Social cues guide our interactions and relationships with others. Research has shown MS can have a negative effect on social cognition which is the ability to interpret facial expressions, understand how others are feeling and the ability to show empathy.
Do you have awkward, confusing, or perhaps even funny, stories to share that you attribute to missed social cues? And, what advice would you give to someone newly diagnosed on how to handle MS-caused missed social cues?
hi my name is kim, my boyfriend has ms, and i find struggling with the part of this disease that effects cognition. more specifically im having a hard with, and i feel like im being selfish about this, but im having difficulty with my boyfriend and his inability to keep the promises he's been making ( seeing this in writing really makes me feel childish.) this has been occurring more frequently over the last year, and i dont know what to do
kim, is the inability because he does not remember or is unable. Sometimes I wish I could do things and am just not able, or i dont remember promising. Both situations stink and until we talked about it I did not realize either was a problem. ms slowly creeps into my reality, my brain is slow I dont see things until I walk into them. Communication about feelings without guilt or blame is useful. Hugging helps too.
Communication is key, is what I have learned kim. It can be hard even on your boyfriend to discuss how he is feeling with you. I know I struggle with explaining the challenges I have with my SO. And with the challenges of MS or possibly MS can make it even more difficult.
You will need to be a lot more understanding because it is very hard to deal with the cognition challenges along with everything else he may be experiencing. I have experienced a lot of mental and physical issues that I may or may not have to share with my SO. It is REAL
I know as a girl I have my own head issues with my relationship in regards to everyday let a lone the days I am also having mental/physical challenges because of an illness. If you plan on staying with him, I believe it would be in your best interest to learn as much as you can about the disease, because it does effect everyone differently. You will need to be open and honest and understanding. This is not something that will go away, this is now life....so take that big step and communicate. It may not be easy but in the end it will be best for you and him.
I agree with the other comments. Talking is key. I myself have ms.. and I don't know how many times my fiance hasn't told me I forgot a promise, especially when this was all starting for me. I felt terrible everytime, or couldn't even remember promising even after he told me what I had promised. Speaking about it often helped me quite a lot and writing things down. We now have a little internal joke where he calls me a goldfish when I've forgotten something again (Goldfish: Swims around it's bowl going 'Oh! A castle!* Swims around again "Oh! A castle!").
kims07 wrote: hi my name is kim, my boyfriend has ms, and i find struggling with the part of this disease that effects cognition. more specifically im having a hard with, and i feel like im being selfish about this, but im having difficulty with my boyfriend and his inability to keep the promises he's been making ( seeing this in writing really makes me feel childish.) this has been occurring more frequently over the last year, and i dont know what to do
I'm totally reliant on my cell phone to remind me of things. When your boyfriend says he's going to do something, suggest he put it in his cell phone calendar with a reminder. If he still doesn't do it, you may have a problem independent of MS.
Although I am still waiting on more tests and a diagnoses my boyfriend gets so very frustrated with me for the same reasons but I have played it off as just being forgetful but its not being forgetful. He thinks its frustrating for him he should live inside my mind and body and then he would understand what I go through and what I struggle with daily.
Gullable has been how I saw myself. I have been conned over and over again. It has been a blindside to my character, or so I thought. Since I have had symptoms to ms from age 16 I never thought that flaw was part of ms. After all these years it may be looked at through ms eyes. At least being duped so often is not, maybe, my fault, giggle! [I learn something new about ms every day, still.]
MS gave me alexithymia, so I had/have trouble with understanding emotion external and internal. I slowly learned how to name my feelings and how to understand others. Understanding when others were being sarcastic or otherwise disingenuous was hard and sometimes still is. It was bad when I'd reply to someone as if their sarcasm were genuine. They could think I was making fun of them or starting an argument. Very frustrating for everyone.
I'm better now at understanding when others don't mean what they say (I pay a lot of attention to whether tone/context and words match). but understanding what they mean that they aren't saying is beyond me much of the time. Since consequences of misunderstanding can be severe (and take me a lot of time and effort to understand), I often presume I don't get it. I think of it as speaking a different dialect of nonsense. I'm originally from southern Appalachia, you see. I've witnessed a diatribe of insults directed to a present northerner who missed each and every one because they didn't understand the form. So I know I can understand every word and still miss the point because I speak a different dialect of the communication that isn't the words -- the vital nonsense. I'm careful about it.
The biggest problem now is that people think I speak that nonsense when I don't. They may "read between the lines" and invent some implication I never put there. It can be hard to convince someone that I'm direct and genuine, that -- outside of a bit of obvious sarcasm -- I really do mean just what I say. It's such an issue that sometimes I still preface with that kind of explanation. And it remains that I have to redirect people back to my actual words, written or spoken. "I don't remember saying that; what gave you that impression?", "Where in my words did you get that idea?", etc.
It's a lot better than it used to be. Which is kind of my advice to those new to the issue: it can get better even if the MS doesn't. Talk to your loved ones, inform acquaintances of difference where it's useful, and remember that you aren't doomed if this symptom doesn't inherently resolve. It might make it harder, but MS doesn't preclude learning. You can learn about social cues and emotional understanding.
My favorite thing is my exception to missed social cues. Afaik, I understand the social cues from my 3y/o nephew better than anyone. I've seen them develop from day one and I don't have the expectations to distract me. If this continues as he grows, I guess I'll get a better understanding of that now-foreign dialect. Or maybe I'll hit a wall when he discovers sarcasm around 7. I guess I'll see. Still, even if it works, I don't think I could advise to cultivate a life-long relationship with a newborn as a treatment plan! But, idk, if you have one available... ha.