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bumble
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23 Nov 2011, 12:05 pm

I just got my wrist slapped on an academic forum for making too many posts giving out too many of the answers before others had had a chance to post their views. Not test answers or anything but it was an open discussion about a particular topic about which the tutor had posed some questions for us to generally ponder.

Apparently I ended up making the other students feel intimidated when all I was actually trying to do was open up points I thought were relevant for discussion.

I had similar issues at school. I was always the kid who knew the answers so the other kids ripped me apart. They seemed to assume it was arrogance or that I was showing off, when all I was doing was trying to learn and understand. I soon learned to dumb it down in public but sometimes I can still forget myself.

I have spent a lifetime pretending I cannot do things I can do (not all of the time, sometimes I genuinely do not know something and am in need of genuine assistance) as well as asking questions (not this one lol) I often know the answer to already just so others can have their warm fuzzy moment. Basically I have spent my life pretending to be an idiot so that I don't intimidate people or accidentally wound their ego.

Has anyone else had to spend their life pretending they cannot do something just to make other people feel better or so that they leave you alone and don't mock you?



Last edited by bumble on 23 Nov 2011, 12:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

OliveOilMom
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23 Nov 2011, 12:17 pm

I don't care how they feel. Let them watch Jeopardy with me.

Frances



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23 Nov 2011, 12:41 pm

Yes, we have patchy skills. In our strong points, we can be very good and make people feel bad (I guess).

At age 48, taking the occasional college class, I've learned to be a low-key coach. I'm almost a second teacher. This is if I've pre-studied or otherwise know the subject very well. I sit in the back kind of watch the class, don't overdo it, but maybe every couple of weeks, ask a question or maybe make a statement that helps the class out. I think of this as different than pretending.

Doesn't always work, the ever-present luck factors. And plus, the fact that I'm 48 I think does put the odds in my favor.



idlewild
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23 Nov 2011, 12:42 pm

My mother would get angry at me for that. I got to the point i would act stupid around her. Eventually she got to the point that instead taking me shopping she would drop me off at the library all day, and then I'd have a nose in a book and she wouldn't have to deal with me.

Even now, at work, I've gotten to the point where I just have to pretend to be stupid and keep quiet so there aren't issues. It's depressing.



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23 Nov 2011, 12:47 pm

I'm the opposite. I knew the answers to lots of questions in school but I never saw the point in answering them. I only answer questions if I think the person asking doesn't know the answer. If they do know the answer what's the point of asking?



bumble
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23 Nov 2011, 12:52 pm

AardvarkGoodSwimmer wrote:
Yes, we have patchy skills. In our strong points, we can be very good and make people feel bad (I guess).

At age 48, taking the occasional college class, I've learned to be a low-key coach. I'm almost a second teacher. This is if I've pre-studied or otherwise know the subject very well. I sit in the back kind of watch the class, don't overdo it, but maybe every couple of weeks, ask a question or maybe make a statement that helps the class out. I think of this as different than pretending.

Doesn't always work, the ever-present luck factors. And plus, the fact that I'm 48 I think does put the odds in my favor.


That seems like a very interesting way to do things. I was trying to 'help' in a way with my posts by opening up new ideas for people to consider and discuss, but the approach I used seemed to intimidate them more than anything.

Do you have any further tips? I should maybe try a different style more like yours. Academics is my strong suit, but socialising is not lol yet I always wanted to use my academic ability to help people.



Last edited by bumble on 23 Nov 2011, 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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23 Nov 2011, 12:53 pm

When I was working at a mattress store, I was training a new associate one Saturday. I was talking to a customer and giving a demo on the fold out futon, and he jumped in.

After the customer left, I said to him, You're got to let me be mistaken. He immediately got the point and said he was sorry and really meant it. I felt it was a good exchange and I didn't carry a grudge.

The point being, just because he can give a better demo, he still has to let me do it my own way.

And I think in many workplaces, it can be better to let people try things their own way.

