Why do some neurotypicals try to relate to everything?

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Child of the Universe
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31 Aug 2018, 6:35 pm

Sometimes when I mention something about myself to a neurotypical, even if it is something that is one of my autistic traits, they say "oh I am similar to that" even when they aren't. For example, if I tell them about how I can be unhealthily obsessive about things, they say "oh I can obsess about things too." I find this annoying because the people that I am talking to do not obsess about things to the degree that I do and it is pretty obvious that they don't. So why do they try to relate to so many things?

Note: I have nothing against neurotypicals, this is just a pattern I have noticed.


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31 Aug 2018, 6:42 pm

Child of the Universe wrote:
even when they aren't.

Child of the Universe wrote:
....the people that I am talking to do not obsess about things to the degree that I do and it is pretty obvious that they don't.



how can you be so sure?

perhaps you are failing to accurately convey the exact extent and depth to which you feel these things. discussing a mutual sentiment or just pointing out a similarity in your personality is a big part of building rapport with someone else.


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Child of the Universe
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31 Aug 2018, 6:56 pm

Kiprobalhato wrote:
Child of the Universe wrote:
even when they aren't.

Child of the Universe wrote:
....the people that I am talking to do not obsess about things to the degree that I do and it is pretty obvious that they don't.



how can you be so sure?

perhaps you are failing to accurately convey the exact extent and depth to which you feel these things. discussing a mutual sentiment or just pointing out a similarity in your personality is a big part of building rapport with someone else.

Maybe. You never know. However, they never show any outward signs, never infodump, and haven't even indicated the areas in which they become obsessed, so the evidence suggests that they don't have obsessions, at least not to the degree that I was implying.


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rick42
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31 Aug 2018, 7:12 pm

Child of the Universe wrote:
Sometimes when I mention something about myself to a neurotypical, even if it is something that is one of my autistic traits, they say "oh I am similar to that" even when they aren't. For example, if I tell them about how I can be unhealthily obsessive about things, they say "oh I can obsess about things too." I find this annoying because the people that I am talking to do not obsess about things to the degree that I do and it is pretty obvious that they don't. So why do they try to relate to so many things?

Note: I have nothing against neurotypicals, this is just a pattern I have noticed.



Yea,I don't like when NT's try to relate to me,but they can't actually relate to me whatsoever.Overall NT's fake their friendliness and pretend to relate to people that they know that they can't. It's just so fake and patronizing.



Child of the Universe
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31 Aug 2018, 7:29 pm

rick42 wrote:
Child of the Universe wrote:
Sometimes when I mention something about myself to a neurotypical, even if it is something that is one of my autistic traits, they say "oh I am similar to that" even when they aren't. For example, if I tell them about how I can be unhealthily obsessive about things, they say "oh I can obsess about things too." I find this annoying because the people that I am talking to do not obsess about things to the degree that I do and it is pretty obvious that they don't. So why do they try to relate to so many things?

Note: I have nothing against neurotypicals, this is just a pattern I have noticed.



Yea,I don't like when NT's try to relate to me,but they can't actually relate to me whatsoever.Overall NT's fake their friendliness and pretend to relate to people that they know that they can't. It's just so fake and patronizing.

I don't think they're faking being friendly. I think they are genuinely trying to relate. I just am wondering why they attempt to relate to something that evidence suggests they cannot relate to.


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31 Aug 2018, 7:55 pm

Child of the Universe wrote:
rick42 wrote:
Child of the Universe wrote:
Sometimes when I mention something about myself to a neurotypical, even if it is something that is one of my autistic traits, they say "oh I am similar to that" even when they aren't. For example, if I tell them about how I can be unhealthily obsessive about things, they say "oh I can obsess about things too." I find this annoying because the people that I am talking to do not obsess about things to the degree that I do and it is pretty obvious that they don't. So why do they try to relate to so many things?

Note: I have nothing against neurotypicals, this is just a pattern I have noticed.



Yea,I don't like when NT's try to relate to me,but they can't actually relate to me whatsoever.Overall NT's fake their friendliness and pretend to relate to people that they know that they can't. It's just so fake and patronizing.

I don't think they're faking being friendly. I think they are genuinely trying to relate. I just am wondering why they attempt to relate to something that evidence suggests they cannot relate to.

Because they are not aware of this alledged "fact" "that evidence suggests they cannot relate to" it. Either they don't know the more extreme degree that you do whatever thing youre talking about. Or...maybe youre not aware that they ARE just as fargone as you are about whatever the thing is. It maybe that you are mistaken. Seriously ...have you ever asked any of them, and actually compared notes?



