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HenryJonesJr
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16 Apr 2019, 8:21 pm

It seems to me that the one aspect of what I think of as "my autism" that causes me the most problems in my life is the problem of thinking in obsessive and rigid ways. It is like having a mind that is very uptight and controlling and get stuck on things, wanting them to be just perfectly right. The irony of this is that it often makes me wrong, because a fixed mind can't keep up with the flow of changing ideas.

I wonder, is this part of autism, a kind of OCD, or is it just plain old fear?

I think it will be the journey of my life to overcome this. I want to be able to have fun, to make mistakes, to learn and engage curiously with people and ideas. But my fixed mind gets stuck.

Lately I have been making some progress, but there has been discouraging backsliding.

Anyone else on a similar journey?



jimmy m
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17 Apr 2019, 1:04 am

Some of the traits of Aspies are being perfectionist and having a pattern of black and white thinking.

I do not know how to help you out of that trait. In my case I am also a perfectionist but I have learned to temper that trait because I also like to complete tasks and if I do the task perfectly, it would never get done. So generally I complete a task to acceptable standards and then add a little.

As far as black and white thinking. I do that. I do not see it as a defect but rather a good trait. But I understand most of the rest of the world operates in the grays. But sometimes the world needs black and white thinkers.



firemonkey
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17 Apr 2019, 2:49 am

I know it's not exactly the same thing ,but I tend to catastrophise over future,new things. I very much want everything to go just right , and for all the exits to be known and easily accessible if not.
I tend to obsess/ruminate about ways things could go wrong.


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shortfatbalduglyman
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17 Apr 2019, 5:10 am

Neuroplasticity


Although, the black and white thinking, seems to be more neurotypicals that I have interacted with , than myself (diagnosed Asperger's)


Splitting fine hairs

Pattern recognition versus globalization

Situational versus dispositional


It gets on my nerves how idiots correctly tell me that "she's friendly". (The dog). Unless you are precognitive or telepathic, you don't know if Fido will bite

Leash law



HenryJonesJr
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17 Apr 2019, 6:32 am

jimmy m wrote:
I do not know how to help you out of that trait. In my case I am also a perfectionist but I have learned to temper that trait because I also like to complete tasks and if I do the task perfectly, it would never get done. So generally I complete a task to acceptable standards and then add a little.

As far as black and white thinking. I do that. I do not see it as a defect but rather a good trait. But I understand most of the rest of the world operates in the grays. But sometimes the world needs black and white thinkers.

Yes I also struggle with perfectionism. There are tasks I need to complete right now, and I should aim for acceptable standards first to get them done.

In the things I work on black and white thinking is often useful. But sometimes I see the need to be more loose and bold in my thinking in order to come up with new ideas for solving problems. Sometimes I can think in this mode, and that's partly why it is frustrating when I am locked into a more rigid mode for a period.



HenryJonesJr
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17 Apr 2019, 6:39 am

firemonkey wrote:
I know it's not exactly the same thing ,but I tend to catastrophise over future,new things. I very much want everything to go just right , and for all the exits to be known and easily accessible if not.
I tend to obsess/ruminate about ways things could go wrong.

I do this as well. Especially with situations involving people I want to befriend. I plan out how I will slip out if I get nervous, and try to coach myself in advance on how I will relax around them. There are people where I work who have been friendly towards me, and who I think would be interesting friends to have. A few times I was in a freer state of mind and we had some fun, so now they seem to like me. But I fear that when I am in my rigid mode of thinking I make people nervous -- maybe I seem judgmental or harsh. So I've been avoiding them for a while. I wish there were a way to reliably escape from the rigid and obsessive mode of thinking around others in order to make friends.



HenryJonesJr
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17 Apr 2019, 6:43 am

Freer mind would let me: get things done; enjoy life; make friends. I would be imperfect and fallible. I am these things anyways, but then I would accept it. I would still aim for quality and mastery in the work I do, and to engage deeply and meaningfully with interests. But I wouldn't be hindered by all this "spinning my wheels" against things I can't control. How to get from here to there?



HenryJonesJr
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17 Apr 2019, 6:48 am

shortfatbalduglyman wrote:
Neuroplasticity

Splitting fine hairs

Pattern recognition versus globalization

Situational versus dispositional

It gets on my nerves how idiots correctly tell me that "she's friendly". (The dog). Unless you are precognitive or telepathic, you don't know if Fido will bite

Leash law

Neuroplasticity gives hope that change is possible. But it just confirms scientifically what people have always known -- change is possible, but it can be very hard.

It seems that both pattern recognition and globalization are important, each in its place. Things are more situational than we think, but the mind likes a simple story and dispositional explanation is a simple story.



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18 Apr 2019, 7:37 pm

Perfectionism, rigid thinking, and OCD behavior tendencies (rituals) aren't uncommon to Aspergers.

