Why is it so hard for NTs to accept a Special Interest

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ZombieBrideXD
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02 May 2015, 4:45 pm

So my family has always found it difficult to accept my 5 year long intense interest with Sonic The Hedgehog, They're always trying to make me draw or watch something else and i don't understand why, I'm happy and this interest isn't hurting myself or anyone, so why do they dislike it so much?


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ToughDiamond
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02 May 2015, 5:52 pm

Best guess, they sense the downside of uncontrolled special interests. I think it could be quite hard for an Aspie to notice much of a problem until they grow older and have the responsibility of supporting themselves and playing their part in any friendships and relationships they decide to acquire.

It can also make people feel rejected if one of them takes off into their own world all the time. Personally I think that's unfair on the Aspie, but those feelings might have to be reckoned with. It would be grounds for divorce in a marriage, a spouse could practically end up a special interests widow(er).



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02 May 2015, 6:17 pm

Its ok to have an special interest, but there are also other things to care about. Even when social life can be boring, it is important, and to be social involves adapting to other people interests.



cavernio
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02 May 2015, 6:40 pm

ZombieBrideXD wrote:
So my family has always found it difficult to accept my 5 year long intense interest with Sonic The Hedgehog, They're always trying to make me draw or watch something else and i don't understand why, I'm happy and this interest isn't hurting myself or anyone, so why do they dislike it so much?


Probably because they find it exceedingly boring.


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02 May 2015, 7:33 pm

cavernio wrote:
ZombieBrideXD wrote:
So my family has always found it difficult to accept my 5 year long intense interest with Sonic The Hedgehog, They're always trying to make me draw or watch something else and i don't understand why, I'm happy and this interest isn't hurting myself or anyone, so why do they dislike it so much?


Probably because they find it exceedingly boring.



Unless she's making them watch it, I don't see why this should be a problem.


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AspieUtah
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02 May 2015, 7:46 pm

Maybe they understand the benefit of contrast and comparison. You might appreciate your interests more if you found other activities which would complement them. You might also find new interests which are as entertaining or more so than the interests you have now. Comparing your current interests to possible new interests helps expand your knowledge about both the current and new interests. Applying what you know about one interest can help make another interest even more entertaining.

And, there is the truism that "absence makes the heart grow fonder." You might appreciate your current interests more or differently if you take some breaks from it.


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cyberdad
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02 May 2015, 8:27 pm

I think it depends on what the special interest is. A special interest in building or fixing things is seen as productive whereas sonic the hedgehog they put in the "obsessive" category.



RoseDuste
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02 May 2015, 9:19 pm

Probably because it's not something NT people would be obsessive about.

If a guy was really into cars, or a girl was obsessed with shopping, even if to a point where it was negatively impacting them, people would generally dismiss it, because it's seen as being a "normal" interest.

NT people reject anything "different."



cavernio
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02 May 2015, 9:42 pm

Who_Am_I wrote:
cavernio wrote:
ZombieBrideXD wrote:
So my family has always found it difficult to accept my 5 year long intense interest with Sonic The Hedgehog, They're always trying to make me draw or watch something else and i don't understand why, I'm happy and this interest isn't hurting myself or anyone, so why do they dislike it so much?


Probably because they find it exceedingly boring.


Unless she's making them watch it, I don't see why this should be a problem.


It's a problem if you want to connect to the person and all they want to talk about is something you don't care about. makes it hard for connection to be made. This is connected to conversation in this recent thread viewtopic.php?t=284041

There's also likely a perception that what she might be doing is more OCD than anything, where it is quite clear that one does not need to actually enjoy what they are doing/thinking to do that thing.

