I think I've understood the social issue in Aspergers

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qawer
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07 Mar 2014, 7:05 am

Here is my take on what the (unsolvable) social issue is all about:

People with Aspergers Syndrome have internal motivation, not external the way NTs have it.

NTs are group-hunters, meaning they get motivation from being included in a group. Because, if you do not have a group, how can you hunt in a group? Having a group subconsciously convinces them they can survive. That is what their life is centered around: being accepted by the group, i.e. improving social status and fitting in.

People with AS are solo-hunters, meaning they get motivation from not having leaders. Because, if you had leaders restricting your behaviour possibilities, how could you hunt solo? Not being included in a group subconsciously convinces them they can survive. That is what their life is centered around: not being forced to join a group, i.e. being independent and not be forced to please others.


So what happens when people with AS try to fit into a NT-group?

The NTs expect that the person with AS:

- Prioritizes group-belonging over independence.
- Acts according to his social ranking and wants to "play" so as to determine that rank.


What happens when NTs "play" (i.e. tease/bully) a person with AS is that they force the AS-person into the group. The only way the person with AS can strike back is by giving back. But if the NT group agrees that your status is lower than theirs, they will get angry with you when you give back. So they will gang up on you so that you will "understand it".


So the main point is: being truly social (i.e. "acting NT") depresses a person with AS, because he thinks he can no longer hunt solo, eventually leading to death.

This means AS-people can learn all the social skills they want, in the end they can never change the fact that they do not really like being too social.

You are of course welcome to disagree, this was only my observation.



Last edited by qawer on 07 Mar 2014, 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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07 Mar 2014, 8:25 am

Interesting socio-anthropological perspective. I would venture to suggest that your model is also applicable with respect to introverts / extroverts in general. The point to consider is: are all Aspies by definition introverted? If not it complicates your model, because those who are not would strongly desire to be part of the group, but are isolated by the degree to which they are able to understand and process the social dynamics within the group setting. Being an introvert myself, I can't offer anything definitive on those lines, beyond simple speculation.

For what it is worth, I have found that I am less averse to group settings (and even functional within them) if I know the people well and they share my personal interests and priorities and respect my autonomy. When I was a child, this meant that I wanted to play with other children only if they would go along with my games (anyone want to play Incas? :) ). As an adult, I don't have to be the "activities director" (although that's kind of my job description right now), but I only choose to participate in the group activities which align well with my personal goals and priorities.

So the combination of interest and autonomy are key for me.



leejosepho
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07 Mar 2014, 8:35 am

Naturalist wrote:
I have found that I am less averse to group settings (and even functional within them) if I know the people well and they share my personal interests and priorities and respect my autonomy...

So the combination of interest and autonomy are key for me.

Yes, and I think that ties in well with what is behind what I hear the OP mentioning. I find it impossible to participate in group settings where people either cannot or will not think outside whatever box they might be in, and yet I seek group interaction where interests are held in common and anonymity is not sacrificed for the sake of the seeming comfort of having the group in a box.


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Norny
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07 Mar 2014, 9:45 am

While I don't mind you theory-crafting, I don't agree with how strictly you are placing boundaries on massively undefined groups of people. This is how I see it, at least to the best of my ability to describe it:

qawer wrote:
Here is my take on what the (unsolvable) social issue is all about:
People with Asperger's Syndrome have internal motivation, not external the way NTs have it.


Introverts have internal motivation, and extroverts have external motivation. As with everything else, there is no need to be classified or to classify others strictly as introverts or as extroverts. Individuals with Asperger's are supposedly more commonly introverted (though I'm not so sure about that) hence why you see it that way. I guess you could say that there are many NT individuals in this world that are more 'Aspie' like (based on your theory alone) than you would think.

qawer wrote:
NTs are group-hunters, meaning they get motivation from being included in a group. Because, if you do not have a group, how can you hunt in a group? Having a group subconsciously convinces them they can survive. That is what their life is centered around: being accepted by the group, i.e. improving social status and fitting in.


