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Joined: 4 Feb 2010
Gender: Female
Posts: 27,228
Location: Pacific Northwest

18 Apr 2017, 3:51 pm

This is another thing I have noticed that makes me different than the majority. The need to relate to something to enjoy something. I have seen people say how they didn't enjoy a movie because they couldn't relate to it or say they don't enjoy a book because they couldn't relate or someone telling me here they rarely relate to what I write so they never read my posts. On reddit people on the Asperger's subreddit were talking about the movie Inside Out and were saying how they couldn't relate to it. I couldn't understand the fuss about not being able to relate. Why couldn't they just enjoy how a brain works and how depression works and then wonder how would an autistic brain look like and also see how memories work and why people forget things that have happened when they were young? Why do they need to relate to the movie to like the movie and to enjoy it? That felt so alien to me.

To me this is all alien because why do you need to relate to enjoy something or to read something? I have enjoyed the movie Matilda or the book even though I couldn't relate to anything in the story so I thought no such parents existed because I never had those set of parents. I naively thought all parents were like mine so anything I saw on TV was make believe and people just make things up all the time because it's make believe. I didn't know things that happened in books or on TV came from personal experience or were based on any experience. I was even an adult when I learned that people do things in stories and TV shows and movies so their audience could relate, not for entertainment purposes. I have read memoir books about child abuse or read a book by someone about Bipolar, etc. To me I only read what interests me or looks interesting or watch movies that look interesting and I don't go for if I can relate to it or not. I go for the story and of it looks interesting. I had no idea many people read books or watched movies to relate. I thought they did it for entertainment. I will read things because I like to learn about different perspectives and how people think and to try and understand people and learn different experiences. I am sure not everything people write is for others to relate but for learning purposes and for awareness such as about disorders or child abuse for example.

And also what do people mean by relating to someone? I always took it as they have that same experience as them or have been in that situation. Okay why do they need to have that to enjoy a movie or book? Now I wonder how on earth people relate to science fiction to enjoy it or are they like me, only read it just for entertainment not to relate to it? "Oh Jurassic Park looks so interesting, I wanna read it because it's about bringing dinosaurs back to life and then disaster happens on the island, that sound so interesting so I am gonna read this book and see what kind of disaster happens." Not "Oh that sounds like a story I might relate to so I am gonna read it. I have been stuck on an island with dinosaurs." Not possible so I don't see relating to Jurassic Park possible so I can guess Michael Crichton wrote it for entertainment purposes, not for people to relate. I write for entertainment purposes, I write to express my feelings and my thoughts, I write for my fantasies and things I fantasize in my life about, not write for people to relate. I also like to put things in my stories I have no relation to to make it more real and more like real life. Not for people to relate.

Son: Diagnosed w/anxiety and ADHD. Also academic delayed.

Daughter: NT, no diagnoses.


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Joined: 29 Oct 2011
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18 Apr 2017, 7:48 pm

To know that they're not alone and the only one.
To sympathize.
To know that someone out there could understand.
To NOT feel out of place and end up getting awkward about it.
To to fit in -- to sync.
To 'get the message' somehow.
And the means to 'put yourself into someone else's shoes'.

I had, once upon a time. And I lost the need long time ago because I had enough fill. :lol:

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Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

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Joined: 25 Jul 2016
Age: 37
Gender: Male
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18 Apr 2017, 11:04 pm

I don't know if it's a need for something to be relatable before I enjoy it. I think it can (possibly) enhance my enjoyment if I happen to relate to some aspect of the story.

For example, in Final Fantasy IX I related strongly to the character Vivi - an artificially constructed magical entity in the form of a small child. I related because Vivi was quiet, confused about who he was, and he reacted how I imagined I would in the circumstances.

Another example are the robots in Castle in the Sky. Though they don't have emotions, they have very admirable qualities like loyalty and caring for nature. And they don't talk. Often I don't feel like have agency in my life, and that I go through things without emotional connection. It comforts me that I can still be good even if I'm not doing things with "heart".

I have a harder time relating to people, both real and fictitious. They just always seem to have motives or sensibilities I can't share. And they have those bothersome human faces. For some reason that makes it harder for me to relate. I can sometimes relate to mundane occurrences - being stuck in traffic, wanting to be lazy, miscommunications...Etc.

In conclusion I do agree that whether something seems interesting or not determines my desire to see/read it, but then maybe I'll relate to something in it.

"Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly." - Charles Addams