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Featured Inside out or outside in

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Pats, Nov 14, 2018.

  1. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I like when my NT daughter in law and I compare notes. I realize it doesn't fit everyone, but it does help understand some of the differences in how we think. We were talking the other day about small talk and I was (on my mind because of conversation here) lost when it come to what to say to people IRL. She was saying it was hard for her to grasp the difficulty in that. I think what it is, is that she's a product of her environment. She lives in her environment more and these things do just come naturally. I live more inside my head. While I've always been instructed how to act and how to be, it doesn't match my insides. It never has. I once asked a friend how she can so easily get the dr to put her on Xanax or whatever she wants, I can't seem to convince them that I need anything. She said it was because I appear calm on the outside. She's right. On the outside I'm as calm as a cucumber while my insides are a 100 mph train wreck. I've always said my insides don't match my outsides. Even who I am doesn't match. So I truly exist more on the inside, and though I can sometimes play the part, still don't understand and live in my environment. I exist in my environment and live in my head.

    Also explains the difference in how we are able to see things. She always says she is not creative and has no imagination at all and always impressed with how my son (her husband) and I so easily come up with ways to do things and make it look good. Because she doesn't look past her environment. I see the things in my head that I'm wanting to do, then figure out how to do it. Example: I was gluing some molding on my wall to look like a chair rail (had to glue because it's a concrete wall). When I got the molding it was a beige color. When she asked and I told her what I was doing, all she could picture was it being a light color and suggested I paint it white. I just said, "Uh huh" because I knew I'd not get her to see anything else. I painted it a very dark brown and it's perfect. She loves it and says she would have never thought of that.

    I also wonder if the same explains why everything I do IRL feels the same (feels wrong). As a nurse I was able to start iv's that no one else had been able to get so they'd wait until I came in to work. Sometimes I'd figure out something with a patient that others didn't see and it would be a very good thing. But doing something good like that felt the same as doing something bad. I know I used to tell my sister it was amazing that I didn't end up some kind of criminal. I do know right from wrong and have strong morals, but whatever I do, maybe it feels the same because that's the outside me that I just can't seem to match up with.

    I also used to feel like I could easily relate to Rainman living in his own little world.

    There's a lot of very intelligent people out there that I would really like to get their opinions on this.
     
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  2. the_tortoise

    the_tortoise Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    It is sad when people are taught to behave/appear a certain way at the expense of being able to care for and express themselves as they are.

    I'm not sure I can relate to the thing where you try to be a certain way or not (I've sort of given up trying to figure it out, for the moment)....And I don't feel like I'm a different person on the outside than the inside; I am just me, regardless of how I am perceived.

    But I can relate to not knowing how others perceive you..... The stark contrasts that may exist between the realities of your existence/experience versus what people perceive or conclude about you because they are using a worldview/model of behavior that doesn't fit you -- because you are different from them or from the majority in ways they overlook, can't imagine, or just can't see. (So they try to shove everything about you into that ill-fitting model they're using, and the conclusions they arrive at as a result end up being very wrong.)
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2018
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  3. Ginseng

    Ginseng Christian V.I.P Member

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    I used to hate small talk. I did not see a purpose for it. But one day, being an avid reader, I read that small talk was what relationships were built upon. This blew me away. I did not know that small talk had a purpose, let alone such an important purpose. I truly wanted to be able to connect to people. I made a point from that day forward to take small talk very serious. I think I do quite well. It is still uncomfortable at times, but because I am aware of its immense purpose, I push through. Just trying to learn the things that might interest the person I am talking to and help them feel more at ease gives me good practice for those times when I meet someone who is truly lost in their own painful world and is only used to people who do not care to look for them or try to connect with them. I know I used to be that invisible person.

    I most definitely see things differently. I can quickly come up with ideas about how to do things. I enjoy that. I am not sure if I addressed your question Pat.
     
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  4. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    There was no question - just interesting to see what everyone else has to say on this difference in autism and neurotypical worlds.
     
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  5. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    That last paragraph about always feeling wrong reminded me with surprise of something I was thinking about very recently. I had a performance at my school, and it was my first time performing something difficult. I practiced more intensely than I had ever practiced a single piece of music and every waking moment and thought was about it and how much I wanted it to go well.

    And then it did. And I didn't feel good. And I was thinking, "So I did all of that just to prevent myself from feeling awful. All the work was so I could keep feeling OK." Which made me wonder what the point of it all was.

    Similarly, even if everyone says I did great and is perfectly happy with everything, all I can remember is the ways it could have been better and I never feel good about any of it.

    Is that anything like you described, or is this something different?
     
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  6. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Could be, but maybe a little more right and wrong type thing. If I were to steal something and if I were to help someone cross the street it would feel the same. I'd be trying to figure out what I did wrong. You know, it IS surprising I didn't become a criminal because then I would at least know what it was that I did wrong. lol But I definitely get what you're saying - all that work for what. Like spending months getting ready for Christmas and in five minutes it's over.
     
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  7. the_tortoise

    the_tortoise Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Like you're so used to being told (or noticing signs that indicate) you've done something wrong that you just automatically assume you've done something wrong (?) -- you can't do anything without feeling like you must have just done something wrong?

    I can relate a bit, I think, if it's something like that. There is a lot of uncertainty in interactions with other people, and I go back over things a lot to examine all possibilities I can imagine and see if I can notice anything I might have screwed up. I don't feel like I'm doing something wrong all the time, nor assume I've screwed up, but I have anxiety about it.
     