I can see why this would make sense at first glance, though improving social status and fitting in aren't really the prime goals of the average NT. There is far more to an NT individual than improving social status and fitting in, they can be just as intellectual as any individual with AS. Neurological 'labels' don't limit those types of things. Standing up for your own beliefs, not being a pushover, and being your own unique self are trademarks of a 'strong' personality in modern society; 'not caring' about not being accepted by a group if you're being who you are is considered a strength. Perhaps being accepted by a group is a central goal for an NT, but for many individuals with AS it is for them too. I don't know any individual with AS in particular that wants to be completely isolated from others.

qawer wrote:
People with AS are solo-hunters, meaning they get motivation from not being included in a group. Because, if you were in a group restricting your behaviour possibilities, how could you hunt solo? Not being included in a group subconsciously convinces them they can survive. That is what their life is centered around: not being forced to join a group, i.e. being independent and not be forced to please others.


I can't agree with this at all. First and foremost, there are many individuals with AS that wish nothing more than to be included by a group. Being in a group doesn't restrict your behavioral possibilities, if you are in a group where you feel restricted then you aren't in the right one.. it's as simple as that; it's all mentality whether or not you decide to restrict yourself. NT individuals aren't forced to please others either, and many don't. If that weren't true, selfish/self-centered individuals would not exist. NT people have a brain, and can think for themselves. Independence is also highly prized amongst NT individuals.

qawer wrote:
What happens when NTs "play" (i.e. tease/bully) a person with AS is that they force the AS-person into the group. The only way the person with AS can strike back is by giving back. But if the NT group agrees that your status is lower than theirs, they will get angry with you when you give back. So they will gang up on you so that you will "understand it".


This 'status' argument you've been using to support your theory doesn't really make sense to me. You'll need to elaborate and give examples.

qawer wrote:
This means AS-people can learn all the social skills they want, in the end they can never change the fact that they do not really like being too social.

You are of course welcome to disagree, this was only my observation.


I know people with AS that attempt to be more social than many NTs that I've known. As I don't know how to describe myself, I like being social at times, and not at others. It hurts my brain when there are billions of possible contexts, and you limit it down to one absolute answer, as if there is a domineering one. There are so many individuals in this world, and to break them into two groups based on their 'neurology' is impossible from my perspective.


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Sweetleaf
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07 Mar 2014, 10:27 am

I don't know about anyone else but not being part of the group doesn't exactly 'motivate' me. I wasn't a 'loner' throughout public school by choice, I didn't like being excluded and picked on at all. I would have loved to be included and accepted despite my oddness.



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07 Mar 2014, 10:58 am

Sweetleaf wrote:
I don't know about anyone else but not being part of the group doesn't exactly 'motivate' me. I wasn't a 'loner' throughout public school by choice, I didn't like being excluded and picked on at all. I would have loved to be included and accepted despite my oddness.


It was in that sense I meant "not being part of the group", even though I realize I should have stated that more clearly.

If someone accepts your oddness without any picking or bullying, you are not truly included in the group, because your ranking in the group is not being challenged. As a result you are equal to the group members. I should also had mentioned my definition of a 'group': In a group, people are not equals. You are not truly included in a group before your "place" in the group has been determined.

I think many people with AS desire that: being accepted by a group as an equal, while ignoring how much you can contribute with to the group, which eventually equates not being picked at.

I feel that way too.



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07 Mar 2014, 11:36 am

qawer wrote:
Sweetleaf wrote:
I don't know about anyone else but not being part of the group doesn't exactly 'motivate' me. I wasn't a 'loner' throughout public school by choice, I didn't like being excluded and picked on at all. I would have loved to be included and accepted despite my oddness.


It was in that sense I meant "not being part of the group", even though I realize I should have stated that more clearly.

If someone accepts your oddness without any picking or bullying, you are not truly included in the group, because your ranking in the group is not being challenged. As a result you are equal to the group members. I should also had mentioned my definition of a 'group': In a group, people are not equals. You are not truly included in a group before your "place" in the group has been determined.

