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Wait, not everyone thinks like this???


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I think the difference is that even though the thought might go through your head, you filter it out and it doesn't come out of your mouth bc you recognize it is irrelevant to the current conversation.  Not that the thought doesn't blip through your thoughts.

Edited by 8filltheheart
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LoL, I think like that, too. There’s a book called “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” that explains the differences in how men and women think, so they can better communicate to each other. I read it many many years ago.

Basically, women’s brains are like spaghetti. Women’s thoughts are like noodles and each noodle overlaps and touches another noodle, so one thought can be associated with another thought and so on. However, men’s brains are like waffles. They have thoughts in each separated compartment (nook). They can focus on one thought and not get distracted by other thoughts. Women can find this annoying and think they are not paying attention to what’s happening around them, but they are not in the other nook or cranny. They can only be in one nook at a time. So, jumping around from nook to nook to make associations can be tiring from men. They also have completely empty nooks where they just rest. So, if you ask a man what’cha thinking about and they say, “nothing”, they really can be thinking about “nothing”, so don’t be annoyed and think that they don’t want to share their thoughts with you. After reading this, I remember explaining my associations so my husband can keep up with the way I was associating things. 

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Just now, Mona said:

LoL, I think like that, too. There’s a book called “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” that explains the differences in how men and women think, so they can better communicate to each other. I read it many many years ago.

Basically, women’s brains are like spaghetti. Women’s thoughts are like noodles and each noodle overlaps and touches another noodle, so one thought can be associated with another thought and so on. However, men’s brains are like waffles. They have thoughts in each separated compartment (nook). They can focus on one thought and not get distracted by other thoughts. Women can find this annoying and think they are not paying attention to what’s happening around them, but they are not in the other nook or cranny. They can only be in one nook at a time. So, jumping around from nook to nook to make associations can be tiring from men. They also have completely empty nooks where they just rest. So, if you ask a man what’cha thinking about and they say, “nothing”, they really can be thinking about “nothing”, so don’t be annoyed and think that they don’t want to share their thoughts with you. After reading this, I remember explaining my associations so my husband can keep up with the way I was associating things. 

That is a serious oversimplification of brain science. I know plenty of both women and men who think via association. Out of the two of us, DH is the one who can fluently follow two conversations at once, and I cannot. We both have a high ability to focus. 

I think these sorts of stereotypes (and yes, I’ve read the book) do men and women a serious disservice by overemphasizing the differences between genders as opposed to between individuals. 

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2 minutes ago, Mona said:

LoL, I think like that, too. There’s a book called “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” that explains the differences in how men and women think, so they can better communicate to each other. I read it many many years ago.

Basically, women’s brains are like spaghetti. Women’s thoughts are like noodles and each noodle overlaps and touches another noodle, so one thought can be associated with another thought and so on. However, men’s brains are like waffles. They have thoughts in each separated compartment (nook). They can focus on one thought and not get distracted by other thoughts. Women can find this annoying and think they are not paying attention to what’s happening around them, but they are not in the other nook or cranny. They can only be in one nook at a time. So, jumping around from nook to nook to make associations can be tiring from men. They also have completely empty nooks where they just rest. So, if you ask a man what’cha thinking about and they say, “nothing”, they really can be thinking about “nothing”, so don’t be annoyed and think that they don’t want to share their thoughts with you. After reading this, I remember explaining my associations so my husband can keep up with the way I was associating things. 

I really don't think it's a male female difference. While I know my daughter (with adhd) thinks this way, my father (undiagnosed adhd) also thinks this way.  I do not -- I think pretty slow and literally.  

 

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Just now, SanDiegoMom said:

I really don't think it's a male female difference. While I know my daughter (with adhd) thinks this way, my father (undiagnosed adhd) also thinks this way.  I do not -- I think pretty slow and literally.  

 

Most male/female thinking differences are relatively small differences in averages that get absolutely dwarfed by individual differences.

I have two relatively neurotypical girls. They are MUCH more different from each other than these typical differences between males and females.

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If I am having a conversation with you about a carnival coming to town and in the middle you start talking about wasps without giving the entire context of the question about wasps and bringing it into the conversation prior to the question, yes, I am going to think your conversation skills are off.  In normal conversation, you do not have a conversation about a carnival and without context interject, "Why don't wasps die when they sting you?"  If you are having a casual conversation with friends, saying something like, "Hey, this reminds me of this......" and then asking, sure.  But without context, no.

