February 23, 2008

Do you see him as a "heartless freak" while he sees you as an "overemotional troublemaker"?

Maybe he has Asperger's syndrome and understanding that can lead the two of you to work it out. But I'm thinking that we could go way too far in suspecting our partners of having Asperger's syndrome (or claiming to have it to excuse treating each other badly).


rhhardin said...

What causes it? Scientists don’t know exactly, but they think a mix of environmental and genetic factors may alter brain development.

Consider a career in science!

former law student said...

Social awareness is a spectrum on which many people fall, not a binary one and zero. I know many nerds and geeks who take things literally, hate making small talk, and have a hard time attracting women, for example. Mensa is what these people join to be social. The Myers-Briggs bin for such people is INTJ, although the women have more social versatility than the men.

Middle Class Guy said...

I know a lot of people who become hearless freaks over asparagus. They think that people who eat it are over emotional troublemakers.

It is an aquired taste and some people can only eat it certain ways. Discussing asparagus is almost as bad as talking about politics and religion together.

Now, I like my aspar...

Drats. Read it wrong. It's Asberger's not asparagus. Have to look that one up in my LaRousse Gastrnomique.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

FLS, you are correct. It is a sliding scale of social capabilities. I have taken the Meyer Briggs test multiple times and I am most definitely an INTJ and also a Mensa member. Undoubtedly, I have a bit of Aspergers. My brother probably has even more of a touch of Aspergers than I do. He didn't even speak until he was almost 2 1/2 years old. We knew he wasn't retarded because he could read at a very young age: the TV Guide :-). This being in the older days when we didn't obsess about everything, the doctor told my mother that he would start talking when he had something to say and to just let him communicate the way he wanted to. Of course now, my brother would have been put into immediate therapy that would have warped him for life. He is now a computer program analyst for NASA.

My husband loves the direct talking that is symptomatic of Aspergers. There is no beating around the bush or any of the double meaning, coy talking that most women do. That kind of thing drives me nuts in men and women. Say what you mean or don't talk at all.

Paddy O. said...

"The Myers-Briggs bin for such people is INTJ"

ISTJ maybe. INTJ's don't take anything literally and are barely connected to this world, it's all idea's and symbols and whatnot. Reality is a game to be manipulated. They're always looking behind what is apparent. It's not that they're literal that gives them the problems, it's that they're arrogant and not entirely caring about dealing with the real world.

Spot on about the small talk, though.

nansealinks said...

i'm wishy washy on small talk because it is a trainable thing for robots. Most midrange hotel clerks are well trained in this to make you feel like you are staying at home and not a hotel. Read Seth Godin. Sleeping on the garage floor next to where your dog pissed on the carpet when he died... there are no words for that anyway.

I have a hard time attracting women because I think Oprah is an excuse for buying a book and buying shoes is not a recreational activity. Women can see this in me when i tell them that point blank in small talk. As for attracting men my age. Yea, a bikini will do, put hell i won't put out unless i'm drugged or hypnotized. How many times do you have to repeat close your eyes and think of England. England is not what i would think of, I told you a million times. I neither hate them or love them that much. England is small talk.

I wouldn't join Mensa because I would never take the test to see if they see what I see. That's a Christmas Carol anyway. Besides I subjected my kids to gifted tests (no less in a school full of military transients) and well it was obvious. Never again. I am forever sorry kids. It was really unnecessary but they would have caught you in the standardized tests anyway.

The M-B bin theory and books and testing material should be tossed in the waste bin along with 85% of those Psych books sold with all the codes (some beholders are useful and effective) so that we can help homeless people keep warm in the winter instead of diagnosing that they are sick. Just give them a bit of warmth. The world is a funny place and when you have to kill somebody so you won't get killed and figure those calculations in split seconds, well you'll understand living in that kind of society so it's better to wait for someone with that same look in their eye and just smile. No words necessary.

Also... people change and mensa quality people can see through the tests.

PS confessions: last time I filled in a muliple choice survey I refused to answer about 20 of the questions. The psychologist called me up and I told them it was a 50-50 split how could i choose. He said I had to choose and I said it would be inaccurate. He didn't care, that result oriented nerd.

the time before that I made pretty patterns out of the dots unpurpose and mischievously.

so tell me are these people infj/zodiac sign/ racial specification/ rich high income/ religious/

Dont you evah test me again with those dots and matrices


Trooper York said...

"hell i won't put out unless i'm drugged or hypnotized."

And your point is?

nansealinks said...

trooper your detailed oriented aren't you?

Dr. Phyllis said...

I'm thinking that we could go way too far in suspecting our partners of having Asperger's syndrome

Our partners? What could you possibly mean by that, Tonto?

Wurly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trooper York said...

I guess I am just very confused. I thought Arnsbarger disease was when you hired an assitant off a Superbowl team to be head coach and then he sucks. I guess only us Giant's fans use that expression

J said...

The only appropriate response to "When you lean back your nose looks like the underside of my scrotum" would be "prove it".

I'm with the gang here on rabidly despising small talk, but I don't get the stuff about joining Mensa, mainly because of the members I know. If you have to have some sort of documentation to prove how smart you are, there's probably a reason why.