I think many people with AS desire that: being accepted by a group as an equal, while ignoring how much you can contribute with to the group, which eventually equates not being picked at.

I feel that way too.


I'm not sure what you mean by the bolded part. My current group of friends I consider to be very equal. One of them is obviously neurotypical, one of them is autistic, and then there's me. We never have any problems with having a 'place' in the group. I feel that I'm missing a huge part of what you're trying to say, or perhaps it just doesn't relate to me.


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michael517
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07 Mar 2014, 11:48 am

I think the 'teasing' is like the animals in a pecking order, like horses in barn, and they got to do it to establish that pecking order.

That and they are assholes.

I don't even want to bring up what happened to me, I don't want to ruin everybody's weekend, and I am SURE 99% of the people on this board can truthfully top any story I have about being teased.



qawer
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07 Mar 2014, 11:54 am

Norny wrote:
qawer wrote:
Sweetleaf wrote:
I don't know about anyone else but not being part of the group doesn't exactly 'motivate' me. I wasn't a 'loner' throughout public school by choice, I didn't like being excluded and picked on at all. I would have loved to be included and accepted despite my oddness.


It was in that sense I meant "not being part of the group", even though I realize I should have stated that more clearly.

If someone accepts your oddness without any picking or bullying, you are not truly included in the group, because your ranking in the group is not being challenged. As a result you are equal to the group members. I should also had mentioned my definition of a 'group': In a group, people are not equals. You are not truly included in a group before your "place" in the group has been determined.

I think many people with AS desire that: being accepted by a group as an equal, while ignoring how much you can contribute with to the group, which eventually equates not being picked at.

I feel that way too.


I'm not sure what you mean by the bolded part. My current group of friends I consider to be very equal. One of them is obviously neurotypical, one of them is autistic, and then there's me. We never have any problems with having a 'place' in the group. I feel that I'm missing a huge part of what you're trying to say, or perhaps it just doesn't relate to me.


That is just great! Sounds like good friends.

What I am saying is just that if you are equals in a group, you cannot have a leader - otherwise you would not truly be equals. Being equals means everyone are more likely to do what they think is best for themselves. This also means the group is not as "tight" as non-equal groups having leaders.

I mean, there certainly is nothing wrong with non-tight groups, I prefer those myself!

I consider participating in non-tight groups semi-social. That is fine and great, and I think being semi-social should not give problems for people with AS. But in workplaces and offices, semi-social interaction is rarely accepted. They often require full-blown tight social interaction, which includes bullying (or "teasing" as they prefer to call it).



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07 Mar 2014, 12:01 pm

michael517 wrote:
I think the 'teasing' is like the animals in a pecking order, like horses in barn, and they got to do it to establish that pecking order.

That and they are assholes.

I don't even want to bring up what happened to me, I don't want to ruin everybody's weekend, and I am SURE 99% of the people on this board can truthfully top any story I have about being teased.


I feel you, it leaves mental scars. The recovering time can be extremely long.



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07 Mar 2014, 12:41 pm

That doesn't apply to me much. I really badly want to be part of the group, and when I feel like I am, I feel happy. When everybody around me has got something I haven't, I don't feel part of that group and get depressed and suicidal. I am too shy to be able to be as accepted as I want to be, which makes me unhappy.


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07 Mar 2014, 12:50 pm

michael517 wrote:
I think the 'teasing' is like the animals in a pecking order, like horses in barn, and they got to do it to establish that pecking order.

That and they are assholes.

I don't even want to bring up what happened to me, I don't want to ruin everybody's weekend, and I am SURE 99% of the people on this board can truthfully top any story I have about being teased.

true. Not only teasing is like pecking order in that it is a social hierarchy but also almost any social subtleties, like jokes. Please don't start being paranoid but nt's use humour to friendly show who's on top. Unfortunately I forgot the source of the study I read about it.



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07 Mar 2014, 12:58 pm

qawer wrote:
Here is my take on what the (unsolvable) social issue is all about:

People with Aspergers Syndrome have internal motivation, not external the way NTs have it.

