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Monday, June 21, 2010

Don't Tell Me What To Think

If you want to see resistance in its truest form I suggest you tell me what to do, or tell me what to think. As far back as I can remember I have always put up a strong resistance to being told what to think, or being told what to do without logic.


One line that has never worked with me is, "Because I said so!" One reason it doesn't work is I already know you said it so why are you stating that you said it? Secondly, and more importantly, it doesn't allow me to know where you are coming from and the logic you are using. I never had a teacher use that line on me, but I heard them tell other students, and had it happened to me I am sure the ensuing result would have been worth at least 17 blog entries.


It's not that I am 100% against what you want me to do, but if you don't give me a logical reason why then I am lost. I am so entrenched in my ways and routine that if you want me to change what I am doing now, I know that will affect what I am going to do three hours from now. The whole routine will be derailed and that requires too much thought to do if it is simply because, "you said so".


Another issue in this same topic is that I will get irate if someone tells me what to think. I joke, although it is probably true, that advertisers can't gain my business but they can certainly lose it. I can't stress this enough, DON'T TELL ME WHAT TO THINK. I have had many times in my life where someone tried to tell me what to think and I get furious. Why is this? I'm not sure, but I tense up and just get full of anger.


I have a story that may turn into a classic example of this: Several years ago my dad wanted me to go to the store. I think I complained one too many times about my food selection so he handed me a $20 bill and suggested that I go get my own food. I was at a loss of what to get so he made some suggestions, and then said he wanted, some "golden delicious apples".
On the thought of those apples I stormed out of the house in a fury. Rage was boiling through my veins as I could not believe the tenacity of my dad. Why would he tell me that golden apples are delicious? I know what is good, and apples, at the time, didn't make the cut.

As I got to the store my rage had not subsided and I was still furious that my dad would try and tell me what to like. "If apples are delicious I will say they are" is what I kept thinking to myself.

When I entered the store and saw the fruit aisle I was astounded. You see, I had never heard of the "golden delicious apple" variety and in fact I thought an apple was an apple. All my anger towards my dad was for naught because he wasn't telling me apples were delicious but rather he was telling me what type apple to get.

Confusion aside, the previous example has been repeated many times in my life. I wish I knew what causes this immediate reaction when told how to think, or told what to do. My mind is astoundingly independent and being told how to think sets off a stern reaction.

The final thing in this area, as it is all connected, is my complete disregard to hearing other people's advice when doing something. When I was young I loved going to the bowling alley on Sunday afternoons after my dad's church service. Being six, and seeing how the professionals put hook on the ball (bowling was something that was must see tv for me when I was young, I think it was a sensory thing) I wanted to bowl like the pros. My dad tried to teach me something, but I don't even know what it was because his advice was just noise.

Even today I usually won't listen to someone when they give me advice. Rob, whom I went to the Olympics with in Vancouver and have played more games on NHL for the Xbox than should be possible, gave me advice on how to always score on a breakaway. Did I listen to him? No. After 30 failed breakaways I had a penalty shot to win the game and I asked him what I needed to do. He got mad because he had told me no less than a hundred times, but he told me what I needed to do and we won the game on that goal. I had heard many times what to do, but because I "know it all" his words were meaningless even though he had scored on a breakaway and my attempts were best suited for the blooper reel.

There is a big issue here and I hope to dwell on it and come up with the reasons why this is. I do find it interesting that in a crunch, or crisis, I will seek advice and actually listen. Until that time I will usually disregard it and throw it out. After all I am always right, until I am wrong and need help now.

3 comments:

  1. Telling other people what to think is cruel. Everyone has their own perspective.

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  2. I like green apples better.

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  3. I had experienced this kind of thinking before. To be honest, results were NOT pretty. Fortunately, I did great repair work for some of the relationships I damaged before afterwards. That said, I do whatever I can to avoid being in that position again.

    One thing people with autism got to learn is- Is the thing you are so defensive over a war or a battle? If it's a battle, slowly give in until you reach a point that both sides are happy. If it's a war, you may have to fight til the bitter end and accept the consequences. Compromising is a skill that a lot of people with autism need to have.

    Think about it the Monopoly example you gave in an earlier blog. There is an art to making a deal, right? In a lot of social situations, apply what you learned in Monopoly deal making into these situations and I am sure more parties involved will be happy campers.

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