Friday, November 28, 2008

Square Talk: Processing


  1. The rudeness theory is something I experienced applied to myself by NTs. Good thing that at least some people understand that sometimes I'm just too immersed in my own thoughts.

    But perhaps an even weirder case happened to me back in the school days:

    Me and a friend were walking down the corridor talking (IIRC it was about 'inventing' an algorithm for sine/cosine calculations or something like that - definitely a geeky mood). One of our teachers went by. We greeted her and went along.

    Later that day she harshly reprimanded us for greeting her `...with such faces that it would be better to be ignored, than to be greeted like that´. It took a long while for us to figure out that she was angry at us being concentrated on issues more important than arbitrary rituals. (I mean hey, I don't expect people to stim when they're bored; why do they expect me to always copy their rituals?)

    I know I sound angry, but I still feel bad when I recall how confused I was, not knowing what I did wrong.

  2. Yes! Sometimes it takes awhile to respond to things. Lots of reasons why. But ultimately, the fact is, if you want to talk to somebody (especially an autistic somebody) it can be really important to be patient. I really like these Square Talk things.

    vicky molokh: I'm sorry somebody got hostile at you just for your facial expression. I also don't like it when people get angry at me for how my facial expression/tone of voice is, I have a lot of difficulty even being aware of those things, much less controlling them. Unless I'm spending lots of mental effort on it, how my face looks might not really... mean anything. It should really be enough for someone to talk with their mouth (or sign language, or other alternative). Why demand people talk with their whole face? It's too ambiguous anyway.

  3. Hehehe!
    Your comics always nail it so spot on, can't get enough of them!

    I second that facial expressions are overrated, I often get asked, if I'm mad, or bored, or whatever, when I'm zoning out, it's really annoying...

  4. For most of my life, I was not a talker at all and would take a long time to respond. This cartoon reminds me of most of my life. Now for the past 5 years, I have become a motor mouth acting very impulsive. I need to moderate myself now though it is very hard to.

  5. Great. I've been writing my mind out trying to articulate these experiences...and you just summarized it all in a few panels.

    I can't tell if I'm relieved ("Whew, now I can stop writing")...

    or envious.

    (maybe I'm both. Relenvious? Envieved?)

  6. Haha, that's a great comic.

    I'm [mostly] NT and I'm the square to my wife's circle. It's been 12 years and she's still not entirely used to me sometimes taking a handful of seconds to process a very simple verbal question and form a response, occasionally requiring her to repeat the question. Usually the difficulty arises when I'm not "ready" when the sentence starts, especially when I'm thinking deeply about something without her noticing.

    But she [usually] doesn't get all bent out of shape about it anymore, much more accepting of it. I guess I was the frontline troops softening her up to get ready for my son? :)

  7. BTW the way I was first explained this phenomenon was via a supposed description from a ASD youth. Paraphrased: Asking me the question again [too quickly] before I answer is like trying to put another load of laundry in the washing machine before the first load is done.

  8. I LOVE this cartoon. Quick! Put it on a t-shirt!!

    I'm NT but apparently a very understanding NT. My son is Autistic, and I will wait forever if need be to get a response from him!
    But I also had trouble as a teen especially with responding "correctly" to other people's communication. My facial expression sometimes didn't fit my mood/thoughts. Then later I realized that neither did my mom's. She almost always looked angry because of her furrowed brow. (She loved to read, alot!)

    Then I saw a picture of my grandmother as a young woman with the same furrowed brow. Hmmm...

    People judge too much on a facial expression. I'm sorry that happened to you Vicky. It has happened to me too.

  9. Carl is walking past me in the hallway
    Carl: Hi Miguel
    *long lag* *my gears are crunching/translating*
    Me: Hi Carl
    *Carl is far down the hallway, almost out of view* *Carl looks back and does a double take*
    Me: *feels self conscious over the double take*
    Me: *feels frustrated at how I come across*


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