1089:"Internal Monologue"

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Kovacs88
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Re: 1089:"Internal Monologue"

Postby Kovacs88 » Wed Aug 01, 2012 4:39 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:I used to do this, and then I realized that carrying on a conversation is a lot like learning from a lecture, or having sex, or for that matter just about anything: if you stop focusing all your energy on trying to do it well and simply engage with the subject and do it, you'll do great.

Don't focus on your note-taking techniques, selecting the most relevant pieces of information as the professor spits them out and writing them down in your optimized shorthand. Just listen to the lecture, think about what he's saying, ask questions as they come to you, engage with him.

Don't focus on how well you're performing or how long you'll last, or about sports or math or whatever you try to think of to not think about those things. Just enjoy yourself, enjoy your partner, try things as they occur to you, and engage with them.

Don't do what this guy does in this comic. Just listen to the person you're talking to, think about what they're saying, ask questions as they come to you, engage with them.

I know it's all easier said than done, but that's because it's not about doing anything. It's about non-doing things.


Completely agree. This works for helping with general anxiety as well.

For me socially, the only time this doesn't work is if I don't really feel any connection with the person or conversation. It's hard to be engaged in things you don't really care much about, unless you like idle chit chat (which most introverts don't seem to). Then I start wondering if I'm smiling too much, etc.

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Re: 1089:"Internal Monologue"

Postby MadH » Wed Aug 01, 2012 4:54 pm UTC

I run on a set of internal rules and definitions for the "polite rules of conversation" so I don't really internal monologue all this so much as be aware of what I am doing. This only happens with strangers, really, because who needs to care with people you know?

See, the thing about most conversations with people I don't know is I DON'T CARE 90% of the time. They usually talk about inane and uninteresting subjects and adhere to "small talk" which I mostly abhor. So I have to start running my "polite rules of conversation" where I smile and nod and try and create an out for myself so I don't have to listen to them blather any more. Make sure I smile enough, nod my head some, don't let my eyes wander, don't get that annoyed expression, don't get all stiff, make sure to do the little wave and grin as I escape, etc.
I really have no interest in interacting with most people. I don't bother asking questions unless I'm genuinely interested.

I just cannot stand small talk. I'll only put up with it if someone pays me, i.e. a job - which is about the only place I encounter it anymore nowadays, thankfully.

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spartahawk
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Re: 1089:"Internal Monologue"

Postby spartahawk » Wed Aug 01, 2012 4:55 pm UTC

Is this person with the internal dialogue supposed to be a man? Supposed to be a homosexual man? Because as far as I know, few men have much of a conscious internal dialogue if any. That's a bald woman apparently, or a man who is very much further along that continuum than most guys I know.

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Re: 1089:"Internal Monologue"

Postby JudeMorrigan » Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:06 pm UTC

spartahawk wrote:Is this person with the internal dialogue supposed to be a man? Supposed to be a homosexual man? Because as far as I know, few men have much of a conscious internal dialogue if any. That's a bald woman apparently, or a man who is very much further along that continuum than most guys I know.

I'm pretty sure it's supposed to be a guy, but I don't see any reason to make any assumptions one way or the other about his sexual preferences. And how would you know whether or not men have a conscious internal monologue or not? I mean, is that seriously something you've asked guys about, one way or the other?

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Re: 1089:"Internal Monologue"

Postby eran_rathan » Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:16 pm UTC

spartahawk wrote:Is this person with the internal dialogue supposed to be a man? Supposed to be a homosexual man? Because as far as I know, few men have much of a conscious internal dialogue if any. That's a bald woman apparently, or a man who is very much further along that continuum than most guys I know.


I constantly internally monologue with myself. See Also: JD from Scrubs.

J.D.: Excuse me!
J.D.'s internal monologue: -You don't really get many second chances.
J.D.: Oh! Danni! Hi! I'm sorry, sometimes I have this inner monologue running through my head.
Danni: Oh.
Danni's internal monologue: Weirdo!
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Re: 1089:"Internal Monologue"

Postby XTCamus » Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:32 pm UTC

I really enjoyed this one, and can relate very strongly to it, even though I am a man, and even an extrovert. It is hard to know how much of this is going on in other people's heads. Even people who outwardly appear very confident may be doing this. It's also hard to say how much is normal. My internal monologue almost never stops, and I've only just started noticing the dominant role it plays in my life. I believe it is the primary reason it is so hard for me to stay engaged (in the way many people here suggest one should), or to listen and to remember what people have said, even in important meetings at work. It got to the point where I recently started taking medication for it, with mixed results. I first noticed this a few months ago after watching Adaptation for the first time, where the opening monologue (spoilered below) had a similar "get out of my head" feel to it, and called attention to the negative impact this has on my life and relationships.