Edited by 8filltheheart
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4 minutes ago, 8filltheheart said:

If I am having a conversation with you about a carnival coming to town and in the middle you start talking about wasps without giving the entire context of the question about wasps and bringing it into the conversation prior to the question, yes, I am going to think your conversation skills are off.  In normal conversation, you do not have a conversation about a carnival and without context interject, "Why don't wasps die when they sting you?"  If you are having a casual conversation with friends, saying something like, "Hey, this reminds me of this......" and then asking, sure.  But without context, no.

Oh, I agree that one learns the skill to not SAY  the thing about the wasp. Or to give context. But I just figured people were still THINKING that way. 

They just controlled their speech about it. 

But some people do not think this way?

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I also think that way, but I would be more likely to state a transition sentence so the other person doesn't think I'm nuts.

Example:  That reminds me of a bee sting that happened at the fairgrounds one year.  And hey, I wanted to ask you, do you know why wasps, unlike bees, do not die when they sting?

My mind never ever ever stops going from one thing to another.  I always thought that was normal, until a friend told me that hers doesn't do that at all.

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7 minutes ago, ktgrok said:

Oh, I agree that one learns the skill to not SAY  the thing about the wasp. Or to give context. But I just figured people were still THINKING that way. 

They just controlled their speech about it. 

But some people do not think this way?

In conversation, no.  It is a conversation, not someone's stream of consciousness thoughts.  You are conflating ideas.  Random thoughts pop into people's heads.  Random thoughts coming out of your mouth is different.

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8 minutes ago, 8filltheheart said:

In conversation, no.  It is a conversation, not someone's stream of consciousness thoughts.  You are conflating ideas.  Random thoughts pop into people's heads.  Random thoughts coming out of your mouth is different.

I'm asking....do other people think that way, but just not speak it out loud, because they know that would be weird OR do they just not think that way in the first place?

I agree it is weird to just randomly SAY the wasp thing, without context. But at the end, it seemed to imply that not everyone thinks that way . That is my question - are people all thinking like this but editing the output, or is this type of fluid thought process actually foreign to some people?

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Yes, I think people's minds are full of thoughts and connections that they equally automatically (not having to think about the process) filter out as irrelevant and it just flits through their minds but doesn't "take up mental space" in conversations.

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11 minutes ago, ktgrok said:

I'm asking....do other people think that way, but just not speak it out loud, because they know that would be weird OR do they just not think that way in the first place?

I agree it is weird to just randomly SAY the wasp thing, without context. But at the end, it seemed to imply that not everyone thinks that way . That is my question - are people all thinking like this but editing the output, or is this type of fluid thought process actually foreign to some people?

At least in my group of friends, it's pretty standard to think like this. My MIL is a person I know who actually talks like this sometimes, and it's annoying 😛

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In a conversation, I am kept on topic by the attention I am paying to the other person or persons. My mind wouldn't go to that far off-topic if I'm paying attention.

Now, if I space off, my mind might skew to a separate topic. DH & I will sometimes say something that seems completely random to the other person after a significant period of silence between us -- usually on a car ride or if we are together but working on separate things. I would say that I remember something and then when I want to remark on it, I do -- but it sometimes has nothing to do with what we had previously been discussing. That can be jarring for the other person who might try connecting the remark with the previous discussion or with whatever they are thinking at that time.

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44 minutes ago, ktgrok said:

Oh, I agree that one learns the skill to not SAY  the thing about the wasp. Or to give context. But I just figured people were still THINKING that way. 

They just controlled their speech about it. 

But some people do not think this way?

I can’t know how other people think, but I do think this way. 

But, as you’ve said, I don’t SAY what I’m thinking. 

My DH has ADHD and he will SAY the connections he’s made without context. I do not like it. I find it very annoying. He’s the only person I talk to where our conversations devolve into ridiculous misunderstandings because of it.

An example: We are refinancing the house and we called the bank person on speakerphone to ask a question. She answers the phone, “Hi, this is So-and-So, how may I help you?” and my DH says, “This is Garg and Garga and we don’t know why it’s $646 instead of $530.”

I was thinking, “What the heck??!!” 

He didn’t give our last names. He didn’t say, “How are you doing,” he didn’t say, “We have a question about a number on the paperwork.” He just launched into spewing out some numbers at her.  And he kept doing that through the whole conversation. It was the end of the day when he was tired and has the hardest time controlling his ADHD.

In his own mind, he knows what HE is thinking, but he totally forgets to get anyone else up to speed on it. 

He will do like the meme in the OP and will change the subject lightning fast without providing context, which isn’t polite as it requires the listener to have to work harder at the conversation. A conversation is supposed to be a pleasant give and take with each party carrying their own weight. It’s not supposed to be about one person always scrambling to keep up with the other person’s random stream of consciousness.

