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Featured how we interpret things

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Pats, Jun 15, 2019.

  1. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I realize that we all interpret things differently and those interpretations are affected by our past experiences, up bringing, etc. I also have read that because autists have so many other stimuli working and entering our brains at the same time we often interpret things wrong. I don't remember exactly what I read and can't find it now, but I had a really hard time when I read the article and it made me wonder if my entire life was mis-interpreted. It drove me nuts. I wish I could find the article, because I may have interpreted it wrong. lol

    I do realize that a safe surrounding may feel unsafe for us because all the other stimuli we are receiving. And I do realize that we might interpret something wrong because we take things literally most the time. But this article made me feel it was way more than that (but I could be wrong). It was a couple years ago when I was first learning about autism and I even asked the doctor who had done my testing about it because it made me wonder if I had perceived everything wrong in my life. So he tried to explain that what people said or did, did actually happen and that's as far as he went.

    Does anyone have any idea what I'm talking about?
     
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  2. shysnail

    shysnail Well-Known Member

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    Maybe I understand what you're saying. Like I generally feel like I can understand social situations okay, but then, maybe I'm just not realizing that I'm misinterpreting them totally and come away thinking something totally different to every NT present? I try not to think about it. I get enough wrong as it is o_O
     
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  3. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I'm still looking - I think it was an article about how someone with autism distorts reality. Is it possible to distort reality? Yes, different than misinterpreting.
     
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  4. Fridgemagnetman

    Fridgemagnetman I only have one V.I.P Member

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    Yes.

    I kind of think of it as a communication disorder.

    It's not really a disorder just a difference.

    In the language of the majority - everything is a disorder.
     
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  5. GadAbout

    GadAbout Active Member

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    I would recommend you try to focus on present and future, rather than backward on your "entire life." So for instance, if a social situation seems a certain way to you now, pause and reflect that your perceptions may have been inaccurate at times.

    This is what neurotypicals mean when they say, "Is it just me, or does this situation seem awkward to you?" (or scary or too good to be true, etc.) The NTs are "reality checking" their impressions, aware that there are multiple perspectives they may want to consider before arriving at a conclusion.

    That type of question is also a good way of creating a bond between yourself and others.

    As for the future, you can build consensus-taking into your decisions, say about accepting a job offer. Do family and close friends think you should take it? Everyone does not have to agree, it's just an opportunity for you to arrive at better decisions in the future.
     
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  6. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Don't know about whether what you experience or think is wrong. It's related to your perception of the world and how you consider it. I'm good at picking up 'stuff' from other people, but I'm not always right about it. Depends on how much they are showing and not hiding outwardly.

    Recall sitting in a friend's apartment with a bunch of people I knew pretty well. During a spaghetti dinner, I knew just by watching and listening who's relationships were in trouble, who was cheating on who. Sure enough within a few weeks, one couple broke up, and another relationship ended. And neither party, knew it was going to happen. The guy had no clue that his girlfriend was cheating on him. And another couple were so hostile to one another, that it was pretty clear they would divorce. My girlfriend, was really hurt when her marriage ended and she had no idea that her husband was having an affair with someone he worked with. They had two children at the time, and she never remarried.

    Somehow my boyfriend at the time, didn't notice when I mentioned it. And when they all split up he was really surprised. He said his friends were all just fine. Because he didn't pick up on any of it. I don't even know back then how I knew. Think it depends on what we pay attention to, and what slips by us.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019
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  7. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Ok. I'm going to give up trying to find the article, but in what I've been looking at today I think it has to do with a combination of gestalt perception, fragmented perception, distorted perception and delayed processing.
     
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  8. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    You know, there's been several times that I would sense someone was cheating on their partner and I must have given off something that told them I knew or suspected because the cheating person, it was obvious, would become very uncomfortable around me and try to avoid me. Then, sure enough - it'd come out. Same thing with some medical people I worked with - I would wonder if they were dipping into the narcotics. I might ask someone I knew better and they would respond with - not her, no way and I'd just be like, okay, you know better than I do. But sure enough maybe months or a couple years down the road they'd be fired for dipping into the narcotics. Maybe we can smell guilt. :)
     
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  9. clg114

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

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    I think that what you said about taking everything literally causes a lot of misinterpretation. For me, my inability to understand non-verbal communication causes me to take everything I hear literally. There is so much of it, eye contact, body posture and so on. It all goes over my head. Worst of all are all of these sayings that do not mean what they say. When someone says "Oh, that's a piece of cake", I am looking around for a cake. I like cake. But what they really mean it that will be easy. I misinterpreted what they said. That is what causes me to take everything that I hear literally.
     
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  10. John M

    John M Well-Known Member

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    I think what you're describing Pats is something we have in common with NTs, not something that sets us apart. My perception is that we may have more stimulus bombarding us but NTs have the same issue though perhaps for different reasons. The difference possibly being an NT may be inclined to interpret events based on the past more than us. If a situation essentially stays the same then an NTs interpretation is probably dead on. If something has changed then I'd go with an aspie's interpretation of events.

