Describing your social brain to neurotypicals.

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Khyrean
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11 May 2012, 9:33 am

I feel like a computer that suddenly has to operate at capacity maximum. I have to analyse what they say, how it might be meant, if I know of any other meanings - could it be meant sarcastically? - what possible replies are there and which of them they probably expect.
Looking at them while doing all that doesn't make it easier because instead of using the additional input to narrow down the options it clutters my working memory with data formats I cannot work with. So I can do that but it exhausts me even more and I might run slower and use more battery.
If I selected a reply and the reaction is as anticipated that makes things easier because I can build upon my hypotheses; if it is not, I am lost and have to start again. Luckily by now I am not very often really off with my theories.
And then I have to go home and charge my battery with aloneness or my replies will get more and more off and irritated and slow and at some point there would be a crash - but I haven't had that in a very long time.
Sorry for the IT analogy... but that's how I can describe best how I observe my thinking processes. A great part of that is subconsciously if I'm not tired or exhausted and I infer the detailed functioning mostly from the huge amount of concentration and cognitive resources needed when I'm interacting socially. The rest of my observations are from situations where I am too stressed to think the whole process through quickly. Then my thoughts become slow enough to be observable for me.



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11 May 2012, 9:49 am

Khyrean wrote:
I feel like a computer that suddenly has to operate at capacity maximum. I have to analyse what they say, how it might be meant, if I know of any other meanings - could it be meant sarcastically? - what possible replies are there and which of them they probably expect..


I forgot about that part...the over analytical aspect of my brain. Yes, this is the part that is so exhausting.


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Rascal77s
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11 May 2012, 12:25 pm

matsev wrote:
A big challenge for me is describing how my brain works in a social situation. This is also something that took me a long time to become aware of since I don't have a "normal" model to base it on - other than my observations of others and how they interact with people. I best describe it as being half asleep or even intoxicated. When I interact with others, I'm not fully aware of those around me, the direction of the conversation, the body language or facial expressions, or the intentions of others. My brain feels cloudy, and often I have trouble recalling the social interaction even minutes later. I only feel fully alert and clear-minded when I am engaged in some academic activity such as playing the piano, drawing or studying science and mathematics; when my brain is in deep in thought I feel fully focused. Incidentally the term autism means "to turn inward."
Can any one with Aspergers or high-functioning autism relate to this description? How would you describe that experience?
Please Share!

-Mat


Very good description. The problem with explaining it is they can't empathize with you because they think in a different way. I've tried explaining it in a similar way and it's like explaining blue to a blind person.



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11 May 2012, 12:41 pm

Rascal77s wrote:
matsev wrote:
A big challenge for me is describing how my brain works in a social situation. This is also something that took me a long time to become aware of since I don't have a "normal" model to base it on - other than my observations of others and how they interact with people. I best describe it as being half asleep or even intoxicated. When I interact with others, I'm not fully aware of those around me, the direction of the conversation, the body language or facial expressions, or the intentions of others. My brain feels cloudy, and often I have trouble recalling the social interaction even minutes later. I only feel fully alert and clear-minded when I am engaged in some academic activity such as playing the piano, drawing or studying science and mathematics; when my brain is in deep in thought I feel fully focused. Incidentally the term autism means "to turn inward."
Can any one with Aspergers or high-functioning autism relate to this description? How would you describe that experience?
Please Share!

-Mat


Very good description. The problem with explaining it is they can't empathize with you because they think in a different way. I've tried explaining it in a similar way and it's like explaining blue to a blind person.


Empathy is not exactly the strongest asset of most neurotypicals. The sad thing is that they don't realise it yet.



Rascal77s
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11 May 2012, 12:57 pm

pokerface wrote:
Rascal77s wrote:
matsev wrote:
A big challenge for me is describing how my brain works in a social situation. This is also something that took me a long time to become aware of since I don't have a "normal" model to base it on - other than my observations of others and how they interact with people. I best describe it as being half asleep or even intoxicated. When I interact with others, I'm not fully aware of those around me, the direction of the conversation, the body language or facial expressions, or the intentions of others. My brain feels cloudy, and often I have trouble recalling the social interaction even minutes later. I only feel fully alert and clear-minded when I am engaged in some academic activity such as playing the piano, drawing or studying science and mathematics; when my brain is in deep in thought I feel fully focused. Incidentally the term autism means "to turn inward."
Can any one with Aspergers or high-functioning autism relate to this description? How would you describe that experience?
Please Share!

