Sula

Some thoughts about social interaction

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I've had a lot of dysphoria recently, not about my body but more about being "human" socially. If I have to act in a certain way for too long and I'm not able to relax and do bird things, I get really stressed out. I have to be somebody else when I'm around people and pretending too long eventually gets tiring. I know many non-therians can relate to the feeling of being confused about social cues and how to act in a certain situation, but it's not just that.

Human faces for example, they look strange. Noses are weird, lips look and feel floppy and disgusting. The eyes as well, have a certain look that is very different from birds. Human body language is threatening and confusing. Looking straight into someone's eyes and baring teeth is considered a threat among lots of animals, but human interaction demands it all the time. Also, people sometimes are really touchy and get confused if anything more than a handshake makes you uncomfortable.

Bird faces are almost expressionless while the face is the most important part of human communication. I have a good visual memory but have major problems remembering people's faces or trying to understand what they are feeling, based on their expression alone. Sometimes people notice this about me, they say I don't feel genuine because I'm not looking at them when we talk, or I react to a situation in a way I'm not supposed to.
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  1. Kerguelen's Avatar
    I can relate. I SUCK at making the right face. For me it's comfortable to make almost the same expression all the time, I tend to move my head around in various ways rather than make faces. Sometimes I just open my mouth without making any sounds. I have to remember not to do that because I know it looks ridiculous. And the amount of times I've been told to smile? It's not helping me smile.
  2. micheal65536's Avatar
    * wolf pokes snout into the aviary

    As someone with Asperger's I can relate to this. I don't think it's much of a therian thing for me though, just an aspie thing, although wolf body language makes more sense to me than human body language but that might just be because I've studied it more (or because it's simpler - I mean, putting one's tail between one's legs is easy to understand, but all the subtle cues that humans use to indicate submission are not, and when I watch videos of wolves I can "read" their body language and understand what's going which I can't do when I watch a group of humans - I sometimes wonder if that's what it's like for neurotypicals watching a group of humans).

    EDIT: I sometimes also use a bit of wolf body language. I tend to scrunch my nose and bare my teeth when I'm angry (like this: https://c1.staticflickr.com/8/7160/1...80524b68_b.jpg), and I used to this even before I was a therian. These days I also tend to put my phantom/imagined tail between my legs and often I try to whine until I remember that humans have pathetic nasal cavities.
    Updated February 7th, 2017 at 06:02 PM by micheal65536
  3. Kerguelen's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by micheal65536
    As someone with Asperger's I can relate to this. I don't think it's much of a therian thing for me though, just an aspie thing
    In my case it probably is too, I just hate admitting it because everyone likes to pick me apart and use my diagnosis as an excuse to explain away the parts they don't like. And it's fun to compare myself to birds.
  4. micheal65536's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Kerguelen
    In my case it probably is too, I just hate admitting it because everyone likes to pick me apart and use my diagnosis as an excuse to explain away the parts they don't like. And it's fun to compare myself to birds.
    I tend to prefer using the diagnosis (or any other scientific explanation) as a reason or explanation for something rather than a therianthropic explanation/reason. But yes, I kinda like pointing out my wolf traits even when there's a scientific reason or explanation for them that has nothing to do with therianthropy.
  5. Sula's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by micheal65536
    I tend to prefer using the diagnosis (or any other scientific explanation) as a reason or explanation for something rather than a therianthropic explanation/reason. But yes, I kinda like pointing out my wolf traits even when there's a scientific reason or explanation for them that has nothing to do with therianthropy.
    It is a fine line. I haven't been diagnosed with anything and I don't think I'd even fit the definition. Sometimes it's hard to tell human and animal experiences apart but they definitely overlap. Not everything is related to therianthropy, but I think they can't be completely separated either. Humans are animals after all.