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@mykola TBH, NTs don't *know* social rules because they learned to follow them in a pre-conscious state. When you ask an NT to explain social rules, they explain them *wrong*.
@mykola Case in point: NTs think that people who are talking look each other in the eye.

If you actually do that, you come off as a creep.

Cognitive scientists used video & eye-tracking to figure out what *actually* happens. It's a complicated pattern related to turn-taking.
@mykola What actually happens with eye movements during a conversation is:

1. the two people meet each other's eyes only when switching roles (i.e., one person stops talking & the other starts) or when the speaker is emphasizing a point. The difference in the length of pauses.
@mykola 2. the listener always watches the speaker's face, but switches rapidly between eyes and mouth, for disambiguation of ambiguous phonemes

3. the speaker periodically checks where the listener is looking *without pausing* to gauge attention
@mykola If the speaker looks the listener in the eye for too long, it is interpreted as the speaker either having an extremely inflated view of the importance of what they're saying or a selfish tendency to talk out of turn / talk too much, depending on how fast they talk!
@mykola In other words, if you do what an NT believes they are doing when speaking, you automatically come off as rude!
@mykola Cognitively emulating the social skills learned pre-consciously by NTs was always a horrifying trial-and-error thing (because NTs would naturally mislead you due to their warped perceptions) until psych nerds started objectively documenting how this shit worked in the 60s.
@mykola Now, you can actually learn social skills from a book, and it's *great*.

(The first book I recommend on this subject is Games People Play, not because of the titular games but because transactional psych gives people a model that lets them avoid seeming needy.)
@mykola (Just as the number one failure mode for movies is being boring, the number one failure mode for social skills is coming off as needy -- which is to say, coming off as taking more from social interactions than you put in.)
@mykola (We all *need* strokes, but we have to *demonstrate* reciprocity, because everybody's on guard against psychic vampires. This means being careful about turn-taking and modulating interaction so that the slope of the curve of maximum interactions is gradual.)
@mykola (Once you can avoid seeming like a psychic vampire, everything else is lower priority. People will forgive poor timing in eye movement related turn-taking behavior if you demonstrate good faith in other ways.)
@mykola I should note: Games People Play doesn't cover eye movement, which I learned from another great source -- the research going into social robotics (i.e., robots that are supposed to interact with humans socially).
@mykola It turns out that, when NTs program robots to do the things they think they are doing, the results are exactly the same as when autistics do what NTs think they are doing! And so a lot of research (mostly at MIT and Carnegie Mellon last I heard) went into mimicing real behavior.
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