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Old 08-22-19, 08:47 PM
Lloyd_ Lloyd_ is offline
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Exclamation Body language, social awkwardness

Has anyone here ever been successful at managing involuntary social awkwardness as I call it, nervous twitching, avoiding eye contact and transmitting body language in general that makes you look anxious, insecure, etc? I strongly believe this deeply programmed behavior is one of the most overlooked co-existing conditions associated with ADD.

Any advice on how to at least undo some of the conditioning would be appreciated. This is actually a subject which I am interested in doing more research on and collaborate via private message if one wants to do so.
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Old 08-23-19, 06:12 AM
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Re: Body language, social awkwardness

Yes, I've managed to change this, to the point that people are surprised when I say I'm ADHD/ND.

Took a while... years in fact, and I still twitch occasionally. I haven't gone for the insecure overcompensatory swagger type posture, more the relaxed "I'm OK" open body stance.

You are right to look at this as it's one of the things that gets in the way of forming healthy relationships.

My path involved, therapy, bodywork, research, then participating in increasingly challenging relational group workshops. At the end of which I felt that.... if I can do that.... I can handle most conventional (non-aggressive) situations.
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Old 08-23-19, 09:50 AM
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Re: Body language, social awkwardness

I don't know if I actually learned to manage my social awkwardness, or if I only
became successful at masking it.

At our last Autistic Adults Support Group (I take my 17 yr old granddaughter),
one of the moms seemed shocked to learn that I have autism/adhd myself.
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Old 08-23-19, 11:28 AM
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Re: Body language, social awkwardness

Not really. I wish I knew how. Any insights? And by that I mean how can I learn that without doing any of the hard work that kilted has done?
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Old 08-23-19, 12:53 PM
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Re: Body language, social awkwardness

Randomly I had actually been thinking about this a lot lately. I've found that efforts to change my behaviors or to "not do certain things" are generally unsuccessful.

What I have gotten good at is owning it. I personally know people who have various twitches or idiosyncrasies and I don't consider them awkward. Most of them I do, but some of them I don't. I've noticed that when people have these quirks but still manage to decide to be comfortable in their own skin, it goes a long way towards making you seem a lot less awkward.

This may not work as well with certain ticks but I think in general it's a good starting point. I admit, mine are much more mild.
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Old 08-25-19, 03:36 AM
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Question Re: Body language, social awkwardness

Oh I must have misunderstood the op. I don't have any major odd mannerisms that I'm aware of though I'm sure I've got a million in not aware of. I am socially awkward though and I'm not sure why. It's a mixture of shyness, not understanding what's going on and just not knowing what to say or how to say it I think. Unless I know someone very well social interactions just don't feel natural or easy.

Steve is right though. When I'm in a good mood (formerly hypomanic....) I don't bother so much and then people respond much better to me (or at least that's what I believe at that moment) so I think it's mostly a matter of self perception and confidence.

I either avoid eye contact or overdo it (and this has been pointed out to me). I also look away when someone is talking because otherwise I can't focus on their words.
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Old 08-26-19, 05:45 AM
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Re: Body language, social awkwardness

Remember that eye contact can be a cultural thing. In western cultures eye contact is normal, however in some middle, asian and far eastern cultures eye contact is a cultural signal, and signals equality. To make eye contact inappropriately is a signal of challenge to status or disrespect.

This is why non-infant diagnoses of ASD need to be careful about labelling eye contact as a symptom if the family has a non-western cultural background.

This eye-contact status challenge is why our pre-frontal cortex can go offline when making eye contact and we move into fight/flight/freeze/fawn mode and find it difficult to concentrate on the conversation.
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Old 08-27-19, 12:14 PM
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Re: Body language, social awkwardness

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy12 View Post
Oh I must have misunderstood the op. I don't have any major odd mannerisms that I'm aware of though I'm sure I've got a million in not aware of. I am socially awkward though and I'm not sure why. It's a mixture of shyness, not understanding what's going on and just not knowing what to say or how to say it I think. Unless I know someone very well social interactions just don't feel natural or easy.

Steve is right though. When I'm in a good mood (formerly hypomanic....) I don't bother so much and then people respond much better to me (or at least that's what I believe at that moment) so I think it's mostly a matter of self perception and confidence.

I either avoid eye contact or overdo it (and this has been pointed out to me). I also look away when someone is talking because otherwise I can't focus on their words.
Nope, you didn't misunderstand the OP, I was just being neurotic. lol
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Old 09-04-19, 08:48 PM
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Re: Body language, social awkwardness

Quote:
Originally Posted by kilted_scotsman View Post

This eye-contact status challenge is why our pre-frontal cortex can go offline when making eye contact and we move into fight/flight/freeze/fawn mode and find it difficult to concentrate on the conversation.
How to undo that fight or flight condition is the question.
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Old Today, 07:41 AM
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Re: Body language, social awkwardness

I don't have any twitches or odd behavior that I know of. In social settings
with more than 2 people I just find it hard to focus and concentrate. Even at
my most confident I turn into a monosyllabic neanderthal. I'll either say
something insensitive, inappropriate, incomplete or nonsensical. Most times
I'm not even aware of it till much later or if someone points it out. I've
learned to shut up and give yes or no answers when I can. It's still quite
embarrassing if someone asks for my opinion. I'll either have no idea what
they're talking about or give a really stupid answer.
I really don't know what to do about it. I'm semi-intelligent and well read, I just can't communicate in social settings.
Sorry for the derail. I just felt compelled to express myself.

[Edited to add] I have no problem with eye contact. But I do make a conscious effort not to stare as I feel it's inappropriate.
I'll briefly look away now and then so the person doesn't feel uncomfortable. I guess that's a bit weird.

Last edited by mrzyphl; Today at 07:55 AM..
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