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dosh
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28 Apr 2008, 8:20 am

I am forever being accused by NTs of being this or that -- usually something negative -- even though I have said nothing to give them this impression. This seems to be a fairly common experience of those with AS.

I have the following theory. NTs, because they don't get the usual social/emotional feedback from people with AS, project their anxieties onto them.

Would be interested to hear what others think.



stjarna
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28 Apr 2008, 8:29 am

dosh wrote:
NTs, because they don't get the usual social/emotional feedback from people with AS, project their anxieties onto them.


I have experienced this. Not very pleasant. :roll:



Jeyradan
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28 Apr 2008, 8:55 am

This I've seen. I don't know if it's the mirror effect, or if they're just drawing conclusions based on the way they think we think, or on the reasons they think we have for what we're doing. Before diagnosis, I had a friend who was constantly coming up with (very wrong) reasons for my behavior (my upbringing, an inferiority complex, a mental health issue). I think they just fill in whatever justification makes sense to them, and once they've decided what they think, it's impossible to explain otherwise. Even if you're lucky enough to be able to remember and go through your entire thought process with them to tell them the truth.



anbuend
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28 Apr 2008, 9:09 am

dosh wrote:
I have the following theory. NTs, because they don't get the usual social/emotional feedback from people with AS, project their anxieties onto them.

Would be interested to hear what others think.


That has certainly happened to me a lot. I used to think of myself as a blank projector screen, and then everyone else could project onto me whatever they happened to be thinking about or expecting.

I actually started getting into more and more trouble as I became able to challenge what people were projecting onto me. I found out the hard way that many people who claimed to know me, didn't really want to know me. They wanted me to remain passive and easily projected on. Some got so used to that, that they were offended by the notion I might have anything to say for myself other than what they wanted.

As a result of being projected on like this my entire life, it took a lot of work to figure out what various words actually meant, because most people learn words about internal experiences, by things like hearing the word "happy" used when they are happy, and other things like that. Because I didn't display emotions in a typical way, plus reacted differently to many experiences than most people would, the words were used inconsistently on me, often when I was not experiencing what people said I was.

This is why many of those words only got refined past really crude approximations, and/or corrected entirely, depending on the set of words, after spending awhile around autistic people, who put the right words to the right experiences. Prior to that I used a lot of words wrongly, over-vaguely, or just didn't.

Also, I think that what passes for "theory of mind" in non-autistic people is just projection.


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Icheb
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28 Apr 2008, 9:34 am

I'm not diagnosed, but I've had haughty people call me haughty, liars call me a liar and a nutcase call me a nutcase.


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mysterious_misfit
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28 Apr 2008, 12:47 pm

I have always had trouble with people projecting their own thoughts or motivations or whatever onto me. I'm passive and people just create in their mind some kind of idea of me, and I feel that it is almost always wrong. Then it's tough on the infrequent ocassion that I try to explain myself, they won't believe me, because it's inconsistent with the mental picture they have previously formed of me. Sucks.



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28 Apr 2008, 3:24 pm

I have had this experience with some regularity, but I have tended to dismiss it as paranoia.

To elaborate, it seems as if people cannot get a grasp on who I am. I am a blank slate to them. Some decide to like me and project onto me their ideas of an ideal person. Some decide to dislike me and therefore see me as the embodiment of their fears. It is always a reflection of what that person values or fears.

I have also wondered if this experience is common to all people. Maybe everyone projects their hopes and fears onto everyone else. Maybe it is not an aspie thing but a human thing.



Sora
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28 Apr 2008, 4:10 pm

People love to claim that I have no personality. And that only they have my personality.

People then project their idea of me onto me. As if I were a riddle that only calls for being solved!

I'm not a riddle to figure out!

When I do something then, speak, walk, just express myself somewhat, they realise that their idea of me is entirely wrong. It is crazy that nobody can read me face-to-face.

They then get real scared or angry and try to bully me into disappearance. Or mend me into the way that they expect of me.

That's my trouble today. People want to figure me out all the time...

I had every possible adjective that can describe a personality thrown into my face. I quickly figured out people had no idea what they were talking about.

When I was a kid, this was a bit different.

Since I did do much, speak much or express myself much to anybody, they could just assume that I am like they expect me to be.

