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Jamesy
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28 Nov 2012, 2:41 pm

Last summer I was cycling down a canal not being fully aware that i was in a kinda dangerous neck of the woods. It was a hot day and while I was cycling a saw a group of youths fishing quite a few feet in front of me. I could tell by the clothes they were wearing that they were potentionally trouble makers so I stopped and took a detour on a road by the canal (one of the youths spotted me taking a detour). As I was cycling on the road one the of the youths shouted at me from the canal in a really loud voice "ALRIGHT" or something along those lines.


Do you think what I have described above is an example of how us aspies can sense danger where NTs can not?



whirlingmind
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28 Nov 2012, 3:51 pm

It sounds more as if they were aware you were unnerved by them being in a group and shouting "alright?" as if to reassure you. I don't imagine yobbo's would be fishing, they'd be shop-lifting and other criminal activities more likely.

I do think though that a lot of Aspies are hyper-aware (including myself) and although sometimes it can help to keep you safe I think it potentially also gives us a skewed view of the world because we can imagine danger where there might not be. This feeds into anxiety.


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nessa238
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28 Nov 2012, 4:06 pm

I have a gut instinct for danger from certain types of people myself and my internal warning system can be set off before the person has even done anything but they then go on to prove themselves to be unpleasant so I think you should always trust your gut instinct in these matters and that you did the right thing.



eric76
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28 Nov 2012, 5:08 pm

Keep in mind that many people are not sufficiently street smart to really pick up on dangerous situations and often confuse dangerous and non-dangerous situations.

For example, there was George Zimmerman who shot and killed Trayvon Martin in Florida earlier this year. George Zimmerman was basically trying to act like a cop when he had very few street smarts at all. As a result, he took off after a high school kid walking back from the store. When the kid confronted him, they got in a fist fight and Zimmerman pulled out his firearm and shot the kid.

If Zimmerman had had any street smarts at all, the situation would likely have never happened.



nessa238
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28 Nov 2012, 5:09 pm

Well I always think it's better to be safe than sorry.



eric76
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28 Nov 2012, 5:25 pm

I tend to do things that are considered rather unsafe these days.

For example, if I see someone stopped on the side of the highway, I often stop and see if they need help. I've also picked up hitchhikers on occasion, but it is far less likely these days to see hitchhikers than forty years ago. And I've gone into bars and restaurants where I was the only white guy in sight and never had a problem.

There was one time when I was in a restaurant where someone walked over to me and asked what I was doing there. I think he was just wanting to make sure I wasn't there to cause problems. I told him that I was there because I liked the food and he went back and sat down.



2wheels4ever
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29 Nov 2012, 12:54 am

For me it's a matter of "once bitten twice shy" - the way I've come to expect a potential threat is from learning by my own experiences and what friends have related that happened to them for the most part. When I was an early teen my cousins and I snuck into a large man-made lake to cool off on a hot summer day; afterward when everyone asked where we'd been we got quite the earful of lecture about drownings and polluted water when nobody could give a reason to stay out simply because it wasn't an official lake.

The only times I was approached in groups like OP mentioned, were all before I was an 'adult' - I frequently pass through 'iffy' areas and the hardest time I've gotten from anyone is a random panhandler at a gas station or a 7-11 - I point to my mode of transport and say "you see I'm on this (moped) already" and they leave me alone. But I get the mooches anywhere I go


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29 Nov 2012, 5:51 pm

I tend to think it's the opposite... aspies tend to be naive and lack social understanding so we often don't detect when things are amiss or when there is possible danger. That is one of the reasons autistic people are classed as vulnerable adults. I think we are less able to notice potential danger, not more.

There may be exceptions to this (for example, our detail-orientedness may sometimes alert us to things a neurotypical might miss), but the example given by the OP doesn't seem unusual to me in any way. I think most people, or at least most people who lack social confidence or physical strength, would avoid going past a group of youths who looked like troublemakers. Everyone looks out for that kind of situation, aspie or NT. It's just common sense.



windtreeman
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29 Nov 2012, 5:58 pm

I see what you mean and I know that it's helped me avoid harassment and bullying many times as a kid. I was always keenly aware of where everyone was at playground and before/after school...the people or person that typically bullied me never really had an opportunity to pick on me unless we were in class because I'd always, ALWAYS see them before they saw me. I also used these tactics to easily avoid my boss at an old job right before weekends :) since I worked in a warehouse, I could always skirt detection until he'd finally asked someone else to work. The best part was popping out of the isles at the end of the day to his slight shock; pretty sure he assumed I'd just skipped out and gone home. Even better, I'd been seen doing plenty of work that day by all other employees. Being this keenly aware all the time is pretty exhausting though and sometimes, I wish I could turn it off.


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