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Featured Do you need to talk about other people?

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by IntoTheVoid, Oct 12, 2019 at 9:12 AM.

  1. IntoTheVoid

    IntoTheVoid Active Member

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    I am not sure if it's an autism related thing, but for some reason, most people seem to NEED to talk about other people all the time, while I totally... don't.

    "Hey, do you know Patrik has a new girlfriend?"

    "Do you remember Monica? She's going to have wedding next month! Yeeey!"

    "Hey, recently I met Clara and guess what, she finally broke up with that guy she was with for two years."

    "David left school and now he's travelling around the world. Cool, huh?"

    Like... Talking about other people is totally okay, but I don't understand while so many people need to do so ALL THE TIME. For example I've never seen my mum and my sister to talk about anything else but other people and their lives. When I see my friend X, he wants to talk about our friend Y who is not present at the time (So I guess X and Y are talking about me, when I am not present...)

    Also when I am at some family event like barbeque or something, they are just talking about other people all the time. About their private lives.

    I totally don't care what other people do. Why they never talk about... I don't know...? What interesting books they've read recently? Or maybe about some interesting hobbies?

    How about you? Are interested about other people and their lives? What happened to them? Who is in relationship with who now. What your cousin you barerly know studies at the moment and so on? Is it really some autism-related thing that I totally don't care?
     
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  2. SDRSpark

    SDRSpark Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I could care less about small talk gossip type stuff. The only time I care about that stuff is when I have some connection to/care about the person involved.

    I want to talk about others' accomplishments (my hobbies include lots of science stuff, so talking about someone's discoveries in the field is part of it.)

    The only other time I really want to talk about people is if they've hurt me, or done something wrong. But then, I'm not their friend. I've heard (former, now) friends talking about another friend, saying "we feel sorry for anyone who gets involved with her" while at the same time, inviting her to all their parties and acting like their her friend to her face, congratulating her on accomplishments, birthdays, etc. THAT is the kind of thing that pisses me off, that two faced kind of ugly gossip. If you have a reason not to like someone, that's totally valid, but don't act like you're their friend.

    The little small talk stuff...doesn't upset me, it just doesn't really interest me.
     
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  3. tree

    tree Blue/Green Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    Yes.
    I do.

    The people I talk about includes cats, dogs, crows, chickens, coyotes,
    turtles etc... as well as humans.

    I talk about what they do, their behavior.
    It doesn't include *celebrity* gossip, or for the most part international gossip
    which goes by the name of *news.*
    It does include written material, such as books. I consider what I have read
    as something to talk about. Not necessarily the plot. The theme, the style.
    How it was written.
    Similar to examination of behavior. How something was done.
     
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  4. Creep

    Creep Haunted French pancakes give me the crepes.

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    Are we related? Because my mother & sister are the same way. I take after my father & brother: I couldn’t care less. It doesn’t interest me. Or as my late grandmother would say: what does this have to do with me?:) Nothing!
     
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  5. GadAbout

    GadAbout Well-Known Member

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    I enjoy hearing the "gossip" if I know the players involved, but if not, it's just noise to me.

    I do feel talking about relationships is helpful to processing my thoughts about them.
     
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  6. clg114

    clg114 Still crazy, after all these years. Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    I believe that most people are social animals and want to belong to some kind of a group or be like others. Because of this they are very interested in talking about other people in their group or other groups. I do not care about this sort of thing at all and I think most autistic people feel the same way.
     
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  7. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I'm quite interested to observe people, and aspects of their lives, and might mention to someone else elements of what I observed. For example the guy over the road has a broken gutter, I watched the roofer looking at it and chatting to someone. It made me wonder if the gutter had only just broken or whether he had noticed a damp patch? I have never spoken to this close neighbour and don't know his name. Or any neighbours except next door each side.
     
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  8. Aspychata

    Aspychata My Art Work

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    I flirt with the NT world. So that involves talking about other people. In a nutshell, that is a NT comfort zone. In order to be more that l will listen to these conversations. Depending on the industry you work in, you spend more or less time discussing these things. Hospitality industry yes, Legal and financial industry no and so on. You can't really discuss politics without upsetting somebody, religion and talking about bosses is taboo. So what does that leave?
     
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  9. Peter Morrison

    Peter Morrison Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I never ask personal questions about what they are doing, when, where, why, or how. I have always felt that the answers to these questions are not for me to judge or discuss. I wait for people to volunteer information, then discuss it if it is interesting. Usually, it isn't. In exchange for being this way, others feel that I have no interest in them because I don't ask questions. The art of asking questions to show interest can be learned, but I don't pursue the art of chit-chat.

    I will ask questions if someone tells me that they grew up in Czechoslovakia, for example. Since Eastern Europe is one of my special interests, I will ask about the region where they lived, their opinion of the Prague Spring, which languages they learned in school, and their opinion of current events pertaining to the new republic(s). I have questions in my head that I hope a resident of a certain place could answer for me, to clear up any of my misunderstandings or desire for more details. This is just me talking about my special interests. If you don't come from a place that is interesting to me, I probably don't have many questions about your experiences there.