Spoiler:
"Do I have an original thought in my head, my bald head? Maybe if I were happier, my hair wouldn’t be falling out. Life is short. I need to make the most of it. Today is the first day of the rest of my life. I’m a walking cliché. I really need to go to the doctor and have my leg checked. There’s something wrong. A bump. The dentist called again, I’m way overdue. If I stopped putting things off, I would be happier. All I do is sit on my fat ass. If my ass wasn’t fat, I would be happier. I wouldn’t have to wear these shirts with the tails out all the time, like that’s fooling anyone. Fat ass. I should start jogging again. Five miles a day; really do it this time. Maybe rock climbing. I need to turn my life around. What do I need to do? I need to fall in love. I need to have a girlfriend. I need to read more, improve myself. What if I learned Russian or something. Or take up an instrument. I could speak Chinese. I could be the screenwriter who speaks Chinese and plays the oboe. That would be cool. I should get my hair cut short, stop trying to fool myself and everyone else into thinking I have a full head of hair. How pathetic is that? Just be real. Confident. Isn’t that what women are attracted to? Men don’t have to be attractive. But that’s not true, ‘especially these days. Almost as much pressure on men as there is on women these days. Why should I be made to feel like I should apologize for my existence? Maybe it’s my brain chemistry. Maybe that’s what’s wrong with me. Bad chemistry. All my problems and anxiety can be reduced to a chemical imbalance or some kind of misfiring synapses. I need to get help for that; but I’ll still be ugly though. Nothing is going to change that."


Edited for typos caused by misfiring synapses.
Last edited by XTCamus on Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:29 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1089:"Internal Monologue"

Postby gammagamma » Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:42 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:I used to do this, and then I realized that carrying on a conversation is a lot like learning from a lecture, or having sex, or for that matter just about anything: if you stop focusing all your energy on trying to do it well and simply engage with the subject and do it, you'll do great.

Don't focus on your note-taking techniques, selecting the most relevant pieces of information as the professor spits them out and writing them down in your optimized shorthand. Just listen to the lecture, think about what he's saying, ask questions as they come to you, engage with him.

Don't focus on how well you're performing or how long you'll last, or about sports or math or whatever you try to think of to not think about those things. Just enjoy yourself, enjoy your partner, try things as they occur to you, and engage with them.

Don't do what this guy does in this comic. Just listen to the person you're talking to, think about what they're saying, ask questions as they come to you, engage with them.

I know it's all easier said than done, but that's because it's not about doing anything. It's about non-doing things.

I know it might be hard to understand for the so called neuro-typical part of mankind, but there indeed are people who have no choice other than using their reason, logic and empirically discovered knowledge (i.e. experience) to interpret social communication and interaction - and just about anything that happens in the "outer world".

Sorry to burst this, but saying "Don't do what this guy does in this comic" to an aspie kind of means saying "Don't do what this guy does in this wheelchair" to a paralyzed person. He does not have any other choice to compensate for his disability. It's how he was born.

Having small talk, remembering names and birthdays, keeping eye contact are just about the most difficult and awkward things to do for someone on the autism spectrum. These things are always happening - if they are happening at all - in a "conscious" way. There's no "just let go".

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Re: 1089:"Internal Monologue"

Postby Coyne » Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:11 pm UTC

Man! And I thought my internal dialog was intense!
In all fairness...

pierreb
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Re: 1089:"Internal Monologue"

Postby pierreb » Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:22 pm UTC

I seem to recall that Homer Simpson has internal monologues like that...

The guy in that strip seems really slow-witted if he needs vocal language to *talk* to himself.

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Re: 1089:"Internal Monologue"

Postby Max™ » Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:24 pm UTC

gormster wrote:I'm not sure this is social anxiety. At least, from what I've heard, people suffering from Aspergers feel like they have to do this in order to appear "normal", because they can't read the social cues everyone else sees. I'm pretty sure social anxiety is the feeling that everyone secretly hates you and is only hanging out with you out of some kind of obligation.

