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Why do people pretend to care?

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Dwoops, Mar 29, 2018.

  1. Dwoops

    Dwoops Active Member

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    The more I think about it, the more society seems so messed up. They all pretend to care about other people but they really don't. People ask so many things like, "Did you have fun?" or "How are you doing?" or a dozen other similar comments but they don't really want to know the answer when you are feeling down. It seems to me that they are just looking for validation of their own feelings. For example, today I went bowling with a large group of people in my fraternity(which I joined because I thought it would help me get out more) and when we finished people were asking what I thought of it. I was truthful, it was terrible. The musics was way to loud, the environment was too crazy and frankly I suck at bowling. But when I mentioned these things they didn't seem to know what to say, leaving the conversation to drop abruptly.

    This isn't the only case of this, whenever people ask how I'm doing, I always have to say "fine" or "surviving" just because if I say I'm doing terrible and feel like I don't want to exist they won't care and it'll just make the conversation awkward. Now I do admit that there are people who care, I am lucky to have a few friends who I believe do, or at least pretend very well. The problem is my life is chucked full of so many problems I feel like I need to either have no support or more support than a friend who has their own problems can handle.

    So I get back to the point, I am sitting here after this awful experience which caused me sensory overload and probably reinforced my weirdness among my peers. I am on the verge of losing myself to another bout of depression and can't think of anything besides the fact that people really don't care about anyone in this world.

    A simple experiment is all that is needed, and I do it often without trying. All you have to do if go to a social or a get together with a decent amount of people, find a corner to sit down looking morose and wait. No one ever comes and says anything, no one cares about the lone person who might just need a little help to join the others. And when someone does come, they rarely stay for more than a minute nor do they help in anyway besides maybe asking if you are okay, which leads back to the beginning of them not truly caring.
    The more I think about it, the more upset I get and the more pointless it all seems. I just don't know how to survive in this crazy world dominated by people who don't seem to care about the well being of others.
     
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  2. Major Tom

    Major Tom Searching for ground control... V.I.P Member

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    Wish I both could have agreed and voted it friendly... I've noticed the same things and have pretty well the same feelings. Not a lot of people truly care or even know how to. Especially these days with the constant internet fix people are getting (including myself). People care about being liked (thumbs up) or otherwise more than anything and don't care what they have to do or who they have to destroy to get it. I'd like to think I'm one that truly cares, so if you are feeling down or however, please feel free to send a pm.
     
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  3. SusanLR

    SusanLR Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    They care.
    They care what they can get from you to help themselves.
    It upsets me too that I never see anyone who really cares.
    I see couples arguing or parents telling their children mean things and just a lot of all around abuse.
    Your experiment is true.
    If someone should come to you sitting alone, looking down,
    the usual response is "Are you alright?"
    Or if they should listen for a bit: "Don't worry. Everything will be alright." Something like that.

    I've watched people and how they act together and often thought "why are they even together?"
    Their lives must be very empty.
    I know mine is.
    I have one friend that is also an Aspie and he is the only one I can say just how I feel too, without feeling uncomfortable even if it isn't all positive.
    He can talk honestly with me too.

    Growing up ASD, I know I haven't been able to relate
    to a lot of feelings that seem to come natural to NTs.
    So I can't pretend to know how they feel or how their life feels.
    I only know that there was no uncomfortableness in loving and being together with my parents.
    Never felt that way with anyone else and know I will never find it again. That took a lifetime of
    being together.
    Maybe there are others that have a close nucleus.
    If I had it, surely there are others.
    But, as I said, it takes a lifetime to build that...
    then it is gone.
     
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  4. Progster

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

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    Unfortunately, most of the time people are on automatic pilot giving automated responses to the social cues, going through the motions and there is no real empathy there. Then they often accuse us of lacking empathy!
     
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  5. Dorkasour

    Dorkasour Active Member

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    People care. If they didn't they wouldn't bother asking.

    Sometimes people want to help but don't know how to. One of my Aspie friends frequently doesn't know how to reply when I am depressed. He cares he just doesn't know what to say. He isn't a certified therapist.

    Possibly see a therapist over your depression? Feeling depressed really isn't fun and therapy has personally helped me with the feeling that I don't matter, that people don't care...etc.

    Edit: I frequently ask how people are doing and message people on here but sometimes I don't always know the best thing to say or I have a lot going on in my life...or well a lot of things.
     
