Is being the self-aware aspie easier for us or worse?

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Is being a self-aware Aspie good or bad?
It's good. It means you have good social skills. 10%  10%  [ 4 ]
It's bad. It means you're more easily subject to misery and bullying. 13%  13%  [ 5 ]
It's neutral, I guess. It can be good or bad, depends on the individual 78%  78%  [ 31 ]
Total votes : 40

Outrider
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03 Mar 2014, 6:32 am

I don't know, it seems like a lot of other aspies I meet tell me I'm lucky that I'm the self-aware aspie, that I can actually read body language, tone, facial expressions, movement etc. with decent skill and get somewhat of an idea of what people are feeling.

But sometimes I think they don't realize how hard we still have it. I think we still have it hard even if you're self-aware or high-functioning (I'm not high functioning, I think I have mild autism, I'm not sure, but definitely not high-functioning).

There is another autistic boy at my school, I think he's low functioning autism. I sometimes feel jealous of him. He doesn't care what other people think about him at all, he doesn't even notice it or realize it. It's obvious to me other students mock him, I can clearly see it, he can't, but I can, these people possibly mistaking him as a mentally retarded boy (he's not), but at least these bullies are blind to him.

Me on the other hand, it's pretty obvious when I've made some stupid social mistake, so I end up feeling even worse with myself afterwards.

I want your opinions: Is being more self-aware or high-functioning a good thing, or a bad thing?



Waterfalls
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03 Mar 2014, 6:57 am

It's certainly a difficult thing. The self consciousness and self criticism that go with feeling I am different and others are normal isn't always justified or accurate.

I felt I had and deserved friends before it was pounded into my head that I'm the different one. Not saying life was easy, though.

I think it may depend on your environment, though. If you have around you people who are accepting of you, not everyone, but a few, then maybe being self aware can be a good thing. But I think it would take more than one or two people.

Are there some people who appreciate you, Outrider?



delaSHANE
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03 Mar 2014, 7:27 am

I find that being self-aware (I have it to the extreme), is the main source of my social issues/problems that arise. If had the ability to relieve my self of any traits, at all, they would absolutely be my extreme self-awareness, self-consciousness, self critiquing, et al.

Great topic !



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03 Mar 2014, 8:06 am

Provided that you can be self-aware, isn't that a choice? If you want to be the type that doesn't care, all you have to do is stop caring. You may still see your mistakes, but that doesn't mean you have to care about them.



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03 Mar 2014, 8:11 am

SammichEater wrote:
Provided that you can be self-aware, isn't that a choice? If you want to be the type that doesn't care, all you have to do is stop caring. You may still see your mistakes, but that doesn't mean you have to care about them.
p
It isn't so easy to turn off after spending years focused on trying to learn to manage and fit in and communicate with some effectiveness, you are so habitually trying to please others that it creates major opportunities for them to take advantage and hurt. That's me as an adult talking. I think people try to make it different for kids now, more opportunity to say no, ask for what they want, learn to advocate.

How much difference that makes I can't say. I hope some.



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03 Mar 2014, 9:24 am

Depends on rather you'd have the lowest-risk, lowest-payout life possible or take more risk for more reward, I guess. You can still be hurt by people's direct mockery if you're completely socially oblivious, but you slide past the subtler jabs. You're not going to wind up doing the things that require social- and self-awareness, though.



zer0netgain
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03 Mar 2014, 10:51 am

This is similar to the question of, "Is being 'mild' on the spectrum a good or bad thing?"

It's a double-edged sword.

High functioning = more opportunity in life, but the down side is that you still have a handicap...you might not ever get a Dx because you aren't symptomatic enough to clearly be recognized as disabled...you will be expected to perform as well as any other NT even though in many ways you never can.

Low functioning = less opportunity in life, but the up side is that your handicap is obvious...you should get a Dx early on, and nobody will expect you to perform as well as others.

There's a saying that "ignorance is bliss." I can't say I'd want to be low functioning because I don't know if low functioning autistics KNOW what they are and what they can never have or if they are unaware of what is denied to them because of their condition.

Clearly, most everyone is aware of things in life they can never have for any number of reasons, but I'm not churned up over not having a fancy car or a mansion or a rock star type of job. I get worked up over all the little things that I should have (based on how smart I am and how hard I've tried to reach certain goals) but can never seem to have. I'm smart enough and functional enough to be over $100K in student loan debt but can't seem to nail down a job that justifies all that debt in the first place. Indeed, I'm still stuck in the same jobs I was able to get without going into debt for an education, and that messes with me so much it's not funny anymore.

I don't like participating in events I have no shot at winning...unless I'm prepared to accept losing as a given and want to do the event just for the experience.

