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Misunderstandings

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Matthias, Jul 3, 2020.

  1. Matthias

    Matthias Well-Known Member

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    Up until last year, I thought people treated me poorly because I was different. I blamed them for making me feel worse. I tried hard to act normal but I wasn't perfect and still got criticized. Since I couldn't change how people treated me, I thought there was nothing I could do about it. The diagram below represents how I used to think:

    [​IMG]

    What I learned
    After I learned more about feelings and what causes them, I realized people reacted negatively because they misinterpreted why I acted the way I did. I felt worse because I misunderstood that (I thought they were reacting to my behavior instead of their interpretation of it). When I expressed my feelings, people didn't realize I was upset because I thought I was treated poorly due to thinking I was different and that I felt that way for as long as I can remember. They just thought I was upset because I was rebuked for something minor and gave me advice based on why they thought I was upset.

    When I thought back to the times when people responded negatively, I realized they may have misunderstood me. I realized my feelings were normal and that I wasn't fundamentally different than other people. I was no longer convinced that most people were intolerant and judgmental.

    I found it hard to believe I had been misunderstanding people my entire life. I decided to stop masking and be myself. After a year of being myself I confirmed that many of the unwanted emotions I experienced were due to misunderstandings.

    Here's what I think now (new changes in yellow):


    [​IMG]
    Some examples:
    Many people don't make eye contact when they're lying. Since my eye contact was poor, people didn't trust me. It wasn't because I was different. It was because they were treating me the same way they treat everyone else.

    Many people miss things in a conversation when they're not listening or paying attention. Since I processed information more slowly, I often missed things and people got frustrated and impatient. They thought I wasn't paying attention because they treated me the same way as everyone else. If I got upset, they thought it was because I was rebuked for not paying attention. Since that's common, they thought I was being too sensitive and told me to get over it.

    Conclusion:
    Over the last year, I socialized more since I no longer had much anxiety. I learned that most people are tolerant of differences because they know everyone is unique. I was surprised how different non-autistic people were from each other and how common misunderstandings occurred among people who weren't autistic. It's not a big deal now when people react negatively to something I say or do because I know it's probably just a misunderstanding and they aren't attacking me for being different. When I explained the situation a few times after I was misunderstood, I found that most people were very understanding.

    Now that I realize no one treats me differently because of my autistic traits, it's much easier to know when I'm misunderstood and how others misunderstand me because it's usually based on the reason most people would act the way I did. If I don't know, I can always ask. If anyone wants to read about others things I learned, you can click on my username, then Profile Page, and select Blog Entries to read posts I made about self-esteem, being yourself, how to reduce sensitivity to criticism, and alexithymia / understanding emotions.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2020
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  2. Vicki Gail

    Vicki Gail New Member

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    Wow, a lot of thought went into this post and I really enjoyed reading it...thanks!
     
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  3. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    This sounds great for you, but as has been said here a lot of times already, this is not the experience of many people here. I feel glad you no longer feel misunderstood and can socialise, whatever that means for you, but your solutions do not solve the effects of autism I experience, and I would think you would have realised by now, that's the case for many people here. Pretty disappointed you are still harping on this.
     
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  4. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    But the thing about autisim is that you sometimes ruminate no matter what evidence is given to you. There are things on the spectrum we just can't change. But l am glad you haven't given up the fight to cure all of us here. That proves once again you are on the spectrum because you are back with your same content matter. But your tone has changed and you seem less intense then previous posts. And l thought you were going to have some new content. Silly me. You are here with an agenda like a dog with a bone. So this very black and white thinking is l think this way therefore you should all think this way. But we are all unique and opinions are subjective. You could start a blog here of your transformation and use this a learning resource. I did an informal survey and was surprised at the amount of people here who had another autistic family member. This opened my eyes and helped me realize that this spans generations much like bipolar, etc.

    But for the record: sometimes l think everybody has some degree of autistic traits. Maybe we all are. Maybe that is the new normal.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2020
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  5. Progster

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

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    A lot of repetition, a lot of very similar threads or posts, all saying/repeating similar things... seems like a 'special interest' to me. This is a classic autism trait.
     
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  6. Matthias

    Matthias Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry you're disappointed my OP wasn't able to help your symptoms. I started this thread because 75% of those on this forum who responded on another thread agreed that the circular thinking pattern I described caused most of their problems. While I'm glad you don't have this problem, I think it's worthwhile to share how I overcome it with the 75% who do have it.
     
  7. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I'm disappointed in you, OP, not your delusion of curing autism with videos of CBT, thats just silly. I don't see anyone here showing any interest, do you?
     
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  8. tree

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

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  9. groundhogy

    groundhogy Well-Known Member

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    Good analysis. That kind of stuff is not easy to ferret out. I am impressed.
     
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  10. groundhogy

    groundhogy Well-Known Member

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    This reminds me of something I heard years ago. Its not totally the same but i hope it helps. It goes something like this..

    There are A-holes in the world. Everyone meets them, and everyone eventually has a bad experience with one of them. Its what people make of it, their analysis that is different and their resulting path is different.

    Say you have two guys. Plain guy. Hes totally average. And Discriminated Against Guy. He has been quietly told by his parents and family repeatedly that someday when you go out into the world there are people that won’t like you because of your long nose. We are the people of the long nose, and others hate us for it.

    So Plain Guy is in the world, and he happens upon A-Hole Guy who gives him a terrible time. Plain-Guy has no idea what he did to deserve this. So he analyses... sniffs his underarms.. ok...smells his breath...ok. His clothes? Clean and neat. Plain Guy comes to the end of his analysis and concludes... this man was a major league A-Hole, and continues on his life in search of fun stuff, full speed.

    Now Discriminated Against Guy, later that day, also meets A-Hole Guy. He also gets the business by A-Hole Guy. Discriminated Against then goes through the same analysis as Plain Guy. Underarms, Breath, clothes. All good. Then.. wait... it must be what all my family was telling me about. That man hates me because of my big nose! Ah-ha! I was discriminated against!
     
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  11. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    Yup, so guilty of this myself. My to do list: ruminate on chocolate cake, not on my bad ex-mate.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2020
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  12. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    Another trait as Groundhogy enlightens us in their post is our ability to internalize everything. Breaking the chains of spectrum issues is not to take everything on myself. So what if it is me or isn't me that pissed someone off, got fired, got yelled at, got cut off in traffic, got called the A-hole or Byatch word. Life goes on. We only tend to obsess over the unimportant slights not the cashier that smile at you, the co-worker that likes you, the friend that you always are happy to see, the coffee place that gets it. It's like our internal cuircut board bypasses all the good addresses of good thoughts and dumps us in the hood of very bad experiences. We aren't perfect, bad will happen with good. There serves what mediation provides, a manual address of empty your brain pockets of these *hood thoughts* that you can get lost driving around in. Focus on the simple task of breathing, then along comes healthy thought patterns. Yoga is excellent for this also. You focus on your moves and your body, letting go of trash compactor thoughts. Any exercise is a great mind release. Creative endeavors can be uplifting. Volunteer work is a great way to feel productive and help your community. Of course you have to balance your ability to be outside of your comfort zone with other people.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2020
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  13. Matthias

    Matthias Well-Known Member

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    Good story. I think most of us became convinced we were like the discriminated guy since we were a toddler when our parents misunderstood our abnormal behavior and reacted negatively to it.
     
  14. Matthias

    Matthias Well-Known Member

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    Misunderstandings aren't anyone's fault. If you can't help the way you act, it isn't your fault.

    It would make you less angry and bitter.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2020