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Crankbadger
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11 Sep 2012, 4:34 pm

Many of the time I know with absolute certainty that what I'm saying is true and I can clearly see the futility of the other persons arguments but the NT often turns it around on me using social skills. I can't understand how it works, let alone explain it but I can see it happen. They'll often play on words. Its like they use how something sounds to back up their view, rather than how it really is. If I'm speaking to NTs on a forum, I don't have this issue at all because there is no body language and non verbal cues involved, its just in face to face conversations that I have this trouble. Another issue is I can rarely come up with the words to adequately convey my thoughts in time. I'm a full on visual thinker and do not even have an internal dialogue so it takes me time to convert my thoughts into words. Its pretty frustrating s**t. I used to have trouble just typing my thoughts but I've gotten WAY better at that. Does the same thing happen with verbal communication? Does people with HFA/aspergers eventually get good at it or are terminally inept at it?



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11 Sep 2012, 5:59 pm

Crankbadger wrote:
They'll often play on words. Its like they use how something sounds to back up their view, rather than how it really is.


Politicians use this method all the time (well, in America at least) to steer population's mass idiocy. How they portray themselves on television with body language and verbal communication is how they make stupid people believe what they say is the truth.

Sorry to get off subject but I can relate to your dilemma regarding argument. I deal with idiots all the time and I've just learned that arguing with them is as senseless as trying to make pigs fly. Many times I have tried arguing with NTs and stated factual information to back up my argument but despite my effort, I still left it alone. I like the common statement that was refreshed in my mind yesterday: "You can't fix stupid!" lol


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11 Sep 2012, 6:02 pm

Most anything we do gets better with practice, especially if you are making a conscious effort to learn a new skill or improve an existing one.



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11 Sep 2012, 7:04 pm

I'm not all that good at dealing with arguments either. All the needless hostility that can come with them just makes me feel really uneasy and I just feel like retreating. I'm not good at thinking on the spot either with quick responses to most things, so I try to think about the facts and points I want to make while listening to what they are saying. I've learned to be less tolerant of ignorance views, but it can still be a challenge for me to deal with it.



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11 Sep 2012, 7:05 pm

I am also a visual thinker with aspergers/autism and understand what you are experiencing. I have learned to "choose my battles" sort of speak. For me, I do not engage in the majority of the discussions with NTs even though I know there logic or information is flawed for the reasons you stated in your post. People do not like to admit when they are wrong, especially if their friends are around too.


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11 Sep 2012, 9:42 pm

I think you can get good at it provided you have good facts to support your side and try avoiding being overly stubborn. But the probem would be more or less manipulation with some people. Smart people who sense a person with a weak ego know that they will manipulate an argument into their favour.



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11 Sep 2012, 10:53 pm

Crankbadger wrote:

I have the exact same issue. The more difficult part for me is that fact that my verbalizing of the argument continues even after the NT has moved on. So i have this circular argument in my head wherein i am arguing with the person in my head. I am definitely better with written communication than verbal.

Quote:
Does the same thing happen with verbal communication? Does people with HFA/aspergers eventually get good at it or are terminally inept at it?


Couple of things that have helped me:

1. being through with the topic. e.g. there are topics which i argued or discussed in detail frequently, which become easier as time goes on.
2. Waiting to formulate the answer than saying first. Since i am a visual thinker too, i tend to jump in as in my head the argument is straight but then flounder as i have not really figured out the words yet.
3. I think it gets better with age and experience being with people. I was worst when i was in my late teens and early twenties. Now in my early 30ies i am better.

Having said that, there are some people who get the fact that i cant deal with the word play, who will use that when they want to win an argument. According to me that is underhanded but people seem to do that when their ego's are involved.


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Samian
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12 Sep 2012, 1:20 am

NoGyroApproach wrote:
I am also a visual thinker with aspergers/autism and understand what you are experiencing. I have learned to "choose my battles" sort of speak. For me, I do not engage in the majority of the discussions with NTs even though I know there logic or information is flawed for the reasons you stated in your post. People do not like to admit when they are wrong, especially if their friends are around too.


