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Norny
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14 Jun 2014, 3:19 pm

I find that whenever I need to describe myself to others either directly or answer questions on tests etc I feel like I'm lying for 90% of the responses.

Examples of test questions (usually on a scale):

1. How calm are you?
2. Do you anger easily?
3. Are you artistic?

I seriously can't answer those questions. How are suppose to describe (or rate) how calm you are 'as a person'? I can't really even tell if I'm calm or not - when I 'feel' calm, I might actually be suppressing overwhelming stress or something like that; everything changes so rapidly along with my constantly changing thoughts. When I type this now, I am inclined to say that these questions are 'incredibly irritating', yet in reality they bother me only slightly, while invoking ideas within me, and inspiring me to create a discussion such as this. I don't think I have ever felt 'incredibly irritated', yet I still feel as if that is how I should describe this situation. It's confusing, in that I can't separate my actual self, from an identity that has in a way being structured or imposed upon me.

I might think something one day, and then the next have contradicting thoughts not based off of new considerations, but what I 'am feeling' in a sense. It's as if I have completely fluid and unstable opinions of everything, so I can't understand myself. Alternatively, I often encounter multiple 'planes of thought', where I am thinking or arguing with varying perspectives and ideas, the amounts of which can become overwhelming to the point that I seem to forget something I had previously acknowledged in my mind.

Why can't I have a proper self identity or at least some form of solid understanding of almost everything? It is likely that tomorrow, or perhaps in as little as a few minutes, I will have contradicting thoughts to this, and see all that I have written here to be incorrect, or something like that.

Please post if you can understand this, and/or relate to it. I really need to figure out, how I'm figuring things out, based on how you're figuring things out, so that I can appropriately figure out how I did that, and so on.

It's almost as if I have two or more consciousnesses.

??????????????????????????????????? =\


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kraftiekortie
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14 Jun 2014, 3:55 pm

I think it's pretty much a matter of having a "public" persona, and a "self" you expose to your friends (and to yourself).

There are times when one has to appear "calm," despite what's going in their heads or their lives. This doesn't detract, I don't believe, from what is your 'true" personality. In fact, it is an integral park of that "true" personality: your ability to maintain your cool in the face of stress.

The pertinent questions would be:

1. How calm are you WITHIN CERTAIN SITUATIONS?
2. Do you anger easily UNDER VARIOUS DEGREES OF STRESS?

The "Are you artistic?" question is purely subjective.

People with ASD's usually have difficulty in acquiring a "public" persona. Their most salient difficulty is in their flexibility in adjusting to various social situations.



foxfield
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14 Jun 2014, 4:45 pm

Yes, I experience this. Here are my assorted thoughts.

1. I have ideas that seem profound and brilliant in the middle of the night, then during the day seem ridiculous.
But its not as if I've had some concrete realisation as to why those ideas are stupid. Somehow being in daylight and the real world changes my perception of inner thoughts. I've never worked out how or why this occurs. Some change in brain chemistry, perhaps?

2. To be totally honest, I answer questions such as "Do you anger easily?" based on my ideals rather than my experience. For example, I have an moral ideal that I will not lose my temper with other people as I believe it will either scare them or make them aggressive. I have observed that I am in general able to stick to this ideal, so I answer "No" to this question. I notice some people have much looser ideals regarding this, I would describe those people as "angry" people.
Summing up all my past life experiences of anger, how strong these episodes have been, and how comparable they are to other people is an impossible task. So I agree with you, in that answering this question totally objectively is impossible.

3. I also describe things as "intensely irritating" when they don't in fact irritate me much at all. Its a language trick I think most of us use almost subconsciously in order to help persuade people to the point of view you are trying to make; negative emotive language helps to get the point across that something is bad. But it goes further than this. People with low self reflective abilities don't seem to understand that they aren't actually "intensely irritated" in cases like this. They seem to take the words that flow naturally out of their mouths in response to something that is only mildly irritating to be the truth; they believe they are in fact intensely irritated just because they have been led to say they are.

4. I was just reading an article about "priming". This is quite a shocking observation in psychology about how seemingly unrelated events affect our perception. They did an experiment in which subjects did a verbal task in which lots of words about old people were involved. After the participents left they were observed to walk more slowly as if they themselves were elderly. There have been many different experiments done like this.

So you see, your inner beliefs, self perception and behaviour are fluid to a degree that is almost scary. Its not surprising that you feel confused about how to describe yourself



Who_Am_I
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14 Jun 2014, 7:02 pm

My answer to half those questions is "it depends".


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Music Theory 101: Cadences.
Authentic cadence: V-I
Plagal cadence: IV-I
Deceptive cadence: V- ANYTHING BUT I ! !! !
Beethoven cadence: V-I-V-I-V-V-V-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I
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TerryD
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14 Jun 2014, 9:40 pm

My answer to those type of questions is "I don't know". If I am told that is not an acceptable answer, then I would probably have to just say whatever comes to mind at that time, which may or may not be true.



