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wavefreak58
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22 Oct 2011, 1:10 pm

So kfisherx recently asked me if I have any autistic role models.

Which got me to thinking (it's a thing I do).

Truth be told, I've NEVER had any role models. Or maybe I don't understand what that is. I have plenty of things that I admire about people, but those things are about what they have DONE not who they are. It would never occur to me to emulate a person.

As I contemplated this further, I've decided that this is a least partly because of what is a deficient sense of self. When I am in the mental spaces where I am least agitated, self does not exist. My consciousness is very "outward facing", almost a super-observer, drinking in the information stream, letting it fill me up.

Agitation, depression, and other negative things don't seem to emerge until "I"
becomes part of the thought environment.

Very weird.

And of course, the de-emphisis of self is contrary to the current cultural paradigm of self actualization.


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Mummy_of_Peanut
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22 Oct 2011, 1:38 pm

I've never had any role models either. When people say the world is in such a state because there are so few good role models for the youth to look up to, I think, 'That would never have any effect on me, why do they need such things to decide how to live their own lives?'. Like you, I admire some of the things that people do, but I've never thought I'd want to be just like them.

I don't have much of a sense of self either. I have trouble figuring out what my personality is and I really don't know how others see me at all. Any feedback I've had (at supervison sessions at work or after interviews, etc) have been in opposition to the view I had of myself at that time.


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Tiranasta
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22 Oct 2011, 1:42 pm

People should do as they wish - they don't need role models for that. The ideal role models are they that most effectively pursue their own happiness.



4Five9
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22 Oct 2011, 1:45 pm

I don't know how old you are or what your experiences have been but there always comes a point where you are expected to play the role of something rather alien to you. Role models aren't necessarily someone you aspire to be but can be a far more pragmatic thing.

I'm terrible at socialising, so I observe and mimic people who are good at it; refining methods as I go. The initial input normally comes from elsewhere, this isn't an internal process; therefore, in as much as I can be a passive observer, I also use my observations for a purpose. I lack the imagination to develop a persona beyond what I am to people who know me (this is a difficult premise to explain but it takes years for people to get an understanding of who I am, generally because I don't view the self as an extension of any inner psyche but as a pliable generic mass. There are ethics and emotions that are relatively constant but the interpretation and actions of them are not defined as a static value, sometimes I wonder how much of me there actually is; most of the self is based on a notion for many people anyway).

When I was young I'd often sit in the city centre and watch the world go by and scientifically observe. This was interesting and did give me a very limited insight into behaviours but ultimately, the requirement to play a role vicariously (e.g. the manner in which my wife socialises in order to function adequately in a job situation is learned behaviour defined as a role, something I can copy and adjust to be suitable) can be initiated quite successfully by having a good role model.

Apologies if I'm off topic.



wavefreak58
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22 Oct 2011, 1:52 pm

4Five9 wrote:
I don't know how old you are or what your experiences have been but there always comes a point where you are expected to play the role of something rather alien to you. Role models aren't necessarily someone you aspire to be but can be a far more pragmatic thing.


I am 53.

I have never actually adopted any "role" whatsoever. I do things. They need to be done. Or I like doing them. But I never attach the doing to self.


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4Five9
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22 Oct 2011, 2:00 pm

You're older than me. I had to ask because different life experiences do dictate certain roles; jobs, relationships etc mean you find yourself having to be something that perhaps you're not, or does not come naturally.

There have been pressures on me to perform in a certain way, I was a school teacher for a number of years. There would have been no way I could have reconcilled being 'myself' with being a teacher. I wish there could have been. It was a clear role and one that was developed by copying someone else.

Unfortunately, these roles are exceedingly limited in scope (I can't go beyond the parameters set without feeling adrift - I guess this is similar to the concept of wearing a mask). To use an analogy, it feels like I'm running a computer program.