This sounds like me - especially in a fast moving discussion with several people involved - I would prefer to listen in and try to learn something. "choose my battles" yup.

if they use the word play I am doomed.

Asking questions can help. Pick the weakest phrase in the last point made and ask what they mean specifically by it - I bet thats when they bring out the play on words or try to change the subject.



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12 Sep 2012, 4:48 am

I know what you mean, Crankbadger. Over time I've learned to do two things:

1) Stop caring about others being wrong unless it actually affects me somehow. This makes it easy for me to avoid getting into arguments.
2) When #1 fails ask questions rather than making statements. That is, instead of saying "you're wrong - here's why" I ask the other person to justify why they are right. If they're intelligent and not too conceited they will usually come to the conclusion that they're wrong without me having to say so. Even if they don't it usually won't get as heated, because it's less of an argument and more of a discussion. Of course, even that approach isn't foolproof, because when you question NTs many of them take that as argument - even when it's not.

I find the biggest challenge is usually not refuting the other person's position, but pinning them down on what it is, ie. getting them to state their position in a way that's precise enough to be capable of being refuted.



outofplace
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12 Sep 2012, 11:47 am

FMX wrote:
I know what you mean, Crankbadger. Over time I've learned to do two things:

1) Stop caring about others being wrong unless it actually affects me somehow. This makes it easy for me to avoid getting into arguments.
2) When #1 fails ask questions rather than making statements. That is, instead of saying "you're wrong - here's why" I ask the other person to justify why they are right. If they're intelligent and not too conceited they will usually come to the conclusion that they're wrong without me having to say so. Even if they don't it usually won't get as heated, because it's less of an argument and more of a discussion. Of course, even that approach isn't foolproof, because when you question NTs many of them take that as argument - even when it's not.

I find the biggest challenge is usually not refuting the other person's position, but pinning them down on what it is, ie. getting them to state their position in a way that's precise enough to be capable of being refuted.


With #2 you stumbled on one of the best ways to "win" an argument. Asking a question puts you on the offensive and the other person on the defensive. If you can turn each question asked of you into a question you ask of the other person then you can usually win because eventually someone runs out of the ability to answer and then, theoretically "loses". I actually figured this out in my late teens when watching an interview of some teenage Pro Life protesters. They were getting pummeled by the interviewer and I wanted to analyze why. I figured out that their inability to go on the offensive by asking questions was why they were losing. Thus, I integrated this into how I argued in the future and it made me devastating in an argument. I have taught this method to others as well and they have also found the same to be true.


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Theuniverseman
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12 Sep 2012, 12:03 pm

This is why I don't really talk to anyone, I hate debates, especially if I know I am right, if I don't know that I'm right, but I know that they are wrong (an unknown or whatever) then the conversation is done because it is pointless.


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12 Sep 2012, 7:00 pm

outofplace wrote:
Asking a question puts you on the offensive and the other person on the defensive.

I've been doing this, and people have sometimes accused me of 'trying to sound dumb' or variations thereof. I'm not quite sure what the best response to this would be in general. When it happened most recently, I was able to flip things around on my accuser, but that was due to unrelated parts of the conversation. Obviously, asking a question doesn't somehow make you dumb, but I'm not sure how to phrase that really effectively.

I tend to assume that people who act like they know what they're talking about actually do, but I'm beginning to think that's a bad assumption.

I tend not to have many arguments/debates/serious discussions of controversial topics with people off the internet unless I know they're a reasonable, intelligent sort of person. Online, I can think through exactly what I want to say, in person it won't be as well thought out. If I'm discussing it in real time with a person who is reasonable and I can respect, then I know they aren't going to give me an incredibly hard time if I say something and it doesn't come out quite right.


