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AngelL
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29 Jul 2021, 3:17 pm

That title wasn't very expressive was it? I'm pretty sure a few words won't encapsulate my question so here's an example:

I went on another forum, specific to an interest of mine, and asked a question. I spend a great deal of time formulating a question; particularly when I am asking a question to NT's. The purpose of carefully crafting my question is to prevent them from misunderstanding me, which is a pretty standard result. I know the people who responded care about me and are doing their level best to answer my question but... they didn't. The problem that I ran into is a common one for me, but it is still painful every time it happens.

The path they follow to get to the answer is WAAAAYYYYY different than the path my brain follows to get to an answer. When I asked, "What is 'C'?" or "Could you explain 'C' to me?" they start by explaining that I need to know what 'A' is first, then learn what 'B' is, and then what 'C' is will be obvious.

They have made the erroneous assumption that I can't possibly know what 'A' and 'B' are or else I wouldn't have to ask what 'C' is. So they start explaining what 'A' and 'B' is. No amount of effort on my part will get them to understand that I understand those two things well - perhaps even better than they do. They can't wrap their heads around the idea that anyone can think that differently than they do. It's not even that they don't understand what I am asking - they understand fine, they just get it in their head that I don't realize that I'm asking the wrong question.

Has anyone developed a way to get past NT's belief that I don't know enough to know what information I actually need, so they're going to help me?

One last example: It feels like I imagine it would if I were in an unfamiliar city, my bladder felt like it was about to burst, but every time I asked someone for directions to a public bathroom, they smiled, nodded and handed me a cup of tea - thinking I must need something to drink so I can pee.



naturalplastic
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29 Jul 2021, 3:21 pm

Have you tried replying to these insufficient responses by saying "I know all about A and B, but I dont see how A and B leads to C"?



AngelL
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29 Jul 2021, 3:56 pm

naturalplastic wrote:
Have you tried replying to these insufficient responses by saying "I know all about A and B, but I dont see how A and B leads to C"?


To be honest, not this time. I have tried that tack before though; it always seems to lead the discussion down a rabbit hole where I get further and further away from my original question. Eventually everyone concludes that this has been completely talked out long before I actually receive a helpful answer.

Imagine you had a head for numbers such that you knew that the 3,333rd decimal in Euler's number was a '6'. (It is) Let's say that someone on the forum asked the question and I answered immediately that it was a '6'. These guys are trying to explain to me that, "In order to find out what the 3,333 decimal of Euler's number is, you have to set up an equation. Do you know how to set up the equation?"

The answer to that question is, "No." But I don't need to know how to set up the equation because I know the answer! I can see it in my head! Then they explain to me that I can't know [i]for sure[i] that it's a '6' until I set up the equation; let me show you how...

Now obviously, in this example, I wasn't the one that asked the question - but I think it illustrates the typical NT's reaction to someone who doesn't think like an NT. It's that reaction I'm trying to get past.



BiffGriff
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29 Jul 2021, 6:47 pm

I completely understand what you're saying. Unfortunately, I've decided that I cannot change how every NT comprehends things so I just have to sigh, endure it, and move on. :roll:



Something Profound
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29 Jul 2021, 8:04 pm

I recall very distinctly a conversation I had when I was younger. We were at an amusement park where they had "Keel Boat Rides." I had one of my frequent sparks of curiosity and wanted to know what a Keel is, and what made a Keel Boat different from any other type of boat. So I asked.

I did not get an answer. My brother looked at me as if I had grown two heads and told me that it was just a Keel boat. And a Keel was something on a boat.

My question obviously didn't work, so I asked again. I tried to separate out the part of the question that seemed to be misunderstood, but to no avail. I wasn't ever told what a Keel is, what it does, or why a Keel Boat is different from any other boat. Years later I happened to be in a library, in a section about boats, and decided to find out the answer.

Turns out that all boats have keels...it is the solid bit of lumber used to make up the center line on the bottom of the boat. This, of course, still leaves my other questions unanswered: Why call it a Keel boat, particularly if all boats have a keel.

*shrug* I will never know the answer sadly. But all of this is to say, I understand your problem. I have adapted by being OVERLY explanative and explicit in my responses, and talking about things as if the person I am talking to has no understanding of the concepts I am trying to convey.

That is, I tend to treat everyone as if they are stupid, because if I try to ask a question without this treatment people often misunderstand my question. The down side is that a lot of people dislike this treatment (apparently overexplaining to be very clear makes other people feel like you are belittling them), and also tends to come off as mansplaining when you are talking to a woman.

I have to let my friends know that I do this to everyone so they don't get offended when I talk to them. Note, I don't do this with derogatory malice. Most of the time it is just my affect.