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  6. Bella Pines

    Bella Pines Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    You hit the nail on the head here. The empty platitudes are really their way of self validation. Firstly, they want to ensure that what they are feeling and how they are behaving is correct and that they fit in, secondly they are testing you to see if you fit in. If all the pieces align and everybody thinks the same, they are happy.

    This is what it is.

    But how they act, or what they need has no reflection on you or how you choose behave and who you are. So rather than lament their aversion to independent thought, you need to think "how do you want them to behave? What do you want the world to be like?". And then set about making it happen. If you want people to really care, then set an example. Find a way to care. Be what you want them to be and one day they will surely follow.
     
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  7. Fridgemagnetman

    Fridgemagnetman I only have one V.I.P Member

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    People have social identities.
    We have individual identities.
     
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  8. Lia

    Lia Well-Known Member

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    When I sit by myself and don't interact with the other people around me, my body language screams "don't talk to me". So people usually leave me alone when I do that, because they do care and believe that is what I want. I want people to talk to me though, so I have to keep working on my body language to make me seem more inviting, because people aren't mind readers. Yes, autism makes it harder to interact with people, but it's still my responsibility to work on my difficulties. We can't expect people to help us or understand what we want unless we show them.
    I definitely agree with Dorkasour about seeing a therapist. Depression will lie to you and make you believe that no one cares. It will make you look at the world as a cruel and ugly place, when the truth is that the world is filled with caring and compassionate people.
     
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  9. VioletHaze_03

    VioletHaze_03 Nerdling (Fledgling nerd)

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    short and simple answer: because it makes them feel better than completely ignoring you and being a jerk, but actually caring is too much work. it takes just the right amount of effort to pretend.
     
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  10. Mr Allen

    Mr Allen Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I hate when you ring somebody up to ask an important question and they say "We'll ring you back" just to get you off the line! If you have no intention of speaking to me at least have the decency to tell me FFS.
     
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  11. tducey

    tducey Well-Known Member

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    I think people generally care. In my life I find that people care about me and my success.
     
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  12. OlLiE

    OlLiE Well-Known Member

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    i used to actually answer every question accurately and factually

    normal chitchat and polite conversation however are not factual activities

    they are just the grease that oils social superficial social interaction

    no one is expecting an honest answer, it is just an act of superficial politeness,
    breaking the ice, creating the most basic level of 'comfort' when you meet or start to talk with some one

    i learned that you have to start with the superficial chitchat before you can move on to actual interaction

    there is nothing to 'understand' it's just the way people interact, if you want to talk to 'normal' people then you'll just have to put up with it

    it's no different than two dogs sniffing each others butt to trying to find out if the other dog is a threat
     
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  13. Gritches

    Gritches The Happy Dog V.I.P Member

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    Not saying you're wrong because you're totally right, people are essentially psychopaths (practical psychopaths is the term I use), but just to play Devil's advocate, imagine a world where everyone still greeted each other with "how are you doing?" but instead of saying "fine" they dumped their purse all over the floor (figuratively) and you and that other person spent the next several hours trying to work through each others' unsolvable psychological issues. It would be an utter cluster-F. Nothing would get accomplished.

    Nah, a collective delusion that everything is just dandy simply makes for a more functional society. That might not be the reason for practical psychopathy, but it's the result. People who would drag down the group with their problems are eschewed. Specimens who do not show such weaknesses are welcomed.

    Personally, I think it has more to do with a sort of cultural pride in having little-to-no understanding or curiosity about psychological and emotional well-being, because absolutely we would be better off in the long run if everyone helped everyone address their problems, but this way is the path of least resistance, because nobody is precious; there are plenty of humans around. Nobody is special unless they have something real to offer the group. Otherwise, a human is a disposable thing. It happens every day, in so many ways, at all levels and in all corners of the world.

    Just remember, people haven't been civilized for very long in the grand scheme. I find that the more animalistic explanations for human behavior, social or otherwise, tend to fit very neatly. And a hypothesis in which people with problems are seen as weak and cut out of the group just fits, from both observation and personal experience.
     
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  14. AO1501

    AO1501 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    The world we inhabit is basically a highly socialised one, and convention in that world expects a superficial level of care. Convention says that they ask how you are, and that you say you're ok. If they don't ask, they are failing in their social responsibilities, and if you say anything except that you're ok, they have no way to understand how to deal with that, because your reply is a social convention too.

