Conversations I start mid topic - ToM? Attention deficit?

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Noetic
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25 May 2013, 12:03 am

One thing I am trying (so far unsuccessfully) to work on in myself is that I very often will be thinking about something, and turn to a colleague and start talking about what I've just been mulling over, and they'll just look really puzzled.

Mostly because they have no idea what I'm talking about - or I even start half way through a sentence.

Now sometimes the topic in question was the last thing I'd discussed with that person, and perhaps it's their fault for not having paid attention or not remembering.

However a lot of the time, it's totally understandable that they are confused - yet when I turn to them and start talking, I can't for the life of me stop myself or structure my sentence to make the context clear from the start.

This is something that's been pointed out at home and at work. I'd really like to improve it but so far have had no luck.

Does anyone else have this issue? If so, have you tried to overcome it, if so how & has it worked?

Also, does this sound like a (working) memory issue? Attention issue? Theory of mind issue?



AgentPalpatine
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25 May 2013, 12:52 am

It's a processing issue. You're thinking about the problem/issue/topic, coming up with a thought, and working from there. However, and I do this myself, sometimes the idea does'nt come out right verbally the first time (or the second). This is far more prevailant in an enviroment with multiple verbal conversations.

It has nothing to do with "Theory of Mind", which was a very poor interperation of a study.


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drewski56
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25 May 2013, 1:57 am

AgentPalpatine wrote:
It's a processing issue. You're thinking about the problem/issue/topic, coming up with a thought, and working from there. However, and I do this myself, sometimes the idea does'nt come out right verbally the first time (or the second). This is far more prevailant in an enviroment with multiple verbal conversations.

It has nothing to do with "Theory of Mind", which was a very poor interperation of a study.


My own experience would suggest otherwise; I frequently find myself in this situation and, for me anyways, it does seem to be a "Theory of Mind" sort of problem. While I have quite often experienced "thoughts not coming out right" I think what the OP is speaking to is a separate situation.

I often find myself confusing the line between internal and external dialogue. I will start working on a idea in my mind and then half way through begin verbalizing the thought to someone else, not registering that the other individual was not privy to the first portion of my thought process. Looking back I know what was in my head and what was shared, however in the moment it is not so clear.

Aside from just trying to be more aware of what I am thinking and saying, I unfortunately have not found any good way to avoid this situation.



Noetic
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25 May 2013, 1:59 am

AgentPalpatine wrote:
This is far more prevailant in an environment with multiple verbal conversations.

Hm. Oddly enough, for me, if I do attempt to communicate when other conversations are ongoing, it is much less likely to happen, because I have to try and pay attention and find an "in", so I have more time to think about what I'm saying and formulate it properly.

What I'm describing is more a case of thinking something over, usually after an issue or question having come up earlier, and spontaneously turning to someone to share my findings. It's like part of the conversation takes place in my head, or perhaps I'm still processing the conversation from X minutes or hours ago. So when I start talking, I am not aware that the other person doesn't know what's in my head, though obviously when I stop to think about it, I know they can't know what I've been thinking about.



girly_aspie
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25 May 2013, 2:07 am

I do that all the time. My dad, who's also an Aspie and I have very odd conversations this way.


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Noetic
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25 May 2013, 2:12 am

drewski56 wrote:
I often find myself confusing the line between internal and external dialogue. I will start working on a idea in my mind and then half way through begin verbalizing the thought to someone else, not registering that the other individual was not privy to the first portion of my thought process. Looking back I know what was in my head and what was shared, however in the moment it is not so clear.

Aside from just trying to be more aware of what I am thinking and saying, I unfortunately have not found any good way to avoid this situation.

Spot on, that's exactly what I meant.

Clearly the solution is to always talk to yourself out loud...

:lol: :lol:



Noetic
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25 May 2013, 2:30 am

girly_aspie wrote:
I do that all the time. My dad, who's also an Aspie and I have very odd conversations this way.