    For example, an NT may look at a group of people and say the situation of the group is unchanged. I'd look at individuals in the group and base it's stability on each individual rather than the whole. We're looking at the same things, just from different perspectives. That doesn't mean I don't miss things. Sometimes I miss things that are important or are obvious to most people. I wouldn't say I miss more than an NT though. We just notice different things.
     
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  11. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    I feel like I know what you mean!

    But I could be misinterpreting...! :D

    Sorry, that was lame! :eek:

    The one about danger drives me nuts because people are like "trust your gut" but my gut tells me I'm gonna be murdered too often for me to trust it.

    But the thing about sensing that sort of stuff has happened so many times for me that now when it happens I acknowledge it as a possibility, whereas before I'd convince myself I was wrong.
     
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  12. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    In most situations I seem to pick up the same general theme as others (NTs) but often there seems to be 'extra stuff'. Stimuli or events generate second or third lines of thought going on more or less simultaneously, or perhaps interlaced in time-share fashion. It was an observation of mine early on, that when people got high, etc, they seemed to get closer to my natural way of thinking. :D
     
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  13. Bolletje

    Bolletje Potato chip wizard V.I.P Member

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    That’s funny, when I get high I get the feeling my thinking becomes more NT-like.
     
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  14. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    I had that exact thought but was tired and didn't say it. ;) I feel like I understand them more, such as, "So THAT'S why they're so preoccupied with food, these nachos are amazing!!!!! :eek::eek:"

    Then the next day I don't like nachos because it's messy and the chips are too big. :rolleyes:
     
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  15. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I would say I think outside the box, so my take on a situation may often differ from a standard NT perspective. This can be useful, but often my perspective goes unvoiced or unheard, as it can be seen as wrong or irrelevant or odd.

    I think it's also true that we usually have a different processing system and my experience is that I have a gap where NTs have some processes that enable unstructured social interaction, and aspects of relating. This may all come under the lacks around executive function.

    However, Pats, I would strongly argue that we make different sense of things, not that we are wrong. Any process or way of understanding things that is not the majority way will tend to be invalidated.
     
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  16. 100skerls

    100skerls Just another skerl V.I.P Member

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    I think that everybody’s reality is different and humans never completely experience reality how it truly is. I mean think about just seeing. First some photons hit our eyes and those images are refracted onto our retinas and the electric signals get translated to the back of our brain where the optic nerve creates a picture. Sometimes we fill in the blanks with stuff we aren’t looking directly and can miss something entirely that way. I’ve always thought the human brain seemed overestimated in accuracy and infallibility by most people.

    But anyway, so if we can misconstrue the basic stuff I think absolutely we misconstrue the bigger things. But I think what I’m trying to get at here is that I think everyone does all the time and we might do it a bit worse but we are also probably more aware that we misconstrue things so which is really worse?
     
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  17. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝

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    I think that since I [we?] don't always read emotions and body language correctly (especially, on-the-fly), I only "get" half of the intended message. Worse than that, I don't just "miss" that subtext, I can actively misinterpret it. It ends up degrading the "literal" interpretation even further, instead of strengthening it (as intended).

    If I hear something that sounds inappropriately offensive, I listen a little longer just to be sure.

    If intentional, it becomes a recurring theme.
    If not, it becomes clear as the other person continues.
     
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  18. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I think you have just put it into words that I am unable to do.

    When I think I got it rght and only to find I got it wrong, I feel like shrinking into a corner and just disappearing, because it is sooo damn hard to keep functioning, when one cannot rely on their own interpretation.
     
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  19. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    What I find is that I often don't process all aspects of a situation together, but in bits and pieces, so I don't see the whole picture until a lot later, hours or perhaps even days later. NTs are generally better at this. I tend to focus on the details of it, but not the thing as a whole, and if I don't see the whole picture, how can I make a critical judgement on it? I will make mistakes. Or I simply make different connections to the other person, or a given thing might mean something different to me than what is does for them, so we talk at cross purposes. I don't think that the latter has anything to do with autism, as I see a lot of NTs also misinterpret or make mistakes in this way.
     
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  20. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Like @Progster I have fragmented perception, taking in bits and pieces. I don't see everything, I take in what I do see. I also take in a lot of static that gets jumbled into the mix. Take a memory - I may not remember what you wore that day or how you had your hair or if you had a beard or not, but I will remember verbatim what you said and how it affected me and I will remember the lamp on the table and the throw pillow on your couch and the humming of the refrigerator that was distracting and the car lights flashing through the window. So there's my perception of that event. But what I perceived was not wrong, though I may have taken something the wrong way, or I may have taken it more seriously than it was meant. I do tend to do that, too.
     
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