just casual chatter.

Personally, I hate that kind of stuff. My experience with it has been that the people who do that are often terribly inconsistent people in general or tend to try to get things without facing the work or consequences that come with it.

To me it's unreasonable to expect others to fulfill my requests if I can't even ask for it.

After dealing with those kinds of people I mentioned, facing flak for being oblivious to expectations of mind-reading, and stressing myself out by trying to cater to them I decided that it's all BS and so is putting the onus on myself. If it's important enough to someone, they should care enough to be direct about it. If they can't manage it then that's their own issue to tackle.

As far as missing out on opportunities myself...it's not worth the stress of sorting through all the false-positives, especially when so many people can't even be bothered to be consistent enough to figure this s**t out.


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Mountain Goat
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01 Oct 2021, 6:50 am

I am often finding myself in trouble because people say statements meaning a totally different thing then they said and expect me to be able to know what they mean when I am not able to think of anything other then what they have said.
A perfect example os an elderly neighbour. Once in the past she asked me down with some sort of excuse as she may have wanted some help carrying something. (It would wierdly be something she could habe easily done herself). Anyway. She would be talking and showing me her lawn and say "The grass is growing". I would agree and say "Yes. It is growing".
Then maybe a week or two later I find out how the neighbour has told the other neighbours how mean I was through not cutting her grass for her and I know nothing about it and the other neighbours would think bad of me.
Some characters are not the easiest people to work out. Working with a character like this can bring stress on oneself and them. Actually my Dad was like that in that in a different way in that he would "Assume" I knew what to do without him saying anything and so I found myself kinda getting told off and not even knowing why, or being told off for not doing things I did not even know I was supposed to do.
I remember in my teenage years being told off by my Dad and I ended up in tears and ran out the barn saying "I am not a mind reader!" My Dad realized his mistake and came out and hugged me. :)



Joe90
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01 Oct 2021, 7:05 am

Often NTs have a technique where if they feel awkward or embarrassed asking someone straight out right to do something they use reverse psychology (I think that is the correct term for it), and depending on what emotion they're displaying it is the socially acceptable thing to be emotionally influenced by the technique. It isn't always a bad thing, it is illogical but not always bad, it's only bad when people do it frequently to exploit you. But this guy is one of the nicest people I have ever met and we both know how to do the certain task, and because he works hard and longer hours than I do, I thought it would be helpful if I done a little overtime to do the task. He is one of those people who are ''too nice'', so I understand that he probably felt awkward just asking me to do the task for him.

I actually rather people did that than ask me logically. I must admit, I do the same, because I sometimes feel awkward asking someone properly, so I hope that they just get the hint, which usually they do. Or I focus on the way they answer. Usually I'm driven by people's emotions, so with the guy at work I wanted to make him feel less stressed by being helpful. Making someone else feel happy makes me feel happy.


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01 Oct 2021, 10:39 am

I think it would've depended on the circumstances if I had read something from between the lines there or not. As in, if the person was someone who I knew to have a habit of asking for things indirectly, especially if they had a habit of asking so from me, I would be likelier to notice it than if it was not someone like that. Also, how tired I would be when asked would play a part here, too; if I was socially exhausted, I'd be likely to miss such a hint. And if I really didn't want to do the task for one reason or the other, I would probably just explain how to do the task and then easily slip away 'cause it's not like he asked for help. :P



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01 Oct 2021, 10:43 am

In this case, the guy was trying to get you to do the task----but he didn't want to ask you to do it directly.

He was probably overwhelmed, since he didn't have much experience with the task.

Understandable that he wouldn't ask you directly, since he's not the boss, and it's his task. Obviously, he was trying to be subtle, and was hoping you would "get the hint."

I hope you're getting overtime pay for this.



babybird
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01 Oct 2021, 11:03 am

Joe90 wrote:
So in this situation would you have just showed him what to do and go home thinking "phew, I'm glad he said he will do it"? Or would you have thought "hold on, I think he's trying to ask me to do the task without actually asking me to do the task"?


So if it was me I would have maybe offered to help but only if it was during my normal working hours and if I had enough time to do it. Otherwise I would have quite happily let him do the task himself especially as he did say he was happy to do it.

It is too easy to take on far too much work just because you're a kind person. Sometimes you just have to walk away and let people do it for themselves. It's one thing being kind to other people Jo but don't let yourself be taken advantage of.



Joe90
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01 Oct 2021, 3:43 pm

Quote:
In this case, the guy was trying to get you to do the task----but he didn't want to ask you to do it directly.

He was probably overwhelmed, since he didn't have much experience with the task.

Understandable that he wouldn't ask you directly, since he's not the boss, and it's his task. Obviously, he was trying to be subtle, and was hoping you would "get the hint."


I knew that. I was just making a point that I don't actually have difficulties reading between the lines.

Quote:
I hope you're getting overtime pay for this.

Yes, I am.


It's difficult to explain subtle social cues in words on an internet forum, but I instinctively know them when I see them, if that makes sense. And I don't usually volunteer to do overtime but because this guy actually does the work of about 3 people because the others are quite lazy and also he likes to be thorough, I sensed that he was crying out for help. I understood completely so I thought it wouldn't hurt if I stepped in to help. He is actually a good guy and works too hard for his own good.


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renaeden
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01 Oct 2021, 9:54 pm

You're very kind to help him out.

I remember when I had a maintenance guy come to reinstall our smoke alarms. He was a talkative English guy and while he was working he was saying how it was thirsty work and then he started on about his favourite types of tea. At first I just listened, not getting it. Then Ping!

"Oh, so would you like a cup of tea?"

Of course he did! We ended up sitting at the table with cups of tea and biscuits.



