Autism & Being a “Private Person”

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MathGirl
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24 Jan 2011, 8:43 pm

happymusic wrote:
You know, I have found that even with no questions asked (like if you ask none) most people will talk incessantly - they'll give you some tidbit of info and then pause and then just blab the next thing they're thinking. People talk at me all day. I don't ask them personal questions yet I know TMI about them! :lol:
Haha, I do the same thing to people who don't talk a lot, but instead of talking about my personal life, I either say interesting facts about people I've met or just random facts I've learned (usually on a certain topic I'm interested in). Perhaps it annoys them, or perhaps they're interested, but if they don't tell me anything, there's no way for me to know, and I don't feel comfortable just being with someone in silence (my only way of understanding people and situations has always been through language).

However, I know this one extroverted aspie who talks about her personal life non-stop. I act as a listener because I'm pretty sure that all she wants is for someone to listen to her, and I'm one of the few people she can relate to. I don't mind :)

Kiseki wrote:
But mainly I feel like my life is one big book. I am the writer of course, but all of the people I meet are characters in my story. It's best to know lots of details about characters. And it's best to reveal the same about you.

I have a MAYBE bad habit of pressing people for questions I probably shouldn't be asking. But I always feel compelled to finish their stories. As I am a teacher I've somehow gotten a lot of my students to tell me very personal things that the other teachers tell me they had no idea about.
I can really relate to this, too, especially the last bit. I like learning people's stories, and what makes it more interesting in real life instead of stories written in books is that I can actually contribute to the story instead of being a static receiver.


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Kiseki
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24 Jan 2011, 9:58 pm

MathGirl wrote:
I can really relate to this, too, especially the last bit. I like learning people's stories, and what makes it more interesting in real life instead of stories written in books is that I can actually contribute to the story instead of being a static receiver.


It's so nice someone can understand what I am talking about! :)



Amyris
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25 Jan 2011, 11:24 pm

Kiseki wrote:
I am actually the exact opposite of private, which people find annoying and very "unladylike." Whatever that means. I have no problem being completely honest about everything I do, feel and am. People tell me I should keep a lot of this stuff to myself. But I feel like I am lying if I don't completely expose myself.

So I guess I am similar to the OP. Are there a lot of other Aspies out there like this?


I'm like this too Kiseki! And I have a tendency to take it personally and feel hurt when other are being secretive about themselves.
I actually used to be very very private. And I guess in trying to challenge that, i went on the other extreme.

I'm also a Libra :wink:



Kiseki
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25 Jan 2011, 11:37 pm

Amyris wrote:
Kiseki wrote:
I am actually the exact opposite of private, which people find annoying and very "unladylike." Whatever that means. I have no problem being completely honest about everything I do, feel and am. People tell me I should keep a lot of this stuff to myself. But I feel like I am lying if I don't completely expose myself.

So I guess I am similar to the OP. Are there a lot of other Aspies out there like this?


I'm like this too Kiseki! And I have a tendency to take it personally and feel hurt when other are being secretive about themselves.
I actually used to be very very private. And I guess in trying to challenge that, i went on the other extreme.

I'm also a Libra :wink:


I am a Libra too! Though, according to the updated 2011 astrologies I am a Virgo :roll:

And yes, I take it personally when people keep things from me as well.



verbal0rchid
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26 Jan 2011, 2:03 am

This thread fascinates me. My whole life I hated my picture taken. I mean huge screaming matches with my mom over special occasions and pictures *eyes cross*. I had a horrible self image; still do in many ways, but since photography is a hobby (obsession) of mine, I learned to suck it up and get the good shots. However I hate ANY photo taken of me by someone else. It's a guarantee I will go batsh*t crazy if they post it online, and it actually came to that last year. I went to see a very dear friend visiting GA from the UK, and naturally we took photos of each other. She posted the pics of me on her profile and I went apesh*t. I called her up in England, hysterical that she take them down immediately. I hated the way they looked, and didn't want any mutual friends seeing me in what I considered less than flattering shots. Vain, but then I'm a girl. Sue me, lol.

I've always referred to myself as *intensely* private. No one ever comes to my house, because it agitates me to the point of being useless afterward. Even apartment maintenance makes me extremely tense. God forbid anyone show up UNannounced or UNinvited! They aren't getting in the door. I need a lot of advanced notice.

The thing that caught my attention is that I have one website blog that almost literally has my whole life on it. I mean I've recounted memories from childhood on up to present day. But it has categories that are locked to registered members, and only those members I allow access to can see certain posts, the more personal ones. The posts I don't consider 'threatening' to my feeling of security, are public. I only give the URL out to select friends, NO strangers.. For me, I NEED that control, to feel safe, and not vulnerable, but still able to think I am sharing something with the few who do truly matter to me.

And yet on social networks, while I will have photos of myself and family up, you won't find my real name anywhere. I've had a lot of chat names over the years, and one that is more associated with me than any other - the one I'm using here. That's my safe alias I guess you could say. I've posted here my real name, but more than that I'm not comfortable with on other sites because as you can see, it's an unusual name for a girl. I literally DON'T want to be remembered, or tracked down. I've come across enough creepy characters to know that me, with a little girl, posting too much personal info online is a recipe for disaster, just asking for trouble. I'd rather avoid it if I can, lol.



richardbenson
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26 Jan 2011, 1:53 pm

I'm definetley not a private person online. however IRL i am, I cant have popperazzi or stalkers
:wink:


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Zen
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26 Jan 2011, 3:27 pm

See, the thing about people being offended if someone doesn't share things with them... that is a huge problem for me, because I don't feel that my personal life is anyone's business at all. I get very anxious if people get too nosy and do whatever I can to escape or divert their attention elsewhere. It's not that I have anything to hide or that I don't like them. It's just that it's my personal business and no one else's.