    If someone tells me that their daughter got into a good school, I might ask "What is she studying". Depending on the answer, I may, or may not, have questions or comments. I think I recognize that my brain likes information that can be attached to existing information. Someone's favorite car, restaurant, or spectator sport doesn't stick with me. I don't care, but apparently this other person feels that the information is important enough to share.

    I've spent my life observing people, watching how they do what they do, and how they behave in different situations. There are many different impulses in people that cause them to manage and manipulate their behavior around others. Some of it is acting, but others can kick back and let comments roll quite easily. I'm not good at that. I tend to remain quiet in groups because I can't follow the stream of thought. This makes me better off one-on-one with someone who is interesting. Gossip never interests me. It feels like a violation. I have developed a philosophy in life not to accept 2nd hand information about anyone. The need to make drama about something is too strong in some people. I don't want to know anything unless I can speak of it openly. Oddly, though, everyone knows I can keep a secret because I never talk about others. Consequently, I miss out on a lot of information. That's the trade-off.
     
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  10. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    You either talk about others, animals, things, places or yourself. I don't like gossip, but talking about other's is not always gossip. Like, myself - I don't do anything worth talking about, so when I have a conversation it often concerns my kids or grandkids. Sorry, that's all I got unless you want to hear about 'Frasier or Last Man Standing."
    I had this one friend - who no longer has my phone number. I had a hard time with her on the phone because she was one of those who never stopped talking long enough for you to say a word - even after asking a question. And she always quoted other people. "Jack told me, oh he's this guy I met at this meeting I've been attending for my indecisiveness, which he goes to because his wife insisted. They live in Butte with three kids, he's an electrician and she makes pottery and sells her pottery at fairs and craft shows and does pretty good with it because they're beautiful pieces. Let's see, what were the words he used, let me look it up because I write down every quote in little note books so I can look them up later. By the way, how was it you said what you said about being more ways to do something right? I'm pretty sure I wrote that down, but I'm not sure I got the wording exact. I was telling another friend of mine - Sharon, she's single and lives in this little apartment in middle of town, over that thrift shop we went into when you came to visit. She grew up in Alaska and moved here with her parents when she was around 12...…."
    And I am not exaggerating at all. When she quotes someone she has to give their life history so I'll know who's she's talking about. I've gotten an email from her now and then and I'm more than happy to respond to the emails and I always avoid giving her my phone number that she will ask for. Arghhhh!
     
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  11. IntoTheVoid

    IntoTheVoid Active Member

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    I feel offended now... We're central Europe, not Eastern! :(
     
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  12. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    My lack of knowing what to ask, so I don't, often leads people to think I have no interest in them, too. I remember when I was in my twenties and was talking to my - very social - sister on the phone and she kept asking me questions. It hit me - "Ohhhh, that's how you make people think you care. By asking questions?" I tried it, but the questions would be stupid and I'd get even more puzzling looks. But if I know someone has an ongoing concern, I have learned to ask about how that's going when I see them. They'll give an answer and then I'm stumped.
     
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  13. Peter Morrison

    Peter Morrison Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Hi IntoTheVoid. Sorry, I am considerably older and have a strong love of history, politics, and culture. Eastern Europe was the term used for the countries that were under the Soviet sphere of influence in Europe. I referenced Czechoslovakia as an example of an interesting place, and I was referring to the country as it was known at that time. I should have clarified.
     
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  14. IntoTheVoid

    IntoTheVoid Active Member

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    Also it's no Czechoslovakia anymore. It's now more like Czechia and Slovakia :D
     
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  15. Peter Morrison

    Peter Morrison Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Hi IntoTheVoid - I'll try again. When The Czech Republic was joined with Slovakia as one country, it was called Czechoslovakia. My reference was to that period in time. It's interesting to speak to people who grew up under the old regime. Sorry to confuse you. Country names are sometimes altered after major political events. I was trying to be accurate. BTW, the best beer I ever had was in Prague (under the old regime) - traditional methods were being used - authentic pilsner (Plzn). I also bought a lot of postage stamps for my stamp collection while in Prague. I had been a student in Vienna and would go up to Prague on weekends - charming city - few tourists back then.
     
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  16. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    I generally don't know enough about other people to talk about them.
     
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  17. Bolletje

    Bolletje Potato chip wizard V.I.P Member

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    Talking about common acquaintances is a good conversation starter and/or small talk for me. It’s not so much gossip, generally we don’t talk about negative things.
     
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  18. dragonfire42

    dragonfire42 Active Member

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    I get the feeling that it's rude to talk about other people when they aren't around. Sharing other people's life events feels rude to me because I never know what's appropriate to share and what isn't and figure it should be up to the person/people directly involved to decide if they want people to know something or not, I don't know if they might be keeping it a secret for some reason, or want to see someone's initial reaction to the news themselves. Unless someone asks me to tell someone else something, or if I ask if it's okay to tell and the person says yes, I'll find something else to talk about instead.
     
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  19. Bronzelincolns

    Bronzelincolns Well-Known Member

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    this thread made me realize I don't have enough social interactions to know my own social habits.


    NOTE: NO, i'm not depressed!
     
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  20. SimplyWandering

    SimplyWandering Well-Known Member

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    I talk about myself only. When people start talking about other things, I manage to navigate the topic back to me:p:D.
     
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