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Social impairments are a major symptom of several developmental disorders and psychological disturbances, such as autism, Asperger’s, PDD-NOS, personality disorders, learning disabilities, long-term effects of social neglect, schizophrenia, brain damage, and other socially impairing disorders (e.g. NVLD, RAD) that is characterized by social difficulties and/or moral stunting caused by a cluster of traits amongst the following:

  • Obliviousness to social cues, such as body language, disapproval, flirting, dishonesty, and “signs”
  • Failure to reciprocate social interaction, or inappropriate responses
  • Literal thinking
  • Difficulty attributing mental states to others and understanding their perspectives, sometimes as well as understanding one’s own (impaired theory of mind)
  • Inability to form and/or maintain stable relationships or appropriately pass through stages of a relationship (e.g. revealing a perverse romantic interest only a few minutes after meeting a person), no matter the context of the relationship (professional, casual, intimate, etc.)
  • Inappropriate and awkward body language and/or manners of speech
  • Difficulty expressing one’s own emotions in a clear way
  • Alexithymia
  • Difficulty understanding thing such as: the value of money, stereotypes, varied social concepts such as what is considered "cool", "hip", "ugly" or "edgy", the line between constructive criticism and harrassment, financial and legal matters, social logic, wisdom, life lessons, etc, which leads to always making the same poor lifestyle choices and mistakes repeatedly
  • Difficulty understanding the social context of words, such as what could be considered offensive or have a double meaning (e.g. swear words, slang)
  • Linguistic confusion (e.g. confusing a word for a similarly sounding word or with a different meaning) on a frequent basis
  • Lack of external social and/or moral awareness that is considered abnormal for one's chronological age (such as trends, common sense, morality, pop culture, sexual knowledge, basic social norms)
  • Refusal to self-actualize
  • Being oblivious to rejection or being ridiculed
  • Failure to 'bond' with humans
  • Preference to bond with animals
  • Frequently offending people unintentionally or being perceived as an "asshole"
  • Childishness (or “Peter Pan Syndrome”)
  • Poor social skills in general
  • Inability to deceive or manipulate, or being too manipulative
  • Brutal honesty, even down to simple situations such as white lies (e.g. "Daddy, do you like my drawing?", or, "Do these pants make my butt look fat?")
  • Lack of remorse, guilt or shame
  • Poor self-awareness
  • Unusual attachments that compensate for the repeated failure to form intimate bonds with humans or unmet social-emotional needs when there is a lack of social support (e.g. objects, body pillows, Reborn dolls, carrying plushies)
  • Tendency to form long-term attachments with fictional entities and avoiding real relationships
  • Feelings of social inadequacy and deep dissatisfaction with one's own social success
  • Low self-esteem
  • Constant rejection from peers
  • Social withdrawal
  • Failure with intimacy
  • Abusive, co-dependent or stormy relationships
  • Egocentrism – or perceived egocentrism
  • Lack of a "brain-to-mouth filter"
  • Affective disturbances, such as a restricted, unpredictable or exaggerated affect that is ‘inappropriate’ to the context of a situation
  • An “odd” sense of fashion or appearance
  • Coldness
  • Poor empathy
  • Inability to love
  • Being in “one’s own world”, or detached from society
  • Lack of social drive or interest in other people
  • Severe social anxiety
  • Mistrust of others
  • Interpersonal preference towards younger or developmentally more immature peers
  • Social developmental delays
  • Major difficulties with the opposite sex, or any other sexually preferred gender (sexual relationships)
  • Deep commitment issues
  • Overfriendliness or inappropriately affectionate behavior
  • Social inhibition
  • Lack of boundaries, or boundaries too rigid (e.g. aversion to being touched)
  • Poor self-control
  • Poor eye contact, or too much eye contact
  • Social avoidance
  • Impoverished social imagination (possible symptom of autism)
  • Failure to see “gray zones” (immature morality, seeing in black and white morals)
  • Tendency to withdraw or remain partially or fully into inner world
  • Vivid and rich inner world
  • General inattentiveness of social surroundings (especially seen in severe autism and schizoid personality disorder)
  • Impairments in executive functioning, organization and planning, especially involving social skills
  • Failure to accept responsibility
  • Projection of one's inner world onto others

Those social difficulties can cause important problems in some or all aspects of a person's life. There are several types of therapy that can improve social skills. as well as some medications (e.g. social skills therapy, CBT, ABA, CBD oil) although recovery is not always guaranteed and can take years to achieve, and certain types of treatment, such as ABA, are deemed controversial.

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