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Featured Why some (unhappy) people don't follow advice

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by GadAbout, Dec 7, 2019.

  1. GadAbout

    GadAbout Well-Known Member

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    In mulling over why some people complain a lot, yet don't act on very appropriate advice, I am reminded of a model of behavior change I heard about in graduate school. Called the "Stages of Change Model," it defines readiness to implement change. Originally applied to smoking cessation, and later to alcohol abstinence, it might also apply to people with autism who view themselves as stuck and not able to do anything about it.

    The six stages of change in this model are the following:
    1. Precontemplation ("not ready") – "People are not intending to take action in the foreseeable future, and can be unaware that their behaviour is problematic"
    2. Contemplation ("getting ready") – "People are beginning to recognize that their behaviour is problematic, and start to look at the pros and cons of their continued actions"
    3. Preparation ("ready") – "People are intending to take action in the immediate future, and may begin taking small steps toward behaviour change"
    4. Action – "People have made specific overt modifications in modifying their problem behaviour or in acquiring new healthy behaviours"
    5. Maintenance – "People have been able to sustain action for at least six months and are working to prevent relapse"
    6. Termination – "Individuals have zero temptation and they are sure they will not return to their old unhealthy habit as a way of coping"
    Source: Wikipedia

    It's unclear to me what can help a person move past the "precontemplation" stage, other than perhaps the right kind of psychotherapy. But I do use this model to "give up" on posts from people who are in Stage 1. I've largely disengaged from conversations where it appears the other person is never going to hear what I have to say.
     
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  2. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    I find this model to be personally accurate, as well as in application to people I know. Thank you for posting! It alleviates frustration to have it laid out in this way.

    I imagine one of the things which can move a person past the "precontemplation" stage is lack of tolerance for their current state. Once they get to a point in which they can no longer stand for it to be this way and are willing to do anything to have it change, even to the point of recognizing one's own part in its cause. I'm guessing this based on my own experiences with myself.
     
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  3. Aspychata

    Aspychata My Art Work

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    Defintely have had to work on change but it has been such a strange situation that l really felt unable to change it for awhile. Like learned helplessness. Now l will be changing it in about 3 months. And there was much for me to filter through, and l kept thinking the pattern would end but apparently not, what l was experiencing, thought strongly that it would just burn out on it's own.
     
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  4. GadAbout

    GadAbout Well-Known Member

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    I have to undergo some lifestyle changes if I don't want my recently diagnosed pre-diabetes to turn into full blown type II diabetes. I'm dreading it but making a few small changes... it's hard. Change - is - hard.
     
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  5. Aspychata

    Aspychata My Art Work

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    That is pretty responsible!. I actually brought someone to ER and their eyes were rolling up under the lid, diabetic shock. Lost vision for about two months. Was in intensive care for about a week. Think it's safer if you handle it now.

    Believe me, you don't want to end up like that.
     
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  6. Zeno

    Zeno Well-Known Member

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    A lot of advice that people give is really not helpful. I've followed peoples advice in years past and most of the time it doesn't produce the desired results. Good advice is very difficult to find. Even when you pay for it! A lot of advice is just the same old **** I've already tried before and had no luck with.

    I am more than willing to change, but I wanna try something truly different and not stuff that has been done before.
     
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  7. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Yes advice doesn’t really work unless you give it to yourself as it were. That's kind of the point of therapy, I guess, if you take ownership of your issues and work on them, rather than thinking the therapist can somehow solve them for you.

    Took me ages to fully realise that, albeit I did various useful work and learning along the way, but after I got that part of it, I wondered if my high autistic traits or Aspergers was the reason I didn't get that, and I wished a therapist along the way had seen the autistic traits, and also that if they had, they could have spelt that out to me, that important part of how therapy works.

    We miss the obvious. But given that I was right there exuding high autistic traits or Aspergers, seems like plenty of counsellors and therapist's miss the obvious too.
     
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  8. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Some people aren't even on this scale yet.
     