    Does that degree of superficiality prove that people don't care? No. Broadly, because these are social creatures, they do care, and some care a great deal, but in the most part when dealing with things they can't see and therefore recognise, they don't know what they are dealing with, and they can't connect with what is invisible to them.

    That is why they deal with mental health issues so poorly. They may see some symptoms, but they can't see the problem - it isn't physical, so it remains invisible, and they can't relate to it, quantify it or respond to it.

    An example: On Tuesday this week I had a sensory overload day. Not the first, won't be the last, and I was just holding off a meltdown at work. Despite the fact I must have looked pretty much awful, everyone still tried to engage me in conversation, and came for things they wanted me to deal with, and it just made everything worse. Then I put on a red wristband I had in my bag, and everyone left me alone for the rest of the day.

    Not only does that demonstrate that they only understand the visible, but also that they do care, because otherwise the wristband would have made no difference.

    How we all survive in a world that doesn't work our way is to be ourselves and make our own way. They all have the same problems we do, they just better understand the rules.
     
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  15. Dwoops

    Dwoops Active Member

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    Thanks for all the insightful replies.
    I still think it is kind of stupid how people don’t act how they think. I understand that most people want to fit in, but why must they do it in a way that makes people feel worse.
    I find that whenever I’m feeling down and someone asks me how I’m doing, it makes me feel worse. I don’t know why but it may be that I don’t like that fact that attention is being drawn to my life and thus causes me to think about it. It’s part of why I try to seclude myself when I’m feeling depressed, but that makes me get even more depressed for different reasons.
    Why must people be so complicated with how they interact. It’d be so much simpler if people could speak their mind and others would respect them for it.
     
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  16. AO1501

    AO1501 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I think one thing to bear in mind is that 'they' don't tend to mean the things their words say. We are supposed to read between the lines and find out what they truly mean. Meanwhile, we tend to be very literal, so they don't understand what we mean either, because they are expecting hidden meaning between our words. Different neurology does that, and neither they, or we, can change how our brains work.

    That communications mis-match can make it all seem very pointless, and even destructive. But honestly, whoever they are, all you can be is who you are. It isn't like you need my advice, but if I were to give it, I would say that perhaps it is best for you to be the best of who you are, and nothing else. Most people won't notice and to them it won't matter, but that's true of us all. But over time a few will notice and will care, often unexpectedly.
     
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  17. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I like that aspect of people being socially superficial and mouthing the platitudes in actual real time. It means to me that I don't have to engage with them all that much, I can keep it at that level. Don't have to get to know them, or spend time with them. It's a great way of not interacting with others if I don't wish to.
    The people I choose to interact with and the people close to me, are the ones I focus on. There are very few people that like the bluntness and honesty of the actual me, they tend toward being offended by it in real life. You learn over time, in interaction with people to use social skills to navigate so it's over as quickly as possible. In that way you can go back to whatever it is that you do, that interests you.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2018
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  18. Fitzo

    Fitzo Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I think there is an unwritten rule that you are not meant to actually tell people how you feel unless it's 'great'. I think NT's understand this rule, but no one explained it to us.
    I think that's for several reasons.
    First I don't think most people feel that they can help anyway and don't know how to respond.
    Second, there is another unwritten rule that being around people who aren't upbeat will only bring YOU down so they should be avoided.
    Third you should only tell very close friends or a therapist how you are really feeling because they are the only one's who care (or are paid to care). Even close friends will have a fairly short attention span and expect you to either snap out of it or go away and not come back til you're feeling better.
    Consequently whenever I'm feeling down I stay as far away from people as I can or go and talk to a counselor.
     
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  19. pax

    pax Well-Known Member

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    You didn't have to say it was terrible. You could have mentioned it was too loud, or you didn't perform very well, and make a suggestion for an activity you might enjoy better. Quite possibly they took "It was terrible" as a comment on their company.

    Some people don't care, some do. But they aren't trained counsellors, and some of them have their own **** going on.
     
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  20. OlLiE

    OlLiE Well-Known Member

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    think of it this way, superficial social interaction would only exist if it had an evolutionary purpose

    i would assume that back in the beginning, being in a group would increase chances of survivability

    so being able to 'get along' in a group would be important, the minimum requirement would be the ability to 'pretend' to care, the basis for chitchat
     
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