This post is one that won’t work for everyone, so please take into mind that this is just one persons experience with learning Social Skills, Social Cues, Jokes, Compliments, the list goes on. I also would like to add that I most definetly have not perfected this skill one bit, but I have come a long way in that area with the following techniques I developed and or modified for my own use.
I listen to everything around me, I hear couples talking, fighting, laughing, joking, etc. I take in that information and store it as certain social skills/ cues that I see or hear and how those people reacted. I don’t listen to just couples, actually couples are a minority of who I listen to. I listen to whoever is around me and take in how they respond to different situations, than I compile the data I have collected looking at the most common responses out of 100’s of people and figure that is what’s expected in society. I sometimes am incorrect and have to re-calculate my approach, either by being corrected or noticing that it isn’t working near as well as it should be.
Social cues are easier to learn than jokes which I discuss below, but they are still hard to learn. I use the same formula I do with everything else, I try to inconspicously watch people and how they do certain things in certain scenarios. You can’t learn every scenario that life will throw at you, but you can have a good built up log of what might be expected in different scenarios. One social cue I learned is relevant only to bowling, when someone next to you is bowling it is proper edicate to bowl, than wait until they’ve bowled, than you bowl, than they bowl, it may slow down your game a bit, but it shows the other person you are following the bowling rules. If you don’t follow this simple rule in bowling, I guarantee someone will tell you to at one point or another so you might as well just start doing it now, that is if you bowl.
Now onto jokes. Learning jokes has to be the most difficult thing on Earth. You have to listen for very, very subtle vocal pattern changes which can mean someone is being sarcastic, they think they’re being funny, what they said was a joke, the list goes on. I’ve been analyzing jokes for years and out of the thousands of people I’ve heard and listened too, this area still has me stumped. I am able to identify most common jokes like “I am going to kill you.” I had a teacher who knew I didn’t understand jokes, but was adamant on getting at least one joke taught to me before the school year was over and that joke was “I am going to kill you.” He said it everyday for six months, until I finally registered it was a joke and jokingly responded “not if I kill you first.” I will never forget the smile on my teachers face, it has to be the biggest smile I’ve ever seen, because I finally learned my first joke. Since then I have learned about 100 other jokes that are most commonly used, but sometimes I still ask if the person is joking just to be on the safe side.
I find our culture to be very strange, things that aren’t funny, are funny to some people, and things that are funny to some, aren’t funny to others. It makes it almost impossible to learn jokes, but if I have any advice for you as someone on the spectrum keep trying and for parents try the same joke everyday, it doesn’t have to be near as drastic of a joke as my teacher did with me, but I really encourage you to try to teach your kids jokes. When you understand a joke, it really brightens up your whole day, even sometimes a whole week.
Note: I am just someone on the spectrum sharing my opinion, in no way am I a professional and I reccomend asking a professionals opinion before trying a new technique like teaching your kids jokes, since things vary from person to person and a professional will be able to tell you if your kid and or adult is at the point where they may be possibly be able to learn this. So many people tried to teach me jokes my whole life and I never got them, so basically everyone gave up, but I have learned about 100 jokes so far, so it is possible to learn them, it’s just hard!