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  9. Aspychata

    Aspychata My Art Work

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    That is a excellent point. l like to brainstorm personally. l will talk to my friend going through yet another argument with mr macho and ask her does this make you depressed? She said yes. l said but now you are part-time depressed because he doesn't live with you instead of full-time depressed. She agreed with me. So l like to brainstorm my problems and her problems. And we have both moved foward. She is actually reading psychology books and telling me things now. Brainstorming is a great tool.
     
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  10. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

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    I must meet the embodiment of perfection there are so many need a meet up
     
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  11. Fridgemagnetman

    Fridgemagnetman I only have one V.I.P Member

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    Sometimes it's small talk.

    A negative based way to manipulate you into saying something nice about them.

    Another reason they don't change.
    The manipulation is working.
     
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  12. NothingToSeeHere

    NothingToSeeHere Asexuowl V.I.P Member

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    Interesting model, I definitely recognise some of my own historic and current behaviour in it.

    Eventually some people reach a point where the situation is too unbearable to not make changes, but I think many people aren't capable of moving past the first couple of stages without significant psychotherapy or an earth shaking event. Learned helplessness is too deeply entrenched, the cognitive dissonance too painful, and the victim mentality is too comforting for even deeply unhappy people to face the reality of their ability to change their situation, let alone actually take steps to do so.

    Personally I have been in situations where I have made difficult changes unprompted, but I have also been in situations where it has taken a lot of therapy for me to even acknowledge that I can take responsibility for my own unhappiness. Currently teetering between stages 3 and 4 regarding health and chronic pain issues I've been struggling with for a while, change is hard.
     
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  13. NothingToSeeHere

    NothingToSeeHere Asexuowl V.I.P Member

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    But stuff that hasn't been done before normally hasn't been done before because it's useless. Or more accurately pretty much everything has been done before and most things then given up on because they don't work. What is wrong with tried and true methods?
     
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  14. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    That's how I've always been with relationships. I know I have to be ready, then start breaking habits (some relationships are somewhat built on habits). Then once ready, though, I'm done with no turning back. I don't think it's fair to the other person, though.
     
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  15. GadAbout

    GadAbout Well-Known Member

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    Many autistic people fail to "see" the truth that certain fairly small behavioral changes could open a world of benefits. With something like smoking, everybody knows it can kill you, people may feel helpless to break the addiction but at least they know they "should" quit. But with something like learning to smile and make eye contact, many autistics don't see how that would be useful.

    I'm not talking about masking. I'm talking about specific skills that could improve social contacts, not "100% normal" type masking.
     
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  16. Fridgemagnetman

    Fridgemagnetman I only have one V.I.P Member

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    Once I stopped face slapping random people my life improved immensely.


    (Good point!)
     
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  17. AloneNotLonely

    AloneNotLonely Well-Known Member

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    Stage 0: Incessantly whining and wanting someone else to fix their problems for them. No hope for change.
     
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  18. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Staying with the eye contact and smiling point,

    I'm thinking it's always going to be masking unless one is genuinely happy making that warm, friendly connection with another.

    If there's very little or no emotion behind either the smile or eye contact; it's just perfunctory,

    the 'therapist' may have to dig into the reasons behind that?

    advising someone to smile more and make more eye contact; when it means very little to the individual offering such,
    seems odd?
     
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  19. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I've also considered smiling and making eye contact to be part of my masking. Done quite deliberately to pacify or reassure NTs in my presence. While I know how and why to do it, it will never be natural for me to do as such.

    These days, quite frankly I wouldn't feel compelled to do so in a conversation with one of my own kind. I can fake an appearance of being Neurotypical, but there's never going to be any methodology to actually make me become as such.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2019
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  20. GadAbout

    GadAbout Well-Known Member

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    A warm smile directly to another person is a gift. You don't know what that person is going through, it could actually save their life!

    This was borne out to me when I was walking through a hospital feeling glum after a barium enema. (Sorry, TMI, but I had to make a point here!) Suddenly I passed a teacher I knew, who smiled very warmly at me, for no apparent reason. I resolved then and there to gift the world with as many warm smiles as I could muster.

    It costs nothing, and it makes the world a better place.
     
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