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Is there such a thing as a special interest?

Ylva

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
i've been thinking about it, and I'm thinking this is just how we are interested. It's how we "do" "interested". We don't necessarily "do" middle grounds when it comes to being interested. It's either off or on.

Neurotypicals are interested in things in a less focused way, should we call their insterests "mild interests"?

Can't it just be interests?
 
Point taken. It's a distinction that has ambiguities.

Without any real uniform understanding of what makes it "special".
 
'Special interests' is the name given to a particularly intense pastime that typically gives us immense pleasure. It's not clear why the word 'special' has been adopted - the word 'specialised' might make more sense, as that is often what we are doing, specialising in a subject. It annoys me a bit that these intense interests get called 'special' because it sounds condescending somehow.

Also, they are not limited to austistic people. Many people have such intense interests - my NT partner, for example, researching different species of local fungi and memorising the names of about 200 species of mushroom in a couple of weeks, pulling all-nighters watching youtube videos of people collecting and showing mushrooms, reading and re-reading the books of one single author.
 
i've been thinking about it, and I'm thinking this is just how we are interested. It's how we "do" "interested". We don't necessarily "do" middle grounds when it comes to being interested. It's either off or on.

Agree. It's a bit like I've become slightly comatose to all around me. Is intense focus a special interest? Seems to me that it's intense focus.
 
I have a range of interests. By that some that are intense interests, others moderate, others mild. So I do not feel its on or off as far as my interests go. Other things may be more on/off for me.
 
Besides, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away comedian Dana Carvey kind of put a damper on the adjective "special". o_O

 
I take "special" interest to mean one that gets the most attention and for which our interest is intensified - not unlike a kind of obsession. We engage in these interests because we get great pleasure from them. I used to have what I would call "obsessive" interests. I would run home from school to dive into the "special" interest. It's true, the word "special" is unclear for how these interests attract us, but we all know the value of being in the zone. The chaos stops and we are feeding our need for focus, creativity, and peace. I think I would be a nervous wreck without them.
 
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