Non-autistics are more obsessed, and force them onto others

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Weight Of Memory
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22 Sep 2023, 2:53 pm

Football was a special interest of mine for many years so I find this entire thread kind of amusing.

NT are much less likely to have special interests than ND; they mostly have obsessions.

"Special interests" are intellectual. You are very interested in learning all about the thing. You're usually eager to share what you learned. NTs can usually regulate that desire to share and understand when someone else doesn't care.

"Obsessions" are emotional. You care very much about the thing without actually knowing it in any depth. Most sports fans are very passionate about the team, but they don't actually know the rules in any depth and only know the highlights of the team's history (if they know it at all). Because it's an emotional connection, not an intellectual one, it is usually unrestrained by pesky things like logic and facts.

Furthermore, sports fandom usually involves tribalism. My tribe is best and everything they do is right, and every other competing tribe is wrong and sucks because they're not my tribe. Sports is the classic example, but see also Marvel vs DC, Star Wars vs Star Trek, WWE/WWF vs WCW or AEW, and Republicans vs Democrats.

It's possible for something to be both an obsession and a special interest.



blitzkrieg
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22 Sep 2023, 2:57 pm

Weight Of Memory wrote:
Football was a special interest of mine for many years so I find this entire thread kind of amusing.

NT are much less likely to have special interests than ND; they mostly have obsessions.

"Special interests" are intellectual. You are very interested in learning all about the thing. You're usually eager to share what you learned. NTs can usually regulate that desire to share and understand when someone else doesn't care.

"Obsessions" are emotional. You care very much about the thing without actually knowing it in any depth. Most sports fans are very passionate about the team, but they don't actually know the rules in any depth and only know the highlights of the team's history (if they know it at all). Because it's an emotional connection, not an intellectual one, it is usually unrestrained by pesky things like logic and facts.

Furthermore, sports fandom usually involves tribalism. My tribe is best and everything they do is right, and every other competing tribe is wrong and sucks because they're not my tribe. Sports is the classic example, but see also Marvel vs DC, Star Wars vs Star Trek, WWE/WWF vs WCW or AEW, and Republicans vs Democrats.

It's possible for something to be both an obsession and a special interest.


Football can actually be fairly technical and some people take the time to learn it. Ball speeds, sprint speeds of various players or average mph. Corners taken, goals scored, that kind of thing. If a person has a good memory, they could retain a lot of info' on sports.

Even wrestling and its history is long and varied with all of its different story-lines.

There are different kinds of fans. The casual, the more hardcore, and those in between, generally.



KitLily
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22 Sep 2023, 2:58 pm

Aha! So that's what they mean by 'autistic people have special interests'. They mean 'not sport' if you're a man. And 'not shopping' if you're a woman :lol:


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KitLily
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22 Sep 2023, 3:00 pm

Weight Of Memory wrote:
"Special interests" are intellectual. You are very interested in learning all about the thing. You're usually eager to share what you learned. NTs can usually regulate that desire to share and understand when someone else doesn't care.

"Obsessions" are emotional. You care very much about the thing without actually knowing it in any depth. Most sports fans are very passionate about the team, but they don't actually know the rules in any depth and only know the highlights of the team's history (if they know it at all). Because it's an emotional connection, not an intellectual one, it is usually unrestrained by pesky things like logic and facts.

It's possible for something to be both an obsession and a special interest.


Thanks for that definition! It makes sense.


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PhosphorusDecree
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22 Sep 2023, 4:37 pm

I think it's the opposite of a "special" interest: it's a "default" interest that it is assumed all normal people will be obsessed with. In their worldview, everyone likes the footy / celebrity gossip / whatever, so it's always a good topic of conversation and must be covered exhaustively in all media.

Umberto Eco wrote a funny article about how random men on the train always try to talk to him about football. He imagined what it would be like if he got in there first and started grilling them on their views about Baroque recorder playing. Well, we get to live that dream!


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22 Sep 2023, 6:11 pm

My NT dad is super into baseball and was convinced to join a virtual league competition thing. He couldn't be bothered with it, so my 75-year-old Autistic mother who doesn't watch sports took it over --- she ended up winning the whole thing in his name. She was always genius with information systems. :lol:

When my work staff meetings turned into weekly football discussions it was my cue to leave the company. (Well, first I tried to make it fair and inclusive but nobody seconded the alternatives I offered.)



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23 Sep 2023, 4:14 am

PhosphorusDecree wrote:
I think it's the opposite of a "special" interest: it's a "default" interest that it is assumed all normal people will be obsessed with. In their worldview, everyone likes the footy / celebrity gossip / whatever, so it's always a good topic of conversation and must be covered exhaustively in all media.

Umberto Eco wrote a funny article about how random men on the train always try to talk to him about football. He imagined what it would be like if he got in there first and started grilling them on their views about Baroque recorder playing. Well, we get to live that dream!


That is a good point. And also it reassures them that we are 'normal' if we know about football/celebrities/whatever. It's a safe topic according to them.

I think women are suspicious of me because I rarely wear makeup and so I mustn't be normal! haha. Because most women these days seem to be plastered in makeup, with foundation, blusher, eyeshadow etc, much more than when I was young, when we just wore eyeliner and lip gloss.

I would be fascinated if someone started talking to me about Baroque recorder playing though, as long as I wasn't too tired/hungry.


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AprilR
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23 Sep 2023, 9:09 am

Not only they are obsessed, they actually attack and kill each other over some stupid football match too! Where i live its very common



KitLily
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23 Sep 2023, 9:52 am

AprilR wrote:
Not only they are obsessed, they actually attack and kill each other over some stupid football match too! Where i live its very common


Yes, definitely English football fans do. They are often banned from going to tournaments because they are so violent. It's pathetic.

That's why I prefer rugby- the fans are civilised.


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Weight Of Memory
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23 Sep 2023, 2:39 pm

SharonB wrote:
My NT dad is super into baseball and was convinced to join a virtual league competition thing. He couldn't be bothered with it, so my 75-year-old Autistic mother who doesn't watch sports took it over --- she ended up winning the whole thing in his name. She was always genius with information systems.


I ran a fantasy football league for many years. One of our most reliably good teams every year was fielded by a woman who didn't actively follow the sport but was friends with all the guys participating. She was perceptive, asked good questions, and her mind was uncluttered by the prejudices of fandom.



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24 Sep 2023, 9:49 am

AprilR wrote:
Not only they are obsessed, they actually attack and kill each other over some stupid football match too! Where i live its very common


I've heard downright terrifying things about football in Argentina - some of the fan clubs are essentially criminal gangs, and people have actually been assassinated over football.


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blitzkrieg
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24 Sep 2023, 10:15 am

PhosphorusDecree wrote:
AprilR wrote:
Not only they are obsessed, they actually attack and kill each other over some stupid football match too! Where i live its very common


I've heard downright terrifying things about football in Argentina - some of the fan clubs are essentially criminal gangs, and people have actually been assassinated over football.


Not to mention corrupt referees changing the outcome of a game etc.



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24 Sep 2023, 3:09 pm

PhosphorusDecree wrote:
I've heard downright terrifying things about football in Argentina - some of the fan clubs are essentially criminal gangs, and people have actually been assassinated over football.


I know of a Colombian who was assassinated because he scored an own goal I think. Does that happen in Argentina too?

The Women's World Cup recently was wonderful though. No violence and it was a family occasion with parents taking their little kids to matches.


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