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Being Too Literal

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Being Too Literal

Postby AnxxietyAttacks » Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:22 am

I'm not sure who to address this to. People diagnosed with a mental health disorder, though it can span many disorders.

But, here goes.

I get a HECK of a lot of criticism because I take what people say very literal. Not just word for word. That, but also, I get technical when speaking to people. Analyzing every aspect of a sentence to provide a suitable response. Remembering things they think I didn't remember and taking the current thing they say literal, sometimes, too.

I don't do this out of spite, but to get a better understanding of the situation or person that I'm dealing with. I am usually not angry when I take things literal. I could be doing something fun with someone and I take things literal.

Thing is they get very upset, and go on to say I "ruined the moment" or if it's an argument I get criticized harshly for being cocky or smart-alec (sp?). Loved ones saying "stop being stupid" or people my age thinking I am better than them. Though, I am not all those things?

I actually truly don't understand and never have as to why they react in such ways. I understand what the definition of literal means, and I tell people sorry, if they happen to get angry, for my coming off as one way but not meaning to. Some people can get very very very angry thinking I am being cocky, even when i dont mean it? I can say sorry but they still think I am lying.

After awhile, I contributed my not understanding why they react in such extreme ways to maybe because I am not a social person. I have social phobia, agoraphia, and I am diagnosed schizoaffective on top of that.

It makes me nervous, because like I said, I truly don't understand why they get angry. I don't laugh while I say it. In fact, im actually a extremely straight-faced person.

I guess I am not able to understand social cues, expressions, or the like.

I am seeking knowledge on this.

But anyone else have this problem with themselves or the like?
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Re: Being Too Literal

Postby sabrdawg » Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:20 pm

Sounds very Aspie-like. I take things literally, too. Try to top this one: when I was about 13 someone was telling me about how their friend stabbed them in the back. I actually replied, "what did they stab you with?" Now, I had heard of the phrase "being stabbed in the back," but the way she kept referencing it led me to think that she meant it literally. I've pretty much come to the conclusion that I'm on the cusp of being an Aspie. I've been diagnosed with ADHD and OCD, both of which overlap with Asperger's. I've always felt a little out of sync with others my age....for example, I never got the memo on the concepts of worrying about what others think of me, what I look like, being popular...etc. Those things just don't matter to me. I could care less about partying and drinking and being "cool." I'm happy with hanging out and playing video games, going the the movies and the mall, and being silly :P Back to the topic, there are times when I take things literally when other people get frustrated or annoyed. Thus starts the OCD cycle of worrying that I bothered them, worrying what it WAS that bothered them, and then asking their reassurance that I didn't offend them. I don't like to bother people; I just sometimes do when I don't "get" things. Jokes usually go way over my head as well. Or when I make a joke, no one else understands it. I have trouble distinguishing between when someone is kidding or being serious, and others seem to think I'm, being serious when I'm only kidding. Do you have that happen, too?
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Re: Being Too Literal

Postby Camelidae » Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:58 pm

Sounds like Aspergers to me as well. Not that I am knowledgable about it.

Lol at the stabbing! :lol:
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Re: Being Too Literal

Postby Extraordinormal » Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:24 pm

There's nothing wrong with any of you!

It's THEIR failure to communicate effectively, then they throw it in YOUR face because you didn't get them.

If they want to joke or be literal, they need to make it clearer in the way they say it, and need to be nice about it, and not act funny about it if you need clarification.

Be around better people, ditch those losers.
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Re: Being Too Literal

Postby AnxxietyAttacks » Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:48 pm

Hm. Interesting. I've never been diagnosed with Aspergers. I am 21.

I actually for a long time thought it was because, like extraordinormal said, peoples inability to communicate effectively. Until I decided to see it from the POV of is it me? Still not sure however.
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Re: Being Too Literal

Postby katana » Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:12 pm

Some of that does sound quite Aspergers-like - that's not a dx, just an interpretation, like Camelidae, i'm not an expert on AS.

