“I have difficulty reading social cues.”
This is something I hear frequently from clients who have confidence issues. Some clients identify as being introverted and find that an abundance of, or distorted cues can be overwhelming. Other clients identify as being extroverted and cannot discipline their energy during social interactions.
-when social situations spawn discomfort, some people respond by turning their attention inward. The focus becomes the immediate uncomfortable emotional and physical sensations. This leaves little mental energy left to receive data, correctly, and respond effectively.
-those who present as gregarious often miss or misread social cues too. In this case it is less about an internal discomfort and more about an extroverted need to express. Again, this can leave little space for noticing and responding well to cues. In fact, some extroverts are less sensitive to social cues then introverts are.
-some people are hyper-vigilant and spend too much time and energy responding to social cues. This is common with adult children of alcoholics or those who identify as being "anxious."
-ideally, we learn to recognize cues, from a personal space that feels grounded and safe and then make conscious deliberate decisions about how we will respond. Guess what? Not all social cues are worthy of our attention:)
Terri Lee Cooper MSc. RSW
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