Is strict rule following really a thing with Asperger's?

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notSpock
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28 Jun 2023, 2:13 pm

There is an important distinction between other people's rules, and rules or patterns that we adopt for ourselves. I often feel allergic to other people's rules, but at the same time am somewhat obsessive about following my own principles and practical patterns.

The big difference is in what we adopt for ourselves. Other people's rules are binding on me just insofar as I commit myself to them. (Of course that would not work for a sociopath or psychopath, because they don't develop ethical principles of their own. But most people have an instinctive sense of wanting to do right.)

For me, a combination of intentions and consequences is sufficient to make any ethical judgment. Rules are a way of simplifying and codifying those judgments, which makes things easier for NT people in particular. My detailed brain is always looking at nuances and context, which to me give a higher-fidelity view than any set of rigid rules ever could. To me the most important things are real caring about others, general fairness, and consistency or non-hypocrisy in applying principles,



bobert
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09 Sep 2023, 7:34 pm

When ever I'm in a situation that has a lot of rules, I tend to look for ways to "game" them.

When I started working for a utility district they had a policy that allowed you to get a day off after you were "on call" for a week. But you had to use the day off within a couple of weeks. So I started trading for "on call" weeks before major holidays, and would use the day off to have four or five day weekend vacations.

At first the other workers were mad at me for gaming the system, but after a year or so everyone was doing it!

It was amazing to me that no one else had thought of it!



Weight Of Memory
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10 Sep 2023, 5:45 am

Ignoring rules simply because they are inconvenient makes you entitled garbage unfit to live.

The only justifiable reason to violate rules is when following the rules would require an immoral act.

Maybe you don't care if people have pool parties at 2 AM, but most people are (and should be) asleep at that hour.



funeralxempire
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10 Sep 2023, 12:07 pm

Weight Of Memory wrote:
Ignoring rules simply because they are inconvenient makes you entitled garbage unfit to live.

The only justifiable reason to violate rules is when following the rules would require an immoral act.

Maybe you don't care if people have pool parties at 2 AM, but most people are (and should be) asleep at that hour.


Many rules lack legitimacy.
Many rules are nonsensical.

You sound like a sheep.


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TwilightPrincess
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10 Sep 2023, 12:23 pm

I’ve always questioned rules and authority. I don’t like having to follow rules that don’t make sense to me. Being a cult member was not easy with my natural disposition.

My sister-in-law is diagnosed and she’s an extreme rule follower. She has very rigid black and white thinking.

In other words, I think it can work either way.


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IsabellaLinton
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10 Sep 2023, 12:28 pm

Weight Of Memory wrote:
Ignoring rules simply because they are inconvenient makes you entitled garbage unfit to live.

The only justifiable reason to violate rules is when following the rules would require an immoral act.

Maybe you don't care if people have pool parties at 2 AM, but most people are (and should be) asleep at that hour.



Uhhh, most people exercise discretion and aren't advocating anarchy.



TwilightPrincess
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10 Sep 2023, 12:31 pm

Black and white thinking in action. :lol:


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lostonearth35
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10 Sep 2023, 12:55 pm

I feel like I can only do most things correctly or do them well if I do them my own way. I hate being told what to do as if I'm some naughty or stupid 7 year old kid.

On the other hand, I'll follow the rules if it's for safety reasons. Like when a sign says "Beware of DOG", you should pay attention to it. Some people are so stupid and think the sign was put there just because the owner is a jerk who won't let them pet or play with the dog.



blitzkrieg
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10 Sep 2023, 1:07 pm

Not for me, no.

If I think a set of rules are stupid or unjust, I will only follow them insofar as they are reasonable and socially acceptable.

I would never follow a rule that was obviously malign and had no benefit.



IsabellaLinton
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10 Sep 2023, 1:10 pm

Here's an example of unjust law:


Image


I follow rules like my country's laws, driving laws, and WP's rules.

