Aspie World 7 – Reading Faces

2013-08-01   Reading Faces

Being an aspie I know I cannot read faces, so I can’t tell what people is really saying. But I was shocked a couple of days ago when I learned that I can’t read no even my own face! It really confuses me and also worries me.

What happened is that I was at work and a cold that I had became really strong. I tried to keep working so not to loose vacation time because of leaving early, but after a couple of hours I was feeling so bad that I had no choice but to talk to the supervisor to go home.

My worries were that he might not believe me that I was really sick, so I was thinking of the way I should explain how I was feeling and the need to go to bed. I went to his office but he wasn’t there, so I looked around and saw him walking to his office. At about 60 feet distance from me he said: “You are too sick…you need to leave, right?”

I was shocked that from a distance he knew that I was sick! I didn’t even say a word. So when he reached me I told him I needed to leave; and so went home. The next day, when telling my wife about this, she said it was really easy to see I was sick because I had the face of a dead man!

Now, I did see my face several times in a mirror at work; since I had to blow my nose and the paper tissue is under a mirror; every time I went to blow my nose I saw my face, and it always looked the same to me. Back at home my face was like always (according to me), but my wife insisted that I looked like a dead man. When returning to work, in a conversation with the supervisor, he told me I looked really bad that day.

So it seems not only I cannot read other people’s faces, but also I cannot read my own!

Now, what worries me is that if my face was telling other people I was sick, but I couldn’t see it, that means my face is sending some signals that I’m not aware of. Could happen then that sometimes my face is talking while I’m not? And if so, what is it saying?

The reason I mention this is because many times at work I’m feeling fine with the people around me, but sometimes in those situation they still seem to retreat after a while. Until now I always thought it was because I don’t talk and people need to talk, so I’m boring to be with. But now I’m thinking that maybe my face is sending aggressive messages that I’m not aware of, and that’s why they just walk away.

Somehow it is funny when you think of it. Today I’m 51 years old (the picture above I took it on August 1, 2013 (today)) and still I cannot decipher the messages people’s faces send; and now I discover that I cannot even understand my own!

Raul

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6 Responses to Aspie World 7 – Reading Faces

  1. Kelvin Kao says:

    I think we all send out unintended signals with our faces to some degree. That’s why some people are told they need to smile more. (I haven’t been told but I probably do.) Some people are very conscious of what their faces are doing, like good actors. Even then, they can’t always be paying attention. I guess part of that is habit as well.

    But they can probably tell if they look sick usually. I think.
    Kelvin Kao´s last post ..Marionette video – Scene from Batman

    Raul Ojeda Reply:

    Hi Kelvin,

    Most people probably never train their faces to control their sent signals, but I guess most of the times the face follow the thoughts anyway; and I guess with time people learn to read the faces, becoming a two way communication system.

    Now I know I totally don’t “speak” that language. LOL

    Raul
    Raul Ojeda´s last post ..Reading Faces

  2. Sara says:

    Raul,

    First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY…a bit late:~)

    It must be difficult not being certain what expression your face is showing, especially when you can’t really read the other faces to know what they are expressing.

    The best thing I can think of is to get someone to help you see what’s going on with the faces of others so you know how to adjust your own. It could just be a whisper in your ear.

    The key to this is to trust someone enough to let them do this. I imagine that’s not always easy at a work situation, especially if people don’t realize you are an Aspie.

    One of the good things that’s happening is through your blog and other sources, people are learning more about AS.

    There’s a new detective series on FX and the woman who stars in it, Diane Kruger, plays a character with AS. Here’s a link to this: http://www.autismspeaks.org/blog/2013/07/17/celebrity-talks-character-aspergers-fx-series-bridge

    Because of your blog and the information you provided, while they didn’t say she had AS, I recognized it. I don’t know how good a job she’s doing, but as people learn about AS in a positive way; the more they will recognize it in people and hopefully be more sensitive to someone who struggles with certain characteristics of AS. It’s a start:~)

    With knowledge comes understanding:~)
    Sara´s last post ..SPC: Living Inside a Flower

    Raul Reply:

    Hi Sara,

    It seems it is becoming more known by people the existence of AS, and that those who have it are around them. Maybe that’s why a TV station started a show with an Aspie as the main character (who suppose to be the good guy instead of the guy to laugh at). I’ll check the TV series…sounds interesting. Thank you for the info :)

    Raul
    Raul´s last post ..Aspie World 8 – Ham Sandwich

  3. Patricia says:

    Raul,
    My youngest daughter could not read faces, including her own. Her face was nearly deadpan, controlled all the time. We had to teach to use muscles in her face after several of her surgeries.

    Both an occupational therapist and a speech therapist have wonderful and simple tools and exercises to teach others how to read expressions. I think with some guidance you could master it also.

    My daughter also listens to laugh tracks in movies because she is working on teaching herself to recognize what is funny so she will not feel left out from her friends.

    Most of the schools here offer free speech therapy services even to adults. I would think you could check it out in your area especially since you have a late in life diagnosis. (and I just found out our employment – retraining program for the state includes free speech therapy sessions also – The Affordable Health Care Act is a good thing!)

    We have learned so much in recent years – it is exciting to discover.
    Patricia´s last post ..QUARTET: A MOVIE ON A HOT SUMMER’S DAY

    Raul Reply:

    Hi Patricia,

    I’ll check around to see what’s available. Thank you for the tip.

    Raul
    Raul´s last post ..Aspie World 8 – Ham Sandwich

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