A lot of people who end up doing the same thing or pursuing the same thing also end up not actually enjoying it too much, but not in quite an OCD way. Like someone who stays in the same job for decades, even though they don't like it much, even though they would be able to find work elsewhere. I have experienced this myself, I was in a relationship where I felt 'stuck' and was not very happy (but I was very comfortable) but I stayed in it for 7 years and got married during it because why not? I know why I did it, because I didn't know that there was something else out there that was better. "Being in a rut" is a thing that seems to happen to people, and unless you know what having an autistic special interest is like, they draw from their own experience. Their own experience is likely telling them 'Whoa, if I were doing that thing, it would be because I was not actually happy with what I would be doing, but would just not have the motivation or drive to change, and that's a really crappy place to be in'

Besides which, their questions I think are equally valid as zombie's question of 'Why should I?'. Well, why shouldn't you? What if you find that you enjoy something else more? What if drawing something else gives you a different experience that you like? There is so much out there to experience and know, you literally do not know what you are missing. (I seem to say that a lot, as I find my perceptions changing a lot lately.) And because you have not experienced other things, you really don't have much of a comparison to say 'well, this is actually very enjoyable'. People coax because they perceive that they know better, or they want to share something that they really like with you, because it would be cool if you thought it were cool too. And this is not necessarily manipulation or lack of respect of you on their part; for one, you picked up liking sonic somehow and so it is not weird for people to again influence you, secondly, the intent is obviously not one of ill-will.

Change is perceived as good because new things means new learning and learning itself is pleasurable on a weird level.


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Sweetleaf
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02 May 2015, 9:53 pm

What makes people think those of us on the spectrum are any more willing to listen to them talk about things we find boring(of course that does vary). Also I do not see where the OP said they only talk about sonic and it consumes all their time or anything like that, they just said its a special interest NT's cannot seem to leave them alone about. I really like metal music and I express that, it is sort of a special interest so yes it is more of an obsession for me than a lot of neurotypicals but it doesn't hurt anyone and its not my 'only' interest or focus....if their interest in sonic is simular than its really no ones business to pressure them to stop expressing interest in it and find something those people like 'more' just to conform....that's crap. Of course being on the spectrum I try to be aware of another person really is not interested in something I want to talk about, and then I don't talk about it with them as I know I can tend to go on about things...But that doesn't mean I or anyone else should up and change all their interests, though branching out can certainly be healthy. But also neurotypicals and others without autism, still even get annoyed at each other if they go on about topics someone finds boring. For instance my brother and his friend who are not on the spectrum may get into a conversation about star-wars and some people who aren't really into that do get bored of it. So its not like they always have a perfect balance either.



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02 May 2015, 10:08 pm

Unless you keep shoving it in their faces (eg. talking about it all the time) then I don't see a problem with it and just ignore them.


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cavernio
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02 May 2015, 10:44 pm

Sweetleaf wrote:
What makes people think those of us on the spectrum are any more willing to listen to them talk about things we find boring(of course that does vary).

No one was saying this. If you'd read the link I provided to the other thread, you would not have said this. I will remember that you do not read things before responding.

Sweetleaf wrote:
Also I do not see where the OP said they only talk about sonic and it consumes all their time or anything like that, they just said its a special interest NT's cannot seem to leave them alone about. I really like metal music and I express that, it is sort of a special interest so yes it is more of an obsession for me than a lot of neurotypicals but it doesn't hurt anyone and its not my 'only' interest or focus....if their interest in sonic is simular than its really no ones business to pressure them to stop expressing interest in it and find something those people like 'more' just to conform....that's crap. Of course being on the spectrum I try to be aware of another person really is not interested in something I want to talk about, and then I don't talk about it with them as I know I can tend to go on about things...But that doesn't mean I or anyone else should up and change all their interests, though branching out can certainly be healthy. But also neurotypicals and others without autism, still even get annoyed at each other if they go on about topics someone finds boring. For instance my brother and his friend who are not on the spectrum may get into a conversation about star-wars and some people who aren't really into that do get bored of it. So its not like they always have a perfect balance either.