I hate applying for jobs I know I have no chance of getting. I hate putting money into investments I know will likely not return a profit. I hate spending time on projects that ultimately will be just a waste of time, money and energy.

Some days, my whole life feels like it's been a waste. Some days, I wish I was utterly unaware of how "limited" my life is so that I could be happier with what little I have...or at least not be so bothered by it.



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03 Mar 2014, 11:57 am

my life improved after i became self aware
before it was a total mess


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yournamehere
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03 Mar 2014, 12:00 pm

I LOVE MYSELF!! !! !

Other than that, I really don't understand the question.

I am aware of myself.

I'm not aware of not being myself.

I think therefore I am.

Self aware=aware of self???

Do you mean other self aware, or aware of someone else?

I don't get it.



em_tsuj
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03 Mar 2014, 5:32 pm

SammichEater wrote:
Provided that you can be self-aware, isn't that a choice? If you want to be the type that doesn't care, all you have to do is stop caring. You may still see your mistakes, but that doesn't mean you have to care about them.


That would be like telling someone that eyesight is a choice. Yes, technically it is, but you would have to cut out both eyes in order not to see. I think I am a self-aware aspie. I know what is going on in social situations. I just don't know how to react, or I am can't react in the appropriate way even if I know what it is. This awareness is frustrating. It happens over and over again. I get this funny feeling after some social interaction. I don't know exactly what went wrong but something went wrong. I can't stop that awareness from coming to me. It is just a part of my brain.

Like everything in life, I think being self-aware has both positive and negative aspects. The positive aspect of my self-awareness is that I am constantly able to improve upon my social skills. The negative aspect of my self-awareness is my low self-confidence. I am painfully aware when I make a mistake. I tend to dwell on it. I tend to overthink things. Over time though, it gets easier because I have learned from my mistakes. Now, most people don't see me as obnoxious. They just see me as shy and reserved, but also nice and smart. My self-awareness is what enables me to be "high functioning".



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03 Mar 2014, 9:33 pm

I think its hard, knowing you are so close, yet not being able to reach that line. Peoples assumptions cause we hide it so well and all the misunderstanding because we have the same problems yet people don't know and assume the worst and if we tell them they don't believe us. Sometimes I wish I was lower functioning so I didn't know better so I didn't suffer, then I realize thats a stupid thought.

To answer the question: I have no idea.



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04 Mar 2014, 1:57 am

em_tsuj wrote:
SammichEater wrote:
Provided that you can be self-aware, isn't that a choice? If you want to be the type that doesn't care, all you have to do is stop caring. You may still see your mistakes, but that doesn't mean you have to care about them.


That would be like telling someone that eyesight is a choice. Yes, technically it is, but you would have to cut out both eyes in order not to see. I think I am a self-aware aspie. I know what is going on in social situations. I just don't know how to react, or I am can't react in the appropriate way even if I know what it is. This awareness is frustrating. It happens over and over again. I get this funny feeling after some social interaction. I don't know exactly what went wrong but something went wrong. I can't stop that awareness from coming to me. It is just a part of my brain.

Like everything in life, I think being self-aware has both positive and negative aspects. The positive aspect of my self-awareness is that I am constantly able to improve upon my social skills. The negative aspect of my self-awareness is my low self-confidence. I am painfully aware when I make a mistake. I tend to dwell on it. I tend to overthink things. Over time though, it gets easier because I have learned from my mistakes. Now, most people don't see me as obnoxious. They just see me as shy and reserved, but also nice and smart. My self-awareness is what enables me to be "high functioning".

joku_muko wrote:
I think its hard, knowing you are so close, yet not being able to reach that line. Peoples assumptions cause we hide it so well and all the misunderstanding because we have the same problems yet people don't know and assume the worst and if we tell them they don't believe us. Sometimes I wish I was lower functioning so I didn't know better so I didn't suffer, then I realize thats a stupid thought.


Yay for quotes...

Sometimes I think it's horrible, then I remember how much smarter than everyone else I am at everything non-social, and I am happy not to be really stupid like most people, then someone tells me how rotten I am for being so arrogant.


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04 Mar 2014, 10:24 pm

Hmmm... I think self awareness, whether it be incidentally pleasant or painful, is necessary for good mental health. And to be perfectly frank, those on the spectrum, just like in most other areas of consideration, both excel and fall behind when it comes to making reasonable assessments of themselves. But let me explain myself a bit more clearly:

ASD people brimming with potential can often fall into the clutches of "internal able-ism". What I mean by that is when people with a disorder on the DSM manual lower their expectations and relegate various responsibilities and goals of theirs to others. Not to say that all of that is unjustified, because there are obviously some legitimate cases out there where people need serious assistance. However, many people who learn they have a "disorder" (whether or not they think it is a disorder) often become predisposed to coddle themselves. Instead of criticizing such thought tendencies, I would rather point out that this is truly sad because mental disorders can in fact make people quite exemplary at what they do.