CinderashAutomaton
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01 Oct 2021, 10:51 pm

Joe90 wrote:
But this guy is one of the nicest people I have ever met and...

I actually rather people did that than ask me logically. I must admit, I do the same, because I sometimes feel awkward asking someone properly, so I hope that they just get the hint, which usually they do. Or I focus on the way they answer. Usually I'm driven by people's emotions, so with the guy at work I wanted to make him feel less stressed by being helpful. Making someone else feel happy makes me feel happy.


I understand what you mean, and I also agree that it doesn't always come from a bad place. I also employ various other efforts to understand more about a person beyond their direct communication.

My issue with it is just that, like most others, my head isn't always in just the right place to pick up on all the variations of subtleties to always pick up not to mention the occasions when people are being completely indecipherably subtle to any person who doesn't have actual mind-reading superpowers or guesses correctly by sheer random happenstance. For a communication method so unreliable, in my opinion it's unreasonable to accept and expect it as a social norm.

That being said, I should clarify that this is just my own perspective and opinion on the matter, and it's addressed at reading-between-the-lines in general rather than your situation in particular @Joe90. I don't mean to imply that everyone else should do what I do or anything like that. I also tend to be very hard on myself, so I might have some bias there.

However, not just I but other people I've met or seen also have similar opinions so even if one believes in considering reading-between-the-lines a fully valid form of communication, in some cases some people are going to straight up ignore you unless you're direct with them. I personally know very well how much it sucks struggling to convey exactly what you want to convey...but communication is a two-way road. It's not just a matter of civil conduct, but a hard limit of our physical reality. Somewhere between "Can you hold the door for me?" and "Fopisfanwelkasoicj;sdjfaljd" are critical thresholds of gibberish and meaning, but even within the areas that aren't gibberish there's a substantial amount of work that can go into understanding what was said.

At what point should one consider the work/difficult involved unbalanced? Should someone bend over backwards to pry out from someone's jaws what they really mean, or jump through all kinds of hoops to figure things out just because they don't feel like facing a little difficulty? At the same time, as someone with an active case of selective mutism even at 30+ years old, I understand that there can be an untold number of difficulties in being a speaker.

My stance is simply that, for me, I already have enough barriers/difficulties/labors when it comes to social interaction and there comes a point when it's just not worth bothering, and this relates to the dynamics of mutualism (like striving to put in equal amounts of effort into ones relationships).


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22 Oct 2021, 10:07 am

Joe90 wrote:
Today at work a guy who puts in a lot of extra hours and works really hard came across a task that he didn't know about until the last minute but it needed to be done. He asked me how to do it and then said that he'll do it when he gets a chance.


I am quite good at reading between the lines but frankly, without body language, voice inflection, and having some psychological baseline based on my experience with the person, there is no way I could say. I know other people have offered strong opinions, and maybe they're right - but I don't think anyone could do more than make a guess based on the information you were able to provide. I mean, I've said very nearly the exact same thing before and it never occurred to me that they would think I was trying to get them to do it for me. On the other hand, I've been in this situation where the person very clearly was trying to manipulate me (or someone else). Ninety percent of communication is non-verbal - with only 10% available to the reader...I don't think anyone can say.

Joe90 wrote:
So in this situation would you have just showed him what to do and go home thinking "phew, I'm glad he said he will do it"? Or would you have thought "hold on, I think he's trying to ask me to do the task without actually asking me to do the task"?


I absolutely would have analyzed it to death either way. I'd probably have offered to help or do it for him, as you did, regardless though.



AquaineBay
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22 Oct 2021, 6:12 pm

Joe90 wrote:
Quote:
In this case, the guy was trying to get you to do the task----but he didn't want to ask you to do it directly.

He was probably overwhelmed, since he didn't have much experience with the task.

Understandable that he wouldn't ask you directly, since he's not the boss, and it's his task. Obviously, he was trying to be subtle, and was hoping you would "get the hint."


I knew that. I was just making a point that I don't actually have difficulties reading between the lines.

Quote:
I hope you're getting overtime pay for this.

Yes, I am.


It's difficult to explain subtle social cues in words on an internet forum, but I instinctively know them when I see them, if that makes sense. And I don't usually volunteer to do overtime but because this guy actually does the work of about 3 people because the others are quite lazy and also he likes to be thorough, I sensed that he was crying out for help. I understood completely so I thought it wouldn't hurt if I stepped in to help. He is actually a good guy and works too hard for his own good.


So if you know that you read between the lines then why did you phrase the title as a question instead of it being titled: "This is how you read between the lines."? Then in the original post you said that Aspies have trouble picking up on subtle cues like the one you experienced.

Now to "read between the lines here". Three things I can gather from this and what you wrote previously in threads is this
1) You are not actually sure about whether what you did in the situation is "reading between the lines" and asking for clarification.

2) You are subtly bragging that you are able to do something that a typical person with "autism" is not able to do therefore putting yourself "above" them.

3) You are insecure and lacking in self-confidence about your social communication skills and whether or not you actually fit into the autism spectrum(which you previously stated you hated the diagnoses) and want to prove to yourself(and I guess the world) that you are "NT enough" to be friends with the NTs that have rejected you now or in the past.

Now from the quote that I used for this post I would say number 1 is off the table. SO, I am thinking that this thread is actually about number 2 or number 3 or a combination of both because what other reason is there to make a thread with a question, knowing the answer, and then in the original post and in the post qouted, explaining that you can't explain social cues on the internet well, putting down people on the spectrum for not getting these social cues.

I am happy that you are able to read "in between the lines" and that you volunteered to do what you did for that guy but, I am not happy with the fact that you had to bring others down to lift yourself up. You even brought down the very people you wish you were by calling them "lazy".