I am normal, I am a perfectly normal cat.

At times I've tried to fit in with humans, but I'm ok dealing with them on my terms.

AS and social anxiety are often present together, not always.

Edit: I don't suffer from AS, I used to suffer from thinking I had to deal with other people on their terms, then I decided that was lame, and I didn't have to do it anymore unless I felt like it.
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Re: 1089:"Internal Monologue"

Postby flicky1991 » Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:59 pm UTC

spartahawk wrote:Is this person with the internal dialogue supposed to be a man? Supposed to be a homosexual man? Because as far as I know, few men have much of a conscious internal dialogue if any. That's a bald woman apparently, or a man who is very much further along that continuum than most guys I know.

That's quite a big presumption to make. Most people don't talk about their internal monologues - that's kind of why they're just "internal". And I'm a straight man who probably talks more in his head than to other people.
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whateveries
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Re: 1089:"Internal Monologue"

Postby whateveries » Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:19 pm UTC

if you find yourself in this situation here is a list of things to try.

walk away. politely if necessary.

ok, it is not a long list, or perhaps even a list, more of point I guess.

But the point is, there are two monologues going on in this situation, the internal, to which we are privy to, and the external to which the agonist is being subjected to.

The thing is not every conversation is worth your participation, and those that exclude you, despite your apparent importance as an audience are not worth your while.
Sure you could try a few interjections to work the story around to a mutualy interesting field, but by the time the other person gets to a sad bit of the story, if you have not engaged with them to draw it out and they have simply started to tell you about their failing marriage or their dogs cancerous liver then you are suffering for no net gain.
It is doubtfult the other person is even aware of your discomfort, so catch their eye, give a smile, perhaps a pat on the shoulder or cup their elbow in the palm of your hand and tell them you love the taste of dog liver and go get another drink and find someone else to engage with. If there is no one else to engage with go home.

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it's fine.

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Re: 1089:"Internal Monologue"

Postby taygeta » Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:49 pm UTC

For me, it's not just a matter of not being interested in the conversation. Yes, sometimes I do end up completely bored and trying to convince the other party that I'm actually interested in what they're saying when I'm really not, but I feel exactly like Internal Monolog Guy in normal conversations that I'm otherwise completely engaged in. The eye contact thing especially gets me.

I don't like keeping eye contact with other people. Catching someone's eye isn't bad, but when I hold a conversation with someone, I used to rarely look at them. When we were dating, my husband (an extrovert, to whom all this comes naturally) pointed out that people consider it rude not to make eye contact during a conversation. He tried to get me to sustain eye contact during our conversations, much to my consternation. I have had to force myself to look people in the eye when we're talking, and since it doesn't come naturally to me, I have to think about it the whole time. Am I looking at them enough? Do I have to look them *in the eye*, or is looking in their general direction sufficient? Am I staring? No? Ok. AM I STARING NOW? I think I am. Look away. Am I looking away too long? Do I need to look at them again already? How often does the other person look at me? If I'm watching them closely enough that I can tell what they're doing to try to mimic it, does it look like I'm staring or being weird or something?

When I was young, I never got into the habit of making "listening noises" either because it wasn't necessary in my family. In long conversations with my dad, for example, he doesn't expect the other person to say "yeah" or "uh-huh" or whatever, so I didn't. My husband, on the other hand, will stop what he's saying and try to get my attention (which he already has) if I don't make listening noises. So, I have had to artificially inject that into my conversations. Am I saying "yeah" too much? Too little? Is it necessary at this moment, or should I wait and say it in a minute?

What is the protocol? And why do some people seem to know it and not have to think about it? How can I figure out what the protocol is in every given situation without expending all my mind on trying to figure it out and stick to it instead of actually paying attention to what the other person is saying?

edit: typo

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Re: 1089:"Internal Monologue"

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:39 pm UTC

Max™ wrote:
gormster wrote:I'm not sure this is social anxiety. At least, from what I've heard, people suffering from Aspergers feel like they have to do this in order to appear "normal", because they can't read the social cues everyone else sees. I'm pretty sure social anxiety is the feeling that everyone secretly hates you and is only hanging out with you out of some kind of obligation.

I am normal, I am a perfectly normal cat.

At times I've tried to fit in with humans, but I'm ok dealing with them on my terms.

AS and social anxiety are often present together, not always.