B19
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14 Jun 2014, 9:44 pm

The questions become much easier to answer if they are more specific and focused, ie:

instead of "How calm are you as a person", try the alternative "How often are you calm".

Very "global" questions that aren't defined bedevil many ASD people, particularly in job interviews.



ImeldaJace
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15 Jun 2014, 2:57 pm

And then there's the classic college essay question, "What will you contribute to the University?" :?

I always feel like I'm lying too! I hate those questions!! !


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ChameleonKeys
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15 Jun 2014, 10:05 pm

I also struggle with very open ended questions like this in regard to feelings. I am much more able to answer a question like "How often do you lose your temper and under what conditions?" than "Do you get angry easily?". I would get far too stuck wondering things like: 'Easily' compared to who? How are they defining angry? Do they mean over small things, frequently, or out of proportion the the situation or not? The question just isn't clear enough for me. The more specific and direct the question is the more straightforward it is for me to answer it. I would have the same problem with "How calm are you?". That's just too general for me, I wouldn't know quite what they really wanted to know.

I could answer the question "Are you artistic?" because some people aren't particularly artistic at all and some are, though I would need to explain the ways in which I am artistic and ways in which I am not and to what degree I display those skills and characteristics. I would probably go into unnecessary detail trying to clarify what they wanted to know and how my answer fits that. At least I could attempt to answer it to some degree though.

If someone asks me how I am or how I feel I will almost always answer "Tired" because I often feel physically tired when under pressure to interact and because I'm usually struggling to do it. They would need to then ask me why I am tired to prompt me to explain why. This is complicated further if people are really just using the question as a greeting or making small talk and don't particularly want to know the answer.

An even harder question still would be if someone just asked me to describe myself without any indication of the type of description they wanted at all. I'd have no idea where to start and probably couldn't answer until they gave me a more specific prompt.



Al725
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17 Jun 2014, 1:58 am

Who_Am_I wrote:
My answer to half those questions is "it depends".

Ditto. I'm different at different times.



Who_Am_I
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17 Jun 2014, 4:53 am

Al725 wrote:
Who_Am_I wrote:
My answer to half those questions is "it depends".

Ditto. I'm different at different times.


I'm always the same person. Situations change.


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Music Theory 101: Cadences.
Authentic cadence: V-I
Plagal cadence: IV-I
Deceptive cadence: V- ANYTHING BUT I ! !! !
Beethoven cadence: V-I-V-I-V-V-V-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I
-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I! I! I! I I I


michael517
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17 Jun 2014, 8:50 am

How 'bout some 'black-and-white' answers!

1. How calm are you? So hyper I could thread a sewing machine while it was running.
2. Do you anger easily? Yes
3. Are you artistic? No



eggheadjr
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17 Jun 2014, 9:23 am

Who_Am_I wrote:
Al725 wrote:
Who_Am_I wrote:
My answer to half those questions is "it depends".

Ditto. I'm different at different times.


I'm always the same person. Situations change.


No kidding - vague open ended questions are a disaster for me. Answer depends on a whole lot of things - precise questions are much better for me.

Q: How are you feeling?

A normal answer for me: Like eating dinner.


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Who_Am_I
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18 Jun 2014, 3:05 am

eggheadjr wrote:
Who_Am_I wrote:
Al725 wrote:
Who_Am_I wrote:
My answer to half those questions is "it depends".

Ditto. I'm different at different times.


I'm always the same person. Situations change.


No kidding - vague open ended questions are a disaster for me. Answer depends on a whole lot of things - precise questions are much better for me.

Q: How are you feeling?

A normal answer for me: Like eating dinner.


That's a reasonable question, as opposed to the questions many tests ask:

Q: Pick one word that describes your mood for your entire life:

A. Good.

B. Bad.

C. I am a banana!


_________________
Music Theory 101: Cadences.
Authentic cadence: V-I
Plagal cadence: IV-I
Deceptive cadence: V- ANYTHING BUT I ! !! !
Beethoven cadence: V-I-V-I-V-V-V-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I
-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I! I! I! I I I


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18 Jun 2014, 3:43 am

I'm indifferent, detached, apathetic.

Yet on the other hand: I'm really nosy, enthusiastic and mischievous.

I suppose it depends which side of bed I get out of.


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CosmicRuss
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18 Jun 2014, 6:19 am

1. How calm are you? Calmer than you, probably.
2. Do you anger easily? Yes, almost Incredible Hulk-like so stand well back.
3. Are you artistic? Yes, I can fold the ends of toilet tissue roll into pointy designs.


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ImAnAspie
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22 Jun 2014, 10:23 am

In a word - "Different"


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