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Featured Understanding NTs in relationships

Discussion in 'Love, Relationships and Dating' started by sisselcakes, Feb 21, 2020.

  1. sisselcakes

    sisselcakes Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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  2. Phlogiston101

    Phlogiston101 phlogiston101

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    Your blog is pretty interesting. I've been divorced a few years now, and see a lot of the interactions between myself and my ex wife in your words. She definitely seemed needy a lot of the time, I never understood why this was before, I think I have a better understanding now. I still don't understand how NT's can read others, but i wish I could do just that one thing without changing anything else about me. I really think that would help me with understanding others. I've been reading a lot about social communications etc. The theory makes sense, but I have to apply the information using my rational brain, and it's to be honest a real paiin in the butt. Sometimes I still forget to say/ask questions etc. when talking to people. Things would be a whole lot easier if it came naturally.
     
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  3. Fridgemagnetman

    Fridgemagnetman I only have one V.I.P Member

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    See ememes
     
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  4. Phlogiston101

    Phlogiston101 phlogiston101

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    Thanks Fridgmagnetman for the link to your blog. I checked it out and it's really informative too. Especially the part where people say they want to get together sometime. In the past people have told me they should invite me to dinner, or we should all get together and have a barbecue etc. When it never happened i thought they were just saying that as a white lie to make themselves feel better or something. I'm glad you clarified this in your blog that it's really not meant to be taken seriously when someone says these things, it's just a way people say they are friendly. I gave my ex-wife a link to your blog as well since she's told me these things bother her as well. So if I understand the ememe concept right when people ask how are you, or say they would like to get together sometime i shouldn't take it seriously most of the time. They are just saying they are friends. Please let me know if I'm not getting the concept.
     
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  5. Rasputin

    Rasputin ASD / Aspie V.I.P Member

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    This blog entry is very interesting, and makes me wonder how I ever connected with any NT women. In truth, I never had much difficulty because I was generally the object of pursuit. I can tell you though, that this blog explains ALL of the relationship issues I have had, including the one now between my wife and I. After 28 years, I get the impression that she doesn't understand me and I don't understand her.

    I sent a link to your blog to my wife, and asked her to read it tomorrow. After she has read it I want to have a long discussion of the points in your blog.
     
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  6. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member

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    An interesting piece of writing :)

    I think I've always believed that one of the most important facts is to accept that there are differences and so any assumption/guesswork/interpretations stemming from insecurities can't always be relied on.

    To accept when he asks "are you going to the gym?"
    it's an enquiry about your schedule or plans and nothing to do with your appearance.
    (or he'd ask/comment about that)

    I'm coming at it from the other side of the fence though :)

    If Mr Gracey asks me "Are you going to the gym?"
    He wants an answer about my plans.
    There's no imaginary message.
    It's a straight up enquiry.

    If he comments "I thought you were going to wash the car?"
    It's because the car hasn't been washed yet.
    It's about the when, not the why.

    I believe his enquiry is about when I intend to do it. Curiosity.
    He isn't asking for a justification as to why I haven't washed the car.

    - this enquiry will also come from his knowing how much I enjoy washing, polishing and detailing the car.

    I can be 'in the zone' and obsess then feel good about a job well done when I've finished with the car :)
    In effect he may be asking when I'm going to do something for myself that I enjoy.
    ... or trying to get me out of the house for a couple of hours because I'm nagging him to death over something else :)


    I can relate to what you wrote about the the feeling of being fake and insincere when trying to remember what to say in an emotionally loaded situation.

    Not so much to Mr Gracey. He doesn't operate with the same emotional depth of say,
    girlfriends or work colleagues.
    Although he can have his moments.

    I can recognise they're hurting or feeling insecure.
    In my mind I've already formulated a factual plan of how they can move through this circumstance,
    because it's how I approach 'issues'

    But I have to remember not to blurt it out and instead, just listen to them speak.
    With the understanding that some people just want to vent, rant, say it out loud and get it out there without needing clear instruction on how to fix or change anything.
    They just want to offload that emotional baggage.

    I did like your article though :)
     
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  7. sisselcakes

    sisselcakes Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    You say you didn't understand in the past why your ex was so needy. After I wrote this, trying to explain it in a matter-of-fact way, I realized how pathetic it makes an NT sound; but it's not exaggerated! We really are like that. I wasn't just writing from my own point of view, but thinking of friends and how they would likely react to situations. Granted, my friends and I are all women, so that could contribute to it as well.

