Can you imagine what it would be like to be someone else?

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Tigurinn
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05 Jan 2015, 2:15 pm

I'm taking an online autism test and one of the things to answer is "I cannot imagine what it would be like to be someone else."

It made me wonder if anyone at all can imagine what it would be like to be someone else, either on nt's or non-nt's.

Can you imagine what it would be like to be someone else?



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05 Jan 2015, 2:19 pm

I cannot imagine what it would be like to be someone else. It has taken me many years to even understand that people have their own thoughts and emotions! I believe to some extent, NTs can 'put themselves in the other person's shoes' which probably helps them understand someone else's point of view. I have lived with lots of different people with different disabilities and I have a tendency to research everything to do with that condition to get some understanding of what it is like to be them, but that is as far as I can go.


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umfum
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05 Jan 2015, 2:41 pm

I cannot imagine what it would be like to be someone else, e.g. someone who does not have ASD. However, I am good at understanding how other people feel, if I have felt even vaguely similar in the past. But I cannot imagine being someone else. If I could imagine being a person who does not have ASD, perhaps I might resent having ASD. But I cannot, so I am just me. I think we could make a virtue of this seeming "deficit" but I am too tired to do so right now.

Edit: To add, I think you are very right to question whether anyone at all can responsibly imagine being someone else.



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05 Jan 2015, 3:55 pm

No - I cannot imagine what it would be like to be someone else. I think this inability is part and parcel of being autistic.


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ralphd
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05 Jan 2015, 4:42 pm

For complex emotions such as most social emotions I can cognitively, but not intuitively. In other words I can analyze behavior and observe events, and having researched human emotions I can hypothesize what another person might be feeling.

For basic (mammalian) emotions like pain and joy I don't have to imagine - I just feel it. For example not only do I find most needles quite painful, I feel emotional distress just watching someone else get a needle.

If there is a gory scene in a movie I'll look away or cover my eyes and ask my wife to tell me when it is over.


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05 Jan 2015, 7:18 pm

In a very forced imaginative way, yes, but not really.


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05 Jan 2015, 9:39 pm

Nope.



MjrMajorMajor
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05 Jan 2015, 9:42 pm

Nope. The closest I come is imagining how I would feel in someone else's situation, but I know it's not the same. I do my best not to be an unempathic jerk, with mixed results.



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05 Jan 2015, 9:47 pm

No, I tried to, but I can't, but I bet that others can't imagine what it is like to be me either.


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05 Jan 2015, 10:04 pm

I can not imagine how it is to be someone else. Nor can I imagine how is is to want to be someone else.

I can, however, imagine what it might be like for me to be in someone else's situation - most of the time, anyway.


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seaturtleisland
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06 Jan 2015, 1:06 am

Fnord wrote:
I can not imagine how it is to be someone else. Nor can I imagine how is is to want to be someone else.

I can, however, imagine what it might be like for me to be in someone else's situation - most of the time, anyway.


Well for me I just get bored of being myself so I need a new self to replace me.



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06 Jan 2015, 2:33 am

Why would I try to imagine what it would be like to be someone else? Do people really do this? What is the benefit?

Fnord wrote:
I can, however, imagine what it might be like for me to be in someone else's situation - most of the time, anyway.

I frequently tell others (e.g. members of my family) what I would do, if I were in their situation. Unfortunately, this oftentimes gets me in trouble. I have to learn to keep my constructive thoughts to myself.



Feyokien
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06 Jan 2015, 5:26 am

Not really, I really don't get why most act the way they do, I've tried interpreting before but it usually doesn't work. I can only understand how I myself would react to most situations. I tend to just keep my opinions to myself most of the time, but I've been getting a bit bolder in speaking my mind in recent months because a lot of people seem to think silence equals agreement.



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06 Jan 2015, 6:52 am

It's very difficult for me to imagine what it's like to be someone else, especially a neurotypical. Whenever I try, my mind goes blank. Here are the questions I find extremely confusing and could never answer.

What does someone else live for? What does he feel when he/she opens his eyes in the morning? What is his routine, and how come he's not bored to death with it? What does it feel to communicate easily with other people, and does he really enjoy it? What are his plans and dreams? How can he stand to do something i consider draining beyond words like going to a party or talking with a group of people? Does he really find it fun, or is he just pretending? Is this all just a game everyone plays? What does he feel when he's just sitting there waiting for the bus or a doctor's appointment? What goes through his head, nothing, an empty fog, plans for the future, missing his family and friends, the grocery list? What does he think about while walking down the street? How does he fills his free time when he's not working, TV? How long can one sit in front of the TV?


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06 Jan 2015, 7:08 am

Either I can or I don't understand the question...

As long as I know someone opinions, likes, dislikes etc. I can imagine how it would be to be him/her just like an actor playing a role or a writer writing multiple characters scenes. I could pretend to be him/her and during the time follow thinking pattern that fits the image of the character I play. It would be a play but while I am on it I would think as the character and act like the character, burying my own feelings and thoughts deep inside to a degree they would not be so easily accessible.



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06 Jan 2015, 12:17 pm

MjrMajorMajor wrote:
Nope. The closest I come is imagining how I would feel in someone else's situation, but I know it's not the same. I do my best not to be an unempathic jerk, with mixed results.



Wait, that's not the same thing???
I thought that imagining myself in their situation was all that was to it! How the hell am I supposed to know what it'd be like to actually be someone else???


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