Southerly by David Haywood

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Southerly: Confessions of a Social Retard

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  • BenWilson,

    Just a thought to whack out there: The autistic tendency can often result in mastery of any game for which there are rules. If the game you decide to play, for whatever reason, happens to be a social one, then you could actually be a master of social situations, and yet still well on the spectrum. It's a very complex disorder, so complex that calling it a disorder is only measurable by what effect it's had on your life.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10596 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    17 this morning. Would probably be different another time and place.

    I am sensing a slightly apologetic tone in the reporting by those with higher scores. Please don't. Tony Attwood claims we are all on one continuum, but some are clustered nearer one end. And Temple Grandin says we would still be living in caves if it hadn't been for the talents and inventions of those with AS.

    My favourite current expression is 'a touch of autism' (as in a light pat on the arm).

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3178 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Ya, exceptional ability of any kind usually involves obsessive training, and that goes for sports, arts, music, intellectualizing, writing, pretty much anything. It's only disorder if it can't find a socially acceptable direction. Which means 'disorder' is a social construct wrt autism.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10596 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I'm not going to stand still just so people can see me clearly

    Dancing might help with that

    you could actually be a master of social situations, and yet still well on the spectrum

    Like quite a few aspie women, apparently

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19594 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    It's only disorder if it can't find a socially acceptable direction. Which means 'disorder' is a social construct wrt autism.

    Totally, and I'm very interested in changing that construct

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19594 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Love tests.
    Hate Dancing - probably can blame that on my mother who forced me to dance with her in public.
    Ok in social situations - but sometimes really not.
    Sometimes I'm as boring as hell and sometimes not.
    Sometimes perceptive, sometimes not.

    20 billion neurons in the human brain each with around 2000-10000 connections to other neurons.

    AQ test, 30 questions one score, 13 today

    Briggs myers, 4 classes! And the one we were forced to do, 4 colours - I was sort for blue yellow that day.

    OR

    Maybe those tests are a huge abstraction of who we really are as people. Maybe who we are is influenced by our surroundings and how we feel on any given day and maybe trying to come up with a score or four classes to simplify things doesn't really help us understand each other.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4432 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    Just a thought to whack out there: The autistic tendency can often result in mastery of any game for which there are rules. If the game you decide to play, for whatever reason, happens to be a social one, then you could actually be a master of social situations, and yet still well on the spectrum. It's a very complex disorder, so complex that calling it a disorder is only measurable by what effect it's had on your life.

    I know two people, one of whom has been diagnosed with Asperger's and one who hasn't, but who has autistic relatives and scores highly on the AQ test. Both have made a study of social interaction to the point that if you didn't know them well and you ran into them in the right social situation, you'd assume they were neurotypical extroverts. The exact opposite is true, but they both seem to have learned early on in life that there are rules to social interaction and manipulating them correctly makes your life significantly easier. They can also run into big trouble when faced with unusual situations which lie outside the rules/patterns they've got working - but generally, you'd never know.

    The hitch is, of course, that first you have to care enough about social ineraction to want to play the game.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    I an curious to figure out if there is a co-relation to peoples AQ score and their use of headphones/iPod etc, it's something I find really hard to do, I feel the need to be able to know what is going on around me. Paranoia perhaps.
    I'm a 29 and a no.
    On the dancing thing... Whenever the mood takes me to dance, I am told I really shouldn't.
    ;-)

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    'disorder' is a social construct wrt autism.

    As is "Normality" wrt society. Excessive amounts of "Navel Gazing" will, inevitably, lead to one wondering what "Others" think of you whereas obliviousness of ones effect on the comfort of others seems even stranger to me. It may just come down to self importance and that just brings us back to the Nature/Nurture argument. Surely we all feel more comfortable when surrounded by relaxed and comfortable people and that sort of demeanour tends to rub off on people. So, take a deep breath, relax and dance. Like I have always said. "If your saying it right you're singing, if you're doing it right you're dancing but if you only think you are right you are probably not".
    ;-)

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    I feel bound to point out that I'm not exactly standard-issue either.

    Yeah, you probably get pissed off quietly.

    Holy Shit. I might have to do another analysis in a day or two. But since the last a quick shifty of those who have now done the test suggests we are heading to a higher average!!

    Russell, can we live at your place?

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1585 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Like many others on here, I find it quite easy to be 'social' in quite tightly defined situations with well-defined rule sets. Doing a work presentation in front of colleagues? No problem. Wedding speeches? No problem. Door-to-door sales? No problem. Freeform social interaction? No so much....

    Finding it very interesting that other people have much the same experience.

    Ya, exceptional ability of any kind usually involves obsessive training, and that goes for sports, arts, music, intellectualizing, writing, pretty much anything.

    The hitch is, of course, that first you have to care enough about social interaction to want to play the game.

    Very interesting point. Although I like to think I have a very broad spectrum of interests, they don't seem to overlap much with the day-to-day interests of other people. I find it very difficult to even pretend to be interested in the conversational stuff that other people use as social lubricant.*

    Want to talk about the weather? Maybe you should talk to someone else.
    Want to talk about that local sports team? Talk to someone else.
    That TV show you watched last night? Talk to someone else.
    The lastest Hollywood celebrity shenannigans? Talk to someone else.
    Your rant about Helen Clarke? Is ignorant and distasteful.
    Your rant about the global warming conspiracy? Makes you look stupid.

