Do you view people as "events" rather than people?

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The_Walrus
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21 Dec 2012, 1:08 pm

Yes, I know, one of those "do Aspies do X?" threads...

I realised the other day that I view people more or less as events. For example, I view some of my friends as "the people I talk to during registration", "the person I walk to Biology with", or "the person I sit with during Chemistry". If a person were removed from my life, it would be the event of being with them that I would miss, not the person themselves, the personality, or any appreciation of them as an autonomous being. This even applies to my parents.

Is this an "Aspie thing", something common to all or many people, or a quirk that is not related to Autism?



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21 Dec 2012, 1:14 pm

The_Walrus wrote:
Yes, I know, one of those "do Aspies do X?" threads...

I realised the other day that I view people more or less as events. For example, I view some of my friends as "the people I talk to during registration", "the person I walk to Biology with", or "the person I sit with during Chemistry". If a person were removed from my life, it would be the event of being with them that I would miss, not the person themselves, the personality, or any appreciation of them as an autonomous being. This even applies to my parents.

Is this an "Aspie thing", something common to all or many people, or a quirk that is not related to Autism?


My friend who has AS traits says that I should view people like teachers as like objects that I interact with to get what I want; pretend that they don't have feelings, they are there to provide a service.



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21 Dec 2012, 1:21 pm

People become events if I hold a lot of importance to them, so their entering my life is an event. Such as past best friends and such. But most of the time I see people as people. Being an event means you've really done something right (or wrong).


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21 Dec 2012, 1:42 pm

The_Walrus wrote:
I realised the other day that I view people more or less as events. For example, I view some of my friends as "the people I talk to during registration", "the person I walk to Biology with", or "the person I sit with during Chemistry".


I often identify people with an event that way, but I still think of the person as a person. Much like how, "The person in the red hat" identifies a person, but it's still understood that the person and the hat are not the same thing.

The_Walrus wrote:
If a person were removed from my life, it would be the event of being with them that I would miss, not the person themselves, the personality, or any appreciation of them as an autonomous being. This even applies to my parents


I do appreciate people as autonomous beings, appreciate their personalities, and like them as individuals (depending on the person). But as far as "missing them" goes, I'd miss the event if anything. Although I may like and appreciate someone as a person, I generally don't miss people when they're not around... probably in part because a someone being gone for a day and someone being gone for a year don't feel much different to me, and in part because I like time away from people. Most of the time I don't even realize how long it's been since I've seen someone.



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21 Dec 2012, 2:35 pm

I had some training on autism at work the other day. The lady said that scientists are pretty sure that people with autism process other people in the "object" part of their brain, as opposed to the "social" part of their brain, so that would make sense that you see people that way.

Also, people with autism can find it hard to recognise faces/people outside of a situation they know. For instance if I see a colleague in the street I have a hard time recognising them, but if I see them at work I'll recognise them instantly. Maybe it's something to do with that?



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21 Dec 2012, 5:19 pm

mljt wrote:
Also, people with autism can find it hard to recognise faces/people outside of a situation they know. For instance if I see a colleague in the street I have a hard time recognising them, but if I see them at work I'll recognise them instantly. Maybe it's something to do with that?

I have that problem big time... and when you don't recognize people, but they see and know you, they are almost always insulted. This was always stressy for me when I lived in a small town and rode a bicycle everywhere I went. Everyone came to know me... but, it took me a long time to put the people I knew from my hangouts, and their names together, so I could say something when I ran into them at the grocery or the dentist's.


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21 Dec 2012, 5:36 pm

mljt wrote:
I had some training on autism at work the other day. The lady said that scientists are pretty sure that people with autism process other people in the "object" part of their brain, as opposed to the "social" part of their brain, so that would make sense that you see people that way.

Also, people with autism can find it hard to recognise faces/people outside of a situation they know. For instance if I see a colleague in the street I have a hard time recognising them, but if I see them at work I'll recognise them instantly. Maybe it's something to do with that?


This is very close to my thoughts.

I can't recognise people easily unless they are where I expect. Even photos of close family can have me staring a long time to figure out who.

I don't really consider if a person is feeling a certain way, only how I will feel about having spent time with them. I will feel good about myself, not having been a recluse for once. Really that is all spending time with a friend means to me. Its like ticking a box on the "I am normal" chart. I always try to help a friend, its a kind of insurance so I can ask a favour if necessary, and so they will continue to be my friend.

As a Mum, I try my best to always try to think from my children's perspective, and some people have commented how good at that I am. I make a huge conscious effort with my children. When my first child was born I felt like I breathed through his lungs, we were so connected. But mostly people are objects, they have function in my life.

