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I just realized I have problems with perspective taking

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by PastelPetals, Aug 9, 2020.

  1. PastelPetals

    PastelPetals Well-Known Member

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    Today I realized I have a hard time perspective taking. I have always considered myself an empathetic person and I just included perspective taking as a part of it. However I have realized I can only understand what I already understand. So I have I better ability to perspective take with other autistic people since I can sometimes understand better than I can for NT people.

    Before I was diagnosed (I think I was 12 at the time) I was arguing with my mother about "true human empathy" and how it's impossible (I still stand by this) and I said "you can't understand being on a roller coaster if you have never been on one. And even if you had you still have to guess a lot about how the other person felt". She didn't seem to get it.

    I now understand that I can only understand things within the context of my life. Once my sister was complaining about a disabled classmate who was annoying her and I could really only understand the classmate not her and a good deal of that was projection. It's not a wilful misunderstanding I just don't get it unless another person explains in detail their thought process for why they feel what they feel.

    I need some guidance in order to understand people sometimes. I am not sure what to do as it causes issues in my life and while I know the cause I have no idea what to do since I never think about how I can't understand while it's happening since I don't understand it to the point it flies right over my head that I am not understanding I usually think I do understand.
     
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  2. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    Think you did a great job explaining something that is a underlying problem for us on the spectrum. l noticed this early on but l seem to have gotten thru it.
     
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  3. PastelPetals

    PastelPetals Well-Known Member

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    Thank you. I really only realized this today and it has been quite the shock to realize that it's not just that people don't understand me it's also that I lack understanding of other people. I was just very unaware. I am also realizing (after I made this post) that my lack of ability to perspective take may also make it harder for me to make friends as I often find myself unable to understand what people want in a given interaction. To the point that I am often unsure of whether to laugh or comfort sometimes. I did not realize so much is perspective taking. But I guess I am learning a lot.
     
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  4. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    The more you read prior posts , the more you will get the bigger picture of yourself.
     
  5. Progster

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

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    It's an issue for me, too - I can't really know how a person feels, or understand their reaction if I haven't had the experience myself. Because of this, there are some things that I just don't get.

    I'm not sure that NTs can either, whatever they may claim. A lot of the time it's all about showing that they are being empathetic, rather than actually being empathetic.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2020
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  6. Deepthought

    Deepthought Member

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    Ker-MEGA-ching ~ most people only have a vague clue of what is going on individually, but get along with it none the less as it is a collective pursuit to be otherwise and elsewhere than they actually are.

    Being on the FM rather than AM frequency as it were means what comes naturally to the majority means that they do not need to question things very much, or even at all.

    Being amongst the minority or the odd one out amongst the many and not being able to compare feelings, thoughts and actions regarding the common pursuits does tend to make us quite reasonably paranoid, and asking questions about the common pursuits is particularly difficult as most people ignorantly and unquestioningly follow them as it is generally much safer and less painful for them to do so.

    If you have ever had people laughing at you or at others for not knowing what's going on, most of them are just covering up the fact they have not got a clue either. The chances are if you have observed the patterns of social interaction and the transactions involved even to the tiniest degree ~ you will have more understanding and comprehension than the majority:

    (1) non-autistic people appear to have as much difficulty in understanding autistic minds as vice versa;

    (2) autistic people often develop a greater understanding of society than non-autistic people develop of autism;

    (3) autistic people have a similar ability to empathise with other autistic people as non-autistic people have with their peers.

    Milton does not suggest that non-autistic people are less capable of developing an understanding of autism than vice versa; as he points out, it is simply that autistic people have no choice but to try to develop an understanding of society if they are to ‘survive and potentially thrive’ whereas no such imperative applies in the opposite direction (Milton 2012).


    https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/09687599.2014.949625?needAccess=true
     
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  7. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Yes that's a common experience for minorities, that we learn about the majority ways before we fully understand that something different happens for us. This tends to mean we have more information to understand the majority perspectives than they have to understand us.

    But the OP is right that we generally don't empathise to others perspectives in the same way neurotypical people seem to. However realising that is a key point to progress.I think what I have developed is a habit of listening and observing that has extended my ability to understand, by giving my slow processing a better chance, also asking some questions, basically doing active listening, people love that, and it does give me time to use my thinking skills that are my strength, to help me understand their perspectives and emotional issues etc.

    Try slowing down, Listen more. Often hard to do in the heat of the moment or with family members, but a useful lifeskill, I have found, and also enabled me to work in therapeutic settings. It's great that you've noticed this, quite a revelation.
     
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  8. menander

    menander Well-Known Member

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    Philosophers have long detailed the problems human beings have with being trapped in our own heads. The only hope is being educated into logic/understanding. People are not born with real awareness of their own emotions. How can they feel others'? Added on top of that, there are people who don't give a crap and others still who like to watch others squirm.

    Compassion is so rare because it can be feigned in places where it's an advantage (like church, politics, etc). Where it's often found is in people who are suffering terribly, people on the streets, or conversely, people who have god-awful money and wonder how bad it must be for the guy on the street!

    So it's a crap shoot.
     
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  9. risootser

    risootser Well-Known Member

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    It is interesting. In terms of myself I usually feel different from rest of the humanity. I have seen this several times. People can not comprehend source of my own emotions. I'm like out of place. I also take weird perspectives that other people do not see. This is why I think schizotypal fits better than autism for me.
     
  10. jared mills

    jared mills Rookie

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    they need to take things from an aspie's perspective & not us taking things from theirs,we're human too you know & all because we're different than them & from them ? :angry::angry::angry::angry::angry::rage::rage::rage::rage::rage::angry::rage: