Do people insist that you think,feel,intend things you don't

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Blue Jay
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28 May 2013, 8:39 pm

It happens to me periodically. Someone that I've never said a single harsh word to, no arguments, no criticism, nothing negative, never complained about their less-than-lovely behavior, someone I've supported through all their problems, listened endlessly to their life stories, done anything they ever asked me to do, been very generous with my time, effort, and at the risk of being vulgar, $ and possessions, not just with them but their families, friends, neighbors, anyone I encounter that they know, will suddenly make wild accusations about thoughts and feelings that I don't have, always extremely negative, and intentions, plots or plans to do something hurtful or harmful that seem utterly irrational verging on insane given the 100% goodness and giving that is all they've ever experienced or seen from me. Nothing I can do, say, explain or point out, like the TRUTH, ever makes a dent in their fervent beliefs about me, and they can never point to anything to explain their attitude; they either refuse to reply, or have some ridiculous interpretation along the lines of, "You said you don't like bananas which of course means that you want to kill puppies!!"

I have taken specific cases of this to NT family members and friends, and they have never been able to figure out why these people have believed and said what they did, or why supposedly close relationships have been ended in an ugly way because of these fantasies.

Still, as Dr. Phil would say, the thing these situations all have in common is ME, and more to the point I'm the Aspie, so that means it's ME somehow doing something to make people who have never seen or heard me do a single mean thing to anyone ever feel certain that I'm thinking, meaning, plotting or doing something terrible.

Has anyone else experienced this, or have any ideas as to what's up or how to fix it?


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cathylynn
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28 May 2013, 8:59 pm

i'm quiet. people interpret this as shy, but I have no fear and good self-esteem. people interpret quietness as reserved or aloof, but to those who know me well, i'm open and down-to earth. so, yes, i'm misinterpreted all the time.

a catholic acquaintance, knowing I am an atheist, asked me to pray with her. I listened quietly. afterward, she asked me if I had been praying to satan. I explained that I don't believe in satan. who knows what she thinks?

misinterpretation is common among humans. it's part of the peril of living. the wise among us check out our impressions by direct questions and are open to alternate explantions. if someone describes you in a way that doesn't fit, that is normal. if they don't accept it when you correct them, that's a problem and they're not worth your time.



one-A-N
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29 May 2013, 12:47 am

People interpret your behaviour according to what they would mean or feel if they were doing the same things.

So an extrovert might assume that introverts are unhappy, because the extrovert would only behave like an introvert when the extrovert is unhappy.

People on the spectrum tend to express emotion differently to NTs, so NTs tend to interpret us as meaning what they would mean, not what we actually do mean, by our behaviour and expression.

For example, eye contact - for us, it could mean "eyes are too intense", "I am overloaded by all the signals and have to look away". For the NT it could mean "you are being evasive, untruthful" because they would only avoid someone else's eyes if they felt guilty or were being dishonest or evasive. They don't feel overwhelmed simply by looking at other people's eyes.



ianorlin
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29 May 2013, 11:27 am

Assuming everyone else is like them seems to be a major flaw in humanity.



GregCav
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30 May 2013, 2:11 am

very insightful one-A-N, thanks for that.

I'm constantly being confused and misunderstood. I find it most commong with girls who are close to me relationship wise. I guess my actions matter more to them, that they make comment on it. My school friends simply say I'm strange but don't complain about any specific feature.

I don't seem to have any bother at work either. Though I do occasionaly make inopropriate comments, I don't usualy get misunderstood.

So I think it must be within then emotional realm only. They expect us to behave and react like they do, but when we don't it must be because of ******. Whereas we are far more inocent than they think.



Jainz
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30 May 2013, 7:24 am

ianorlin wrote:
Assuming everyone else is like them seems to be a major flaw in humanity.


For sure. I wear earphones at work because I can't concentrate with all the background noise. I've explained this to people, and they always says "you can't concentrate with music!" or something like that. If that were the case I wouldn't need the bloody earphones. I still wear them though, so it's all good.

In other cases people will often say "you want to/you're thinking/you're trying to/etc" - it's infurating! I know what I do and don't want, I'm actually the leading expert on myself.



Last edited by Jainz on 30 May 2013, 8:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

b9
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30 May 2013, 7:29 am

sometimes. there have been people in the past who projected their own subjective reasoning onto my bland and expressionless delivery, and they could not be reasoned with logically.