I don't feel that good about myself because I don't really care about most people, just about the injustices they may have suffered etc. If they died it would be similar to them moving away really, yet I feel so much for people I have never even met if they have been treated unfairly.

I give to charity because I would feel bad about myself if I didn't try to correct the injustices of the world. I would suffer if I did nothing, so I give. I don't think I am under the normal illusion of altruism. I don't believe altruism exists.

Maybe we are more self aware than NTs in some ways, not less. Or maybe just differently aware.



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21 Dec 2012, 6:51 pm

antifeministfrills wrote:

My friend who has AS traits says that I should view people like teachers as like objects that I interact with to get what I want; pretend that they don't have feelings, they are there to provide a service.


Isn't that what most people are, objects to interact with to get what you want? Most of my interactions are ones I can't avoid to receive a service, like cashiers, cab drivers, nurses, or doctors. It's not like we would develop any relationship beyond the professional one.



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21 Dec 2012, 7:23 pm

undercaffeinated wrote:
The_Walrus wrote:
If a person were removed from my life, it would be the event of being with them that I would miss, not the person themselves, the personality, or any appreciation of them as an autonomous being. This even applies to my parents


I do appreciate people as autonomous beings, appreciate their personalities, and like them as individuals (depending on the person). But as far as "missing them" goes, I'd miss the event if anything. Although I may like and appreciate someone as a person, I generally don't miss people when they're not around... probably in part because a someone being gone for a day and someone being gone for a year don't feel much different to me, and in part because I like time away from people. Most of the time I don't even realize how long it's been since I've seen someone.

I do appreciate that people have these attributes. I just don't develop much attachment to personalities or such, and if I talk about such a thing then it is little more than lip service. What matters to me doesn't seem to be what matters to anyone else- though obviously I have to enjoy someone's company in order for the "event" of being with them to matter to me.



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21 Dec 2012, 7:57 pm

Yes, I think I often do this. I find it much easier to recognize co-workers at work, but if they are out of uniform, I can have a hard time remembering them. Happened once on my Hike-Bike trail.
This also applies to family members. It can cause some mortification.
I do realize people are people, but it does seem my mind categorizes them in relation to what they do.

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21 Dec 2012, 8:25 pm

antifeministfrills wrote:
My friend who has AS traits says that I should view people like teachers as like objects that I interact with to get what I want; pretend that they don't have feelings, they are there to provide a service.


That's...



...a very sad attitude.

I hope you don't follow your friend's advice.


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22 Dec 2012, 3:10 am

MrXxx wrote:
antifeministfrills wrote:
My friend who has AS traits says that I should view people like teachers as like objects that I interact with to get what I want; pretend that they don't have feelings, they are there to provide a service.


That's...



...a very sad attitude.

I hope you don't follow your friend's advice.


My son dislikes some of his teachers, and they dislike him. With regard to those teachers I told him something similar; view them as having something you want. You want the knowledge to pass exams, so concentrate on getting that from them rather than thinking about their personalities.



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22 Dec 2012, 10:25 am

dizzywater wrote:
MrXxx wrote:
antifeministfrills wrote:
My friend who has AS traits says that I should view people like teachers as like objects that I interact with to get what I want; pretend that they don't have feelings, they are there to provide a service.


That's...



...a very sad attitude.

I hope you don't follow your friend's advice.


My son dislikes some of his teachers, and they dislike him. With regard to those teachers I told him something similar; view them as having something you want. You want the knowledge to pass exams, so concentrate on getting that from them rather than thinking about their personalities.


It's the "objects" part I have trouble with. They're not objects. They're human beings with feelings and problems of their own just like us.


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22 Dec 2012, 7:01 pm

MrXxx wrote:


It's the "objects" part I have trouble with. They're not objects. They're human beings with feelings and problems of their own just like us.


I agree. I feel bad about this viewpoint, I would love to care about everyone in the world, like they deserve to be cared about. If I were perfect I would do that.

Trouble is sometimes you only have the resources to protect yourself from those people who do not accept differences. In these cases I don't waste my efforts by caring about them too.



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23 Dec 2012, 7:48 am

hanyo wrote:
antifeministfrills wrote:

My friend who has AS traits says that I should view people like teachers as like objects that I interact with to get what I want; pretend that they don't have feelings, they are there to provide a service.


Isn't that what most people are, objects to interact with to get what you want? Most of my interactions are ones I can't avoid to receive a service, like cashiers, cab drivers, nurses, or doctors. It's not like we would develop any relationship beyond the professional one.


It depends on how much time you spend with them and such. If you're in hospital for a long time you can become friends with nurses. Some people are very 'yes doctor no doctor' whereas others call them by their first name.



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25 Dec 2012, 6:37 am

I don't see people as events, but I tend to see some of them like objects.


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