Any rules that advocate for equal human rights are OK with me.

Those are written laws.

If some jackass tried to tell me what to do, that might be different.



funeralxempire
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10 Sep 2023, 1:16 pm

IsabellaLinton wrote:
Here's an example of unjust law:




Apparently saving Anne Frank makes one entitled garbage unfit to live. :nerdy:


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10 Sep 2023, 3:48 pm

Put me in the generally-follows-rules camp.

There are exceptions. For instance, when driving I used to be hardcore about stopping when I was supposed to. I have relaxed that because doing it causes problems with respect to all of the other drivers who bend that rule...a lot.

If what managers say is considered to be a "rule" then how conscientious I am depends upon my opinion of the manager and my assessment of what actually needs to be done.


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10 Sep 2023, 10:07 pm

I tend to follow legal rules, unless it does not make sense in the context I find myself in.
Trivial example: When walking, I always obey traffic lights because it is for my safety and it is the considerate thing to do for drivers.
The exception would be if there is absolutely zero traffic. Then I may cross the street against the light, but I still hurry. I don't don't run, because my knees do not allow me to run, but I walk quickly. It makes no sense that I feel I need to hurry, but I do.
I drive the speed limit.

Social rules are more gray to me.
Boys wear blue. Girls wear pink. I have always thought gender colors malarkey. That's another trivial example, but it is amazing how many people buy their grand kids color "appropriate" clothing or gender "appropriate" toys. (Now I'm getting riled up.) Rules about what males and females "should" do really gets me pissed off. One of my two best friends is like that. Boys to this and girls do that.

Another social rule is cleanliness. There are health reasons to be clean, but if I'm not going anywhere, I will not shower for days. I'll wash my face, hands, and other parts of my body, but that's just spot cleaning. I know I would be a bit stinky. If I am going out, the grocery store for instance, I always shower. I know body odor can be "socially" offensive, which I could give two hoots about, but I also know that body odor can by pungent. That's what I try to avoid. Tangent - Did you know that everyone has different body odor depending on the bacteria that live on their bodies? So people smell different, some better than others. I learned that from the Stuff You Should Know podcast (so you know it's true!).
I take good care of my teeth. I want to die with as many of my original teeth as possible. So far, so good.

If I were in a position to hide Anne Frank, I sincerely hope I would. When it comes to moral decisions like that, moral vs. the law, one always knows how they would like to believe they would respond, but one never truly knows until they are placed in that situation. Based on other moral situations I've found myself in in the past, I think I would hide her, but me being me, I would over think it in an effort to make it fool proof, and keep her and her family safe. I would be diligent about it.



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11 Sep 2023, 6:26 pm

This is my take. Assuming rules that aren't entirely without merit, an Aspie will simply follow them. There's probably no reason not to. Especially within some sort of organization. Most rules either make sense or at least have some underlying rationale. OTOH rules can become so demanding to follow that most people will finesse them or rationalize ignoring certain ones. This is harder if you're on the spectrum. Unless you can apply some sort of rule of your own that informs your decision, it may cause you less stress to simply obey.

NTs are better at this because they are better at improvising, are confident their friends in the organization will have their back if they get into trouble, and because they learn from their peers which rules are safe to disregard.

EDIT: An Aspie also has learned to expect to be singled out for punishment if suspected of violating an important rule.


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colliegrace
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12 Sep 2023, 7:19 am

We often lie at extremes.

We tend to either follow all the rules

Or only follow them when they make sense


I tend to be a stickler for the rules, unless something interferes with that like my people pleasing tendencies


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colliegrace
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12 Sep 2023, 7:26 am

I like how on this site (compared to other autism spaces), we don't get mad at people who still use and prefer the term Aspergers and "Aspie".
I tend to use autism/autistic or ASD, but I kinda like the idea of referring to myself as an Aspie too


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Also diagnosed with: seasonal depression, anxiety, OCD