As for attracting women, a very expensive car will easily offset a lot of social shortcomings. If that sort of thing is important to you.

Trooper York said...

I don't know, the drugs and the
hyptnotism seems like a really good tip.

TMink said...

DBQ wrote: "Of course now, my brother would have been put into immediate therapy that would have warped him for life."

Wow, not if he was brought to see me!

With Asperger's kids I just work to help them increase their tolerence for eye contact, increase interactive play, and recognize affect better.

That means we play together and I make funny faces.

Not very ruinous!


nansealinks said...

Skip the eye contact.

the thing about eye contact is that the hackles on your neck will rise and signal to your brain when it should be done.

there's no use wasting energy otherwise.

piss from the dog must have seeped into my spine.

This will also help that soldier with the whites of their eye stuff unless of course, they drug you and hypnotize you and that my dear brothers and sisters is something the hackles will help you with again to break the shackles.

oops: I forget that poetry isn't allowed in the Miss America question response. We'd rather have see bathing suits.

Ann Althouse said...

"Say what you mean or don't talk at all."

That's not much fun!

Trooper York said...

Grusinskaya: I want to be alone.
Baron Felix von Geigern: You don’t mean that my little strudel
Grusinskaya: I say what I mean or I say nothing at all.
Baron Felix von Geigern: But you say so many contradictory things in this missives that you toss out into the Danube. How is one to interept your meaning from such confusing drivel?
Grusinskaya: Obviously you have not studied me enough, my dear Baron. It is indeed all about me. You can see the truth in the glory of my art. Look at these tintypes of snow on the gables. Does it not lay siege to your heart. I think not since your nostrils are flaring like the buttocks of a cow about to be mounted. You have the countenance of a scrotum. You disgust me. Now go, you tire me with your incessant nattering.
Baron Felix von Geigern: Heartless freak!
Grusinskaya: Tempermental troublemaker!
Baron Felix von Geigern’ dog: Woof!
(Grand Hotel, 1932)

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I don't get the stuff about joining Mensa, mainly because of the members I know. If you have to have some sort of documentation to prove how smart you are, there's probably a reason why.

I only joined/took the tests because someone challenged me to do it. I do so love being able to say I told you so.

As to meaning what you say or don't talk at all, I meant that I dislike having to use a secret decoder ring to figure out what people are trying to say: especially in a work environment. It's like they are speaking a foreign language and it wastes time. I'm not a mind reader. I don't want to have to peel back your conversation in layers like an onion to find out what you are trying to tell me, mostly to find out that I'm not the least bit interested in the first place.. say what you mean.

I once worked with a woman who just could NOT come straight to the point. By the time she was talking at me for 5 minutes, digressing all over the place, I just wanted to grab her by the face and scream....What? WHAT?!? IS YOUR POINT?? What do you want? Damn it!!. Spit it out.

Probably a good thing that I don't have any employees.

Zach said...

Reading the Asberger's profile provided in the article, the two points with the biggest potential for self-serving misdiagnosis are

4. Become withdrawn and seem to be uninterested in others, appearing aloof?

7. Have an intense and all-consuming special interest or hobby?

Maybe you're just not very interesting!

Meade said...

Not an excuse for bad behavior but bad behavior can be a clue that the person behaving badly could use a check up.

Buddy of mine was happily married for 26 years to a beautiful loving intelligent talented partner. They owned and operated a successful business together, had a nice home, raised a healthy well-educated successful child. Around their 22nd year of marriage her personality began changing. She became cold and distant, seemed to be losing the ability to empathize, engaged in a series of bizarre sexual affairs, and began abusing alcohol. She no-fault divorced my friend who became an emotional wreck for over a year. A month before their not-very-amicable divorce became final she was diagnosed with a brain tumor (Meningioma) that, it seems, had been slowly growing for ten to twenty years. She underwent successful brain surgery - the tumor was removed although she permanently lost hearing in one ear and her personality changes seemed only to become worse.

No excuses for her behavior, but perhaps if they had known the cause, she could have received counseling that might have helped her moderate her behavior and he would not have been so personally devastated.

nansealinks said...

I have a hard time with personal stories like that. Meade. Are they completely accurate? Some of that seems like personal doctor/patient info.

I can talk about a friend of mine.

The marraige failed coincidentally after 26 years, too, (beginning in the 22nd) because the phrase absense makes the heart grow fonder is really true.

However it turns quickly into the rule: "Absence is excused for a limited amount of days during the school year." An absence rate of over 85% will result in failure.

No amount of counseling or behavioural modification can replace a physical presence who is present when needed at least 35% of the time. No amount of weekend marriage books and prove my experts to make it work will actually dismiss the this one thing about love: if you love somebody you want to be with them.

Unless of course you want to make transcendental medication or meditation something of permanence. If you did that all the time, you might seem aloof.

jpb said...

I was working for a major technology corporation, and we got a new mid-level manager (my boss's boss). A week before she came in, she left instructions for us all to take Myers-Briggs Personality Inventories, so she could get to know her people.