    The other thing- I read a study recently about personality types and how couples choose each other. It wasn't about ASD/NTs, but about 4 different personality types. 2 of the types attracted their own type, but the other 2 types (logical vs. emotional/intuitive types) tend attract each others' type. That would explain some NTs and Aspies gravitating toward each other. Perhaps the real challenges exist when the NT is a particularly sensitive type.

    I'm one of those. My boyfriend says he feels comfortable with me because I accept him as he is and I'm very understanding. I was the first one to point out his traits and that's how we started to figure out he's likely (but we are pretty positive) on the spectrum. He's never been formally diagnosed.

    It's great that I can understand him from the rational part of my brain as he understands me the same way; but that doesn't change the fact that our automatic responses to each other are brain-wired. It's fascinating to me that I can understand his responses; but still react to them before I have time to stop and put them into perspective (e.g., giving me a solution when I'm simply venting.)

    I'm so glad you read the article. I enjoyed your feedback. It makes me realize I'm on the right track. I wrote another one for NTs who want to understand Aspies. I'm very passionate about the subject, not only because of my personal situation, but I just find it fascinating.
     
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  8. sisselcakes

    sisselcakes Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Just read your piece. It's great. It really does explain a lot. Lays out the underlying basics as to how and why things are interpreted differently. In addition to my writing on NTs, I wrote a "guide" for NTs to understand their Aspie partners. Would you be okay with me putting the link to your article in my articles as additional resource for the reader?

    Re: when people ask “how are you?” they often aren’t really asking how you are, it is serving a social function, a greeting, a kind of social grooming that transmits a feelgood vibe to the other person, it’s a communication about social status and the relationship between those two people.

    When i first started reading about general traits of people on the spectrum, I initially misinterpreted them because I read them too literally. In other words, I would get confused as to how my boyfriend wasn't EXACTLY like the descriptions, but then I realized it's a spectrum and people are individuals. Also, people learn during a lifetime how to react in social situations despite their initial interpretation of the example above as literal.

    I now get that it's a tendency to read things a certain way. Both NTs and Aspie's can learn to understand the differences between how we interpret things and sometimes respond differently from our natural inclination. It's tough, though!
     
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  9. sisselcakes

    sisselcakes Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    My 21 yo daughter (NT) just approached me and I was talking to her about the "we should get together again soon" comments that people say to each other when bidding each other good-bye. I asked her, do you realize that's just a nicety? She said, "yeah, duh". LOL These are things we don't even realize about ourselves until someone points it out. That's why I find the subject so fascinating.

    Once we completed an ASD screening questionnaire and she came out closer to the spectrum than I did. She just said to me, "I know I'm kind of close to the spectrum." She suffered from social anxiety and still struggles with it but has gotten better. She explained that she was aware there were social rules and she was scared to break them. Over time she says she's learned by observing people. She says she sometimes feels like a robot in social situations.

    I remember one New Years when she was a teen and I was chatting with a new person. She sat there staring at me. Later, she said, "how do you do that? How do you just know what to say?" I can't explain that. It just flows!
     
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  10. sisselcakes

    sisselcakes Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I hope your wife finds some material in there that will help her understand the differences better. Would be interesting to know if she can relate. I also wrote a piece about a guide to Aspies for NTs that is on my site. She's probably figured all that out though, after 28 years.

    I wonder, too, how do we attract each other since we have such differences? Did you tend to end up with NTs? Maybe that will be the subject of my next piece. Tony Atwood has said that NTs are often attracted to a boyishness that male NTs come across with. It evokes the nurturing side in the NT woman, and that the nurturing side of the woman is attractive to the male. Also, he says the NT can help him navigate social situations.

    Interesting stuff! Thanks for reading and for giving feedback. :)
     
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  11. sisselcakes

    sisselcakes Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    It's very interesting the way my bf can ask me questions, and even after 4 years, certain things trigger me. Once my insecurities are triggered, it's very hard to think logically "Oh, he was just asking for information. He wasn't criticizing or questioning me". It's hard to get the genie back in the bottle once she's out. There are other things that influence that, like my mood at the time.

    I think if NTs are feeling needy, they just need to come out and ask for reassurance or a compliment or whatever will make them feel better. My boyfriend knows I need these things, but the urge to say something like that doesn't come naturally for him. When I've come out and asked him point blank, "What do you like about me?" (he has to think a minute about that open-ended question. LOL) or "Do you think I'm pretty?" he has responded with the sweetest things- much more sincere and loving than a fellow NT. These are things that, when I recall them, really touch my heart.

    Re:
    But I have to remember not to blurt it out and instead, just listen to them speak.
    With the understanding that some people just want to vent, rant, say it out loud and get it out there without needing clear instruction on how to fix or change anything.
    They just want to offload that emotional baggage.

