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Enigmatic_Oddity
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01 Jun 2006, 4:33 am

Just out of curiosity who writes the responses to these letters? Some of the responses I don't agree with, and I doubt there could be consensus on any issues brought forth. Might it be a good idea then, to have more than one person who writes responses to these? So that any one question can be met by more than just one perspective? I suppose I might volunteer, but I don't know how this is run and whether other people think this is a good idea.

Specifically, I've written this in response to the current 'Dear Aspie' up on the main page, 'Dear Aspie: Can Aspies Make Friends and Have Dates?' I felt the response to this was far too negative towards 'neurotypical' (a term I don't really like using myself) people, and not actually all that helpful, in that it attempted to delve into the minds of neurotypicals rather than that of the AS person who posed the question.



Faraquet
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01 Jun 2006, 11:46 am

disagree (I)



Aeriel
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01 Jun 2006, 1:12 pm

I disagree too. I thought GroovyDruid's response was very helpful and insightful. In my 50's I am still (bold that word) trying to figure out how NT minds work. I already know how my aspie mind works, I don't need that explained.

I thought GD's characterization of social interaction as a game NT's play without even being aware of it was spot on. All my life I've stood outside and attempted to figure out how to play that game; have come to the conclusion that it is not only not a pleasurable or amusing way to spend my time, but I just can't do it very well. Social cues that NT's pick up without even realizing they're doing it are only apparent to me if I focus all my attention on body language, facial expressions, nuances of language, timing, etc. in a continual search for the hidden agendas. I find this exhausting.

I do have several good friends; none of them expect that I will shine in a social setting. One on one is about all I can do. And these friends appreciate me for the qualities that make me unique, rather than my (nonexistant) ability to fit into a crowd.



phoenixjsu
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01 Jun 2006, 5:42 pm

I initially felt the same way as you, and I often wonder sometimes if GroovyDruid isn't being cynical or if he's just in a bad mood when he writes these sometimes. But by the time I got to the end I realized that maybe he was just talking more on the level of the majority of aspies (who seem to think of parties in the way he describes -- and remember he is talking about parties through most of the first part). It does come off a bit negative, but overall I think it does a good job.

I try to encourage people to take a more positive attitude towards NT's, because they will frequently mirror your attitude if you come off angry or rude to them. Remember, they can often read us as unemotional, which mixed with the right attitude we can appear arrogant, egotistical or such. This is not something anyone desires to portray and you won't get any friends this way.



Last edited by phoenixjsu on 01 Jun 2006, 9:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

danlo
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01 Jun 2006, 7:13 pm

I agree with you wholeheartedly, Enigmatic. Please, give another perspective. Not that all of groovydruid's responses I disagree with, there are some that completely fly in the face of my own experiences. Another perspective can hardly hurt.


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Mordy
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03 Jun 2006, 5:27 pm

I have to agree with the original poster... the fact is some aspies are "out of the loop" completely on social interaction and should not be gone to for "intellectual" advice. There are some aspies out there who "get" why social interaction occurs, and it's because: People don't like to be bored and lonely. It's not just about evolution it's about connecting with other people, networking, enjoying engaging in "meaningless chatter" (sharing stories, jokes, flirting, bonding), building bonds and connections with other people, and having good times while they are here.

Most NT's have instincts that cause them pain if they are not in the company of other people, they hate being alone and being with others comforts them. I know almost a lot of women feel this way IMHO. My last gf could not stand being alone and not going out all the time and being around other people.

Even most aspies can find some of their most happiest moments are with people who they shared strong bonds to in their child and adulthood and shared common interests. The fact is for most people, dealing with the people they enjoy are what gives value and happyness to their lives.

People socialize because they enjoy it and/or have fun! The other point is: Most NT's minds that are easily bored if they are not engaged in change and with other people. Aspies can be enthralled by a single subject for their entire lives and never get tired of it, NT minds do not work like this. they will have lifelong interests but they will not pursue them to the exclusion of all else like Aspies can do. Aspies do not have the same level of "boredom" with things they become interested in, aspie focus is 'extremely' and 'abnormally' intense, it's not really extreme or abnormal, to an aspie mind they have an hierarchy of what mosts interests them above all else, and it usually takes priority over most other things. The fact is they do not 'balance' where they spend their time as well as NT's unless they've learned or their minds are equipped with the knowledge or instincts that enable them to do so.

Take my interests for exampe:

All my life I've been interested in:

-Technology
-Internet
-News
-Video games
-Religion
-Limited range of music

** I can listen to the same music over and over again and never get bored of it, in other words I don't seek
out new music a lot, because the old music gives me the same enjoyment time and time again. I have
maybe 3 gigs of songs but most all of them are from video games or anime. When someone asks me what kind of music do I listen to... I have to be vague :)

** I love thinking more then taking action, in fact I think aspies minds are on overdrive in over thinking and analyzing things, they are in short, perfectionists, they see social interaction as a "problem" to be solved, not as a creative way to communicate with others and bond with them.