-Mat


Very good description. The problem with explaining it is they can't empathize with you because they think in a different way. I've tried explaining it in a similar way and it's like explaining blue to a blind person.


Empathy is not exactly the strongest asset of most neurotypicals. The sad thing is that they don't realise it yet.


Might not be the strongest but they can relate to each other because they tend to share similar experiences and thinking style. Who can you relate to more, NT or aspie? Most people here would probably say aspie whereas it would be the reverse for NTs.



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11 May 2012, 1:06 pm

Rascal77s wrote:
pokerface wrote:
Rascal77s wrote:
matsev wrote:
A big challenge for me is describing how my brain works in a social situation. This is also something that took me a long time to become aware of since I don't have a "normal" model to base it on - other than my observations of others and how they interact with people. I best describe it as being half asleep or even intoxicated. When I interact with others, I'm not fully aware of those around me, the direction of the conversation, the body language or facial expressions, or the intentions of others. My brain feels cloudy, and often I have trouble recalling the social interaction even minutes later. I only feel fully alert and clear-minded when I am engaged in some academic activity such as playing the piano, drawing or studying science and mathematics; when my brain is in deep in thought I feel fully focused. Incidentally the term autism means "to turn inward."
Can any one with Aspergers or high-functioning autism relate to this description? How would you describe that experience?
Please Share!

-Mat


Very good description. The problem with explaining it is they can't empathize with you because they think in a different way. I've tried explaining it in a similar way and it's like explaining blue to a blind person.


Empathy is not exactly the strongest asset of most neurotypicals. The sad thing is that they don't realise it yet.


Might not be the strongest but they can relate to each other because they tend to share similar experiences and thinking style. Who can you relate to more, NT or aspie? Most people here would probably say aspie whereas it would be the reverse for NTs.


I doubt if NT's they can relate to each other. Take a look at the history of the human species and you may think otherwise to.



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11 May 2012, 1:36 pm

Its like an automatic transmission surrounded by a bunch of stick shifts. Hehe


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11 May 2012, 11:03 pm

pokerface wrote:
I doubt if NT's they can relate to each other. Take a look at the history of the human species and you may think otherwise to.


I dunno, Rascal might have a point. You do too of course but I think that's where in-group/out-group biases come in to play. NT's can be divided racially, politically, sexually, ethically, religiously, by age, class, nationality etc etc etc. Within a group there's that automatic ability to chatter like birds on a wire. I have to admit when I see perfect strangers just start to ramble at each other I'm impressed! They have a gift they don't even know about or appreciate.



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11 May 2012, 11:08 pm

matsev wrote:
A big challenge for me is describing how my brain works in a social situation. This is also something that took me a long time to become aware of since I don't have a "normal" model to base it on - other than my observations of others and how they interact with people. I best describe it as being half asleep or even intoxicated. When I interact with others, I'm not fully aware of those around me, the direction of the conversation, the body language or facial expressions, or the intentions of others. My brain feels cloudy, and often I have trouble recalling the social interaction even minutes later. I only feel fully alert and clear-minded when I am engaged in some academic activity such as playing the piano, drawing or studying science and mathematics; when my brain is in deep in thought I feel fully focused. Incidentally the term autism means "to turn inward."
Can any one with Aspergers or high-functioning autism relate to this description? How would you describe that experience?
Please Share!

-Mat


For me it is like trying to write a test while someone is operating a chainsaw nearby, and you have only seconds to answer each question. And you can't skip or not answer any of the questions.



