Discussing things other than your main interests...

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Whitewave
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22 Mar 2009, 9:53 pm

When an NT wants you to want to be interested in their interests, how do you feel on a scale of 1-10:
[1 = I don't feel this at all. 10 = I feel this very intensely!]

Fear? ___
Irritated? ___
Anger? ___
Overwhelmed? ___
Confused? ___
Indifferent? ___

How about
Joy? ___
Interest? ___
Amused? ___
Curious? ___

Does this change depending on the depth of the relationship, such as casual acquaintance or significant other?
Does this change according to the depth of detail that the other person wants to discuss it?
Does this change according to how important it is for you to comply?

Do other things or experiences come up for you?


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TheKingsRaven
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23 Mar 2009, 4:57 pm

Mostly I feel curious / interested. If its easy to learn anything quickly from listening to them I'm likely to stay interested. If they talk about it in a manner that I can't understand because I'd have to study for years to know what the words being used are: well only my best friend dose that so I just retaliate by talking about programming: running joke between us.



MONKEY
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23 Mar 2009, 5:07 pm

Fear? 2, nothing scary about it
Irritated? 7 yes because I was just getting to the good part!! ! lol
Anger? 1 nah
Overwhelmed? 4/5, somewhat but I can deal with it
Confused? 5, kinda
Indifferent? 7, whatever you want to talk about I don't care

Joy? 4, I wouldn't say joy but I don't mind
Interest? 8 yeah I want to know what they're interested in, see if I become interested too
Amused? 7 yes they probably changed the subject because I wouldn't shut up, heh heh
Curious? 5, hmmm wonder what they're talking about...


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GuyTypingOnComputer
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24 Mar 2009, 7:58 am

Fear? 1
Irritated? 8
Anger? 5
Overwhelmed? 4
Confused? 4
Indifferent? 9

How about
Joy? 2
Interest? 4
Amused? 4
Curious? 6


I have a tough time being interested in other people's interests. I may be "curious" as to their interest, but my initial reaction is typically "irritated"/"angry" that there is an expectation on how I think and "indifferent" as to the subject matter.

If we are discussing the interest, I may be interested, amused, confused or overwhelmed at various times depending on the interest.

I should point out that I have a problem with everyone's interests, not just NTs. In some ways I get along better with people on the spectrum, but in many ways there is no difference.



elderwanda
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24 Mar 2009, 7:44 pm

Hmmmm......

I'm trying to remember the last time someone actually talked to me about something that I didn't initiate, or something that wasn't predetermined because of professional reasons. I'm drawing a blank. Well, my dad talks about different things when he visits, like stuff that he learned at a museum or an online class. That's usually interesting, because he's a good story teller. He would have made a great history teacher.

But other than that, I'm pretty sure it's been....years. People don't just come up to me and start talking, and other than my immediate family, I don't know anyone.

I can't even answer the question.



Fnord
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24 Mar 2009, 7:46 pm

Whitewave wrote:
When an NT wants you to want to be interested in their interests, how do you feel on a scale of 1-10...

It depends on what she looks like, what she's wearing, and how closely she stands to me.


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Whitewave
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24 Mar 2009, 8:35 pm

So, I'm gonna put some extra emphasis on the phrase "When an NT wants you to want to ..."

In other words, they are not satisfied if you just stop talking and nod your head every once in a while and it's obvious you're bored. I'm not just talking about party-chat. I'm talking about a close or even best friend. They don't just need you to KNOW, they need you to WANT TO KNOW.

See the difference?

That's why I'm anticipating some anxiety. This will be harder to do than just performing the script of listening.

At any rate, I think I'm onto something here:

"If its easy to learn anything quickly from listening to them I'm likely to stay interested. If they talk about it in a manner that I can't understand because I'd have to study for years to know what the words being used are:..."

You didn't really finish your statement, TheKingsRaven, but I think I get the gist of it. Are you saying that you're okay if it's easy to understand, but if they use difficult words or any other thing that makes it hard for you to understand, then ... what? You're not okay? How not okay are you? That's what I'm getting at.

I noticed that someone mentioned in another thread that they feel scared when people around them crack jokes. Scared is an unusual emotion for such an occasion. It tells me that there is something inside that feels threatened. What is that?

Is it the delicate or fragile illusion that we're skilled at interacting? One of the biggest triggers for NT's that tells them someone is safe is confidence, because fear is sortof contageous. It spreads like a virus. If our confidence bubble is popped, then we may be perceived as a threat or a fake and then we may be attacked. So, if a conversation is going along fine, but someone cracks a joke, then all confidence drains away and the Aspie may be exposed as being unskilled. Is this a big fear?

Would that also pertain to the situation I mentioned?

Thank you all for your answers. You're doing great. Keep goin'.


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Kenjitsuka
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02 Apr 2009, 5:47 pm

Fear? 7
Irritated? 8
Anger? 1
Overwhelmed? 9
Confused? 8
Indifferent? 10

How about
Joy? 1
Interest? 1
Amused? 1
Curious? 1



Whitewave
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04 Apr 2009, 2:13 pm

This is fantastic.

I was just reading the wiki page on Cognitive Dissonance which I got to from their page on Spindle Neurons and have skimmed an interesting article here: Intuition and Autism: a possible role for Von Economo nerons.

Yes, I think I see now. Aside from the usual tendency for science to forget that it too is a perspective which filters data according to it's own values, this information is very helpful for me. I'm seeing that this tendency is not about "self-centeredness" at all, but about uncertainty.

My b/f is extremely upset and distracted by uncertainty. The need to figure out as soon as possible where the reward will come from is far too compelling to allow him to wait for things to unfold. If he is presented with a situation of uncertainty, he will be compelled to ask questions. But as soon as his questions produce the reward of certainty, he is no longer interested and can't listen much beyond what his questions have invoked. Likewise, if I am talking, and he has a question, he is unable to hold his question to the side and (if he is patient) will actually stop listening until I am done. He cannot wait and see what I will reveal to him as I go. The conversation is never directed by my inquiry, but must be driven by his, and when he is satisfied, it is over.

While this situation is excruciatingly painful for me, I no longer have to take this personally as some sign that I am uninteresting or unworthy of being known. This has been a BIG problem for us for our entire relationship. His behavior does not meet my need for intimacy, and my need for intimacy is just as important as any of his relationship needs.

Are there any ideas for work-arounds here?


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