AngelL
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29 Jul 2021, 8:18 pm

Something Profound wrote:
...I understand your problem. I have adapted by being OVERLY explanative and explicit in my responses, and talking about things as if the person I am talking to has no understanding of the concepts I am trying to convey.


Now I know why your name is Something Profound! :) I do exactly the same thing. I am hoping that if I am explicit enough, they couldn't possibly give me an answer that has nothing to do with what I've asked. I'm usually wrong.

Something Profound wrote:
That is, I tend to treat everyone as if they are stupid...


Pardon me if this question is out of bounds, but did that thought start with you? It sounds like something I've been told many, many times. In other words, I don't think I'm treating them like they're stupid - I'm treating them like they're a PC and I'm a Mac. We have different hardware and lots of stuff isn't compatible, so I better be explicit.



Something Profound
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29 Jul 2021, 9:34 pm

AngelL wrote:
Pardon me if this question is out of bounds, but did that thought start with you? It sounds like something I've been told many, many times. In other words, I don't think I'm treating them like they're stupid - I'm treating them like they're a PC and I'm a Mac. We have different hardware and lots of stuff isn't compatible, so I better be explicit.


I honestly I am not sure if I am the one who came up with that notion myself, or if I just adopted it because people have said I am treating them that way (But after they get to know me they understand why). I do not feel like I am treating them as if they are stupid (Unless I have good cause to do so...there are many many people who think they are intelligent who deserve that sort of treatment I have found, which is rather unfortunate... bit of a Dunning-Kruger effect there, but that isn't the point), but I have never felt like I can afford to treat other people differently. I am too frequently misunderstood, which leads to frustration from them, which makes me REALLY irate that I am being misunderstood...

I am sure you understand the feeling.

I think I would rather risk them feel like I am being too explicit in my discussions and feel like I am treating them this way than to go through the exhaustion of being misunderstood.

And unfortunately I sometimes do not have the luxury of choice. Sometimes I can't do this, and when the inevitable misunderstanding occurs...

I am glad I am not the only one who has this issue. Also, now that I am talking about it, it serves as further affirmation for me that I very likely am on the spectrum, something I won't have confirmed for at least another year (I am in the limbo of awaiting diagnosis).



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29 Jul 2021, 10:32 pm

AngelL wrote:
That title wasn't very expressive was it? I'm pretty sure a few words won't encapsulate my question so here's an example:

I went on another forum, specific to an interest of mine, and asked a question. I spend a great deal of time formulating a question; particularly when I am asking a question to NT's. The purpose of carefully crafting my question is to prevent them from misunderstanding me, which is a pretty standard result. I know the people who responded care about me and are doing their level best to answer my question but... they didn't. The problem that I ran into is a common one for me, but it is still painful every time it happens.

The path they follow to get to the answer is WAAAAYYYYY different than the path my brain follows to get to an answer. When I asked, "What is 'C'?" or "Could you explain 'C' to me?" they start by explaining that I need to know what 'A' is first, then learn what 'B' is, and then what 'C' is will be obvious.

They have made the erroneous assumption that I can't possibly know what 'A' and 'B' are or else I wouldn't have to ask what 'C' is. So they start explaining what 'A' and 'B' is. No amount of effort on my part will get them to understand that I understand those two things well - perhaps even better than they do. They can't wrap their heads around the idea that anyone can think that differently than they do. It's not even that they don't understand what I am asking - they understand fine, they just get it in their head that I don't realize that I'm asking the wrong question.

Has anyone developed a way to get past NT's belief that I don't know enough to know what information I actually need, so they're going to help me?

One last example: It feels like I imagine it would if I were in an unfamiliar city, my bladder felt like it was about to burst, but every time I asked someone for directions to a public bathroom, they smiled, nodded and handed me a cup of tea - thinking I must need something to drink so I can pee.

That last example seems downright bizarre to me. Usually when I ask where the bathroom is, people just tell me.

I can't recall getting the "what is C?" type of problem. The main problem I get with getting answers to my questions is that a lot of people seem to think just giving me a hint is enough, or they'll give me a garbled answer with "minor" grammatical errors in it, or they'll not directly address my question at all but just give me a reply which is merely related to what I wanted to know.

I suspect the reason I tend to overexplain things is that I'm very aware of how disappointing such answers can be. I can also be very poor at following verbal instruction such as lectures, so maybe I just don't expect anybody else to get what I say very easily either. I get the impression that the world isn't generally interested in detail, but I think detail is important.

My father was even more of an overexplainer, and he also had great difficulty in following verbal instruction of any length or complexity. He would typically give one answer, followed by a string of analogies, as if he had no confidence in his ability to convey the required information and felt the need to keep adding further attempts in case the previous ones had failed, never once checking with the listener whether or not they'd already got the point.