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31 May 2013, 6:01 pm

That's the part that drives me CRAZY, that they're so SURE that the beliefs they've gotten about me based on pure fantasy are true that they refuse to accept any facts or logic to the contrary.


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TaoDreams
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01 Jun 2013, 6:48 pm

one-A-N wrote:
People interpret your behaviour according to what they would mean or feel if they were doing the same things.

So an extrovert might assume that introverts are unhappy, because the extrovert would only behave like an introvert when the extrovert is unhappy.

People on the spectrum tend to express emotion differently to NTs, so NTs tend to interpret us as meaning what they would mean, not what we actually do mean, by our behaviour and expression.

For example, eye contact - for us, it could mean "eyes are too intense", "I am overloaded by all the signals and have to look away". For the NT it could mean "you are being evasive, untruthful" because they would only avoid someone else's eyes if they felt guilty or were being dishonest or evasive. They don't feel overwhelmed simply by looking at other people's eyes.


This makes sense, I get a lot of, "If you loved me then you'd do a, b and c', my now ex-PC friend (see Lost a friend again for reference) told me that because I did not do things the way he would do them, and didn't show him I cared in the way he would, that it meant I didn't care, and basically began insulting me.

At this point I'm really done with people in general, but yeah that happens a lot. What I really liked about this reply though is that it helped it all make sense, as I didn't understand why people do that. I wonder if we're guilty of doing it to others ourselves.



Lucywlf
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04 Jun 2013, 8:53 am

Yes, and I am royally fed up with it. I am sick of people interpreting my being uncomfortable/too free around people as bigotry, racism, or any sort of prejudice. You can't see into my mind; you have no idea how I think. Just because you're uncomfortable with the way I act or react doesn't mean that you can immediately interpret why. You are judging me when I haven't even considered judging you.



MjrMajorMajor
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04 Jun 2013, 8:58 am

GregCav wrote:

I'm constantly being confused and misunderstood. I find it most commong with girls who are close to me relationship wise. I guess my actions matter more to them, that they make comment on it. My school friends simply say I'm strange but don't complain about any specific feature.



This is interesting, because I've always been a firm believer in "actions speak louder than words". Phrases don't become cliche without some basis in truth or common sense. How did this apply in your situation? Do you feel that this is unfounded?



Drehmaschine
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05 Jun 2013, 7:03 pm

Whenever I want to watch someone's machines, They seem to think it means I want their job. No, I just want to watch your machines. That's all.
I'm very much a what you see is what you get person.



ava777
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05 Jun 2013, 10:27 pm

The only thing I can think of is with the Asperger's and the sand hook event maybe they think you could one day flip out and they're giving you BS excuses. Do you think it could it be prejudice?
Do you think they're annoyed?
I don't how you present yourself socially? I myself pass as NT until I try to become real friends then it's more noticeable.
It's painful to lose close friends, especially for no real reason.
I stopped trying to get close to people for right now. I get exhausted by the betray and/or BS.



DJFester
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13 Jun 2013, 1:45 am

Other people are going to think or believe whatever they want to. Sometimes they get it completely wrong, but unfortunately nothing will ever convince them to see things in a different light. I figure if someone wants to think horrible, false things about me, it's THEIR issue, not mine.


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13 Jun 2013, 1:56 pm

Really, I think the only way to communicate effectively with NTs is to simply state how you feel or what you're thinking now and then. We're used to using vague, non-direct signals to judge each other's intentions, feelings, opinions, etc. so when an aspie gives off different signals it throws most NTs off.

Example: If you've had an overwhelming day and just want to be by yourself with your special interest to chill out for awhile, a NT might think you don't want to hang out with them or are depressed or whatever. So it can be helpful to say something like, "I've had a stressful day, I'm going to do X for awhile to recharge my batteries. I'll see you [at dinner, tomorrow, whenever]." That way the NT knows what you need, why, and that it's not something for them to be concerned with.

Example Two: I have an aspie family member who has a special interest in knives. It sometimes freaks people out that he's always sitting around with a blank face sharpening knives. I've seen him explain to NTs before "I collect knives. Sharpening them calms me." Then they don't have to guess at what he's doing.


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aspiemike
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13 Jun 2013, 10:33 pm

I may have found a great solution to such problems. Last week, a friend thought I was upset with her for wanting to go somewhere else. The thing that was bothering me was a conversation from earlier that was still on my mind. She asked me about it later and it appeared she might be taking it personally. I had to tell her this:
"I'm as good as my word, don't try reading too much into anything I say. I am fine. When I am not being forthcoming and honest, you will know."