The outside world falsely thinking you're upset/closed off

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SkinnyElephant
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04 Mar 2023, 1:37 pm

I've noticed I often get mistaken for being upset/closed off.

This past week, a coworker told me it's because I have a poker face.

When he said that, it all fell into place.

That coworker doesn't know I'm on the spectrum. Those of us on the spectrum, however, often have a hard time showing our emotion. Which might explain why I have a poker face (and come across as upset/closed off)

No wonder the outside world, both at work and outside work, largely avoids me.

Since I don't walk around with a mirror, I wasn't even aware I have a poker face.

Does anyone else find themselves getting mistaken for feeling a different emotion than they really do?



Edna3362
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04 Mar 2023, 2:01 pm

Sure.

Mostly because I'm coping with distracting symptoms and fighting certain layers sensory and perceptual interferences.

Having to process emotions and thoughts at the wrong time and place (which I would have to figure), unable to filter it myself, and unable to transition away from it.

It's almost never about towards anyone, but what they did and said.


I wish mine manifests as a poker face than something 'appropriate' and also 'predictable'.


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skibum
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04 Mar 2023, 2:37 pm

SkinnyElephant wrote:
I've noticed I often get mistaken for being upset/closed off.

This past week, a coworker told me it's because I have a poker face.

When he said that, it all fell into place.

That coworker doesn't know I'm on the spectrum. Those of us on the spectrum, however, often have a hard time showing our emotion. Which might explain why I have a poker face (and come across as upset/closed off)

No wonder the outside world, both at work and outside work, largely avoids me.

Since I don't walk around with a mirror, I wasn't even aware I have a poker face.

Does anyone else find themselves getting mistaken for feeling a different emotion than they really do?
ALL THE TIME. And I often get punished for people's misconceptions.


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Dengashinobi
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04 Mar 2023, 2:44 pm

Lack of facial expression is a feature of aitism. I've read once that people with autism age slower because our faces don't get wrinkles because of lack of facial expressions throughout the years. I don't know if that's true but it makes sense.

Myself I have a poker face and sometimes I can see the confusion of people when I joke for example. I make a joke but my face is dead serious.



SharonB
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04 Mar 2023, 5:51 pm

Ms Poker Face (the ASD "flat affect") is a way to be respectable in the "face" of difficulties with emotional regulation. I am a highly expressive person by nature but learned early that Ms (too) Smiley was frowned upon when not aligned with expected response or others and Ms Crying-my-eyes-out was frowned upon when I was crying harder than the injured person, Ms Angry was definitely a big social no-no for a girl, young woman and even a Corporate professional, etc., etc., etc.

I have learned to soften my facial features when I can and to notify people of my emotions when I can: "I know I am smiling right now, I'm actually very concerned... I know I look stoic, I am actually very sad..." If not, I send an email later, or call.

Interestingly my NT husband has more of a flat affect than I do. He also has less wrinkles. Darn.



SkinnyElephant
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04 Mar 2023, 6:03 pm

The poker face could explain why I sometimes get mistaken for a cop.



ToughDiamond
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04 Mar 2023, 9:25 pm

Dengashinobi wrote:
Myself I have a poker face and sometimes I can see the confusion of people when I joke for example. I make a joke but my face is dead serious.

It's know as deadpan humour, and personally I prefer it because it doesn't put pressure on people to laugh if they don't find it funny.

My ex-wife occasionally used to leave the room and later say that she did that because I "obviously wanted her to." I had no such idea in my head, and don't know how she divined that supposed knowledge. Mind you, she did say some things that seem to have been plain incorrect, so maybe that anecdote wasn't very good evidence of my giving off a "go away" vibe without meaning to.

I remember a couple of times being in social groups in which I've felt rather left out, and when I mentioned it, people said I seemed content with my own company. I've also noticed that people sometimes seem to feel like they're "doing all the running" to be with me, which has always surprised me at the time. I think I tend to assume I'm not wanted unless people make it very plain that I am, so I suppose I often don't approach them for company and then they think I'm not interested. And I don't necessarily look at people when they're talking to me. I suppose that might be interpreted as me not listening, though it's often very wrong.



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04 Mar 2023, 9:48 pm

I've often been asked if I'm cranky or upset, which comes as a great surprise to me because I'm usually just feeling neutral, doing some task or something.
I don't know how I'm supposed to be looking at these times?
Overjoyed that I'm mopping the floor?
It confuses me no end.
I can't be responsible for your interpretation of my resting b***h face.


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ASPartOfMe
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04 Mar 2023, 9:58 pm

Lifelong experience with this.


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Urselius
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05 Mar 2023, 7:27 am

I switch between the flat affect face when interacting with strangers, to a face that is an open book, reflecting my emotions exactly, when relaxed, talking to intimates.


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