    I simply have no interest in 'playing the game'. Needless to say, cab rides and visits to the barber are usually a fairly agonising experience.

    *I mentioned this thread to my wife last night. She rolled her eyes and replied 'nah. You're just rude.' Probably closer to the truth.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    That TV show you watched last night? Talk to someone else.
    The latest Hollywood celebrity shenanigans? Talk to someone else.

    You cut me to the quick! ;)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    In the next DSM all aspies and auties will be considered along the same spectrum. This is controversial but I can see why they might approach the matter in this way.

    I would like to talk more on this but probably won't be able to until much later.

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    In regard to Myers-Briggs, I think these qualities are liable to change, and can also be context-dependent. When I first took the test, in my early 20s, I was ENFJ, but just on the cusp of I/E. I'm sure in my teens I would have been an introvert, since I was fairly shy in most settings and found socialising, especially in a free-form way, exhausting. EXCEPT with a group I belonged to of bright kids who didn't fit in all that well. We totally "got" each other and were very extroverted in a group.

    Now I test as strongly extroverted, and I think a big part of that is that I have a peer group, and I'm not worried if I'm different from other people (or they're different from me). There's that awful feeling you can get in school, that everyone but you fits in, and when you leave school you find that there are HEAPS of people who are like you, it's just a matter of finding them.

    And that group of bright kids -- I think I would have gone nuts without them.

    And regarding AS, I have a good friend who scores near the upper limit of these tests, but easily passes as normal in relating and empathising. He tells me it's all learned behaviour and comes from a lot of deduction and trial-and-error. He's really good to talk to if I'm upset about something because he always says the right things. It's most impressive.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3886 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    I simply have no interest in 'playing the game'. Needless to say, cab rides and visits to the barber are usually a fairly agonising experience.

    It's really helpful to cultivate a bunch of stock observations. And to perfect the "mmmhmmm" noise.

    I an curious to figure out if there is a co-relation to peoples AQ score and their use of headphones/iPod etc, it's something I find really hard to do, I feel the need to be able to know what is going on around me. Paranoia perhaps.

    I'd suspect use would associate with score, if anything - really good noise-cancelling headphones are near-necessity if every little noise registers on your conscious mind. But I don't think it would be necessarily a strong association.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    visits to the barber are usually a fairly agonising experience

    Even we chit-chatters have issues with this stuff, though: I hate the whole hairdresser experience so much that I have cut and dyed my own hair for several years.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Russell, can we live at your place?

    We've got the builders in.

    No, really, we have.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    One particularly difficult ptp situation is with shop assistants, who ask the pat question, 'How is your day going?" I am so tempted to respond, "Do you want details? Do you really care?".

    Just back from an interesting Media Bites event (part of the Wintec Spark Festival) , with Steve Braunias hosting and Paul Holmes talking (at great length). Winston Peters was in the front row, as was Lisa Lewis, flashing her wares. PH is quite appealing when he muses on life, rather than broadcasting.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2531 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    And then sometimes people are so annoying you just have to Lose it

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Judi Lapsley Miller,

    Danielle said

    Even we chit-chatters have issues with this stuff, though: I hate the whole hairdresser experience so much that I have cut and dyed my own hair for several years.

    OMG I'm so glad it's not just me! Unfortunately I haven't learned how to cut my own hair so I just pretend that the "wild woman of the west" look is currently "in".

    Not to mention that the basins are all excruciatingly painful on my neck, and that I'm too chicken-shit to tell a hairdresser that I don't like what they're doing in case they cut off all my hair or poke me in the eye with their scissors in some maniacal rage...

    Oh - and 25. Surprisingly.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 106 posts Report Reply

  • Joanna,

    Also, I am now about to put on some Billy Idol and chair-dance

    Best euphemism for having a wank that I've heard all day!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 746 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    And then sometimes people are so annoying you just have to Lose it.
    Slater was charged with criminal mischief and reckless endangerment.

    But why? It seems like an entirely reasonable response, don't you think? Had the plane been in flight, then that would have been a little over the top.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    But why?

    People could fall out the open doorway? Also, there might have been someone walking underneath the door, baggage people or something. Don't the doors have explosive bolts that blow them off?

    Does seem OTT to me, though. Firing him would be sufficient. This way, more people will hear about it.

    Edit: A better response was one I heard on a flight recently, on Qantas. Imagine an Ozzie accent yelling "HEY YOU! SIT THE FUCK DOWN!!". It worked, transcended the obvious language barrier the guy opening the overhead locker was trying to milk.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10596 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    It's really helpful to cultivate a bunch of stock observations. And to perfect the "mmmhmmm" noise.

    Yes, but...

    I am so tempted to respond, "Do you want details? Do you really care?".

    Guess I'm just too honest for this cruel dishonest modern world :)

    And just to clear up some confusion, this song is all about dancing, right...?

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    It did remind me of a recent flight where on landing at Brisbun aerodrome a passenger started to go for his baggage (not a euphemism for wanking) and was asked to sit down. He totally ignored the request and proceeded with his task, the attendant , this time a little more forcefully, repeated the request, he again ignored. When approached he just opened his jacket to reveal a shoulder holster complete with scary looking cannon thing and a US Marshals badge. I didn't know whether to feel safe or relieve myself.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

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