Edit: I don't suffer from AS, I used to suffer from thinking I had to deal with other people on their terms, then I decided that was lame, and I didn't have to do it anymore unless I felt like it.

This post is full of win, and good advice for everybody whether or not you have any kind of 'disorder'.

I am not an extrovert by any means. I prefer to be alone most of the time, have all kinds of strange thoughts and preferences and ways of looking at the world and rarely meet anyone who thinks about things even vaguely the same way as I do, and so rarely feel "connected" to anyone else's way of living. Let me put it this way: I'm a long-haired, pansexual, pangendered, libertarian socialist, physicalist phenomenalist, with opinions on things like "time is an entropic anisotropy in the phase-space of possible worlds", who designs the tectonic history of fictional planets just for the sake of verisimilitude for fun, who goes to work barefooted and dressed like a pirate every day. I am the last person you would expect to be some kind of social butterfly, and I really don't think of myself as one at all. But in recent years people -- friends, girlfriends, coworkers, employers -- keep confusing me for one, being amazed at my "people skills", and I'm pretty sure that a big reason for that is the confidence I have developed in just being who I am, plus the politeness to communicate with them in their language despite that difference.

It used to be that all different kinds of subcultures considered me a weird one of themselves, and that got me some strange looks and comments for the longest time, everyone wondering why I didn't follow their their crowd properly (and other crowds wondering the same thing). But now, I have become so detached from any kind of social group, wandered so far down my own path, that no matter what setting I'm in I am very clearly an outsider. But, at the same time, I'm polite and mindful of each social setting's conventions, and if those are conventions I'm not willing to deal with, I can always just walk away. When you don't need to fit in, you have the power of rejection, not them. I make it clear now that I am not one of you, and that's fine, you shouldn't expect me to be you, I am what I am (and confidence is attractive) -- but that I am willing to speak in your language and make bridging the difference between us my burden and not yours (and that politeness is also attractive).

I think the effect that comes off is like a literal foreigner from another country in their lands, putting in a sincere effort to get along with the natives: instead of "why don't you conform like everyone else", it's "wow you speak our language so well". When the expectation is total difference, the commonalities stand out and the remaining differences can easily be overlooked; whereas if the expectation is total conformity, and difference stands out and the remaining commonalities are overlooked. Perhaps even more fitting than a foreigner would be a literal alien -- even better, a time-travelling humanoid alien passingly familiar with Earth culture, detached from any one place or time but looking enough like the locals and sharing enough common points of reference to at least converse with them. (I think this is one of the reasons I love The Doctor so much). I think it's something like an uncanny valley -- something very much like you but subtly different seems wrong, while something clearly not like you but with broad abstract similarities seems like a neat reflection of yourself.

Another way I like to think of it is like getting along with animals (by which I mean "non-humans" here) -- which is why I love your "I am a perfectly normal cat" comment, Max. Animals are not humans, every species has its own weird conventions, and it would be absurd to expect an animal to act like a human. It would also be absurd to expect a human to act like a different animal. But I've always managed to get along with cats and dogs and birds and every kind of creature under the sun, just by behaving toward them the way they behave toward each other. I don't think of it as me conforming to cat culture or dog culture or bird culture or whatever, but as communicating in a foreign language; or not even that, it's just communicating with a different kind of entity in the way that you communicate with such things.

I get along with animals because I treat them like a different kind of people, instead of like, well, animals, or objects of some kind; I am friendly with them in their own specific sense of "friendly". And I think this way I've learned to get along with people is essentially learning to treat them like I treat animals -- which is not to say to "treat them like animals" in some dehumanizing way, but to think of them as a different species, and most importantly, not to think of that as a big deal. It's not some arduous internal translation effort to see a cat's ears back and know it's angry or see a dog panting and wagging its tail and know it's happy -- you just see those things and think "that's an angry cat" or "that's a happy dog". Humans are no different in principle; just a different breed.

Although I am curious now: do people with conditions that make it difficult to read human emotions have similar difficulty reading e.g. cat or dog emotions?
Last edited by Pfhorrest on Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:48 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1089:"Internal Monologue"

Postby bmonk » Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:47 pm UTC

JudeMorrigan wrote:
spartahawk wrote:Is this person with the internal dialogue supposed to be a man? Supposed to be a homosexual man? Because as far as I know, few men have much of a conscious internal dialogue if any. That's a bald woman apparently, or a man who is very much further along that continuum than most guys I know.