Also, what we often see with ASD folks is a predisposition towards narcissism. Because we can often have profound difficulties with even empathizing with others, let alone relating to them, we often have trouble healthily wrapping our heads around expectations of accomplishment, attention, positive reinforcement, preoccupation with fantasies (whether it be exaggerated versions of ourselves or exaggerated versions of relations), and finally general expectation of special treatment. Now of course this isn't an indictment of folks here, just some general observations trends that indicate where we can fall short in self assessment, as our ability is compromised to recognize our own temperament and expectations.

And waiting on the other end of the coin to be mentioned is one great example of a positive, which is the predisposition against dyadic personalities. Dyadic personalities are personalities whose overriding consideration is interpersonal relationships, esteem within a group, within a society, etc. This can have a lot to do with the areas in which ASD people excel at rational thinking (of course, there are areas specific to each person where we all must admit we suffer rationally speaking), particularly when it comes to forming opinions on controversial subjects, deliberating technical subjects amidst social pressure. Folks on the spectrum can be uniquely immune to the ever pervasive argumentum ad populum fallacy; For many others it can be hard to separate general opinion from informed opinion. Many of the most entrenched examples of confirmation bias primarily stem from argumentum ad populum.


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04 Mar 2014, 10:47 pm

KWifler wrote:
Yay for quotes...

Sometimes I think it's horrible, then I remember how much smarter than everyone else I am at everything non-social, and I am happy not to be really stupid like most people, then someone tells me how rotten I am for being so arrogant.


If I may be respectful and frank throughout this post with my suggestions: I would like to point out that your reaction is not necessarily arrogant at all. Sure, it certainly can be, but what seems more likely is at it's root this is a reflexive reaction. Whoever we cannot identify with we tend to demarcate in our minds as being "stupid", "thoughtless", "careless". Yet on a more subconscious level what is really happening is we often cannot come to terms with the fact that others can place so much more value on interpersonal relationships, how they are so wrapped up in fitting their identity within perceived boundaries and thus base their esteem in what can honestly seem an ugly paradigm. But what seems to you to be unintelligent actually demonstrates a particular type of intelligence where others can excel.

You see, "intelligence" isn't one trait. It's actually a wide set of mental capacities that people can have. A great example of the picture I am trying to paint here is my uncle Benny. He was quite disadvantaged as a youth, and as a result he was illiterate until he was about 16. Yet in spite of that I have always known him to be a great success and there are few people that I know who are more knowledgeable in accomplishing tasks by hand, from simple workplace and home maintenance to fine craftsmanship. He may have trouble reading very well to this day, but he is still always well informed of how the almond harvest is going locally, where new dams are being built, etc.

So I invite you to consider how dynamic and incredible the people around you really can be. It can be hard to get past the limitations of others, especially when their specific areas of limitation happen to be an area of strength for you. But try considering your impersonal rational mind a unique opportunity to look past that and begin to truly appreciate just how remarkable the people around you are.


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06 Mar 2014, 1:11 pm

It's hard to say really. If you are very self-aware (meaning you care too much), you can hide your traits better and try to escape the risk of bullying if you work hard enough on your social skills. But then that does not always mean you will gain lots of friends, in fact your quiet side will come out more and you become so afraid of what other people think that you go into your shell and not want to say a lot at all. Sometimes this can lead to becoming very nervous, and other people sense it. For some reason people don't seem to like quiet, nervous people so much. This can make you more sensitive to isolation and lead to depression.

If you don't have self-awareness really, you have more chance of becoming quite outgoing and being able to force yourself to speak up in group conversations and not feel so afraid, and you can then get yourself into the habit of being more social, and people tend to listen more to more chatty people than they do quieter people. But sometimes Aspies with low self-awareness can have more chance of getting bullied, because their symptoms can show more and people become afraid of that too.

I'm not saying this applies to every Aspie. But this is just from my experience. I'm an extremely self-aware Aspie, by the way.


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08 Mar 2014, 1:35 am

I have flashes of awareness.

Most of the time my life is like being in a small boat in big waves. I get carried along and get bumped around by the waves/life. For the most part I spend my time in the trough, not seeing the world around. From the bottom of those troughs, I am unaware of the rest of the world, which keeps things uncomplicated. On those rare moments, I am on the top of the wave and I can see all around.

I think NT's spend their time on top of the waves, giving them an awareness of the world around them. However, I wonder if they give any thought to self awareness. I am aware enough of my condition, that I know I am different from them, but then I have spent a lifetime full of people telling me how different I am. So it's a puzzle I have been working on, since I can remember.

So, whether we spend our time in the trough or on top of the waves, self-awareness, might be only be part of the quest to survive.