The OP asked a question. I offered explanations beyond all the other 'lol what a stupid interest that is, you are different and don't conform and that is wrong' which is what all the angry @ NT people here said.

"But that doesn't mean I or anyone else should up and change all their interests, though branching out can certainly be healthy."
Why is it healthy to branch interests? Oh, I see....you...offer no explanation as to why. I actually offered explanations and I seem to have triggered an outburst from you.


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Last edited by cavernio on 02 May 2015, 10:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

cyberdad
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02 May 2015, 10:47 pm

I think the question was about NT views on special interests.

Sonic the hedgehog is a "special interest" because only a small percentage of the population are into this game. Thus excessive amount of time playing Sonic might be construed by NTs as an obsession or addiction.

Cars and shopping are popular "interests" which NTs have. People do shopping and drive cars so it's a common interest with many people with shared experiences. However it's a fair point that one can be addicted to shopping.



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02 May 2015, 10:48 pm

Do you spend large amounts of time pursuing your special interest?
Maybe that is why, they are bothered by you spending so much time on one thing.
My special interest is quite productive considering it is my education/career, but my parents are sometimes bothered that I spend so much time on it.
My father tells me that I don't need to spend all my time on it.


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02 May 2015, 10:50 pm

cavernio wrote:
Sweetleaf wrote:
What makes people think those of us on the spectrum are any more willing to listen to them talk about things we find boring(of course that does vary).

No one was saying this.

Sweetleaf wrote:
Also I do not see where the OP said they only talk about sonic and it consumes all their time or anything like that, they just said its a special interest NT's cannot seem to leave them alone about. I really like metal music and I express that, it is sort of a special interest so yes it is more of an obsession for me than a lot of neurotypicals but it doesn't hurt anyone and its not my 'only' interest or focus....if their interest in sonic is simular than its really no ones business to pressure them to stop expressing interest in it and find something those people like 'more' just to conform....that's crap. Of course being on the spectrum I try to be aware of another person really is not interested in something I want to talk about, and then I don't talk about it with them as I know I can tend to go on about things...But that doesn't mean I or anyone else should up and change all their interests, though branching out can certainly be healthy. But also neurotypicals and others without autism, still even get annoyed at each other if they go on about topics someone finds boring. For instance my brother and his friend who are not on the spectrum may get into a conversation about star-wars and some people who aren't really into that do get bored of it. So its not like they always have a perfect balance either.


The OP asked a question. I offered explanations beyond all the other 'lol what a stupid interest that is, you are different and don't conform and that is wrong' which is what all the angry @ NT people here said.

"But that doesn't mean I or anyone else should up and change all their interests, though branching out can certainly be healthy."
Why is it healthy to branch interests? Oh, I see....you...offer no explanation as to why. I actually offered explanations and I seem to have triggered an outburst from you.


It seemed it was suggested they ought to change their interests to satisfy other people, or that they have to conform to others interests...when no one expects neurotypicals to just alter their interests to satisfy everyone else, so that is what I meant.

I wouldn't really call it an outburst, just was disagreeing with some of this thread that did suggest they change their interests to satisfy everyone else...I also was not suggesting they ought to 'not conform' just to 'not conform'...just seems people in this thread are assuming the worst extremes of having a special interest. Either way I had no noticeable mood change when I read this thread and responded so rather hard to see it as much of an outburst.

And do you disagree that branching out is healthy? To explain further it is healthy because it is a good way to perhaps develop more interests and maybe find some common ground with others without abandoning your already existing interests or totally changing yourself to fit in...just my opinion. Also keep in mind I was talking about the thread in its entirety, wasn't specifically responding to your post.

Saw what you added to your post...go ahead and hold a grudge if you want, I read through the whole thread rather quick didn't read each and everything and gave my opinion on what I saw over-all, that is also why I didn't quote anyone because I didn't actually read every post or look at every link. Why are you zoning in on my post so much as if its some personal attack towards you?