CockneyRebel
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22 Oct 2011, 2:03 pm

I didn't have any role models until I was 34. I thought that the idea was a little outdated and mainstream. I was thinking that if I had to have a role model that was the same age and real gender that I am, that I might as well not be bothered. I chose to have a role model a couple of years ago, because I thought that it would give my life more direction and I was right. It does give my life more direction. We are all different on WP and not everybody needs a role model. Mick is more of a twin for me than a role model, as I was shocked to find out two years ago, this month. It took another month to come to terms with the fact that chose a "twin" instead of a full fledged role model. I'm happy now, and that's all that matters. :)


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Moog
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22 Oct 2011, 2:09 pm

I have influences. I suppose I have met people or admired people who have good traits, and I've took some of them on. Is that the sort of thing?

I couldn't even really say who offhand. I tend to just take the ideas I like and leave what doesn't work for me.

I think I admire ideas or behaviours more than I do the people who are utilising them


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Surfman
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22 Oct 2011, 2:13 pm

I tend toward idolatry of various aspie heros throughout my life

Science and reason are my most concurrent interests so

Probably Nikola Tesla and Spock for me



4Five9
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22 Oct 2011, 2:17 pm

Moog that's sort of what I'm trying to convey. The other side to this is the view of originality. How original are you? Are your gestures, mannerisms, speech, language etc all entirely original or have they been derived from elsewhere? Has someone, or a combination of people, done and said everything you've ever done.

The level of interference on a subconscious and cognitive level is immense. We are influenced massively by our environment, we all will have had people/groups of people that have left permanent impressions on us. We all have role models, whether consciously or subconsciously in my opinion. Parents, family, teachers and upwards count.

Whether we consciously choose to aspire to be someone (other than ourselves) simply adds another input.



animalcrackers
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22 Oct 2011, 2:56 pm

I'm suddenly confused by the idea of role models...I thought "wanting to be like somebody" was the same as admiring their actions and emulating them (if possible) based on my own personal appraisal of those actions as worth doing?

I don't really have a conceptual sense of self either. It's not that I have no sense of self at all..... I have a dynamic/lived sense of self instead of a conceptual one. It's literally an ongoing "sense" of being rather than a static, abstract "picture of myself" that I carry around in my head.


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22 Oct 2011, 3:32 pm

I didn't have any role models until just last year, when I first became obsessed with Tim Burton. He is my role model because he has done what I wish I could have done with my life: becoming famous for turning his fantasies into reality. I also like him because he has a signature "style" that permeates every aspect of his life from his sense of fashion to his paintings to (especially) his movies. He knows what works for him and what doesn't and he couldn't care less about what his critics have to say about him. I wish so badly that I could wake up one day and just be him.

Anyway sorry for going on a tangent, but I don't know what it must feel like not to have a sense of "self". Maybe one day you'll discover someone who you wish you could be too.



nikki15
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22 Oct 2011, 4:31 pm

The only real role model I've ever had was/is my grandmother.



kfisherx
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22 Oct 2011, 6:13 pm

Me thinks you guys are taking "emulate" a little too literally. If you do not see that there are people in the world who are good and who do good things at all, then yeah... Maybe you do not have role models. BUT, to say that you NEVER saw this? Not possible... if you have a teacher that you thought was great did you pick up some of the things this teacher did in his life? Me thinks you did even if subconciously. This does not mean that you become a teacher (IE: Emulate everythng about that teacher) but that you saw some "good" in this person that you want to aspire to. I'm sorry, but I do not buy that you never did that with anyone.

Even though I am autistic and have an inner world, I still face outward as I can. I recognize that I am but a drop in this bucket. Living inside of myself and wallowing in all the data that I have inside of me is not a productive place to be in this bucket. (even though it is more comforting there) There are many, many people who I vibrate with and try to be "like" because I have the humility to understand my place in this world and in this bucket. I understand my gifts in this world and my responsibility to use these gifts.

By the way Mr. Wavefreak... The ability to "visualize oneself" in a specific way is an executive function ability. Have you yet looked at the youtube tutorial on this by Dr. Barkley? Good s**t man. I keep tell'n ya... :)



Last edited by kfisherx on 22 Oct 2011, 6:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

btbnnyr
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22 Oct 2011, 6:17 pm

I've never had any role models either.

I also experience this different sense of self. I find things in the physical world far more interesting to think about than my self. When I am hyperfocused thinking about stuff, I lose all sense of self. It's a great feeling, the feeling of thinking without being.