Thought Process, Comprehension, Reciprocation

I know I’ve said it before, but I hate being asked a polite social question and not remembering to reciprocate. How hard can it be to respond to a question of ‘how are you?’ and to then ask ‘you?’ at the end of your reply? Well, for me, very hard!

Is it a social disorder? Processing issue? What?!?

It happens all the time and people must find me extremely rude; quite frankly, I find it rude, yet no matter how much I moan about it, I can’t seem to change it. Today was another occasion when I was asked this question, actually I’m asked it most days during the week by this friend and although I never ask her, she still asks me without provocation.

Sometimes, like today, I remember that I need to ask the same but I usually think it after a minute or so has past. This wouldn’t be a problem out and about but when you have 30+ children in the room, it’s a little harder to fit it in around the sudden change in activities. I wouldn’t be able to say ‘you?’ a few minutes later as the conversation or timing has gone, it’s out of sync. In order to show interest, which I have a lot of, I’d have to think about it, reprocess the question and form it into something that links into what has been said previously. For example. ‘what about you, everything good with you?’.

Now, to start, as I don’t usually reciprocate, doing so out of the blue will stand out, but it needs to be done in order to not seem so uncaring and self-centred. Also, don’t think by any means what I have just done is easy, think about how I’ve explained the process; the way I’ve written it is the way I think it – slowly, consciously aware of what I’m thinking, it isn’t automatic.

Do others have this issue with thought and speech? As I’ve said in previous posts, mine isn’t limited to just speech but also reading and understanding some things or general conversations: I can’t seem to speed up the thought banks or retrieve any kind of thought in response to some peoples conversations! When someone asks me a question, sometimes it takes me a while to retrieve the understanding of a word from my memory bank. I can appear slow, unresponsive or might even question the question while I’m grasping at what it means before being able to answer it, making me seem stupid.

I’d love to find out the reasons behind it, how or why it happens and what other people think when they read or talk.

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13 thoughts on “Thought Process, Comprehension, Reciprocation

  1. I’ve done that, a thousand times. Not answer a “social” question such as how are you? I hear it, I think, but don’t process it. By the time I have processed the fact a question was asked of me the asker has moved on to something else…or it was said in passing. Hi, how are you? Asked of me while the person is walking passed me I think doesn’t require an answer. Clearly they kept moving so they weren’t expecting me to respond. I think.

    Or yes, maybe they just think me rude for not answering. However, I’m not going to respond with a how are you? Especially if I don’t care how they are….ugh…that just sounds terrible. But I prefer to greet people with more sincerity. “Good to see you” is better than asking a question that may or may not ellicit a response.

    I don’t know if its all the time…but often enough, its just a greeting of sorts. It is not an actual question. Do they really want to know how you are? If so, they’d stop and wait for your response, right? I think. lol! It seems though that my non-answer, or no reply goes unnoticed. I don’t worry about it, you probably shouldn’t either.

    Social graces keep changing; I can’t keep up!

    • Oh on that last bit, this particular person always asks and waits for my response, I just never ask her – that makes me seem very uncaring. I’m sure they’ve worked out how I tick, just a little, over the last couple of years. They haven’t stopped talking to me, so they obviously don’t mind, but it does make me wonder.

      • In that case, she ALWAYS asks? and waits for your reply? She’s probably sincere then and does care. Which of course just gives your further angst (slightly)…oh just be you! As you said they’re still talking to you obviously its bothering you more than them! It can drive ya nuts.

  2. Reblogged this on Welcome to Hakes' Virtual Cafe and commented:
    I have the same problem–i’m not the sharpest when it comes to quick processing of the situation. I’m certain there are numerous labels or names for this disorder–only a disorder because there are others who are quicker than us. It may be a social disorder in that society expects quick processing and sharp social skils. On the other hand, if we do not look at the “social” aspect, it may be a processing issue that takes time and practice if allowed without labelling and judgment. We all work at our own paces and are at different levels of development. No one is the same. The problem emerges when “someone” says: To be normal or to have social skills you must do “this” or “that”. Regardless, I constantly sharpen myself–daily, even. ;D Anyway, that’s my twisted opinion. Hope I did not confuse you more.

    • Thanks 🙂
      I don’t suppose it’s a disorder – as you say, more to do with society and the hectic life we all lead. I’m so used to looking at labels, not in a bad way, but in order to differentiate and understand the meaning. Since our son was diagnosed, I can spot most signs, traits, and characteristics of things like Autism, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Sensory Processing Disorders etc.. But that’s from reading, seeing and understanding – however, they are only distinguishable by the labels psychologists and other medical professionals have deemed fit to name them. It’s the accumulation of a number of factors that form a label and the majority of us have some of those already as part of the normal personality. I suppose that’s what makes us who we are and shapes our personalities.

      • Evening… Or is it morning or maybe afternoon when you read this? Anyhow, for me it’s evening (just).
        Now that I am back in a communicating mind frame, I thought I’d catch up on comments 🙂
        I had only planned to be away for a couple of weeks but my mental state obviously needed a little more recuperation!

        Do I think this is how we should be? I would say yes. I think when humans evolved, over time we adapted to accommodate the needs of our world and our survival in it. If we were all exactly the same in make-up, maybe we might be a lot more advanced but at what point would our thoughts clash. Can you imagine if we were all exactly the same? I have many thoughts on the good and bad possibilities but can’t seem to get them out into written form at the moment.

        However, when it comes to a certain set of diagnosis where we are giving labels, maybe that’s an extreme when the process of adaption has gone too far or off course. Science provides us with evidence that some special needs are not Neurotypical (where we can see the brain is wired differently) but maybe we are meant to be mixed. It could just be that those who stand out with significant difficulties have a glitch in that process.

        Suffice to say, for those with difficulties, then no, I don’t think that is how we should be but there is a fine line and it is extremely difficult to determine whats right/wrong to provide a diagnosis.

  3. I don’t think it’s a disorder, unless it’s part of other symptoms! My boyfriend is the exact same way – not to me, but to other people. He does care how they are doing, but more in an abstract sense.

    The only time I forget to ask “and you” is when I’m very preoccupied. I am insulted by people who continually don’t reciprocate, conversationally. I end up assuming they hate me, haha.

  4. Very interesting discussion. I think we are all guilty of not replying to someone from time to time. I believe it could be an issue of concentration, or distraction, depending on how you look at it. It is unusual that this person continually asks and waits for a reply. Is she not picking up on some social queue that it is not a good time to ask you? I often ask have people not respond to a simple “how are you? ” The tone and emphasis is important here in distinuguishing between a very concerned and “how ARE you”, or a casual “how are you”… if that makes any sense. And I find that long processing time, happens more often when there are children around, it is almost as if half my brain is alert watching the children, and overloads to an extent. Thanks for posting.

    • Sorry for the late reply 🙂
      If it were any other person then maybe I’d think it weird but in the context of our relationship I believe they are caring and being friendly. They don’t push for an answer but they have learnt to read the signs of when I’m struggling emotionally and provide support.
      My concern is my inability to process information quickly enough to respond. It seems my thought process is slow and I can never think of anything to say until after the occasion, whether with children around or not.
      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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