I also used to go off at tangents for ages and forget what I'd originally set out to say. A couple of times I noticed a look of relief on the listener's face when I did happen to remember and had finally said something that referred to the original point or overview of what I'd said, as if they were thinking "thank god for that, I thought he was lost and would drift on forever."



naturalplastic
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30 Jul 2021, 4:04 am

Something Profound wrote:
I recall very distinctly a conversation I had when I was younger. We were at an amusement park where they had "Keel Boat Rides." I had one of my frequent sparks of curiosity and wanted to know what a Keel is, and what made a Keel Boat different from any other type of boat. So I asked.

I did not get an answer. My brother looked at me as if I had grown two heads and told me that it was just a Keel boat. And a Keel was something on a boat.

My question obviously didn't work, so I asked again. I tried to separate out the part of the question that seemed to be misunderstood, but to no avail. I wasn't ever told what a Keel is, what it does, or why a Keel Boat is different from any other boat. Years later I happened to be in a library, in a section about boats, and decided to find out the answer.

Turns out that all boats have keels...it is the solid bit of lumber used to make up the center line on the bottom of the boat. This, of course, still leaves my other questions unanswered: Why call it a Keel boat, particularly if all boats have a keel.

*shrug* I will never know the answer sadly. But all of this is to say, I understand your problem. I have adapted by being OVERLY explanative and explicit in my responses, and talking about things as if the person I am talking to has no understanding of the concepts I am trying to convey.
.


Interesting. Ive never heard of a "keel boat ride". Amusement parks Ive been to just have boat rides.

Thats a good question: why call a boat a "keel boat" when (basically) all boats have keels?

The only times Ive ever encountered the term "keel boat" was in history books about the Mississippi river in early America. Before steam boats the river was plied by "keel boats" and "flat boats". The flat boats were crude crate like rafts that didnt have keels built by frontier traders. The other kind were still small, but larger better built boat-shaped boats that had keels. So it made sense to call one kind "keel boats" because there were boats without keels in the same waters to distinguish them from by that feature. :)



AngelL
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30 Jul 2021, 12:14 pm

ToughDiamond wrote:
AngelL wrote:
One last example: It feels like I imagine it would if I were in an unfamiliar city, my bladder felt like it was about to burst, but every time I asked someone for directions to a public bathroom, they smiled, nodded and handed me a cup of tea - thinking I must need something to drink so I can pee.


That last example seems downright bizarre to me. Usually when I ask where the bathroom is, people just tell me.


Right; I probably explained it poorly. What I was trying to say with this example is NOT that this has happened to me, but kind of like you said, 'It just seems downright bizarre to me'. I was suggesting that I find the way NT's answer my questions about as bizarre as someone handing me a cup of tea after I ask them where the bathroom is.

Alternatively, if an NT in a strange city kept asking everyone where a bathroom was - and they kept getting handed a cup of tea, they would probably understand how frustrating my experience of asking them questions is.



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30 Jul 2021, 1:34 pm

AngelL wrote:

Right; I probably explained it poorly. What I was trying to say with this example is NOT that this has happened to me, but kind of like you said, 'It just seems downright bizarre to me'. I was suggesting that I find the way NT's answer my questions about as bizarre as someone handing me a cup of tea after I ask them where the bathroom is.

Alternatively, if an NT in a strange city kept asking everyone where a bathroom was - and they kept getting handed a cup of tea, they would probably understand how frustrating my experience of asking them questions is.


No, it turned out to be my mistake. I simply hadn't read it properly. :oops:



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30 Jul 2021, 7:03 pm

AngelL wrote:
naturalplastic wrote:
Have you tried replying to these insufficient responses by saying "I know all about A and B, but I dont see how A and B leads to C"?


To be honest, not this time. I have tried that tack before though; it always seems to lead the discussion down a rabbit hole where I get further and further away from my original question. Eventually everyone concludes that this has been completely talked out long before I actually receive a helpful answer.

Imagine you had a head for numbers such that you knew that the 3,333rd decimal in Euler's number was a '6'. (It is) Let's say that someone on the forum asked the question and I answered immediately that it was a '6'. These guys are trying to explain to me that, "In order to find out what the 3,333 decimal of Euler's number is, you have to set up an equation. Do you know how to set up the equation?"

The answer to that question is, "No." But I don't need to know how to set up the equation because I know the answer! I can see it in my head! Then they explain to me that I can't know [i]for sure[i] that it's a '6' until I set up the equation; let me show you how...

Now obviously, in this example, I wasn't the one that asked the question - but I think it illustrates the typical NT's reaction to someone who doesn't think like an NT. It's that reaction I'm trying to get past.


Even among mathmaticians it probably rare for a person to just happened to "know" that the 9000th digit in Pi, or in Euler's number, or whatever, is...whatever the digit it is.

So you have to assume that folks...will assume...that you cant possibly REALLY know it just off of the top of your head.