NTs are group-hunters, meaning they get motivation from being included in a group. Because, if you do not have a group, how can you hunt in a group? Having a group subconsciously convinces them they can survive. That is what their life is centered around: being accepted by the group, i.e. improving social status and fitting in.

People with AS are solo-hunters, meaning they get motivation from not being included in a group. Because, if you were in a group restricting your behaviour possibilities, how could you hunt solo? Not being included in a group subconsciously convinces them they can survive. That is what their life is centered around: not being forced to join a group, i.e. being independent and not be forced to please others.


So what happens when people with AS try to fit into a NT-group?

The NTs expect that the person with AS:

- Prioritizes group-belonging over independence.
- Acts according to his social ranking and wants to "play" so as to determine that rank.


What happens when NTs "play" (i.e. tease/bully) a person with AS is that they force the AS-person into the group. The only way the person with AS can strike back is by giving back. But if the NT group agrees that your status is lower than theirs, they will get angry with you when you give back. So they will gang up on you so that you will "understand it".


So the main point is: being truly social (i.e. "acting NT") depresses a person with AS, because he thinks he can no longer hunt solo, eventually leading to death.

This means AS-people can learn all the social skills they want, in the end they can never change the fact that they do not really like being too social.

You are of course welcome to disagree, this was only my observation.

I disagree. For me it doesn't make sense to say aspies don't want to feel included and nt's do. Also what would be this solo hunting thing? Doesn't make sense.
I think we have to accept being autistic is not a particular evolution advantage. Even because autistic ratio is very small.
If all autism is a disadvantage because we would probably be killed in a ritual on traditional societies. Social interaction is crucial in traditional societies and also we wouldn't be able to do the work and resources are scarce. And we would be different, seen as influenciated by demons etc :lol:



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07 Mar 2014, 2:48 pm

Norny wrote:

I can see why this would make sense at first glance, though improving social status and fitting in aren't really the prime goals of the average NT. There is far more to an NT individual than improving social status and fitting in, they can be just as intellectual as any individual with AS.


I work in a university department and am here to testify that "being intellectual" and "seeking social status and fitting in" are absolutely not mutually exclusive. Universities are as miserable as they are precisely because they're home to unfireable people who are desperate to improve or maintain their social and professional rankings within the institution. And whose sense of self depends heavily on that rank.



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07 Mar 2014, 2:53 pm

I went to my first A.A. meeting last night. Even though it was voluntary, it's still required by the outpatient rehab I attend.

I was uncomfortable, of course. In fact I was nervous. When it came my turn to speak, I did, but it all came out jumbled up.

After the meeting was over there came socialization time. I didn't partake of it and simply left.

No matter how hard I try, I can't get used to the idea of socializing with a group. My internal clock just panics and I disappear.



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07 Mar 2014, 4:19 pm

linatet wrote:
I disagree. For me it doesn't make sense to say aspies don't want to feel included and nt's do. Also what would be this solo hunting thing? Doesn't make sense. I think we have to accept being autistic is not a particular evolution advantage. Even because autistic ratio is very small.
If all autism is a disadvantage because we would probably be killed in a ritual on traditional societies. Social interaction is crucial in traditional societies and also we wouldn't be able to do the work and resources are scarce. And we would be different, seen as influenciated by demons etc :lol:


There is a theory that in ancient hunter-gatherer tribes, the few aspiemen there were would have acted as scouts, searching out large game and reporting back to the hunting party. So if the tribe had 100 able-bodied men, 98 of them would be group hunters, 2 would be solo scouts.

The scouts may not have hunted, but would have been tolerated by the tribe for their tracking skills (requiring good geographic comprehension and attention to detail at locating animal tracks, etc.) . However, they would have been the lowest of the low when it came time to mating, as strong hunters would have been more desirable.

Sort of ironic, the most individualistic tribe members in this theory existed mainly to aid the group as a whole, ensuring group survival, though they themselves were often the least likely to mate.