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How We Communicate in Our Own Efficient Style

Let's discuss how our ability as neurodivergent people to pick up on and interpret non-verbal communication can create differences in the way we socialise.

Humans communicate in a number of ways other than speaking and writing:

  • Body language and Facial expressions to express feelings

  • The tone of voice can change how we’re meant to interpret words

  • Sometimes people might say one thing when they actually mean another

Some neurodivergent people have a harder time noticing these behaviours, or we may not intuitively combine verbal and non-verbal communication together to figure out what someone is trying to convey.

We may consciously learn to interpret or pick up non-verbal communication as we get older, which can help, but for some of us it may never be something that comes naturally.

The Challenges

If you’re someone who has trouble interpreting things like subtext, tone of voice, and body language, and other people are using these non-verbal cues as part of their communication, this can impact your ability to understand them and respond appropriately.

You might:

  • Not notice that someone is uncomfortable, bored, or not interested in the conversation.

  • Take what people say at face value, when really they’re communicating something else.

  • Not have as much regard for what other people consider “polite”

Other people may also not understand that you’re not using non-verbal cues when you communicate and could read into or otherwise misinterpret your communication.

Our Strengths

It can be difficult to feel like we're not picking up everything someone else is saying when they're using nonverbal cues.

But neurodivergent people who don’t use or pick up on non-verbal communication can be very honest and direct in the way they communicate.

You can generally trust that we say what we mean and we mean what we say. You could say we’re more like the Dutch and less like the English!

That honesty can be very refreshing. Our communication style can be much more straightforward and efficient, and allow us to really open up to the people around us and express what’s going on.

You could describe this communication style as direct, as opposed to indirect, communication. We’ll cover more about learning your communication style in our section on strategies and solutions.

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