I sent back a respectful (really) note saying that I refused to be pigeonholed by poorly researched psych mumbo-jumbo, and she could either interview me in person to get to know know me, or maybe sacrifice a goat.

Mensa? You know, Groucho had a remark for that. They would let me join, I'm pretty sure.

Trooper York said...

Grusinskaya: How much longer will you persist in your fruitless attempts to enter my vortex? It is forever closed to you. Why do you not pleasure yourself with that American strumpet Miss Peggy Noonan?
Baron Felix von Geigern: Alas, you have beaten her to a pulp and her body is bruised and battered. She looks not like Hedda Gabbler but rather Hedda Nusbaum.
Grusinskaya: I care not. You dared to bring her into my presence. You are obviously not worthy of my notice as I am the diva goddess. Look at my long list of admirers who constantly bombard me with their correspondence.
Baron Felix von Geigern: Fuzz cheeked school boys, elderly shut in’s and preening fops does not make much of an impression. You must do better than that my little Vienna cream pie.
Grusinskaya: You must face it Baron. I am just not that into you. Fare thee well and leave me once and forever to my solitude.
Baron Felix von Geigern: I bid you farewell you will regret this to your dying day.
Grusinskaya: I think not, for I still have the dance. And my photographs of animals peeing.
Baron Felix von Geigern’ dog: Woof!
(Grand Hotel, 1932)

amba said...

Nah, he's just a guy . . .

former law student said...

I sent back a respectful (really) note saying that I refused to be pigeonholed by poorly researched psych mumbo-jumbo,

Sure, like she needed more information on your personality after that.

TMink said...

Actually, the Meyers-Briggs is a pretty nifty little test. It is only for healthy personalities, there is no attempt to diagnose pathology in it.

While most of your Asperger's folks might be INTJ, most of your INTJ will definitely NOT be Asperger's. The test is not like the MMPI or PAI because it is not a measure of pathology but of personality style.


Daryl said...

Meade wrote: No excuses for her behavior

Brain damage isn't an excuse???

Are you insane???

james said...

Dust Bunny Queen: "Direct talking" isn't always exactly what I hear from Aspergers kids. When you are "emotion blind" it helps to have things spelled out strongly, and apparently a love for Shakespeare is common with Aspies (certainly with a couple of mine--especially the daughter). One side effect of immersion in Shakespeare is that they can develop a taste for grandiloquent language and for complicated (and slightly tone-deaf) circumlocutions.
Sometimes I know exactly what they are saying, and sometimes I have to think twice to figure it out.

John Lynch said...

Asperger's tends to INTP. I know, I am both. I spent an inordinate amount of time and money getting diagnosed. It's nice to know why I had such a different life. Before, I just thought I was weird. Now I know it.

It's really not all that bad... being able to focus on something for a long time has its uses. I can become an expert in a lot of different subjects pretty quickly. As long as I keep a lid on talking about things no one else cares about it's not that hard to fit in. I'm writing a book and a thesis and it helps a lot to be able to focus on my work.

I find it much, much easier to get along with men than women. Men are actually much more verbal in how they relate and tend to use fewer emotional cues. They tend to look more at what is said rather than how it is said. I don't know why that is, whether it's cultural or genetic, but it's true.

Socializing is not that hard if you approach it from the perspective that it's something that has to be done, and that there are rules that need to be followed. For someone with Asperger's, "Be yourself" is NOT good advice around anyone but close friends and family.

I got married and have a son. My wife is a very tolerant woman. She puts up with me spending a lot of time by myself and reading and writing for hours. We're both very straightforward people and don't get offended easily. I'm fortunate that it's worked out for me, since I've read that a lot of Asperger's men stay single their whole lives.

All in all, not a bad deal. I wouldn't change to 'normal' if I had the choice. I'd have to give up who I am for pretty minimal gain. It would be nice to experience what a good cigar smells like (it's the same as a cigarette to me), but if I'd have to ditch my memory and my verbal ability it wouldn't be worth it. I've worked through most of the problems anyway.

It's not a glamorous disorder (even with all the attention lately), and no one is going to think more of you if you have it. It's basically saying that you're a genetic nerd. There's nothing cool or inspiring about that. People relate to hardships that they can see themselves sharing. Simply being a klutzy social outcast isn't very sympathetic (most postive media potrayals of nerds show them overcoming their nerdiness). It's not even a good excuse, because it's very hard to explain how a smart person can have so much trouble with simple tasks that anyone can do. So, I pretty much just have to deal. There's no crying in autism.

Society says it values a lot of things that Asperger's brings- honesty, clear thinking, bucking authority, and expert knowledge. But the truth is that the most important thing is the ability to get along with other people. We are social creatures, not computers. You see that clearly when you can't take it for granted.

Christy said...

I've a 16 year old cousin with Asperger's and his parents have spent a lot of time teaching him techniques to deal with social situations. Basically, giving him algorithms, which he does understand, for situations he does not understand.

As soon as I learned about Asperger's I decided that most hard science fiction is written by Asperger's folks for other Asperger's folks.

Meade said...

Daryl said...
...Are you insane???

No, but if I jumped off a Paris bridge I would be.