I feel like I've had to do a quite a bit of work to 'expand' my mind's view point. I would have a fact or idea and hold onto it kind of stubbornly and have an inclination to reject anything that did line up. I would like to think that I have largely moved away from that, enough at the very least that I am able to see when other's are being really rigid. Oddly enough seeing other's like that tends to make me want to be even more expansive...I guess I have a contrary personality lol

I've also exhibited the other two, but both have lessened over the years. In my case I think some of it became less simply with time but I've also had to be active. Trying to keep ones ego out of it, telling your mind to shut it and just listen, as well as doing research on newly presented material are some things I've done. I suspect I still come off a bit judgemental at times though. That's just with thinking in terms of discussing topics, there can be rigidity in things like mannerisms too...I'm not sure how well I do with that one. I tend to be in a bit of defense mode when in public so when that happens I am more likely to be..uh 'unfriendly' seeming. Though I try not to be, but yeah change is hard especially when you're scared/nervous


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shortfatbalduglyman
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18 Apr 2019, 8:13 pm

HenryJonesJr wrote:
shortfatbalduglyman wrote:
Neuroplasticity

Splitting fine hairs

Pattern recognition versus globalization

Situational versus dispositional

It gets on my nerves how idiots correctly tell me that "she's friendly". (The dog). Unless you are precognitive or telepathic, you don't know if Fido will bite

Leash law

Neuroplasticity gives hope that change is possible. But it just confirms scientifically what people have always known -- change is possible, but it can be very hard.

It seems that both pattern recognition and globalization are important, each in its place. Things are more situational than we think, but the mind likes a simple story and dispositional explanation is a simple story.



When referring to your behavior, the tendency is to cite situational because you are familiar with your disposition


When referring to others behavior, the tendency is to cite dispositional because admitting you don't know something , that could affect you, causes discomfort



HenryJonesJr
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20 Apr 2019, 6:53 pm

Alterity wrote:
Trying to keep ones ego out of it, telling your mind to shut it and just listen, as well as doing research on newly presented material are some things I've done.

Alterity wrote:
That's just with thinking in terms of discussing topics, there can be rigidity in things like mannerisms too...I'm not sure how well I do with that one. I tend to be in a bit of defense mode when in public so when that happens I am more likely to be..uh 'unfriendly' seeming. Though I try not to be, but yeah change is hard especially when you're scared/nervous

I like how you put this into words, and I relate to it.

I want to learn how to have better conversations. Takes practice I guess, like any skill being developed. I suspect keeping ego out of it will help with the fear. Keeping an open mind and trying new things. My mind sometimes gets in these endless loops of "trying not to try".

Haha, I guess to be honest sometimes I really enjoy analyzing things. But I'd like to bring other folks into the loop... other thoughts, ideas, perspectives. And I'd like to break out of my shell too, at least a little more than I do.



Last edited by HenryJonesJr on 20 Apr 2019, 7:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

HenryJonesJr
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20 Apr 2019, 6:56 pm

shortfatbalduglyman wrote:
When referring to your behavior, the tendency is to cite situational because you are familiar with your disposition


When referring to others behavior, the tendency is to cite dispositional because admitting you don't know something , that could affect you, causes discomfort

Okay, this makes a lot of sense. I hand't thought about it this way.



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24 Apr 2019, 12:48 am

HenryJonesJr wrote:
Alterity wrote:
Trying to keep ones ego out of it, telling your mind to shut it and just listen, as well as doing research on newly presented material are some things I've done.

Alterity wrote:
That's just with thinking in terms of discussing topics, there can be rigidity in things like mannerisms too...I'm not sure how well I do with that one. I tend to be in a bit of defense mode when in public so when that happens I am more likely to be..uh 'unfriendly' seeming. Though I try not to be, but yeah change is hard especially when you're scared/nervous

I like how you put this into words, and I relate to it.

I want to learn how to have better conversations. Takes practice I guess, like any skill being developed. I suspect keeping ego out of it will help with the fear. Keeping an open mind and trying new things. My mind sometimes gets in these endless loops of "trying not to try".

Haha, I guess to be honest sometimes I really enjoy analyzing things. But I'd like to bring other folks into the loop... other thoughts, ideas, perspectives. And I'd like to break out of my shell too, at least a little more than I do.


To be able to have more rewarding conversations a certain amount of flexibility is required. So I think you're on the right path. I suppose you can feel reward from conversation while being "stuck in your thinking" because then a feeling of "winning" can be present. That makes it more of argument rather than just conversing as well as it being just about self satisfaction; but I don't think that's what you're driving at.

You're right most things take practice, it'd be nice if there was a switch we could flip though! We (people not just the ND) tend to get stuck in our ways so that when trying to change that, get unstuck it really is like a matter of trying to break a habit. So in addition to trying to gain better conversation skills you have to be trying to break old patterns.