( if the feedback is relatively prompt and clear, which it sometimes is, sometimes isn't. In fact, we could say a healthy economy has relatively prompt, relatively clear feedback, or a healthy system of a number of different types)



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23 Nov 2011, 12:55 pm

Bumble, I am 54 years old, smarter than average, and female. Of course I've had to pretend. Now, since I am (probably) aspie I'm not good at it particularly. Never have been. Pretending to be what I am definitely not has led to spiritual damage that I'm still recovering from. I don't pretend so much anymore. I am no longer all that inclined to dumb myself down to cater to anyone's ego. That need has always seriously pissed me off. As far as romantic relationships go, I'll be damned if I'll have a relationship with anyone who can't deal with my intelligence. I'd rather have a relationship with a chimp. It would be more honest.



langers
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23 Nov 2011, 12:58 pm

Maybe it is not about the others being intimidated. It is more likely that they just also have questions or can answer the problems to, but when one student takes up the majority of the time or answers the majority of the questions it does not give the other students a chance to ask questions or see if their thinking is correct. It is not always the final answer that is important, how you get there is, if the other students don't get a chance to test their thinking then they may be cheated of an opportunity to learn. Also the teacher may want to see if they are getting through to more then one student, if the other students do not get a chance to ask questions or say answers how will the teacher know if they understand the material or not. I have been in your situation many times before it was explained to me but I understand now that it is not about stopping me from showing what I know, it is about giving the other students a chance to learn and show what they also know. So to hold back in class is not pretending, just make sure that you don't hold back on tests or when it matters, the teachers know how smart you are, they are not here to hold anyone back so give it your all and do the very best you can, but during lectures or discussions remember to let others share their views and let the teacher explain things to them. (we might not always give the best explanations to NTs, let an NT teacher explain things to the NT students, they will probably understand it better that way)



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23 Nov 2011, 1:12 pm

bumble wrote:
That seems like a very interesting way to do things. I was trying to 'help' in a way with my posts by opening up new ideas for people to consider and discuss, but the approach I used seemed to intimidate them more than anything. . .

It's tough. Just last night we gave class presentations in my pathogenic microbiology class. Mine was on cholera and maybe the second best one. The best one may have been a lady from Nigeria who gave one on malaria and she gave both good information and a little bit from her own family members. The rest of the presentations were more high school level, and this is a 4000-level university class. So, yeah, it's disappointing. There is a time for people to pro forma ask questions at the end of each presentation but people don't really know their topic and I don't want to embarrass anyone.

Okay, one thing I've planned. One of the students next week is giving a talk on lyme disease. The medical orthodoxy is that short-term antibiotics cures and if there's any further symptoms is what's called 'post-lyme syndrome' and is autoimmune. And that may well be true. But it sure looks like a rush to medical orthodoxy to me (as well as the work of a committee which is then strongly motivated not to admit it made a mistake). Lyme disease is caused by a tricky spirochete just like syphilis is, and what makes them so cocksure short-term antibiotics are enough? Now, there are for syphilis, but lyme may be a little different. And plus, there's no particular harm with longterm antibiotics (take yogurt or other probiotics at same time). I mean, doctors give longterm antibiotics for acne for crying out loud.

So, obviously, this is a subject I have strong feelings about. If she gives the orthodox presentation, I'm not going to say one word. But, if she branches out and if the professor attacks her, I am going to defend her, saying some of the same stuff I said above. So, in that way, I'm kind of planning my (?) impact, next move. Or like art, less is often more.

People seem more interesting in the power point aspect, and the smoothness and "professionalism" of the presentation. That can bother me, at certain times a great deal. I guess the response is to try to use salesmanship, honest that is, and a few honest forays to try and get people interested in the topic itself.