In fact you should assume that you...have to explain to folks how you know it by...NOT using the equation.

And BTW...how DO you know the 3333 digit in Euler's number without using the equation?



AngelL
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30 Jul 2021, 7:36 pm

naturalplastic wrote:
AngelL wrote:
naturalplastic wrote:
Have you tried replying to these insufficient responses by saying "I know all about A and B, but I dont see how A and B leads to C"?


To be honest, not this time. I have tried that tack before though; it always seems to lead the discussion down a rabbit hole where I get further and further away from my original question. Eventually everyone concludes that this has been completely talked out long before I actually receive a helpful answer.

Imagine you had a head for numbers such that you knew that the 3,333rd decimal in Euler's number was a '6'. (It is) Let's say that someone on the forum asked the question and I answered immediately that it was a '6'. These guys are trying to explain to me that, "In order to find out what the 3,333 decimal of Euler's number is, you have to set up an equation. Do you know how to set up the equation?"

The answer to that question is, "No." But I don't need to know how to set up the equation because I know the answer! I can see it in my head! Then they explain to me that I can't know [i]for sure[i] that it's a '6' until I set up the equation; let me show you how...

Now obviously, in this example, I wasn't the one that asked the question - but I think it illustrates the typical NT's reaction to someone who doesn't think like an NT. It's that reaction I'm trying to get past.


Even among mathmaticians it probably rare for a person to just happened to "know" that the 9000th digit in Pi, or in Euler's number, or whatever, is...whatever the digit it is.

So you have to assume that folks...will assume...that you cant possibly REALLY know it just off of the top of your head.

In fact you should assume that you...have to explain to folks how you know it by...NOT using the equation.

And BTW...how DO you know the 3333 digit in Euler's number without using the equation?


Right, I get it - might not have been the best example. I know that you're right that even amongst mathematicians... because I am one and know that my peers typically don't know. Anywho, when I was a kid I memorized the first 5000 digits. Not that they're likely to assume that I remember it correct though either. But yeah, numbers are kind of like that for me. i.e. The first license plate I ever saw was 48718, etc.



naturalplastic
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30 Jul 2021, 8:51 pm

AngelL wrote:
naturalplastic wrote:
AngelL wrote:
naturalplastic wrote:
Have you tried replying to these insufficient responses by saying "I know all about A and B, but I dont see how A and B leads to C"?


To be honest, not this time. I have tried that tack before though; it always seems to lead the discussion down a rabbit hole where I get further and further away from my original question. Eventually everyone concludes that this has been completely talked out long before I actually receive a helpful answer.

Imagine you had a head for numbers such that you knew that the 3,333rd decimal in Euler's number was a '6'. (It is) Let's say that someone on the forum asked the question and I answered immediately that it was a '6'. These guys are trying to explain to me that, "In order to find out what the 3,333 decimal of Euler's number is, you have to set up an equation. Do you know how to set up the equation?"

The answer to that question is, "No." But I don't need to know how to set up the equation because I know the answer! I can see it in my head! Then they explain to me that I can't know [i]for sure[i] that it's a '6' until I set up the equation; let me show you how...

Now obviously, in this example, I wasn't the one that asked the question - but I think it illustrates the typical NT's reaction to someone who doesn't think like an NT. It's that reaction I'm trying to get past.


Even among mathmaticians it probably rare for a person to just happened to "know" that the 9000th digit in Pi, or in Euler's number, or whatever, is...whatever the digit it is.

So you have to assume that folks...will assume...that you cant possibly REALLY know it just off of the top of your head.

In fact you should assume that you...have to explain to folks how you know it by...NOT using the equation.

And BTW...how DO you know the 3333 digit in Euler's number without using the equation?


Right, I get it - might not have been the best example. I know that you're right that even amongst mathematicians... because I am one and know that my peers typically don't know. Anywho, when I was a kid I memorized the first 5000 digits. Not that they're likely to assume that I remember it correct though either. But yeah, numbers are kind of like that for me. i.e. The first license plate I ever saw was 48718, etc.


So youre the "Rain Man" stereotype of aspergers come to life. Lol!

So...how many digits of Pi have you memorized?



Harry Haller
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30 Jul 2021, 10:25 pm

AngelL wrote:
But I don't need to know how to set up the equation because I know the answer! I can see it in my head!

That is pretty amazing!
I'm happy to just remember my phone# :lol:



AngelL
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31 Jul 2021, 7:41 am

naturalplastic wrote:

So...how many digits of Pi have you memorized?


8. I know, I know. Pi was the number everyone was talking about - including the number people would talk about memorizing. It was too long ago to remember for sure, but I'm guessing that my taking up 'e' was less about 'e' and more about rejecting 'pi' - and by extension, rejecting 'them'.