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11 May 2012, 11:54 pm

edgewaters wrote:
matsev wrote:
A big challenge for me is describing how my brain works in a social situation. This is also something that took me a long time to become aware of since I don't have a "normal" model to base it on - other than my observations of others and how they interact with people. I best describe it as being half asleep or even intoxicated. When I interact with others, I'm not fully aware of those around me, the direction of the conversation, the body language or facial expressions, or the intentions of others. My brain feels cloudy, and often I have trouble recalling the social interaction even minutes later. I only feel fully alert and clear-minded when I am engaged in some academic activity such as playing the piano, drawing or studying science and mathematics; when my brain is in deep in thought I feel fully focused. Incidentally the term autism means "to turn inward."
Can any one with Aspergers or high-functioning autism relate to this description? How would you describe that experience?
Please Share!

-Mat


For me it is like trying to write a test while someone is operating a chainsaw nearby, and you have only seconds to answer each question. And you can't skip or not answer any of the questions.[/quote

I can understand what you are saying Mat and I also feel for me that a social situation feels like everyone has studied for the test, but me. I feel awkward and unsure when most everyone else seems very sure of themselves. It tends to feel more this way when it is a larger group of people and if I am in a smaller group of people it does not feel this way as much.


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13 May 2012, 8:26 am

matsev wrote:
I best describe it as being half asleep or even intoxicated. When I interact with others, I'm not fully aware of those around me, the direction of the conversation, the body language or facial expressions, or the intentions of others. My brain feels cloudy, and often I have trouble recalling the social interaction even minutes later.
pensieve wrote:
All the unwritten social rules people know I am still discovering like a life long Easter Egg hunt. Sometimes I drop an egg and have to find it again. I also don't always like to share my eggs with people especially on bright sunny days or when it rains. Sometimes the hunt tires me out that I just give up.
CocoRock wrote:
Sometimes I liken it to a person without AS trying to solve a maths equation while holding the conversation.
fragileclover wrote:
I would also say that it's similar to putting my mind through an hour of P90X (the super intense workout video), without that great payoff at the end, in which you feel like you've accomplished something.
Tom_NUFC wrote:
Sometimes I think it's akin to speaking a foreign language. Where as speaking/listening to/reading/writing your own language is natural - something you do automatically, doing that in a foreign language is all the more harder, because you constantly have to think about and work at everything. It requires constant effort.
Dan_Undiagnosed wrote:
You can take it further to say we're in a constant state of culture shock? (...) I feel like a foreign visitor in my own country.
FishStickNick wrote:
others have to engage me in conversation. It can take me a while to formulate a response--and sometimes right as I come up with a response, the conversation moves onto something else.
Khyrean wrote:
I feel like a computer that suddenly has to operate at capacity maximum. I have to analyse what they say, how it might be meant, if I know of any other meanings - could it be meant sarcastically? - what possible replies are there and which of them they probably expect.
edgewaters wrote:
For me it is like trying to write a test while someone is operating a chainsaw nearby, and you have only seconds to answer each question. And you can't skip or not answer any of the questions.
Gazelle wrote:
I also feel for me that a social situation feels like everyone has studied for the test, but me. I feel awkward and unsure when most everyone else seems very sure of themselves.

I wish everyone I would every have a conversation with in the future would read this. :D


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13 May 2012, 9:42 am

riot_gun wrote:
"Don't mind me if I make a horribly inappropriate joke."

I deal with social situations and not necessarily knowing what I'm supposed to be doing by making light of everything. Sometimes this gets me into trouble if I start joking about things I wasn't supposed to make fun of.


Totally...! !!


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13 May 2012, 9:45 am

I'm wearing this thing that makes me borderline normal but sucks my chakra dry. I'm joking with you now and smart-mouthing, but if you mess with me for too long, my smart-ass brain will shut down suddenly and I"ll just sit there with this empty face on. I won't talk to you not because I'm angry or down, but because I'm out of juice like a dead battery.


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14 May 2012, 12:09 am

riot_gun wrote:
"Don't mind me if I make a horribly inappropriate joke."

I deal with social situations and not necessarily knowing what I'm supposed to be doing by making light of everything. Sometimes this gets me into trouble if I start joking about things I wasn't supposed to make fun of.


I do this a lot.

I also generally feel awkward, like I shouldn't be there, like I want to get out of the situation very badly, etc. Lots of one word/brief responses.