Enigmatic_Oddity
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03 Jun 2006, 7:58 pm

I want to write a response in the comments section but I am pretty busy now, studying for my upcoming exams. But reading through what you say, Mordy, sounds like it could be made into a good alternative response. You're basically saying, it's OK to socialise and it's OK to not socialise, right? It's fine to be a 'late bloomer' and to go a step at a time, and not expect yourself to be at the same stage that your peers are at. I think that's pretty much all that needs to be said; no need for making up complicated, highly abstract theories about why people socialise.

Also, GroovyDruid's response ignores how the poster might simply have trouble bonding with people. Maybe there's other issues in this person's life that are stopping them from bonding with people; then again maybe they're just not a 'people person'. There's just so many possibilities.



Enigmatic_Oddity
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03 Jun 2006, 9:23 pm

I've posted something now in the comments. Don't think it says everything I wanted to say but I'm a busy man. :lol: Feel free to comment.



Mordy
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04 Jun 2006, 7:51 pm

Enigmatic_Oddity wrote:
But reading through what you say, Mordy, sounds like it could be made into a good alternative response. You're basically saying, it's OK to socialise and it's OK to not socialise, right? It's fine to be a 'late bloomer' and to go a step at a time, and not expect yourself to be at the same stage that your peers are at. I think that's pretty much all that needs to be said; no need for making up complicated, highly abstract theories about why people socialise.


Pretty much, although my "abstract theories" are correct. People are driven to socialize and connect with some people while just communicating to others, most humans are social animals, they must at some point learn to socialize to function in the world. You have to meet people/friends, go to job interviews, work with co-workers and be able to communicate with them.



Enigmatic_Oddity
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04 Jun 2006, 9:54 pm

No, I meant GroovyDruid's theories about socialising as a 'game' played for status and such. Your post I agreed with.



vivreestesperer
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06 Jun 2006, 1:37 am

Well, nobody can please everybody all the time , and i think it's great that this site even has an advice column. I think most of GD's responses are good enough but I dont usually read the column,
However the one you mention , i really enjoyed, I thought the response was GREAT, it actually made
me think and realize some things, made me feel not as bad about some social stuff, made some points i hadnt really considered. i thought it was an excellent response.

Kate



danlo
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06 Jun 2006, 7:38 am

Yes, but doesn't it seem a little stupid for an aspie to be making such assumptions about any "ulterior motives" in socializing between NT's, even if there are said "ulterior motives"? If you go ask an "NT" about their socializing, I bet you you'll find almost noone who says they have ulterior motives behind everything they say. It is convenient that GroovyDruid has already got his excuse prepared, in that he says that most NT's aren't aware they're in a game, and that hence they aren't aware they have "ulterior motives". It's very convenient, in that it doesn't matter what an NT says, what GroovyDruid says still sounds correct. If we were to analyse his post according to what he just said, even though he would doubtless argue that he has no ulterior motives, one could find countless "ulterior motives" contained within it.
It is really quite simple. If you take GroovyDruid's advice on this matter, you must immediately construe all criticism as an attempt to gain an upper-hand over you, all overtures of friendship as a ploy to use you for their own purposes. Things just don't usually work that way. If you ask a psychiatrist about people who DO act like that, they will tell you it's not normal. Moreso than that, someone who looks at everything in terms of manipulation and ulterior motives, would not be considered normal either. If someone acts like they don't like you, they probably just don't like you! Nothing more and nothing less.


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Enigmatic_Oddity
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06 Jun 2006, 8:01 am

I'm glad my comment has been of use to someone. I know that the main points are virtually the same as GroovyDruid's (go to social clubs, etc), but like danlo, I was concerned mainly with that whole NTs having an ulterior motive concept. In my opinion, anyone who tries to form a relationship thinking that the other person has an ulterior motive is going to be disappointed.



Mordy
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07 Jun 2006, 12:05 am

On some unconscious level yes people socialize to find their mates and find people who can help them survive and procreate, but this is only ONE reason out of many. Whether it is a person having a network of friends/family to rely on for emotional or financial support in hard times, or whether the are looking for a significant other who has the skills her biology recognizes that triggers her attraction switches.

The fact is people socialize to bond with one another and help each other stay psychologically healthy, as well as a host of other GOOD things. Many people simply enjoy being around other people.