(Sorry for the long answer. I often think in terms of stories, event, analogies, etc. And I should point out, I am not a doctor, no way, far from it. But it is something I'm very interested in.)



bumble
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23 Nov 2011, 1:13 pm

langers wrote:
Maybe it is not about the others being intimidated. It is more likely that they just also have questions or can answer the problems to, but when one student takes up the majority of the time or answers the majority of the questions it does not give the other students a chance to ask questions or see if their thinking is correct. It is not always the final answer that is important, how you get there is, if the other students don't get a chance to test their thinking then they may be cheated of an opportunity to learn. Also the teacher may want to see if they are getting through to more then one student, if the other students do not get a chance to ask questions or say answers how will the teacher know if they understand the material or not. I have been in your situation many times before it was explained to me but I understand now that it is not about stopping me from showing what I know, it is about giving the other students a chance to learn and show what they also know. So to hold back in class is not pretending, just make sure that you don't hold back on tests or when it matters, the teachers know how smart you are, they are not here to hold anyone back so give it your all and do the very best you can, but during lectures or discussions remember to let others share their views and let the teacher explain things to them. (we might not always give the best explanations to NTs, let an NT teacher explain things to the NT students, they will probably understand it better that way)


That is understandable, but nobody was really posting anything much and no one had mentioned the points that I wanted to make so I decided to put them in. Admittedly I can sometimes post a lot (I am very verbose) and I can sometimes ramble (my mind works very quickly at times in certain ways, it's like a fast fire round when I get on a role with something so I like to get my ideas down quickly) but maybe I need to work on my communication style.

In general everyday life I can have similar frustrations though. I am very socially awkward and don't come across as at all bright, I tend to suffer from foot in mouth syndrome and have a tendency to get excited by a subject of fascination and ramble incessantly about it to the point where people have said things like... "If you don't mind me interrupting your monologue...". These I can find frustrating because I have to constantly remind myself not to do those things so I am constantly on edge and not really able to relax in social situations.

But also, because I am awkward, people will often talk to me slowly and keep telling me stuff I know. If I say to them that I am already aware of what they are telling me I am accused of being arrogant, or a know it all etc. There are things I don't know (and if I don't know something I will genuinely ask for clarification) but if I point out that I do know something that is wrong as well.

I really cannot get it right with people regardless of how hard I try! Now that I do seem to fail at constantly...



bumble
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23 Nov 2011, 1:25 pm

AardvarkGoodSwimmer wrote:
bumble wrote:
That seems like a very interesting way to do things. I was trying to 'help' in a way with my posts by opening up new ideas for people to consider and discuss, but the approach I used seemed to intimidate them more than anything. . .

It's tough. Just last night we gave class presentations in my pathogenic microbiology class. Mine was on cholera and maybe the second best one. The best one may have been a lady from Nigeria who gave one on malaria and she gave both good information and a little bit from her own family members. The rest of the presentations were more high school level, and this is a 4000-level university class. So, yeah, it's disappointing. There is a time for people to pro forma ask questions at the end of each presentation but people don't really know their topic and I don't want to embarrass anyone.

Okay, one thing I've planned. One of the students next week is giving a talk on lyme disease. The medical orthodoxy is that short-term antibiotics cures and if there's any further symptoms is what's called 'post-lyme syndrome' and is autoimmune. And that may well be true. But it sure looks like a rush to medical orthodoxy to me (as well as the work of a committee which is then strongly motivated not to admit it made a mistake). Lyme disease is caused by a tricky spirochete just like syphilis is, and what makes them so cocksure short-term antibiotics are enough? Now, there are for syphilis, but lyme may be a little different. And plus, there's no particular harm with longterm antibiotics (take yogurt or other probiotics at same time). I mean, doctors give longterm antibiotics for acne for crying out loud.

So, obviously, this is a subject I have strong feelings about. If she gives the orthodox presentation, I'm not going to say one word. But, if she branches out and if the professor attacks her, I am going to defend her, saying some of the same stuff I said above. So, in that way, I'm kind of planning my (?) impact, next move. Or like art, less is often more.

People seem more interesting in the power point aspect, and the smoothness and "professionalism" of the presentation. That can bother me, at certain times a great deal. I guess the response is to try to use salesmanship, honest that is, and a few honest forays to try and get people interested in the topic itself.

(Sorry for the long answer. I often think in terms of stories, event, analogies, etc. And I should point out, I am not a doctor, no way, far from it. But it is something I'm very interested in.)