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31 Aug 2018, 8:00 pm

They might be able to hide their obsessions better......maybe they are as obsessive as you are.

Or maybe, as mentioned before, they don't really understand or notice the extent of your obsessions. Maybe they are not observant---or maybe you "hide things" well, too.

I'm not good at hiding things at all. What might affect me severely will affect someone else less severely.

Maybe those people really are good at hiding things, at hiding their obsessions unless they are alone. Then the obsessions affect them mightily.

Many times, people seem more "normal" than they actually are because they've developed defense mechanisms over the years.



Child of the Universe
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31 Aug 2018, 8:06 pm

naturalplastic wrote:
Child of the Universe wrote:
rick42 wrote:
Child of the Universe wrote:
Sometimes when I mention something about myself to a neurotypical, even if it is something that is one of my autistic traits, they say "oh I am similar to that" even when they aren't. For example, if I tell them about how I can be unhealthily obsessive about things, they say "oh I can obsess about things too." I find this annoying because the people that I am talking to do not obsess about things to the degree that I do and it is pretty obvious that they don't. So why do they try to relate to so many things?

Note: I have nothing against neurotypicals, this is just a pattern I have noticed.



Yea,I don't like when NT's try to relate to me,but they can't actually relate to me whatsoever.Overall NT's fake their friendliness and pretend to relate to people that they know that they can't. It's just so fake and patronizing.

I don't think they're faking being friendly. I think they are genuinely trying to relate. I just am wondering why they attempt to relate to something that evidence suggests they cannot relate to.

Because they are not aware of this alledged "fact" "that evidence suggests they cannot relate to" it. Either they don't know the more extreme degree that you do whatever thing youre talking about. Or...maybe youre not aware that they ARE just as fargone as you are about whatever the thing is. It maybe that you are mistaken. Seriously ...have you ever asked any of them, and actually compared notes?

Yes, I have. I do not think that I am mistaken. They have no one specific area of interest at all and have never talked about it, even when asked, while I have talked very fast and comprehensively about my interests on multiple occasions in their presence. I do admit that there is a chance I am wrong though and they are just very good at hiding it.


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31 Aug 2018, 8:13 pm

It is not only people on the spectrum who can be obsessive. Someone with obsessive-compulsive disorder or obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (I'm not sure I know the difference) can be obsessive. Also people with no diagnosable disorder but obsessive traits that do not meet diagnostic criteria can be obsessive.

It might also be that other forms of mental illness have obsession as a trait. Possibly a schizophrenic person with an obsessive thought pattern may obsess.

And it could be that neurotypicals also can obsess to a surprising degree.

I agree with another commenter that NTs may "try to relate" to something you say because they are striving to find a commonality between you and them. This helps NTs make friendships. Although it seems to irk you, you might try doing this yourself sometimes and see how it goes. Suppose someone tells you their occupation is foreign language translating. Then you might say (if this were true - this is merely an example) "Oh, my father-in-law was a translator." Suddenly the two of you have something to talk about and possibly the basis of a friendship.


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31 Aug 2018, 8:15 pm

It actually took me a really long time to learn the above......



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01 Sep 2018, 9:20 am

I used to go to the local support group for adult autistics/aspies. Hope to go again. But at one meeting I met some guy who, first thing as I was shaking his hand, said "I am sorry, but I never remember names". I responded with "oh yeah, I have trouble remembering names too". He smiled and said "but unlike you I REALLY have trouble remembering names".

Never saw him again ( and I don't remember HIS name), but at that time I was kinda nonplused and annoyed. Had different conflicting thoughts and emotions like "WTF! I don't do that lying-to-make-folks-feel-better-shit. If I say I have trouble remembering names I MEAN it. And there are folks I work with whom I keep forgetting their names". But it also occurred to me that maybe he has some kind of world class extreme amnesia about matching names to faces that even exceeds mine. Who knows? And that retort he made shows that he is well rehearsed in his responses to folks on the subject which means it must be a long standing issue in his life. So I just placed the guy and what he said on the mystery back burner of my mind. Decided that I would hafta wait until I knew him better to judge. All of the above were thoughts that flitted through my mind the second I met him.

The point is that I was just like these "NTs" that youre talking about. The other people (NTs or otherwise) just don't know about you, and don't know if they are just like you, or whether your situation is more extreme than theirs.