The thing is with aspies they are missing some instincts "most" people have... take me for instance: when I emotionally bond with someone it "sticks" I dont need to talk to them endlessly all it takes for me is to share some deep similar experiences in life for me to feel a strong connection to the other person, then after that *my instincts* don't go off to tell me to maintain conversation with that other person in order to maintain the emotional bonds and connections that form the relationship. Aspies can "pick up right where they left off" with people, they have what I call "persistant bonding", in other words if an aspie bonds to someone it will persist unless someone does something drastic enough to break it other then being away from said person. This is why many have trouble distinguishing friends from acquaintances. Or judging the "Degree of bond" that they have with someone.

Aspies use communication in an impersonal manner most of the time, many don't understand that to bond with others they need to speak and spread their positive emotions through their statements to the other person to connect and bond with them. Not just talk impersonally about the happenings and their interests. People bond by showing their humanity towards one another and aspies are almost like robots with all their humanity stuck on the inside.

Aspies rather be doing their favorite things/sharing their favorite interests WITH someone they have a bond with rather then simply talking to someone they have a bond with, I think. It's not that aspies are incapable, it's just that they lack "conversational bonding content", in other words they run out of "material" to continue to maintain the relationships they have with people. Their special interests take priority over emotionally connecting and bonding with others, hence their maintenance usually consists more of impersonal, very flat unemotional communication which does not lend itself to connecting with other people well.

I found a great article @ charismaarts.com -- http://charismaarts.com/blog_archive/juggler/2006/05 - that can help aspies understand how and why socializing is used. It explains it better, you're trying to share your feelings with others to connect with them and form mutual emotional bonds through shared enjoyment, of <insert whatever here>.



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07 Jun 2006, 6:26 am

I agree, and disagree. I see gaming happening. Its there. Most of it rolls off a person, and most of it is ignored by those present. While we choose to see it as unsavory behavior, its not. Its within the morality of the public at large.

Thats why they do it so much. Like the germination of a trembling aspen tree seed, only one in a million works. A sporatic reinforcement schedule would make such behaviour prevailent.

As far as Groovy D being qualified to speak on such matters... I dont see why not. A rational thinker is all thats needed. A lot of NTs would be blind in their own way. They would understand behavior better, but couldnt articulate about it past "You have to show confidence.." Read any Ann landers column reply to "nice guys" that find a girl. If making millions a year doesnt qualify you as an expert, nothing will.

I've never been to see any sort of therapist, but if they are anything like a high school counselor, you are simply going to get anecdotes, the same as the advice columnists give. None of them get into practical reasons.

They want to give you instructions, not knowledge, and its often because they cant think very well past their own instinctual behavoir. Of course not; it provides all the behavioral response THEY need. The counselor makes the unconscious assumption that the questioners mirror neurons will reflect the instructions and take care of the behavior.

I had a hell of a time phrasing that last paragraph.. Still not happy with it.

I'd go so far as to say that social gaming is pure aspie obsessiveness. What if social behavior is an old autist obsession that turned(pre history) into a meme and is regularly pass around?

A) they cant live without it.
B) they cannot abstain from that behavior through force of will(not for long anyway)
C) They are not entirely conscious of the effects of those actions; how it can injure feelings.
D) Some NTs exhibit savantry in behavior and body language analysis.

There is a small portion of people in the world that exhibit genius and savant levels at reading people. Comedians, and police are two of the big ones, with actors and politicians being another. There are cops that can read intent from people instantly, from the smallest cues. Its even been organized into a practicable science.

http://www.buffalo.edu/news/fast-execut ... e=79300009

I used to have a link to a site with a training course, but I lost it. Anyway, the one guy in that link would be a very bright boy when it comes to reading people. A good deal would be innate, I think.



justafriend
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16 Jun 2006, 10:31 pm

Mordy wrote:
The thing is with aspies they are missing some instincts "most" people have... take me for instance: when I emotionally bond with someone it "sticks" I dont need to talk to them endlessly all it takes for me is to share some deep similar experiences in life for me to feel a strong connection to the other person, then after that *my instincts* don't go off to tell me to maintain conversation with that other person in order to maintain the emotional bonds and connections that form the relationship. Aspies can "pick up right where they left off" with people, they have what I call "persistant bonding", in other words if an aspie bonds to someone it will persist unless someone does something drastic enough to break it other then being away from said person. This is why many have trouble distinguishing friends from acquaintances. Or judging the "Degree of bond" that they have with someone.


This is exactly why I have had pretty much a one way friendship with someone that just seems to drop off the face of the earth, no explanation, no news , no nothing.

I as an NT feel completely alone and hurt. Of course this person is not aware that they are 99% proof positive an aspie. Just has always said they were not outward emotional.

Then resurfaces like nothing is wrong. Nothing at all. Well this time I cant forget and forgive unless some acknowledging of that behaviour happens.