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What's the most baffling thing about neurotypical people?

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Religion.  WTF?

Monogamy.  At first I thought it was just not being willing to work hard enough on relationship communication, but it's more than that.

Clothes.  Even when not needed for protection.  And they even care what *other* people are wearing.  I have memorized rules and follow them, but don't understand why they're important.

Ignoring their sense of smell.   I absolutely have no clue why they do this.

Greed, as applied to pure abstractions.  That makes no sense.

Caring about numbers but not bothering to learn math.  That also makes no sense.

Blindness to any Information not presented as a picture.  In extreme cases they will interrupt to bring me the same information we got last week but this time in a pretty graphic.  Here's the problem with that.  I know, by now, that coming up with this graph means *they* have done the work to understand the information, and that is a good thing.  But the graphic itself is useless to me.  I can't communicate that without seeming to tell them they've been wasting their time, which they're going to take as a personal insult so I just have no idea what to say to them.

Conversely, inability to understand that important information is left OUT of the 'picture' they got.  The map they think is so much more intuitive and informative, but that doesn't have the street names, is useless to the way I find my way around a city.

Imputing meanings that are not what people actually said.  Especially if it allows them to avoid ambiguity or avoid acknowledging the need for more information to decide something.  And especially if by imputing some different meaning they can make it about themselves.

Don't see the inherent problem in being unable to tell whether something is right or wrong without knowing who did it.

Don't get how concentration works, and think a five-second interruption every ten minutes will only cost five seconds worth of work.

Always give the same advice for any problem.  And the advice is basically, 'make your brain stop working that way and work this way instead.'  Good luck with that.

I'm sure others will have many, many more additions to the list. 


I'd probably class myself as neurotypical -

...but I can't get over the whole "OOO! A Graph!" thing! They are fine for some things, but complex info...!?!?
Generally not. (That said - I've been guilty of using 'em as such when basic info is to be seen by a WIDE range of people...)

Ignoring sense of smell...? I don't get that one at all. (Is that a thing?)

I'd call myself somewhat neurotypical, just going through the list with my own thoughts .

Religion - I can't really speak about this as I'm a 25 year lapsed Catholic and my own feelings on the subject are incredibly mixed. I suppose going back to an older generation, religion offered a sense of stability, but then again, I still remember being in school and kids being forced to write with their right hand.

Monogamy - I can't speak for everyone, but its not a case of "I'm incapable of willing to work on communication", but rather "Hey, here's someone who fascinates me, who inspires me to make myself a better person. My life is better for them being in it and I really want to work on that." That's me. I know that there are other people with their own thoughts on monogamy who can explain it better than I can and there are people in poly relationships who can explain why monogamy wasn't for them.

The sense of smell - I presume you mean being caught in public transport or in an office and you just smell someone who just...stinks. You want to say something, but then again, you don't know the circumstances - Were they in a rush this morning and they didn't have time to wash? Do they have a medical condition? Is there a problem in their personal life? They're probably embarrassed enough as it is, they probably don't want me bringing it to their attention or everyone else's attention.

Clothes have meaning. But its also about projecting an image about yourself, kind of crafting the ideal version of yourself.

Greed isn't a neurotypical trait, some people just want to have everything and nothing is ever enough.

Maths is a problem for a lot of people. I did applied science in college, but Maths? Goes right over my head. But you get me a paper about biology or chemistry and I'll have that information devoured.

Information presented as a graph - I've worked in advertising, tourism and some other sectors of business. When someone asks for a graph, what they're telling you isn't "I can't process this block of text", they're telling you "I only have a few seconds available to look at this information." You might spend a couple of hours correlating data, but they might have seconds between meetings or they have to present a lot of information to others and not a lot of time to do so.

Information out of the picture? The brain can fill in the gaps, making what seems to it logical jumps. If I'm told that I have a meeting at Church Street, but the map doesn't have Church Street on there, I'm still going to infer that going by its name, it should logically be near a Church. And sometimes its fun to fill in the gaps ourselves.

Right or wrong - Nothing is ever right or wrong, nor is it black and white. There will always be shades of grey in what we do. Someone can do something wrong but for the right reason and vice versa. I'm not saying everything has to boil down to whether something is right or wrong, but rather the distinction is understanding why and how.

Advice for problems - Its not always "change how your brain thinks", its just it can be difficult to give meaningful advice when someone doesn't give you all the information about a problem. It comes down to communication and the fact that advice needs to be a two way street between two people.

I know "right" and "wrong" are not absolutes, in that a lot of actions are done for decent reasons and a lot of things have both good and bad aspects and that it's not just shades of grey, it's a kaleidoscope of people acting according to different values. 

But not being able to say that in conversation without someone thinking I'm just unwilling to state my assumed to be unequivocal opinion is one of the things that falls under 'imputing meanings that are not what someone actually said, in order to ignore ambiguities.'

The thing about right and wrong though is that I can't imagine something I'd think was a moral good if done by person A but a moral evil if done by person B.  Like if I say caging children in horrific conditions is evil, someone responds with an argument about "Obama did this, not Trump!"  as though it matters?  Even if it were true, what has that got to do with whether or not it is evil?

Ignoring the sense of smell is definitely real.  I see people reacting to scent all the time - attracted to or avoiding something, or changing mood, etc, or knowing which way someone went twenty minutes ago because that person was wearing perfume, or being momentarily confused when they walk into a room expecting someone to be there, and maybe even start talking to them, but only because someone else who used the same soap and shampoo was there, and then they stop in confusion and surprise when they realize it's someone else.    But absolutely never does anyone acknowledge that the scent is the reason why. 

People even flatly deny being *able* to smell things I've just watched them react to.  And English has, eg, words for colors, but hardly any words at all that describe scents.  I infer that there is some rule about not talking about scent, but seriously, I have no clue what it is.

Don't get me wrong here, I'm *nearly* neurotypical.  I have problems far milder than most of the 'atypical' population.  What I have manifests mainly in what people who care about it call 'incomplete socialization.' 

Which basically means I don't ever pick up on the existence of the implicit rules that people abide by but don't talk about.  For example I was around people who wore clothes every waking hour for my whole childhood, and at age 5 I was still completely unaware of the the nudity taboo.  I mean, I had figured out that these people liked to wear clothes, but nobody had ever even mentioned how they felt about not wearing clothes, or about what judgments they passed on anyone wearing the wrong clothes or no clothes.  Or which clothes were "wrong." 

The results have varied from alarming to humorous, but usually provoke a response that informs me of the existence of the rule I broke.  At which point I have to make a decision as to whether I care about the people who care about this rule, enough to take the bother of abiding by it.  Sometimes the answer is no.


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