I'm pretty sure it's supposed to be a guy, but I don't see any reason to make any assumptions one way or the other about his sexual preferences. And how would you know whether or not men have a conscious internal monologue or not? I mean, is that seriously something you've asked guys about, one way or the other?

I would have responded to spartahawk, but I was too busy arguing with my internal voices. . . .

No, really--some of us do have internal dialogues. In fact, one fellow I know once said to an extrovert, "Sure, I have a dialogue when you show up. You talk to me outside, and I talk to me inside."
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Re: 1089:"Internal Monologue"

Postby kobayashimaru3 » Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:01 pm UTC

dp2 wrote:This is just trolling for "GOOMHR" posts.

Though I don't know if he even remembers us since the forums link is now gone from the main page.

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Re: 1089:"Internal Monologue"

Postby dinfinity » Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:14 pm UTC

Couldn't help chiming in here:
If you are somebody who tends to have a technical contemplative approach to most things in life, including conversations, it may help to look into non-verbal cues used to regulate conversations:
http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=turn+taking+conversation+non-verbal&btnG=&hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C5&as_vis=1

I studied it in a CS class and it really helped me fix a lot of awkward conversations in a way that fits how I normally operate. Before looking into the turn taking stuff, I wasn't really aware of how my constant stare was messing with the whole natural turn taking process in a conversation. After having read into it, I would actively look away at times, start moving my hands if I wanted to interject etc. Doing that makes conversations have a more natural flow and allows everybody participating in it to relax.

Having said all this, internally repeating to myself that I just "shouldn't care what they think of me" has proven more effective for creating natural conversations. It reduces inhibitions, like alcohol does. Downside: It also increases the amount of stupid or inappropriate things you say, which in turn require more 'not caring' (or clever repair). YMMV.

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Re: 1089:"Internal Monologue"

Postby dudiobugtron » Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:31 am UTC

creaothceann wrote:There are people with internal dialogues? Weird... :|


Uh... there are people without internal dialogues? (/polylogs?)

I guess that explains why everyone is weird, except for me. ;)
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Re: 1089:"Internal Monologue"

Postby Max™ » Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:50 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:Another way I like to think of it is like getting along with animals (by which I mean "non-humans" here) -- which is why I love your "I am a perfectly normal cat" comment, Max. Animals are not humans, every species has its own weird conventions, and it would be absurd to expect an animal to act like a human. It would also be absurd to expect a human to act like a different animal. But I've always managed to get along with cats and dogs and birds and every kind of creature under the sun, just by behaving toward them the way they behave toward each other. I don't think of it as me conforming to cat culture or dog culture or bird culture or whatever, but as communicating in a foreign language; or not even that, it's just communicating with a different kind of entity in the way that you communicate with such things.

I'm a momma-cat, and all cats are my kittens. Once they realize that I'm treating them that way, it is very rare for them to not enjoy the chance to return to kittenhood, if just for a short time.

I get along with animals because I treat them like a different kind of people, instead of like, well, animals, or objects of some kind; I am friendly with them in their own specific sense of "friendly". And I think this way I've learned to get along with people is essentially learning to treat them like I treat animals -- which is not to say to "treat them like animals" in some dehumanizing way, but to think of them as a different species, and most importantly, not to think of that as a big deal. It's not some arduous internal translation effort to see a cat's ears back and know it's angry or see a dog panting and wagging its tail and know it's happy -- you just see those things and think "that's an angry cat" or "that's a happy dog". Humans are no different in principle; just a different breed.

I can tell to some extent what is going on in an animals head, but it's mostly that my natural response defaults towards caregiver/parent/disciplinarian with animals, I won't take stupid shit like trying to bite me or chew on my computer cables, and I'll thump you in the ear for being a stupid baby... but like I said, animals generally love parental type affection.

You can't just grab a person, flip them on their back, and begin picking nits out of their hair... doesn't really engender the same response it does with a cat or dog.

Although I am curious now: do people with conditions that make it difficult to read human emotions have similar difficulty reading e.g. cat or dog emotions?

I sorta answered above, as I said, it's easier with animals because there tends to be less deception. Animal mental states are easier to model, though amusingly it seems that dogs are usually better at reading people than I am.
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Re: 1089:"Internal Monologue"

Postby jfriesne » Thu Aug 02, 2012 6:11 am UTC

Max™ wrote:I am normal, I am a perfectly normal cat.


