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poker_face
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker


Joined: Jun 23, 2008
Posts: 50

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 11:26 am    Post subject: Flat affect Reply with quote

Hi,

I was wondering if anyone has any experiences to share surronding people's reaction to flat affect. I find that it means that people are less likely to trust me. Anyone have any comments? How do I deal with people who think I am not being honest?

Many thanks
Poker face (this was my parent's nickname for me when I was younger, although they only told me that recently).
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slowmutant
Phoenix
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Joined: Feb 14, 2008
Age: 35
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Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A flat affect can be very off-putting. People can't be certain of your thought-processes, and because of that they find it hard to trust you.
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wow1000
Tufted Titmouse
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Joined: Jul 27, 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it isn't a matter of trust, but rather a matter of not being able to read you. My son gets flat effect and I am always worrying that something is wrong. I don't know how he is feeling or if something is bothering him. Not being able to know what someone is feeling makes people unsure of how to proceed.

Also, people tend to focus on themselves. So sometimes it could be that when they don't get the reaction they expect, they start to focus on why that is. But because they focus on themselves they think things like, did I say something wrong, is he/she reacting to me?

Just my perceptions.
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Ticker
Cage Free
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2008 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never understood the term myself as I had not heard of it before, but assume it means depressed looking in facial features or lacking emotion. The neuropsychologist listed flat effect as one of my diagnoses is how I first learned of the term.
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bangsmccoy
Butterfly
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Joined: Aug 17, 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find that a lot of people say that they cannot trust me, or think I'm lying. When I'm just the opposite. I'm very honest and trustworthy.
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QuantumToast
Blue Jay
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never heard the term before, but like Ticker I'm assuming it means something like having an unexpressive face - if so, I'm pretty sure I've got it, as people around me often seem to assume that I'm depressed or worried about something.
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Ticker
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's what the Internet says it is and oddly Aspergers nor Autism is mentioned.

"A severe reduction in emotional expressiveness. People with depression and schizophrenia often show flat affect. A person with schizophrenia may not show the signs of normal emotion, perhaps may speak in a monotonous voice, have diminished facial expressions, and appear extremely apathetic. Also known as blunted affect."
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Pook
Velociraptor
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2008 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe I have developed a more flat affect as a result of so many problems appearing nervous, flirty or incompetant. It just seems easier to look at others like yeah whatever.
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QuantumToast
Blue Jay
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ticker wrote:
Here's what the Internet says it is and oddly Aspergers nor Autism is mentioned.

"A severe reduction in emotional expressiveness. People with depression and schizophrenia often show flat affect. A person with schizophrenia may not show the signs of normal emotion, perhaps may speak in a monotonous voice, have diminished facial expressions, and appear extremely apathetic. Also known as blunted affect."
Yep, that's me all right. People seem to assume I'm just laid-back.
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ShawnWilliam
Phoenix
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have gotten that most of my life.. people are always asking me why i look angry all the time, So i got better and faking it or trying harder not to be flat..
annd ive been told by someone he couldnt read my emotions.. that was depressing
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i_Am_andaJoy
the dischord in the thrum...
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 3:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Flat affect Reply with quote

poker_face wrote:
How do I deal with people who think I am not being honest?


if it bothers you, then i would work on it. fake it. practice your facial expressions and affect. maybe take a theater class.

i don't have flat affect all the time, maybe half? and with a couple of people close to me i am able to tell them-- nothing is wrong, i am perfectly fine, i feel happy, i just have flat affect right now. and they can accept that. i have explained that they should believe my words more than my face.

with everyone else, if i care, i make an effort to "play human" and act like i am in a play- overexaggerated. this is very draining, so i don't make an effort all of the time.
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poker_face
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker


Joined: Jun 23, 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 6:55 pm    Post subject: flat affect Reply with quote

I was told that I should look at the person face and try to imitate the expression that they showed.
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pensieve
President of Gallifrey
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ticker wrote:

"A severe reduction in emotional expressiveness. People with depression and schizophrenia often show flat affect. A person with schizophrenia may not show the signs of normal emotion, perhaps may speak in a monotonous voice, have diminished facial expressions, and appear extremely apathetic. Also known as blunted affect."


Wow, I have this. I never knew what to call it. I basically thought of it as 'reading lines' or 'wooden acting'. You know when an actor doesn't show much expression or character when acting.
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Shpadoinkle
Hummingbird
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Joined: Mar 06, 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 1:24 am    Post subject: Managing your own affect is HARD. Reply with quote

I've found I can appear really intense sometimes, which isn't really the same thing as FLAT, the way I understand it.

So my solution is to find all kinds of ways to relax. I had really bad "generalized anxiety" starting when I was in my early teens, and I coped by developing a flat affect so people wouldn't know I was freaking out all the time.

Since then, I started taking (under medical advisement, of course) this wonderful stuff from a company called KAL called "Beyond St. John's Wort."

Strangely enough, it eliminates the anxiety almost 100%, but ... I'm almost WITHOUT fear, now. I'll speak my mind about anything, to anyone, anytime, anywhere.

Wrap it up, I'll take it!

Patrick
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Shadow50
Toucan
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Age: 64
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 1:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my late teens, it always puzzled me when people came up to me and said "smile". As far as I was concerned, I was smiling, but I guess it just didn't show on the outside.

I don't recall ever being aware that it produced a lack of trust in other people. I don't see trust as instantaneous, it usually develops after a person gets to know me.
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