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01 Sep 2018, 12:33 pm

This is why I am always afraid to relate because I am afraid of gatekeeping. My problems are not severe enough, I don't show enough traits, I am always too quiet so therefore I look normal, I don't info dump or talk about my interests. Why even relate to someone else with a disability or to another autistic person?


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01 Sep 2018, 4:47 pm

Child of the Universe wrote:
Sometimes when I mention something about myself to a neurotypical, even if it is something that is one of my autistic traits, they say "oh I am similar to that" even when they aren't. For example, if I tell them about how I can be unhealthily obsessive about things, they say "oh I can obsess about things too." I find this annoying because the people that I am talking to do not obsess about things to the degree that I do and it is pretty obvious that they don't. So why do they try to relate to so many things?

Note: I have nothing against neurotypicals, this is just a pattern I have noticed.
Yeah I've also noticed. I think it's down to three things:
1. NTs naturally tend to bond with people in general, because they're naturalia net workers
2. NTs tend to think that making people feel less alone about something makes it better
3. NTs don't get to what extend we feel our stuff. It's as if a cancer patient in severe pain was to tell me that he/she felt such physical pain, and I was to think of a time I stubbed my toe and it hurt a bit, Yeah, both are pain, but my doesn't even compare to the other. It doesn't mean the NT might not have a light version of it, they just don't have it to our extent. I have seen prove of that more than once in my life.
My old teacher wondered slightly if her interest in something was an obsession. Needless to say, it was a slight interest compared to my obsessions where it's the first thing I think of, the last thing I think of and mostly what I think of in between. A relative has said that they don't always know what to say to people either, and I have heard said person with a plethora of different people, including where I have heard them obviously at a bit of a loss due to lack of feedback from conversational partner and their struggle doesn't even compare to my silence.


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02 Sep 2018, 9:27 am

I think supposed relatability is a large part of what makes socializing possible for NT's. They may not share one another's exact experiences, but I think they have a knack for finding commonalities with one another that someone on the spectrum might find trivial, and being able to build conversations and relationships around those. I think this comes across as shallow to someone on the spectrum who may believe that connections need to run deeper than that to be genuine, even if in reality it can be a very helpful tool for functioning in society (meeting and getting to know people through shared experiences, however minor.)

So, I think when an NT tries to relate to someone on the spectrum by saying things like, "Oh, I have that problem, too," it might not actually mean they're trying to minimize the issue your facing, even if it might seem like that. I think it's just their way of trying to relate to you, of looking for something the two of you have in common, even if your exact experiences may differ. I do think that for someone with autism this can seem disingenuous, like they want to make the conversation all about themselves. I remember, for example, I once told a good friend one time about struggling with depression, and he said something along the lines of, "Yeah, I understand, sometimes I get down once in a while like everyone." And not to dismiss that, but knowing him as well as I do, I'm not convinced that he actually understood the gravity of what I felt I was trying to convey, or that he experiences those things in a similar manner to what I do.

All that being said, I was a bit annoyed with his response at the time, and I've experienced that kind of thing time and time again from people. But at the end of the day I feel like it's just a blind spot to them, just like a person with autism has numerous social blind spots of their own. As annoying as it is, I think it's done with relatively good intentions, sometimes to try and assume your point of view and offer suggestions for how to improve things based on their own experiences- even if those experiences only superficially resemble your own.

I guess maybe the only way to deal with that is to try and be patient with people, the way you would hope someone would be patient with you if you said or did something that got on their nerves without meaning to. It's a big, hectic world full of miscommunication, and I feel like things are a little better when you try to give others the benefit of the doubt :)



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02 Sep 2018, 9:59 am

My partner had OCD. Couldn't leave the house without checking the stove. Had rituals that had to be observed. Most OCDs only tell their most intimate partners the extent issues.



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02 Sep 2018, 11:01 am

Child of the Universe wrote:
Sometimes when I mention something about myself to a neurotypical, even if it is something that is one of my autistic traits, they say "oh I am similar to that" even when they aren't. For example, if I tell them about how I can be unhealthily obsessive about things, they say "oh I can obsess about things too." I find this annoying because the people that I am talking to do not obsess about things to the degree that I do and it is pretty obvious that they don't. So why do they try to relate to so many things?

Note: I have nothing against neurotypicals, this is just a pattern I have noticed.


Its tend to speak in a more figurative emotional way. When you say "obsesses" you mean it literally. When they say "obsesses" they mean they really like something. That person is probably assuming you mean it the same way they do. And they relate because that's how they bond, so the person is trying to find common ground with you.


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