Does social cognition improve with socialization?

Hey all,
I found this article discussing social cognition and the deficits that many with schizophrenia face.

Two questions here:
do you experience issues with attention and other social skills?
Have you had social skills issues that improved over time?
I for one am really bad at paying attention in conversations, remembering what people have said, and interpreting subtle social cues. I think I’ve improved a bit with social cognition (my last psychosis was 3 years ago). For instance, through therapy I’ve improved eye contact as opposed to looking away all the time.


The subtle social cues get me every time.

I just don’t get it.

I don’t think I was ever like that pre-SZA either. Well, maybe, but not this bad :sweat_smile:.

I’ve been keeping myself to myself mainly in order to avoid yet another awkward interaction.

Will bring up social skills practices to my therapist on Thursday.

Thanks :dizzy:


It can be learned, but it isn’t:

I made the investment and it was worth it.


Thanks @ozymandias, gonna look into this as well :+1:

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I wonder how much we reveal in our face that we don’t realize. I’m a pretty nice person so I don’t feel like I would be showing condescending or angry micro expressions. But I guess it’s useful if you’re around people who you don’t know well.

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You are. I do. Everyone does. Works as well on people you know as people you don’t know since the expressions are the same no matter the culture the person is from. Basically, if you’re lying to me and I’m looking at you, I’d say there’s a 95% chance I’ll know. Unless you’re a sociopath.

Sociopaths are hard to read.

Do I seem like a sociopath? Lol. I’m interested to know.
So from reading some of your posts it’s clear you’re a successful person. Did you improve in other areas of social cognition besides with micro expressions?

I have no real way of knowing if you are or not. You seem nice enough here.

Sort of. I don’t like socializing, but can for extended periods. It drains me. I can handle myself fairly well in conversations so long as the humour is mundane. I sometimes take too long to understand what was a joke and why. I also don’t connect to a lot of jokes and fake amusement. I understand why the joke was funny to others, but it wasn’t to me. I usually pick up sarcasm because of the microexpressions of the speaker. I always worry if I’m making enough or too much eye contact.

The important thing is I can tell when I’m getting on someone’s nerves and back off.

I promise I’m not! Thanks for replying. I can relate to worrying about amount of eye contact. When people are too abstract or complex like my boss I often have to look away to process their information. People who are more concrete I can process what they said and respond emotionally all while keeping eye contact.

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My social skills never and will never improve over time. Chronic Schizophrenia just won’t allow improvement in that regard. The article brings up good points that people with Sz may get criticized for just being lazy and not trying hard enough or whatever, but people like me simply cannot improve certain characteristics. Just can’t. If I could, I would.

“Individuals with schizophrenia often seem forgetful or distracted, and they may be accused of not paying attention or not caring about important things. In fact, the real problem may be that the information is not presented in a way that adjusts for their attention problems (e.g., slowly, clearly, and with repetition) or that they simply cannot remember what they did hear unless they are provided with reminders or prompts.”

The article had good statements like this. To explain what Sz is, here we go. Information-processing deficits. Low working memory. Etc.

It’s possible, but horribly uncomfortable to have to push yourself. Social skills are like any other skill - you have to practice them to grow them. Those of us with SZ need to practice three to four times harder than neurotypicals to get the same results.

Well, my case is too severe. I fluctuate in between having a mind and having no mind (functioning unconsciously). If you refer my case to a doctor, they’ll explain it the way I’m trying to write it. Then you’ll get it.

I was originally told by doctors that I had no prospect of meaningful recovery and the best they would be able to do was make me more comfortable with medications. They said I would spend my life under managed living conditions (group homes, etc.).

My case is too severe. Yours isn’t, and I’m happy for you.

Are you taking someone else’s word for this or have you tested your own limits? It turns out that others were wrong about my limits.

I know my own limits. Mental health professionals tend to try to not be too pessimistic. Don’t want the patient to unnecessarily worry? Although my first diagnosis was a euphemism for Sz but also included “social isolation.” They can tell that to improve my social skills is like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. One pdoc I spoke to actually phrased it like that. Square peg in a round hole. Just doesn’t work, in my case.

I’m not trying to be in a pessimistic self-fulfilling prophecy. Just stating facts.

That fact is that if you decide you won’t be able to do something, you won’t be able to do something. Now you get to enjoy the lower quality of life that accompanies your decision.

The fact is Sz gives me real limitations. That’s the fact. You don’t seem to understand because your case isn’t severe. But you don’t have to believe me, if you don’t want to.

BTW, my quality of life is superb. I enjoy living in social isolation; I love it. See, there’s another huge difference between you and I. I have real Sz. You don’t. You probably have fleeting Psychosis diagnosis but not really Sz. This is why you don’t understand.

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