This can't be right -- all the other cats I've seen posting to the Internet have serious problems with their spelling.

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Re: 1089:"Internal Monologue"

Postby VectorZero » Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:59 am UTC

The literate cats are indistinguishable from people.
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Re: 1089:"Internal Monologue"

Postby eran_rathan » Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:44 pm UTC

MaxTM's Law: Any sufficiently advanced cat is indistinguishable from a human, and vice versa.
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Re: 1089:"Internal Monologue"

Postby AdmiralGreene » Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:54 pm UTC

eran_rathan wrote:MaxTM's Law: Any sufficiently advanced cat is indistinguishable from a human, and vice versa.


You can find out your advanced felinity using the Puring Test.
I suppose I should state something clever, no?

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Re: 1089:"Internal Monologue"

Postby Max™ » Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:37 pm UTC

eran_rathan wrote:MaxTM's Law: Any sufficiently advanced cat is indistinguishable from a human, and vice versa.

Well, prior to being diagnosed with AS, my working hypothesis was that I was a very strange looking cat.

Any sufficiently advanced cat is indistinguishable from an aspie.

Also, the Puring Test is quite hilarious.
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Re: 1089:"Internal Monologue"

Postby mschmidt62 » Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:41 pm UTC

I think there are multiple possible causes of this internal monologue. Asperberger's and social anxiety have been suggested, but may I suggest another? Boredom? Sometimes people's stories are sufficiently predictable and their delivery of said stories sufficiently slow that one has to think about something while they slowly get to the point. And sometimes they've told the story before and you know not only how it will turn out but what exact words the storyteller will use. They might be a relative, and you might want to be kind to them and not embarrass them with any hint that you've heard the story before. And so you keep yourself occupied with trying to figure out how best to appear as though the story is novel and interesting.

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Re: 1089:"Internal Monologue"

Postby Max™ » Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:43 pm UTC

mschmidt62 wrote:They might be a relative, and you might want to be kind to them and not embarrass them with any hint that you've heard the story before.

Why?

If you know them and the story, you're not supposed to tell them?
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Re: 1089:"Internal Monologue"

Postby Sprocket » Thu Aug 02, 2012 6:54 pm UTC

Роберт wrote:
Sprocket wrote:I feel even more awkward because [Randall Munroe is] fucking Randall Munroe!
That's called masturbation and I would feel awkward too.

You know, I could vanish at any moment.
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Re: 1089:"Internal Monologue"

Postby spartahawk » Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:02 pm UTC

My apologies to everyone (I'm the one who made the dumb comment about internal dialogues not being very normal for men).
I'm sorry, it was not well thought out. I realized what a stupid thing it was to say soon after I had posted it.

Everyone obviously has an internal dialogue to some degree. Maybe the quickest of us have much more of an internal dialogue than I do. Maybe I'm lazy, because I would find that exhausting to have that much going on in a silent but verbal way inside of my head when speaking to people. In my case, if there is any thinking like that when I am feeling especially self-conscious, it is usually in very brief pieces that I don't feel could quite be verbalized. They're more like quick checks that happen in a heartbeat. But, again, I spoke way to quickly and apparently, without having any internal workings in my brain, let alone a considerate inner dialogue to realize what I was saying. Apologies!

Apparently, I need a browser extension that reads all my comments out loud to me before I am allowed to post them.

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Re: 1089:"Internal Monologue"

Postby whateveries » Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:11 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote: ....I am not an extrovert by any means. I prefer to be alone most of the time, have all kinds of strange thoughts and preferences and ways of looking at the world and rarely meet anyone who thinks about things even vaguely the same way as I do...

"yeah" (Am I smiling enough?)
... . I am the last person you would expect to be some kind of social butterfly, and I really don't think of myself as one at all. But in recent years people -- friends, girlfriends, coworkers, employers -- keep confusing me for one, being amazed at my "people skills", and I'm pretty sure that a big reason for that is the confidence I have developed in just being who I am, plus the politeness to communicate with them in their language despite that difference.

