Do you "subconsciously" notice things?

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RikkiK
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24 Dec 2014, 12:47 am

I'm not sure how else to phrase this, but...oftentimes I pick up details that I don't consciously process/acknowledge until hours later. Does this happen to anyone else? Or do you know what it is? It's like some tiny piece of my brain senses something is off (a haircut, a change in environment, an emotional expression, etc), but I don't know what it is until wayyyy later.

A few examples form the last two days: I was sitting in my room smelling burn scent for a while before my mother actually noticed it and asked if I, too, smelled it. I did, of course, and I had for a while, but it didn't occur to me. Similarly, the smoke detector was beeping for battery check all day yesterday, but I didn't "realize" it until my parents came home and immediately mentioned it. I similarly can miss the buzzing of my stove timer, or large signs that are directly in front of me.

I had a date today; his coat was too big. I was interested in that coat for some unknown reason until after we parted and I "noticed".

In conversation, I can often tell clearly in retrospect if someone was bored (especially if I know there habitual tells-- "That's so funny!" from one friend, and "Mhm"s from other people) but I vaguely notice and just keep going, as if I just don't care / don't entirely realizing they're bored.



rebbieh
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24 Dec 2014, 12:59 am

Yes, I "subconsciously" notice things sometimes and become aware of them a while later. Example: I was in the waiting room waiting to see my psychologist and since I always scan my surroundings and look at things I quickly looked at things in the waiting room. A while later I realized I had a certain phrase stuck in my mind and I couldn't figure out why. Had a look at the things in the waiting room again and realized I had subconsciously read some of the titles of some articles in a magazine placed on the other side of the room and that's where the phrase came from.

Not sure that's exactly what you mean but that's what I thought of when reading your post anyway.



Norny
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24 Dec 2014, 1:21 am

Yes I am ridiculously perceptive when it comes to meaningless things, and that clouds my judgement over what actually matters.


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ralphd
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24 Dec 2014, 2:22 am

This is normal, even in NTs. Read 'thinking, fast and slow' by Khaneman and my favorite, 'blink' by Gladwell.


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btbnnyr
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24 Dec 2014, 4:20 am

Yeah, these are all normal things.


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ToughDiamond
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24 Dec 2014, 9:51 am

I don't know if this is quite the same thing, but when I've made a wrong decision leading to a typical Aspie blunder, I've sometimes noticed there was a faint idea in my head, while making the decision, that I've got it wrong. It feels almost as if there's a neurotypical in there trying to advise me but failing because the wires aren't thick enough to carry the message properly. Examples are things like refusing to do a social ritual and saying so in no uncertain terms, as if I had no clue as to the social significance of my decision. It happens less these days, presumably because I've learned a lot about dealing with people. I sometimes wonder if the NT power to intuitively know about the social dimension is there in all of us but has trouble getting through to the part of the brain that takes the executive decisions.



ZenDen
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24 Dec 2014, 10:36 am

When this happens to me I chalk it up to my defensive/offensive "Theory of Mind" developed during my formative years. Theory of Mind, in case all don't know, is your independent view of how you believe people and social interactions do, and should, work, which is amplified in autistic people with little outside influence on their mental growth, as apposed to the views of a typical NT whose "Theory of Mind" is developed during their upbringing by relating to other NT children and adults.

So my "strange" reaction to events that might cause me to reject performing some social ritual is exactly the same as an NT refusing to do things abhorrent to their upbringing, but for my own (possibly unknown) mental reasons.

The difference is NTs share more and can understand when an NT refuses to do something.

But no NT (or maybe even ourselves?) can understand, or agree with, the reasons for a similar refusal by an aspie, who they can not understand (because of their independent "Theory of Mind.")

And YES, there can certainly be a "nagging" feeling that you are not following NT dictates, but your mind is used to ignoring such things (for it's own reasons). At least mine is. :)



RikkiK
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24 Dec 2014, 11:17 am

Well, the other thing is that it happens with non-social things, like buzzers and sounds. It honestly worries me a little that I don't "pay attention" to things like the smell of smoke.

I just wonder if this is the side effect of trying to constantly filter out obtrusive stimulation (background noise, distracting images, etc), in which we just over-filter the things we shouldn't/otherwise wouldn't?

It's not important, socially, to comment that my date's coat doesn't fit (or alright, even), so I'm not sure that it's some resistance to NT behavior (at least, in this type of situation).