It's interesting to see that this isn't, in fact, an Aspie vs. NT issue apparently, because I would've thought otherwise before this thread. :lol:

And the thing about photos is a self-image issue, I think. Not necessarily self-esteem though. Very rarely can I look at a photo of myself and relate to it. It's almost like the person I see in photos isn't me. That may be part of why I hate having my photo taken. (I wonder if anyone else feels like this.)



MathGirl
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26 Jan 2011, 3:57 pm

richardbenson wrote:
I'm definetley not a private person online. however IRL i am, I cant have popperazzi or stalkers :wink:
I wouldn't mind an attractive stalker. :wink:

Zen wrote:
See, the thing about people being offended if someone doesn't share things with them... that is a huge problem for me, because I don't feel that my personal life is anyone's business at all. I get very anxious if people get too nosy and do whatever I can to escape or divert their attention elsewhere. It's not that I have anything to hide or that I don't like them. It's just that it's my personal business and no one else's.
I don't think I really understand personal business vs. not personal business. What is the logic between this subdivision? What is "personal life" vs. "public life"? I've never felt that anything in my life is personal, and I don't understand why many people make that distinction.

Quote:
And the thing about photos is a self-image issue, I think. Not necessarily self-esteem though. Very rarely can I look at a photo of myself and relate to it. It's almost like the person I see in photos isn't me. That may be part of why I hate having my photo taken. (I wonder if anyone else feels like this.)
I can relate. As a kid, I hated having my picture taken, too. But now, I've come to accept that the person I see in pictures is me, and that person is not going to change. It would always be me. I can't suddenly start looking differently. It's almost as though the person in the pictures is a split personality of mine, a puppet, a visual substitute for who I really am. That's why whatever I wear does not matter. I wear really conformist clothing just to fit in, just so that I don't stand out in a crowd in any way. It's interesting how in an effort to fit in and become less conspicuous, I actually become more conspicuous, since being constantly public and constantly connected is what's popular right now (Blackberries, Twitter, Facebook, public phone conversations, etc.). In my case, it's like being weird in a frame of normal.


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Last edited by MathGirl on 26 Jan 2011, 4:16 pm, edited 4 times in total.

raisedbyignorance
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26 Jan 2011, 4:11 pm

A lifetime of people either ridiculing or criticizing me for the things I share with them was enough for me to extremely privatize my life. If people want me to open me then they need to stop laughing at every little thing about me.



Arminius
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26 Jan 2011, 10:51 pm

raisedbyignorance wrote:
A lifetime of people either ridiculing or criticizing me for the things I share with them was enough for me to extremely privatize my life.


For a long time, I was like that. I still keep my own council and keep problems to myself. I am trying to be more open about some of those difficult experiences, though.



bluebandit
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27 Jan 2011, 3:15 am

I'm a very private person, to my detriment usually. I've been so as long as I can remember. I need the protection, I feel overwhelmingly vulnerable without it. I've probably shared more about myself on WP than anywhere else, and even that's not very often. There are plenty of things I'd like to say, online or off but I can't.

I'm not a "social networker" and only use Facebook for contact with my immediate family(still under a modified name and without a picture). The lack of picture is almost completely due to me not being comfortable with how I look. I'm never quite sure if I'm ugly or not, but seeing a picture of myself will always push me to the negative. I have a hard time recognizing people though, myself included.

Weirdly enough, if anyone were to dig, they'd never find anything scandalous, outside of me being a complete loner. I don't have a social life, it's above my ability. I'm not autistic either, afaik.



Woodpeace
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27 Jan 2011, 4:17 am

I am a very private person. At one time I thought that was true of all autistic people.



King Kat 1
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29 Nov 2020, 11:53 pm

I know this is a very old thread but I can't resist. I've always wondered this myself but at the same time some aspies can real blabber mouths.

For me, I've gotten more private and reclusive as the years have gone on. In my 20s I was a pretty open book to everyone, over time this started to cause issues. It made me the target of negative attention at work and caused friction with some people. On Facebook, I used to prattle on and and on and on.. :P about politics but I decided to quit that about 5 years ago, again it caused problems. I actually after that I deleted the FB page and made a new one, so as to not have all those old posts as an albatross around my neck.

At age 40, I'm pretty reclusive. With my current group of co-workers I hardly talk, no one really knows much about me. I keep my political views to myself mostly as well as my personal life. Honestly, I don't like people knowing too much about my past, not that I am or was into anything "Bad" but there is stuff I am still ashamed of and embarrassed about.

I don't have any personal photos on FB at all, for the sake of privacy. I think, my (undiagnosed) Aspergers does play a role in wanting privacy, after a life of being made fun of, ridicule, put downs, etc... I'm done with people on a lot of levels and find it's best just to keep most things to yourself.


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idntonkw
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30 Nov 2020, 2:43 am

You may not realize people are judging you. And as an AS person, there are so many reasons for people to judge you as weird, strange, rude, etc., that it is better not to risk sharing things about yourself.



King Kat 1
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30 Nov 2020, 3:28 am

For me it's, why bring anymore problems on myself and give others ammunition to use against me. Sounds bitter and cynical I knows but its the truth.


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30 Nov 2020, 6:23 am

I'm not a private person. The only thing I strongly prefer to do in private is fart. I seem to have this weird social fear of farting in front of others, even my own mother or partner. So if I got colon cancer I will probably let myself die from it over seeing the doctor at the risk of being asked about how often I fart, and then being sent for a colonoscopy where you have to have conversations about farting. :oops:


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