It's like, if you do express yourself you get in trouble. It's noticeable. You're a problem to anybody.

But when you can't express yourself enough, you just crease to exist for others. No noticeable trouble. Like you're not there to begin with or something.

If you mix both, people start to think you're crazy. A loony. Totally off the rocker.

That much about communication deficits...

I always imagined that maybe mute or deaf people also had trouble being recognised as people who do have needs and wants and personalities to voice.


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28 Apr 2008, 4:25 pm

It's hilarious when you see someone project themselves, they place their insecurites on you, assuming you have them, when actually it's more consistent with their own.


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lupin
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28 Apr 2008, 8:56 pm

I totally agree with the proposition about projection. It happens to me all the nauseating time.

It's bizarre. They call us fixated and obsessive, yet once an NT who is intent on projecting their crap on you then you can never get them to shift and see you as you really are.

Actually, I am utterly sick and tired of being someone's blank angsting slate - just because I am quiet and don't splurge my personality all over everyone.

So most of the time, I keep myself to myself and only consort with people who are psychologically and emotionally stable enough not to need to do this. These sterling people are very few and far between.



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28 Apr 2008, 9:29 pm

lupin wrote:
Actually, I am utterly sick and tired of being someone's blank angsting slate - just because I am quiet and don't splurge my personality all over everyone.


Aside from being angsted at, the fact that I was quiet used to really make a lot of people confess awful things to me -- one guy going on for at least a half hour about what a racist he was, how proud he was of it, using lots of nasty epithets, and saying a girl across the yard was stupid because she was black (that wasn't the word he used). And other people said even worse things than that, confessing twisted sociopathic actions and fantasies, and the like.

It gave me rather more of a disturbing view of what a lot of people are like inside than most people probably get. My outward blankness and passivity appeared to give people the notion that I wasn't revolted by what they were saying.

Frankly, while I'm not fond of being angsted all over either, I prefer that to being a repository for creeps to unload all their twisted ideas on.


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lupin
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28 Apr 2008, 9:44 pm

oh yes, Anbuend, I'd forgotten about that part. And the bit about quite distasteful confessions.

Have had complete strangers (and a few household names) telling me their most intimate feelings/secrets without me asking any probing questions. Do they do this to everyone? Maybe they do. Or maybe it's because you and I do not 'gasp and stretch our eyes'! !



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28 Apr 2008, 10:04 pm

anbuend wrote:
dosh wrote:
I have the following theory. NTs, because they don't get the usual social/emotional feedback from people with AS, project their anxieties onto them.

Would be interested to hear what others think.


I found out the hard way that many people who claimed to know me, didn't really want to know me. They wanted me to remain passive and easily projected on. Some got so used to that, that they were offended by the notion I might have anything to say for myself other than what they wanted.



Yeah, I have that problem too. Certain people will think I'm wonderful as long as I'm just reflecting them. As soon as I start to actually communicate, or even (shock, horror) disagree with them, I'm the spawn of Satan.

If you want someone who will tell you how wonderful you are, get a dog. It's not my job to massage people's egos.


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28 Apr 2008, 11:58 pm

They canot read you [that well], and you cannot read them [that well].

When people don't know, they tend to start making things up; sometimes it's good thoughts, other times bad. Depending on the person in question, you'll experience this, [whether good or bad] and I'm sure you'll exhibit this too.



amaren
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29 Apr 2008, 2:56 am

I find myself guilty of this as often as I'm annoyed by it - I forget the whole world doesn't do things exactly like I do - for example I offer only food I'm in the mood for to guests, no matter how bland or bizarre it may be.

But I have had my share of strange people say I'm just like them, and they don't seem to believe me that I don't have the traits they attribute to me, as if they knew me better than I did. This was irritating. I shan't rant, but I will slip in that projection is the only explanation I can come up with as to why various therapists, psychiatrists etc thought what they did about me.. a strange bunch they are.


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29 Apr 2008, 8:26 am

My job coach does that to me ALL THE TIME!! ! When I resist her bossy authoritarianism she accuses me of being bossy. When she angrily snaps at me and I react negatively to that she always accuses me of snapping at her. :roll: She's a walking case of projection if there ever was one.


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