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  8. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    just feel guilty no matter what I do and have anxiety over it.
     
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  9. tducey

    tducey Well-Known Member

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    I think we all have our quirks. Part of what makes us unique as Aspies. I think our quirks should be celebrated and welcomed.
     
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  10. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    If Christmas is also no fun at all but not doing it would make you depressed, then yeah. Basically that the options are "bad" or "neutral".

    But reading your further comments, I now feel like I understand what you mean, and I realize I don't relate to that. Your options are "bad" and "bad," so the decision isn't based on the possible reward of positive emotion or fear of punishment with negative emotion but have to motivated by other factors, like morality and intellect.

    You could be used to end the debate on, "Does true selflessness exist?"

    People say, "No, people don't do good, like donating, they do it because it makes them feel good. It's for themselves."

    Not you!
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2018
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  11. BraidedPony

    BraidedPony Enjoying life and glad to be alive! V.I.P Member

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    I think I would enjoy performing an IV correctly with as little pain as possible to the patient as much as if I shoplifted something really cool in front of people and get away with it.
    Both are challenging and have an element of thrill. But one gets you paid and one could lead to jail, so I would choose the IV task.
    I have been masking for so many decades I think I only feel real in my head and not in the external world. When I smile and give a warm Hello, that isn’t what is in my mind. My mind is thinking, thank God I arrived to this appointment on time, is my hair messed up from pulling on it, am I smiling too much, am I chewing my lips, relax my shoulders!, OMG did the person just talk to me while I was listening to my inner thoughts, is it time to say something, what should I say to show I am relaxed and confident, keep your eyes on this person and not scan the room, don’t chew my lips....
     
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  12. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Wow - never thought about it that way. You are correct in options being bad vs bad. I thought it was an autism thing. Actually I still think it is. To varying degrees? I don't know many on here that give themselves pats on the back and knowing that is probably why most on here are so ready to give other's pats on the back.
     
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  13. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Yes! Like I said - we exist in our environment but live in our head. Thanks for getting that.
     
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  14. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    Yes! If I did, I didn't mean to apply it isn't an autism thing. About pats (your name!) on the back, that I can 100% relate to. I don't think I've ever experienced the feeling called "pride". I've thought about that a lot, so I'm glad you mentioned it here.

    Is a general lack of pride common for autism? I'm not necessarily asking you directly, just wondering out-loud.
     
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  15. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Oh and I don't mean to say that I am on anyone's back. LOL
     
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  16. SusanLR

    SusanLR Well-Known Member

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    I've always been told I have Black and White thinking. It's either good or bad and I can't see
    the shades in between.
    Definitely exist in the external world and live in my head.

    Sounds exactly as I think. What I portray outwardly isn't what's on my mind when I mask and put on
    a smile and greeting. I'm thinking about all these other things you mentioned.
    Add in the thought of hoping anxiety won't show and I can keep from hyperventilating!

    @Fino I haven't heard that lack of pride is an autism thing. Don't know.
    I've never suffered from low self-esteem. I'm perfectionistic so I have a good deal of pride
    in what I do and how I look. Sometimes I can feel very neutral or even apathetic though.
    I've never been a meek personality type. I do feel anger quickly if someone is insulting
    or fowl mouthed to me. So I feel a variety of emotions depending on what's happening.
     
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  17. Annanda

    Annanda Active Member

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    Exactly my experience. For NT's it seems to be a bonding issue, whereas for me bonding would happen by exchange of relevant information.
    Try to cope me too, since discovering this very fact. Making progress!
     
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  18. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member

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    I am absolutely awful with small talk. Unless the person whom I was saying hello to, was to ask questions, I might just be able to get by.

    I am married to a nt and lol the idea of comparing notes, is laughable, since we clash virtually on a daily basis.

    I find the nt world to be a very illogical world and why I fail to grasp things.

    My husband is the one with the imagination. He, for example, can picture the final product, where as I can only see what is in front of me.

    But, in my head, my imagination is fantastic and also has been want to nearly destroy me. I am always thinking up scenarios and the only way around it being an absolute disaster, is to think of the worst case scenario and how I can cope with that.
     
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  19. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Thinking more about the pride thing because I do feel pride in some things that I do - but thinking about it, those things I take pride in are the things I've done when I'm alone and maybe those times I am more outside actually matching what's inside. It's when I'm talking to someone or with other people or having to do something out of obligation or expectation. I have rules and expectations that I've applied to myself even if no one is around - things like keeping my home clean, making my bed (sometimes I'll sleep on the couch so I won't have to make my bed. lol), even how I act when alone have to meet these guidelines or rules or whatever you want to call it. But if I'm working on a project or something that has come from my own mind, yes, I usually feel a sense of pride in that. Maybe it IS because that was truly me and maybe I need to work on letting me out more - just not sure how to go about that. But I'm actually tired of just existing in my environment - how can I start living more in my environment?
     
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  20. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I agree. I get soooo frustrated at church because the sermons always emphasize us being one family. Then church is over and people ask how are you, are you enjoying this weather, that was a good lesson today and I've been there nearly 4 years and know no more about anyone than I did at the start. I'm sorry, but knowing whether or not someone is enjoying the weather or hearing it was a good sermon (are you going to say if you didn't think so?) does nothing to make me feel like the family we're supposed to be. And the few times I tried to start a conversation (like the ones we have here) they look at me weird and seem to quickly find a way to get away from me. I know you guys better than I know them. It may be the first block on the NT's guide to relationships, but it'd work better if we could skip over those first couple blocks.
     
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