Special Interests vs. Narrow Interests

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WestHam83
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24 Mar 2018, 5:12 am

one-A-N wrote:
For me, one of the issues is "falling in love" with a topic. I am interested in languages, and sometimes when I hear about some obscure language I just have to know about it ... but I won't be at all interested in another related obscure language. It is like the language becomes my "secret garden" - it is just me and my obscure language. I feel like I am exploring a hidden world where no else goes - although of course, if it is a real language then people on another continent do speak it and (obviously) do know more about it than I do.

But in the English-speaking world where I live (Australia), when I say that I read or speak a certain obscure language, I then have to explain what the language is because usually no one else has ever heard of it. I really like those off-beat little paths where so few others go ... my private world. The odd thing is, the language will have to be a specific dialect - any other dialect of the language just leaves me cold. E.g. when I bought a book about Rheto-Romance (eastern Switzerland), I only cared about information on the Engadine dialects (Vallader and Puter) ... I just wasn't interested in the other dialects for some reason (well actually I do know the reason: there is a suburb called "Engadine" in my part of Sydney, and somehow I felt I had discovered a mysterious Engadine behind the ordinary Engadine that I knew - kind of like stepping through the wardrobe into Narnia).

I don't know if others feel this sense of secret wonderment with any of their special interests? It's like you're the only one who cares about your special topic.


That is awesome! I have a liking/interest in certain dialects...for example Neapolitan dialect. Mainly because a) I have always enjoyed learning languages and b) I am a bit obsessed with Naples itself. My love of languages is nowhere near your level though! I take my hat off to you sir, good work!



CockneyRebel
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24 Mar 2018, 6:08 am

My special interests also seem to be narrow interests. If you want to know what they are, just look at my avatar.


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IstominFan
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24 Mar 2018, 9:16 am

I have been told my interests are very focused. My two main ones are animals (particularly cats) and tennis (both watching and playing). I am fortunate that many of my friends also have pets and a lot of them are cat lovers and that I can talk about my favorite players at the tennis center without being considered weird. I don't consider my interests narrow because, when I get interested in a specific country, I want to learn everything about it, especially about famous people from those countries.

My interest in Spain as a teenager led me to appreciate Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer now.

It also worked in reverse. An interest in Denis Istomin led me to research Russia, Uzbekistan, Orenburg and Tashkent. I would like to interview Denis one day and ask him what his life was like growing up in Tashkent as an ethnic Russian.



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21 May 2020, 11:09 am

I don't know for sure the difference between them.I've always read especially the 2ndW.W so somewhat narrow.



ToughDiamond
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25 May 2020, 11:13 pm

I think the DSM refers to "narrowly-defined interests." Mine aren't particular narrow in scope, but I tend to focus narrowly on particular aspects of my interests, one at a time. Typically I'll be thinking or reading something and I'll become curious about some part of it and I'll start tracking down (usually on the Web these days) the answers to the questions that pop into my head, and that will lead to further curiosity about some of the aspects of what I dig up, and it will branch out into multiple topics. I don't many many of those topics into hobby-like interests, I'm usually done with them after an hour or so, but sometimes a thing will take root, especially if I can do anything practical with it, and then it will be more like an obsessional hobby. A lot of the things I have an interest in are somewhat eccentric, though not everything. I get the impression my taste in activities is more eclectic than it is for the typical Aspie, but I'm not sure of that.



PhosphorusDecree
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29 May 2020, 4:42 pm

Could be a case of outside view versus inside view. To a clinician, they're "narrow" interests. To us they're "special." For example, a pediatrician ticks the "narrow interests" box when he sees that the kid only ever talks about trains. The kid, meanwhile, is aware of all the depth, breadth and magic of the wonderful world of trains.


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