How do you have things in common with other people?

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autisticstar
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08 Dec 2009, 9:35 am

I have often had the experience of people thinking that I am a nice person but not wanting to pursue a friendship based on the fact that we have nothing or little in common. I have some interests such as volunteer work and ushering at a local theater but those have never resulted in any friendships. I am fortunate to have some friends who are in a similar situation as I am in who I value very much. But there is still this sense that I just don't have things in common with other people although I do participate in activites such as volunteer work. It seems like common interests and religious beliefs aren't quite enough to have someone consider me to have things in common with them. So how do you have things in common with other people? One thing that makes it difficult is that I am not at the same place as most other people my age in terms of having an established career or raising chidlren or something like that.

Is it common for people on the autism spectrum to feel like they have little in common with other people even if you do have interests and/or religious beliefs?



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08 Dec 2009, 9:47 am

autisticstar wrote:

Is it common for people on the autism spectrum to feel like they have little in common with other people even if you do have interests and/or religious beliefs?


There are a lot of people who share quite a few interests with me, but I still don't relate to them. I think it's a personality thing. It has as much to do with social compatibility as with shared interests. I have a friend who has very few interests in common with me, but somehow we get along really, really well, and she is one of the most important people in my life.


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Eggman
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08 Dec 2009, 8:23 pm

Like sharing enough of a genetic structure to be considered the same species? Sure


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08 Dec 2009, 9:47 pm

The fact that I'm a part of the human race is something that I have in common with other people.


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Wiedinmyer
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08 Dec 2009, 9:57 pm

Well, if you think about it, a lot of the direction of society over the past few hundred years has been towards recognition of the commonality of being human. Things like Civil Rights (not to mention ending slavery), Women's Rights, religious liberty, etc. have all moved to a broadening of our understanding of what it means to be human. If you go back and read a lot of the pro-slavery literature, a lot of it is predicated on the idea that blacks were not like whites in various ways. A lesser race or much closer to animals or whatever. It's a pretty common trope throughout history. You can see it repeated throughout American history, as groups from different areas moved into the U.S., they'd be demonised as not being assimilable (by which most people meant that they were too 'different' from 'Americans' (which, in and of itself, works from the idea that there's kind of a baseline standard for 'American'). You can still see quite a bit of the discussion today, what with arguments about 'race' or complaints about the number of Latinos moving into the states. And there's been a steady movement to the idea that the commonality of being human is enough on some level.

It kind of mirrors the NT/Aspie distinction in some ways. There's a growing recognition that people along the are as human as everyone else. That's part of the reason it's a spectrum. Most people fall along it, not at one end or the other.



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08 Dec 2009, 10:54 pm

I don't like the thought of having something in common with another person. I even all out avoid it. I don't like Harry Potter or Twlight because it's the "it" thing today. After Meerkat Manor became so popualr, I started to notice I wasn't as obsessed with meerkats as I used to be. People used to make fun of me for liking them so much but now that Meerkat Manor is so popular it's okay and cool to like them. I feel as if my intrest in them was stolen. I've found other ways to reclaim them as mine but I feel as if I had to steal them back. NT's definatly don't understand this and someone on another messageboard said it was lame not to like something because it was popular with mainstream society. Even as a kid I was the ONLY one in my entire grade who openly hated Hanson. If I was a little girl growing up today, I would probably be the only one who openly hated Hannah Montanna and Johonas Brothers. I remember my mom always encoraging me I did not have to like something because everyone else did and that it was okay to like something even if I was the only one who did. I think my mom has some AS herself (I mean that as a compliment). She read me the story of the "Emperor's New Clothes" and even today I am constantaly seeing reminders of it.



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08 Dec 2009, 11:14 pm

Frequently, and for most of my life. Even if we had similar interests, the degree to which each person was interested in those subjects varied. Common interests aren't something that I consider a necessity to get to know someone; usually, I've found, that those who I disagree with or have different interests from are more interesting conversation... except when I find someone equally fixated on music.


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09 Dec 2009, 3:51 am

InvaderMeer wrote:
I don't like the thought of having something in common with another person. I even all out avoid it. I don't like Harry Potter or Twlight because it's the "it" thing today. After Meerkat Manor became so popualr, I started to notice I wasn't as obsessed with meerkats as I used to be. People used to make fun of me for liking them so much but now that Meerkat Manor is so popular it's okay and cool to like them. I feel as if my intrest in them was stolen. I've found other ways to reclaim them as mine but I feel as if I had to steal them back. NT's definatly don't understand this and someone on another messageboard said it was lame not to like something because it was popular with mainstream society. Even as a kid I was the ONLY one in my entire grade who openly hated Hanson. If I was a little girl growing up today, I would probably be the only one who openly hated Hannah Montanna and Johonas Brothers. I remember my mom always encoraging me I did not have to like something because everyone else did and that it was okay to like something even if I was the only one who did. I think my mom has some AS herself (I mean that as a compliment). She read me the story of the "Emperor's New Clothes" and even today I am constantaly seeing reminders of it.

I remember when I was a kid The Lion King was the 'it' thing.
I can understand not giving into hype but if you already like something you shouldn't stop when it becomes mainstream.

My interests are quite common among people i.e art, photography, music, astronomy,film, fantasy/sci fi. But then I'm so different from other people that I often get annoyed with them, especially the sarcastic ones.


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Wiedinmyer
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09 Dec 2009, 6:27 am

makuranososhi wrote:
Frequently, and for most of my life. Even if we had similar interests, the degree to which each person was interested in those subjects varied. Common interests aren't something that I consider a necessity to get to know someone; usually, I've found, that those who I disagree with or have different interests from are more interesting conversation... except when I find someone equally fixated on music.