I can imagine :-)



chris5000
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25 May 2013, 3:35 am

I have the same problem I have a real hard time starting conversations



AgentPalpatine
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25 May 2013, 12:06 pm

drewski56 wrote:
AgentPalpatine wrote:
It's a processing issue. You're thinking about the problem/issue/topic, coming up with a thought, and working from there. However, and I do this myself, sometimes the idea does'nt come out right verbally the first time (or the second). This is far more prevailant in an enviroment with multiple verbal conversations.

It has nothing to do with "Theory of Mind", which was a very poor interperation of a study.


My own experience would suggest otherwise; I frequently find myself in this situation and, for me anyways, it does seem to be a "Theory of Mind" sort of problem. While I have quite often experienced "thoughts not coming out right" I think what the OP is speaking to is a separate situation.

I often find myself confusing the line between internal and external dialogue. I will start working on a idea in my mind and then half way through begin verbalizing the thought to someone else, not registering that the other individual was not privy to the first portion of my thought process. Looking back I know what was in my head and what was shared, however in the moment it is not so clear.

Aside from just trying to be more aware of what I am thinking and saying, I unfortunately have not found any good way to avoid this situation.


People confuse the line between internal and external all of the time, it's by no means limited to Aspies.


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25 May 2013, 12:27 pm

One potential issue is that the other person is wrapped up in their own thoughts/work and has to make a mental break. If your idea is not fully formed and well composed then confusion would be normal.

Between myself with AS and my partner who is definitely not typical we both get very engrossed in things and have trouble communicating ideas. I always make a point of asking if it is a good time to talk before going any further, and I ask her to do the same.

I mostly work by myself so do not have these issues to deal with often. I recently had a young lad helping me on a job, he was nice enough, but I found him chatting very wearing and distracting.

The best advice I can offer is, as above, check if the person has time to give your discussion their full attention.
Also, you must be able to summarise before you start talking - no title, no talk.



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25 May 2013, 1:01 pm

Noetic wrote:
drewski56 wrote:
I often find myself confusing the line between internal and external dialogue. I will start working on a idea in my mind and then half way through begin verbalizing the thought to someone else, not registering that the other individual was not privy to the first portion of my thought process. Looking back I know what was in my head and what was shared, however in the moment it is not so clear.

Aside from just trying to be more aware of what I am thinking and saying, I unfortunately have not found any good way to avoid this situation.

Spot on, that's exactly what I meant.

Clearly the solution is to always talk to yourself out loud...

:lol: :lol:


I have the same problem, and ironically the only person I who doesn't have trouble understanding my ideas is my mom, who has schizophrenia and constantly talks to herself (aloud) LOL


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25 May 2013, 1:08 pm

Quote:
People confuse the line between internal and external all of the time, it's by no means limited to Aspies.


I think Aspies do it more often, though.



Noetic
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25 May 2013, 2:13 pm

AgentPalpatine wrote:
People confuse the line between internal and external all of the time, it's by no means limited to Aspies.

I wasn't implying it was. Just something I'd been thinking about & hoping someone might have ideas on how to improve this.



marshall
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25 May 2013, 11:15 pm

I have trouble articulating things verbally. The issue is not knowing how to instantaneously summarize what I've been thinking. I think I do the opposite of giving too little. I explain too much because I feel like I have a need for them to understand every last detail when in reality it's impossible for them to absorb it all at once and they just want the big picture (at least at first). For me it's a processing issue, not necessarily anything to do with "theory of mind". I have a lot of intuition and insight into things but I find summarizing my thoughts difficult.



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26 May 2013, 9:10 am

I do this also. I wasn't aware of it until a friend told me that I do that. My friend said that I often start talking about something and everyone else is lost because they don't see the connection. I think it has to do with not knowing what the other people do or do not know, so theory of mind. My friend suggested including something to link it to everyone else at the beginning of the conversation. For example, if I brought up a topic while in a car because of something I saw out of the window, then I need to first let everyone know what I saw.
Or if I think of something and start talking about it, I need to explain how that topic relates so everyone is not lost. At work, my boss told me I need to tell her what file or program I am talking about instead of just saying, " I figured out how to fix the program.... (Detailed explanation here)".


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