    It amazes me that people can learn things that don't come naturally to them. I guess it's because I'm a student of human behavior (clinical social worker) that I'm so intrigued by people and their interactions. This is why I'm interested in how people on spectrum and NTs think and act differently. I guess it's the mysteriousness to me about how another person's brain functions and how their perspective of the world differs.

    Thanks so much for your lengthy response. Glad you liked the article!
     
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  12. Fridgemagnetman

    Fridgemagnetman I only have one V.I.P Member

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    Yes,share away :)

    The irony:)

    2 sides lost to each other.

    A tendency is a good way of viewing it. Anything that takes one away from a black and white viewpoint. That can result,too often,in an end to communication.
     
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  13. Rasputin

    Rasputin ASD / Aspie V.I.P Member

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    No, she hasn't figured me out either. In my case, I was physically attractive to many/most women. (See old photo below at 48 years) I was always a loner, but was confident, intelligent, and went out regularly with the intention of meeting someone. The only issue I had that I could not mask well was difficulty in holding eye contact and in smiling for photos. But, never underestimate the strength of the male sex drive in overcoming such issues. I met my wife while she was out with a group of her friends from work at a popular bar.
     

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  14. Phlogiston101

    Phlogiston101 phlogiston101

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  15. Phlogiston101

    Phlogiston101 phlogiston101

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    Well I messed that reply up a bit. I'm still kind of new to the forum. My reply got put in with the quote oops.
     
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  16. sisselcakes

    sisselcakes Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I’ve been with my boyfriend A mere four years but these are the things I have figured out and it is pretty tough!
    But, never underestimate the strength of the male sex drive in overcoming such issues. LOL. Ain't that the truth!

    Nice picture!

    I get the eye contact thing and the photo issue. My bf always has a vacant, lost look in his eyes for photos and can't fake a smile for the life of him. He always averts eye contact, even with me, when we kiss or our faces get too close. I'm very familiar with both of these things! What does it feel like to force eye contact when you are uncomfortable with it? I've always wondered.

    He hasn't had too much trouble meeting women, but we broke up for a year and he dated other people. he said that he felt most understood with me.

    He can do the banter thing and he's funny without meaning to be. He says people always laugh at what he says, but that he's not trying to be funny. Because of his flat tone of voice and his interesting observations, people interpret his sense of humor as dead pan.
     
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  17. sisselcakes

    sisselcakes Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I still haven't figured out how to quote a portion of someone's post, so we are in the same boat.

    Hi Sisselcakes, not sure how to put this in words, but I don't think NT's sounding needy is making them seem pathetic at all, just different. From what I've learned of social communications the "neediness" is more a way of emotional bonding. To me it's a perfectly natural evolutionary thing, just not something I do naturally. But the more I learn about people the more I can incorporate these behaviors in my interactions with them while still being true to who I am.

    I'm glad we don't seem pathetically needy. I never saw myself that way until I realized how I misinterpret things. Then i became aware of how much we need reassurance and affirmation. It makes me realize how people should accept themselves more and not worry so much about what others do/say.
     
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  18. sisselcakes

    sisselcakes Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Thanks for letting me share. I emailed to my boyfriend. Will be interested to hear his point of view, though he's a man of few words.
     
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  19. sisselcakes

    sisselcakes Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I was thinking about your article last night during a long drive. It really speaks to this discussion I had with my bf.

    We live in the US. He hates political correctness. He doesn't understand why certain words are taboo. To him they are just words.

    We discussed how you can't say the "n-word". As a matter of principle, he thinks someone should be able to say any word without social repercussions.

    I've told him that words have power. They aren't just a combination of letters that means something, and he's actually used this example on me when I've said things that hurt him. Ha! He was listening!

    I think the reason a word becomes taboo is exactly what you describe with an ememe, and why he doesn't get it. The n-word has a long, painful history for a group of people who were traumatized by larger society. We NTs naturally feel this lingering pain when someone utters it.

    Interestingly, if an African American person uses it, I won't give it a second thought; but if a white person does, I recoil. Intriguing stuff.
     
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  20. Rasputin

    Rasputin ASD / Aspie V.I.P Member

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    Regarding maintaining eye contact, it's an unnatural feeling and I think just a manifestation of shyness. I know that I try to avoid drawing attention to myself, which is a problem when it comes to career progression.

    You should tell your boyfriend to not worry about people laughing at what he says. People like to laugh; when people stop laughing and start ignoring him he has cause to worry.
     
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