NLD and the Complexities of Misperception

Social perception is, as we know, a two-way street. We put out signals and other people read them, and vice versa. Throw in NLD, and two large problems can develop. First, we with NLD have trouble reading social cues on the spot. Second, a person communicating with us may misinterpret our behavior and then respond based on the misunderstanding.

For instance, I often appear very nervous and very distressed-looking, when in reality, I’m not nervous or distressed. When I tell people I’m not nervous, they generally don’t believe this and keep asking me if I’m OK or why I seem apprehensive. Needless to say, it makes social interaction all the more awkward, as if it wasn’t already troublesome enough.

The best thing I can suggest to deal with this isn’t possible all the time, but here it is: use written communication as much as possible. Tell people about having NLD before you meet with them in writing. An earlier post has a sample work/school letter (search blog for “sample work/school letter”).

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