"yeah"(should I be leaning on something?)
It used to be that all different kinds of subcultures considered me a weird one of themselves, and that got me some strange looks and comments for the longest time, everyone wondering why I didn't follow their their crowd properly (and other crowds wondering the same thing). But now, I have become so detached from any kind of social group, wandered so far down my own path, that no matter what setting I'm in I am very clearly an outsider. But, at the same time, I'm polite and mindful of each social setting's conventions[/size[size=25]], and if those are conventions I'm not willing to deal with, I can always just walk away. When you don't need to fit in, you have the power of rejection, not them. I make it clear now that I am not one of you, and that's fine, you shouldn't expect me to be you, I am what I am (and confidence is attractive) -- but that I am willing to speak in your language and make bridging the difference between us my burden and not yours (and that politeness is also attractive).

"yeah"(where should my hands go?)
I think the effect that comes off is like a literal foreigner from another country in their lands, putting in a sincere effort to get along with the natives: instead of "why don't you conform like everyone else", it's "wow you speak our language so well". When the expectation is total difference, the commonalities stand out and the remaining differences can easily be overlooked; whereas if the expectation is total conformity, and difference stands out and the remaining commonalities are overlooked. Perhaps even more fitting than a foreigner would be a literal alien -- even better, a time-travelling humanoid alien passingly familiar with Earth culture, detached from any one place or time but looking enough like the locals and sharing enough common points of reference to at least converse with them. (I think this is one of the reasons I love The Doctor so much). I think it's something like an uncanny valley

"yeah" (I hope he doesn't ask me what his name is)
-- something very much like you but subtly different seems wrong, while something clearly not like you but with broad abstract similarities seems like a neat reflection of yourself.

"yeah" (I've said yeah too much; what are some other agreeing words?)
Another way I like to think of it is like getting along with animals (by which I mean "non-humans" here) -- which is why I love your "I am a perfectly normal cat" comment, Max. Animals are not humans, every species has its own weird conventions, and it would be absurd to expect an animal to act like a human. It would also be absurd to expect a human to act like a different animal. But I've always managed to get along with cats and dogs and birds and every kind of creature under the sun, just by behaving toward them the way they behave toward each other. I don't think of it as me conforming to cat culture or dog culture or bird culture or whatever, but as communicating in a foreign language; or not even that, it's just communicating with a different kind of entity in the way that you communicate with such things.
I get along with animals because I treat them like a different kind of people, instead of like, well, animals, or objects of some kind; I am friendly with them in their own specific sense of "friendly". And I think this way I've learned to get along with people is essentially learning to treat them like I treat animals -- which is not to say to "treat them like animals" in some dehumanizing way, but to think of them as a different species, and most importantly, not to think of that as a big deal. It's not some arduous internal translation effort to see a cat's ears back and know it's angry or see a dog panting and wagging its tail and know it's happy -- you just see those things and think "that's an angry cat" or "that's a happy dog". Humans are no different in principle; just a different breed.

Although I am curious now: do people with conditions that make it difficult to read human emotions have similar difficulty reading e.g. cat or dog emotions?

(oh crap his story just got sad STOP SMILING STOP SMILING)
it's fine.

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Re: 1089:"Internal Monologue"

Postby Quicksilver » Fri Aug 03, 2012 1:04 am UTC

eran_rathan wrote:MaxTM's Law: Any sufficiently advanced cat is indistinguishable from a human, and vice versa.
You're a kitty!

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Re: 1089:"Internal Monologue"

Postby Max™ » Fri Aug 03, 2012 1:38 am UTC

Quicksilver wrote:
eran_rathan wrote:MaxTM's Law: Any sufficiently advanced cat is indistinguishable from a human, and vice versa.
You're a kitty!

My proximity to a cat is always zero, so I always make inane statements.
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Re: 1089:"Internal Monologue"

Postby Wooloomooloo » Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:41 am UTC

eran_rathan wrote:MaxTM's Law: Any sufficiently advanced cat is indistinguishable from a human, and vice versa.

Nonsense! Sufficiently advanced cats are space-faring [1], while humans are quite clearly not (anymore).

Also, I definitely do this (to a variable degree, depending on the current amount of alcohol on-board). I would probably get tagged with a proper handful of lovely "conditions" if anyone would try to diagnose me today - thankfully, nobody bothers. Rather annoyingly though my mental processes in general seem to work better when my internal monologue becomes an external one (not in social situations obviously) and regrettably, occasional witnesses seem to find that rather disconcerting. No worries though, I'm still perfectly normal - the voices told me so (ok, just kidding on that one).