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outofplace
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13 Sep 2012, 1:27 am

Ancalagon wrote:
outofplace wrote:
Asking a question puts you on the offensive and the other person on the defensive.

I've been doing this, and people have sometimes accused me of 'trying to sound dumb' or variations thereof. I'm not quite sure what the best response to this would be in general. When it happened most recently, I was able to flip things around on my accuser, but that was due to unrelated parts of the conversation. Obviously, asking a question doesn't somehow make you dumb, but I'm not sure how to phrase that really effectively.

I tend to assume that people who act like they know what they're talking about actually do, but I'm beginning to think that's a bad assumption.

I tend not to have many arguments/debates/serious discussions of controversial topics with people off the internet unless I know they're a reasonable, intelligent sort of person. Online, I can think through exactly what I want to say, in person it won't be as well thought out. If I'm discussing it in real time with a person who is reasonable and I can respect, then I know they aren't going to give me an incredibly hard time if I say something and it doesn't come out quite right.


It's a matter of subtlety. you have to be able to ask the right kind of question with the right intonation, etc. in order to win. It's also a matter of posturing yourself properly. While some of this is difficult with an ASD, you can learn to desensitize yourself to much of it. Eye contact is key. Look directly at them when asking. Looking down is seen as a sign of weakness and so it must not be done. You also need to learn to speak with some authority in your voice. This is all part of one of the biggest lessons I learned when I was a restaurant manager. What was that lesson? I put it down in an axiom: "People would rather you be confidently wrong than timidly right." It took me over a year to learn this rule of leadership and start to put it into play. To my mind such a thought was absurd before this as to me all that mattered were facts and logic. However, facts and logic matter little to most people unless they are delivered in the right way. Remember that most people are dealing mostly in feelings and so you need to learn to manipulate those feelings if you ever want to have a chance at being taken seriously. I am far from perfect in this area, but I am way better now since I know what to look for and have learned some of what to do. I have gone from someone nobody ever took seriously to someone many people find downright intimidating.


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13 Sep 2012, 2:46 am

outofplace wrote:
With #2 you stumbled on one of the best ways to "win" an argument. Asking a question puts you on the offensive and the other person on the defensive.


You're right, but it's not quite what I meant. You can "win" an argument by the other person genuinely changing their point of view or you can "win" an argument in the court of public opinion when the other person backs down. I was referring to the former. It can help with the latter, too, but I don't bother with that. I'm just not interested in going down to that level of "winning" even if I can pull it off. In other words, I wouldn't ask unreasonable questions just for the sake of going on the offensive. I'd only ask when I either think they're wrong or I'm genuinely unsure.



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13 Sep 2012, 7:44 am

FMX wrote:
outofplace wrote:
With #2 you stumbled on one of the best ways to "win" an argument. Asking a question puts you on the offensive and the other person on the defensive.


You're right, but it's not quite what I meant. You can "win" an argument by the other person genuinely changing their point of view or you can "win" an argument in the court of public opinion when the other person backs down. I was referring to the former. It can help with the latter, too, but I don't bother with that. I'm just not interested in going down to that level of "winning" even if I can pull it off. In other words, I wouldn't ask unreasonable questions just for the sake of going on the offensive. I'd only ask when I either think they're wrong or I'm genuinely unsure.


There really is no need to ask unreasonable questions unless the other person is getting rather heated and you feel the need to shut them down. In situations like that though I generally just walk away and stop wasting my time. It's just a general rule to follow and the degree to which it needs to be followed depends on the situation and the individuals involved. I mostly posted it to give anyone reading this thread some rules for winning an argument and to give them a new way of thinking about it outside of just conveying information. It's worth knowing though if dealing with a person who sees life primarily through the prism of emotions rather than logic.


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Aspie quiz: 143/200 AS, 81/200 NT; AQ 43; "eyes" 17/39, EQ/SQ 21/51 BAPQ: Autistic/BAP- You scored 92 aloof, 111 rigid and 103 pragmatic