Friday, November 11, 2016

Processing Speed, Decision Making, Changing Your Mind Pt1

I was told when I tested that because my processing speed is so high, that I tend to make firm decisions very quickly. And when I make those decisions, because I make them so firmly, I am unlikely to change my mind.

Usually, I make decisions based on a lot of research and a lot of logic. I don't just make careless decisions. I can't tell you the exact process of how I may change any of those decisions. I know it isn't going to be because someone argued with me about it.

Which is a point all in and of itself. No one is going to change their mind because you argued with them about it. Which makes things a bit more complicated than you would think at first. First of all, usually someone tells someone else off because they are trying to get someone's attention to their thinking or whatever being wrong. You see this in movies all the time, where one character finally tells off another character for whatever flaw they have. 

This doesn't work in real life, not really anyway.

The thing to consider is online communication, and new friendships.

The thing is, what's missing from online communication is tone.

People often say that people with autism don't notice or understand tone, that we have a lack of change in tone, we speak rather dryly. I don't think this is the case, not really. We might have a different way of speaking, but at least for me, I am very sensitive to tone. Just like with empathy. It's just that I don't know what to do about it.

I can hear a tone in someone's voice, or hear something in their face (yes, hear their face), they are trying to hide it, but I end up feeling VERY uncomfortable. I can just tell something isn't right. And since they aren't opening up and sharing it, I feel very awkward. I don't know what to say, do or how to act because they aren't letting me know whats wrong or how they need me to act. 

Online, there's no tone, just words.

Even if you know someone well, and especially if you don't, you will not be able to hear their tone. You will not be able to feel for whether or not they have good intentions in what they say. 

The problem is, apparently, humans are really really good at picking negative tone, and we can apply that tone to just about anything anyone says, and make it feel negative. Then we can go on and on about how hurt we are, or how we feel pushed, bossed, rejected, put down, ignored, or not heard. The list goes on and on too. We can quickly and easily put all kinds of meaning and inflection on someone's online words. Then, we think we have a reason to go on the defensive, and tell them off for "hurting our feelings" or something.

What ever happened to thinking the best of someone? What ever happened to the thinking that a friend is just that; a friend, and someone who is just looking to help you, not enter into a verbal fistfight? Why don't we assume to the good, not to the negative? 

I'm just as guilty as anyone else of making wrong assumptions. I have a very wise 6th grade teacher that had something to say about assumptions; that they make an a$$ out of you and me. Pretty clever, I guess. 

We really need to stop putting words in people's mouths. We need to stop assuming based on one line here and one line there that we know their intentions. We need to stop assuming we know their thinking, their opinions, their life, their hearts, their relationship with Jesus, their family values, or the meaning of their words, based on the little we see. It isn't fair to your friends to assume that their intentions are to hurt you. It isn't fair to YOU to make those assumptions either. There is no reason to get all upset, get your body physically worked up, and risking ruining or scarring a friendship over something you assumed about someone else or their words. 

It just isn't fair. Life's too short. Life is hard and we could use all the opportunity for friendships we can get. Especially when you have aspergers. I can't count the number of times I didn't realize what I had with a friend. Sometimes it takes years for me to realize how good a friend I have with someone. Sometimes what I think is just a causual friendship is actually something more to them, and I just didn't realize it. I wish and pray for a deep best friend, and then I realize I have one. At least, for a time. Getting upset over something isn't worth it, especially when you're assumption is faulty.

And, to be honest, we need to really watch it when we do the same to our Bible's. We need to stop assuming we know everything, first of all. There is always something new to learn. No one is all knowing except God, and He can and will keep teaching you something about His word every time you read it.
But more than that, we need to watch out that we aren't taking a line here or a line there and putting our own spin on it. We need to be sure we aren't making assumptions about things God does based on what WE think of something. 

We need to be more careful. We need to be more kind. We need to constantly pursue thoughts, feelings and interpretations of others that are higher than they deserve. Think the best of others. Think of how much they must love you to have picked you for a friend. Whether it's a friendship of decades, or days, they saw something in you that they wanted to be a friend. Even if love isn't the right word, you have to think they don't mean to hurt you. Even if they do, who wins? You do, because you are taking the high road, feeling good about yourself and your choices, and you aren't sitting around wallowing in self pity and self doubt! 

This post when in a completely different direction than I intended. I guess maybe I make two posts tonight! :P 

Thanks for listening.

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