I don't know about you but I dislike the standard chitchat so many social interactions seem to thrive on. So for me that throws another difficulty, especially because I typically have no idea how to transfer from that kind of talking to something of more substance...or just of more interest. I would prefer to keep it so no one talked to me of those boring things but THAT would be pretty rigid xD Conversation has to have some give and take so that means having to hear, talk about and trying to be interested in what we otherwise prefer to skip. "These things do not pertain to me or my interests" is how I think a lot of us (with ASD) default into thinking, consciously or not. This kind of thing of course hampers our ability to converse in a way that can get others to connect.

I don't think there's anything wrong with analyzing things, I do it all the time. It's basically a inner mono logging hobby now lol I think it can make it so you can provide a lot of insight on various topics. The trick is giving allowance to an idea that may be in contrast to it. But with analytical skills you should be able to apply them to the things others are saying and then put them up against your previous thoughts/ideas.

Overall when it comes to thinking and behaving in a rigid or obsessive manner a key thing to being able to change that is learning how to 'let go'. Typically or at least a lot of the time, I think a rigid way of thinking/being stems from insecurity and fear. If you are adhere to certain patterns, having things be just so, keeping it linear etc. You're executing a manner of control to your life as well as some dictation on others. People tend to feel like they need to control things when they feel fearful, discomfort, insecurity. So learning to let go of that control creates an opening to let more in, try new things and so on. - I don't know if this is you or not, just a possibility that if nothing else will give you more to analyze lol


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24 Apr 2019, 1:45 am

I have this pretty bad as well. I'm locked into little sectionalized worldviews that make it hard for me to see reality as a whole. It's not psychosis because I know what's real, it's like my brain makes unusual connections that are often logically sound but unpleasing in other ways and either unnoticed by others, or drawing their hostility. This usually causes cohesion between me and other people.

I'm also hyper-focused because I gets stuck in a single field or discipline and that becomes the primary means of interpreting the world. Sometimes I try to combine them to have a complete view of things but it only creates more complexity. Combining math, economics, and literature for example (something which I tried when I was particularly locked in a series of similar thoughts) results in extremely complex patterns of information which overwhelm me and become isolating. No one else notices them unless I write any findings down, and find some way to condense thousands of lines of information in my head into a short article.

I think neurotypicals have the same kind of rigid thinking but it's "social" rigidity. They are locked in a single view without these competing realities, but the views are shared by several billion people in a large collective worldview so its considered positive. The major downside of this is that people get swayed by collective beliefs and are more heavily subject to peer pressure.



HenryJonesJr
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26 Apr 2019, 3:13 pm

Alterity wrote:
To be able to have more rewarding conversations a certain amount of flexibility is required. So I think you're on the right path. I suppose you can feel reward from conversation while being "stuck in your thinking" because then a feeling of "winning" can be present. That makes it more of argument rather than just conversing as well as it being just about self satisfaction; but I don't think that's what you're driving at.

You're definitely right, my holy grail would be a conversation that it is mutually enjoyable. I can recall a few good conversations I have been in where things just "flowed", and both (or more) people seemed to feel comfortable and free to explore whatever territory. I definitely get a nagging insecurity about not having anything interesting to say sometimes. But I would like to overcome that, or be able to step out of it. Because when the conversation is mutual, I am interested and I end up learning all kinds of interesting things from the person I am talking to. It seems like there is a state of mind that one gets into in good conversation where you want listen and you also feel inspired to share things that the other people are interested in too. I'd like to develop the skill or habit of slipping into that state more easily. I am sure it can be developed, which goes along with your next paragraph.

Alterity wrote:
I don't know about you but I dislike the standard chitchat so many social interactions seem to thrive on. So for me that throws another difficulty, especially because I typically have no idea how to transfer from that kind of talking to something of more substance...or just of more interest.

I have noticed that sometimes people seem to reflexively push the conversation towards more "light", standard chitchat if I get too deep into something. I have noticed this enough times to classify it in my mind as a specific thing that people do, like I could come up with a name for it, maybe conversational corralling? :) But I can definitely relate to the "These things do not pertain to me or my interests" mode of thinking, and recently I have been trying to notice it and to become more interested.


wrongcitizen wrote:
I think neurotypicals have the same kind of rigid thinking but it's "social" rigidity. They are locked in a single view without these competing realities, but the views are shared by several billion people in a large collective worldview so its considered positive. The major downside of this is that people get swayed by collective beliefs and are more heavily subject to peer pressure.

It seems this way to me too. It's actually kind of an interesting phenomenon if you look at it from the 10,000 ft high perspective. When I was younger I used to feel outraged by this kind of thing, now I have mostly come to accept it as the part of the territory I inhabit. Still learning to navigate it effectively.