I think there's something to be said for that. Even in the case of music... At one of the restaurants that I used to work at (a rather high end affair. Getty's and Will Smith and Robin Williams and the like.) one of the musicians told me once that when he first started playing, another player had given him the advice to "always try to be the worst player on the stage". By which he meant not so much that he should play poorly, but rather should surround himself with people that would be able to challenge him to play to their level. Talking to people is somewhat the same thing. If I only talk to people that I have a lot in common with, I might as well sit around and mutter to myself. They're not necessarily going to tell me anything I don't already know. (And I see this behavior in a lot of other online groups that I participate in... There seems to end up being behavior that's little more than people telling each other how smart they are because they agree with each other.) Talking to people that don't see the world in the same way I do is much more interesting. That's where I get a chance to learn something.



Owendust
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09 Dec 2009, 6:48 am

InvaderMeer wrote:
I don't like the thought of having something in common with another person. I even all out avoid it. I don't like Harry Potter or Twlight because it's the "it" thing today. After Meerkat Manor became so popualr, I started to notice I wasn't as obsessed with meerkats as I used to be. People used to make fun of me for liking them so much but now that Meerkat Manor is so popular it's okay and cool to like them. I feel as if my intrest in them was stolen. I've found other ways to reclaim them as mine but I feel as if I had to steal them back. NT's definatly don't understand this and someone on another messageboard said it was lame not to like something because it was popular with mainstream society. Even as a kid I was the ONLY one in my entire grade who openly hated Hanson. If I was a little girl growing up today, I would probably be the only one who openly hated Hannah Montanna and Johonas Brothers. I remember my mom always encoraging me I did not have to like something because everyone else did and that it was okay to like something even if I was the only one who did. I think my mom has some AS herself (I mean that as a compliment). She read me the story of the "Emperor's New Clothes" and even today I am constantaly seeing reminders of it.


I used to think like that until I realized that hating something popular simply because it was popular was, in it's own way, popular.

Think about it...it really is just as popular to hate the twilight series, especially for people in my age-group, as it is for teen girls to like it. Either way, you could be described as following a trend and allowing "popular opinion" to dictate your own personal opinion.

I do understand your point about the meerkat thing, because when I was younger, I was considered the weird kid because of my obsession with vampires, but now it seems like the "it" thing. But really, you should stick to what you like and not let popular opinion have any effect on what you personally enjoy.



silvskaterdude
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09 Dec 2009, 2:19 pm

well my interests are very common and is not hard finding freinds who are into them they are music,video games, anime/manga,soccer(playing not watching), hockey( wathcing not playing), skateboarding and skate culture( everything to do with it) , bmxing and bmx culture( and everything ot do with it).



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09 Dec 2009, 2:30 pm

Same bauplan, typical for members of our species.

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10 Dec 2009, 11:55 am

I am not sure how to word this, but I might have some ideas.

AS, what you need to think about might be to thinking about informing other people about having Asperger's Syndrome in a very suttle form. I would create a flier or say something like, "Sometimes, I don't pick up on social skills like you guys do. I would also then mention some examples and then tell them that you sometimes are a little off. However, when you get to know that person at a social setting such a church or a party, you might want to mention you have Asperger's syndrome but take thing slowly until you get to know that person.



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10 Dec 2009, 8:01 pm

I don't like the thought of having something in common with another person. I even all out avoid it. I don't like Harry Potter or Twlight because it's the "it" thing today. After Meerkat Manor became so popualr, I started to notice I wasn't as obsessed with meerkats as I used to be. People used to make fun of me for liking them so much but now that Meerkat Manor is so popular it's okay and cool to like them. I feel as if my intrest in them was stolen. I've found other ways to reclaim them as mine but I feel as if I had to steal them back. NT's definatly don't understand this and someone on another messageboard said it was lame not to like something because it was popular with mainstream society. Even as a kid I was the ONLY one in my entire grade who openly hated Hanson. If I was a little girl growing up today, I would probably be the only one who openly hated Hannah Montanna and Johonas Brothers. I remember my mom always encoraging me I did not have to like something because everyone else did and that it was okay to like something even if I was the only one who did. I think my mom has some AS herself (I mean that as a compliment). She read me the story of the "Emperor's New Clothes" and even today I am constantaly seeing reminders of it.


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16 Dec 2009, 3:50 am

I just saw TLKoB today and hated it. They make it sound like it's the greatest thing since sliced bread but I thought it was awful. The just can't wait to be king number was like an account of an LSD trip. Zazu is not white he is BLUE. Pride Rock looked liked a cardboard box and Rafiki is NOT a chick. Zebras do NOT have human heads sticking out of their necks and cheetahs do not have a human sticking out of their hips. The whole play was overly humanized and one of the things I loved about TLK as a kid was the fact there were no humans in it. Don't ruin it now. The so called Lion King fans love to bully me about this and one even asked me if it bothers me if a house is built without a roof (what a stupid analogy).


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16 Dec 2009, 5:31 am

I have no idea. I like video games and wouldn't mind playing them but I can meet another person who is into video games and we can both still not have anything in common. How so? Well that other person likes video games I don't like and doesn't do Mario or Kirby or Sonic.

I can meet another aspie and the only thing we can have in common is our condition but our interests are different.

I can meet someone who is into fanfiction or writing but we both write about totally different things and are into different fanfiction.

Joining groups that are about your interests is a start. I have considered I should join a video game club. I can look it up at meetup.org to see.