I'm probably one of those people who misinterprets everything! lol my usual mode of thinking is not to really care what anyone thinks of me, but since i have cared what some people think, i've become very paranoid and possibly oversensitive. i don't know if that's normal, i don't think it is ?

in my case i think its paranoia coming out in my personal/emotional interpretations of things. its ok being a little paranoid if you don't take it personally, as soon as you take it personally, it starts wreaking havoc in all your personal interactions... so i have to begin to understand better i guess ?

If it helps to explain why people might be upset, i've personally found as i've got better, i tend to get angry with loved ones if i worry they might be trying to attack, hurt or reject me in any way...

I guess there are things some people would say meaning to take the piss or attack a person that you could also say with no bad meaning, and is just you putting them bluntly, but that might come across that way if they are worded or presented in a way that people would use to take the piss. (then people will intuitively-emotionally automatically react as if you were, even if you are not.

while getting evaluated for AS might be something you want to do, i don't think you even have to have AS to make mistakes - its possible i make mistakes myself, basically cause i haven't spent much time being sensitive to what most people think of me,

I can't say i've had problems with interpersonal communication much in the past, but have spent a lot of time with people who also really didn't give a damn, and when people have reacted badly, i didn't want to know because i wasn't involved in that way, and i've had to stop and pay a little more attention to how others (and me,) can be sensitive and can react badly,

- in my case cause paranoia/defensiveness makes me react badly impulsively, and in the case of other people i know, i think more to do with overthinking things ? (but i'd obviously have to ask them.) I guess most of the time, when people get upset and misunderstand each other its a combination of all those things.

For a little bit of NT insight, if you have AS, it might be worth learning that if someone says "stop being stupid" but is being nice to you, what it means is not "stupid" it means "silly, thinking something not true" e.g. if you suggest someone isn't interested in what you're saying cause you can't read whether they are interested, and they say "stop being stupid" what they would mean is "of course i am interested" and the "stupid" is suggesting you are being silly for doubting that, because they enjoy talking to you.

I think even without problems like AS - because NTs can have communication problems too for other reasons! - it can help to talk about these things with others so you can both ask questions and explain to each other what you don't understand, and maybe figure out where things meet in the middle :)
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Re: Being Too Literal

Postby AnxxietyAttacks » Fri Sep 16, 2011 12:40 am

Yes, definitely. I realize diagnoses are made by pros. I don't believe I have aspergers at all actually. I think it might stem from my social anxiety disorder, my not being social, and then my schizoaffective negative symptoms. I think. Though I feel I could be right. I hate when things get complex.

Buttt, I definitely wanted to hear others' experience.
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Re: Being Too Literal

Postby katana » Fri Sep 16, 2011 5:42 am

It can be confusing when things get complex...

do you think maybe "not being social" has anything to do with the social anxiety? cause if you feel anxious socially, its not surprising to avoid it!

i can relate to the negative symptoms thing, tho for me it wasn't sza but a few other things, one of them a dissociative disorder, so i really do get things being confusing when they are complex, i've had plenty of confusing too.

Sometimes it does become clearer as time goes on tho.
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Re: Being Too Literal

Postby moomin » Fri Sep 16, 2011 10:48 am

AnxxietyAttacks wrote:Yes, definitely. I realize diagnoses are made by pros. I don't believe I have aspergers at all actually. I think it might stem from my social anxiety disorder, my not being social, and then my schizoaffective negative symptoms. I think. Though I feel I could be right. I hate when things get complex.

Buttt, I definitely wanted to hear others' experience.


Really? Screams aspie to me. Then again I'm not a psycho wotsit. I just happen to be married to an aspie and have an aspie son.
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Re: Being Too Literal

Postby Marie2010 » Fri Sep 16, 2011 1:45 pm

I was going to say aspergers, but it looks like everyone already beat me tot he punch. :wink:
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