Anyway, in my experience listening to people is a great thing to do - as long as you have absolutely no intention to comment / reply to anything they might say, because they in turn have absolutely no intention of listening to you / let you say anything; actually, their internal monologues if I ever get to say anything seem to consist entirely of "yes yes, okay, are you done talking now so I can finally get back to actually important stuff like myself...?" After a while, you just give up trying to interject and silently discard the growing queue of comments you were hoping to make. I'm the first to admit to be guilty of this myself to a degree, but in the end generally I do all the listening. At any rate, I'm particularly fond of those particularly thick skinned "full duplex" people who unflinchingly carry on talking at you full bore even if you occasionally get annoyed enough to interject visibly intent to not back down (and plus one internet to those who actually start raising their volume trying to forcibly drown you out)...

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noctis

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Re: 1089:"Internal Monologue"

Postby The Moomin » Fri Aug 03, 2012 8:03 am UTC

eran_rathan wrote:MaxTM's Law: Any sufficiently advanced cat is indistinguishable from a human, and vice versa.


The fur, tail and tendency to gently headbutt my shins is usually a good indicator if it's a cat or not.
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Re: 1089:"Internal Monologue"

Postby Max™ » Fri Aug 03, 2012 8:08 am UTC

The Moomin wrote:
eran_rathan wrote:MaxTM's Law: Any sufficiently advanced cat is indistinguishable from a human, and vice versa.


The fur, tail and tendency to gently headbutt my shins is usually a good indicator if it's a cat or not.

Ever met an aloof bobtail sphynx?
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Re: 1089:"Internal Monologue"

Postby The Moomin » Fri Aug 03, 2012 8:10 am UTC

Max™ wrote:
The Moomin wrote:
eran_rathan wrote:MaxTM's Law: Any sufficiently advanced cat is indistinguishable from a human, and vice versa.


The fur, tail and tendency to gently headbutt my shins is usually a good indicator if it's a cat or not.

Ever met an aloof bobtail sphynx?


Couldn't tell you :P
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Re: 1089:"Internal Monologue"

Postby VanI » Fri Aug 03, 2012 12:41 pm UTC

The Moomin wrote:
eran_rathan wrote:MaxTM's Law: Any sufficiently advanced cat is indistinguishable from a human, and vice versa.


The fur, tail and tendency to gently headbutt my shins is usually a good indicator if it's a cat or not.


That's not really a distinguishing set of features in my experience. I have some odd friends...
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Re: 1089:"Internal Monologue"

Postby airdrik » Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:25 pm UTC

Sometimes if I'm deep enough in my internal monologue it will start to turn into a meta-internal monologue where I try to think about what I am/was thinking and why I was thinking it (sometimes along with a traceback through the various tangents that my mind made to figure out what initially triggered that train of thought). Then I have to tell myself that I need to get out of my head and return to reality because reality is happening and my wife is wondering why I've been starting at her (or rather beyond her and everything else in the room) for the last 10 minutes.

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Re: 1089:"Internal Monologue"

Postby Wooloomooloo » Fri Aug 03, 2012 8:56 pm UTC

airdrik wrote:Sometimes if I'm deep enough in my internal monologue it will start to turn into a meta-internal monologue where I try to think about what I am/was thinking and why I was thinking it

Yeah ok, Randall arguably just made this worse. Now we socially handicapped can add to our internal monologue meta stuff like "am I thinking about my internal monologue too much?" :lol:

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Re: 1089:"Internal Monologue"

Postby bmonk » Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:07 pm UTC

eran_rathan wrote:MaxTM's Law: Any sufficiently advanced cat is indistinguishable from a human, and vice versa.


But can you tell they are not dogs when they are on the internet?
Having become a Wizard on n.p. 2183, the Yellow Piggy retroactively appointed his honorable self a Temporal Wizardly Piggy on n.p.1488, not to be effective until n.p. 2183, thereby avoiding a partial temporal paradox. Since he couldn't afford two philosophical PhDs to rule on the title.

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Re: 1089:"Internal Monologue"

Postby Max™ » Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:53 pm UTC

bmonk wrote:
eran_rathan wrote:MaxTM's Law: Any sufficiently advanced cat is indistinguishable from a human, and vice versa.


But can you tell they are not dogs when they are on the internet?

Dogs spell better.
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