Your long answer is fine, I am studying a health sciences degree (in 1st year and have not long started so I still have much to learn) and although we are presently doing pain and the nervous system we did briefly touch on pathogenic microbes (in the context of water and health) such as cholera, cryptosporidium etc. I actually have my eye on a module studying microbes for next year lol.

I am not well informed about lymes disease though. Although I do wonder about antibiotic resistance and the long term use of antibiotics. What are your ideas in regards to that?

Also, what is a spirochete? (a quick google reveals its a type of bacteria but more detail always welcome!). Also how does lymes become an autoimmune disorder if it becomes chronic? Does it disturb the immune system in some way and cause the body to attack itself even if the pathogen is no longer present in the persons system?

Hope you don't mind my questions.



Dae
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23 Nov 2011, 4:14 pm

Even a tutor should be aware of and apply 'methods', 'techniques', or ways of 'soliciting' further involvement from reluctant students and guiding 'exuberant' students WITHOUT creating a situation of focusing on/pointing out perceived negativities/faults of any one particular individual. This 'managerial style' (as opposed to a 'leadership' style) is like asking a star ball player to 'not run so fast' because others can't match their speed (anybody else see the online article about the limitations placed on a GRADE-SCHOOL football player? ...Apparently making 'too many' touchdowns) or asking a Nobel Peace Prize Winner to not use multi-syllable words because it confuses listeners. Being a student in a class might not be on quite the same par as such professionals excelling in their fields but may be used as an allegory. A tutor's attempt to shame (even if just mildly shame) a student into a supposedly more appropriate behavior is a control measure inappropriately expressed. It is also indicative of attempts to 'teach' a student how to behave (along with all the baggage attached to 'teamwork', 'cooperative interaction', gender/age/'status' expectations/demands, etc.). And, behavior modification is usually not actually part of a class' subject matter. Unless there is truly behavior/action that interferes with others' goals (in this case, learning the classroom material), actively trying to 'correct' an individual to fit one's own standards is, more or less, socialization tyranny.

Unless the OP was in some way truly/physically blocking others' attempts to post, the tutor was out of line by indicating the OP's 'wrongness' and (implicitly) expecting a change in behavior (behavior that actually should be encouraged in this current "dumbing-us-down" atmosphere). In the least, the tutor could have utilized a simple statement to the effect of 'well, we've heard from so-and-so...what are some other thoughts?' or try appealing to other students' sense of competitiveness ('can anybody take this to the next step?').

Like other female posters on WP, I've experienced this 'technique' way too many times...and definitely more often than my male counterparts. But, regardless of gender, please don't allow anyone to persuade you to 'rein in' your intellect on the (often self-righteous) grounds that demonstrating your 'smarts' demoralizes others.


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23 Nov 2011, 4:18 pm

If I were on the forum, and you were doing this, then I wouldn't have a problem with it. I don't know what other people's problems are with this.



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24 Nov 2011, 1:06 am

langers wrote:
Maybe it is not about the others being intimidated. It is more likely that they just also have questions or can answer the problems to, but when one student takes up the majority of the time or answers the majority of the questions it does not give the other students a chance to ask questions or see if their thinking is correct. It is not always the final answer that is important, how you get there is, if the other students don't get a chance to test their thinking then they may be cheated of an opportunity to learn. Also the teacher may want to see if they are getting through to more then one student, if the other students do not get a chance to ask questions or say answers how will the teacher know if they understand the material or not. I have been in your situation many times before it was explained to me but I understand now that it is not about stopping me from showing what I know, it is about giving the other students a chance to learn and show what they also know. So to hold back in class is not pretending, just make sure that you don't hold back on tests or when it matters, the teachers know how smart you are, they are not here to hold anyone back so give it your all and do the very best you can, but during lectures or discussions remember to let others share their views and let the teacher explain things to them. (we might not always give the best explanations to NTs, let an NT teacher explain things to the NT students, they will probably understand it better that way)


Well said. It's all about perspective taking and considering the needs of the other students.


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My longtime psychiatrist has confirmed that I do not qualify for an ASD diagnosis (but have traits & OCD-like traits).

Mostly keeping a distance from ASD-related things (including WP).