But eh, I love him anyway. After 28 years, you just learn to roll with it. Sometimes I point it out, just so that the conversation can run smoother, but not to shame him.

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Yes, I think most people think like this to some extent. In my experience, one difference is how long of a rabbit trail a mind goes down before it refocuses on the topic at hand.

Clearly, during a casual conversation, with no strong focus, it doesn't really matter is thoughts drift far afield and the thinker follows the path. But during more focused, time sensitive, "mission critical" discussions (Are we going to the carnival today or tomorrow?), I think neurotypical brains have random thought blips, but rein themselves in more quickly instead of chaining additional connected thoughts that lead them farther from the topic at hand.

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I think that yes, most people think that way.

 

In my own family, and among my group of friends, we sometimes actually will give the list of connections we made if we really want to ask a question that we know won't make sense out of context.  So yeah, sometimes we do actually say the thing.  Not most of the time or even a lot of the time, just sometimes.

 

But yes, IME, most people do actually think that way, they just don't say it all.

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My  21 yo daughter actually wrote out one time her thoughts as she was trying to do yoga -- often 40 minute yoga practices take her 2 hours, because she will get distracted by her thoughts and realize she isn't actually doing yoga.  I think a lot of people might have these tangents if there is nothing going on (long car rides) or they might free associate, but then refocus if there is something they are supposed to be doing.  

[removed for personal details]

 

Edited by SanDiegoMom
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7 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

Most male/female thinking differences are relatively small differences in averages that get absolutely dwarfed by individual differences.

I get particularly frustrated with this overblowing of sex or gender differences in regards to language arts. My DS loves to write. He writes neatly, with stamina & good style for his age. He prefers to read realistic-fiction with mostly kind, empathetic characters (& kitties). He finds “potty humor” annoying.

Boys as a whole do not hate putting pencil to paper, sloppily writing only the bare minimum required before running off to “dig in the dirt.” Not all are reluctant readers who have to be enticed into a picking up a book by dogs, slapstick / poop / “gross” jokes, & calling everything stupid. The stereotypes are so pervasive that in some places I find myself reluctant to state his gender when asking for recommendations! It’s ridiculous. 

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Just now, Shoes+Ships+SealingWax said:

I get particularly frustrated with this overblowing of sex or gender differences in regards to language arts. My DS loves to write. He writes neatly, with stamina & good style for his age. He prefers to read realistic-fiction with mostly kind, empathetic characters (& kitties). He finds “potty humor” annoying.

Boys as a whole do not hate putting pencil to paper, sloppily writing only the bare minimum required before running off to “dig in the dirt.” Not all are reluctant readers who have to be enticed into a picking up a book by dogs, slapstick / poop / “gross” jokes, & calling everything stupid. The stereotypes are so pervasive that in some places I find myself reluctant to state his gender when asking for recommendations! It’s ridiculous. 

And I have two girls, one of whom loathes creative writing, and one of whom is almost certainly going to love it 😛 . One of our friends has a girl who could only be lured into reading long books by being allowed to read "Captain Underpants." 

Kids vary. Even when the averages are describing a real phenomenon, focusing on them in the context of specific kids is pretty unhelpful. 

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In response to the OP, my DS8 with ADHD definitely thinks & speaks this way. We’re starting to work on “transition phrases” he can use in conversations when falling down the rabbit hole (at least, when he realizes he has) & especially when questioning requests.

The latter tends to get him into trouble. He’ll be asked to do something & have every intention of complying, but won’t understand the reasoning behind the request or want to clarify some detail about the task & the way he responds comes across as argumentative. We’re working on prefacing with “Sure, no problem. Out of curiosity....” or “Yes. Just to be sure, when you said XYZ did you mean...”

He has zero tolerance for topics he isn’t interested in, yet constantly “butts in” on others’ conversations... which means he basically steamrolls anyone who’ll let him. We’re working on that, too.

I found a fun little game that addresses both of these things, which I intend to start working into our homeschool days, so it’ll be interesting to see if these traits improve. 

We have a lot of similarities, but to my knowledge I do not have ADHD. I definitely think this way & my thoughts often race or drift to the extent that I struggle to attend to certain conversations - “small talk”  verges on physically painful.  I enjoy being alone with my thoughts so long as I’m not anxious about something & am a chronic insomniac (usually because I’m hyper-focused on something).  I always read & re-read what I’ve typed (often with edits) because I was mentally drifting & want to ensure I’ve communicated clearly. While typing this I’ve zoned out & snapped back at least 3x. 😆

Edited by Shoes+Ships+SealingWax
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10 hours ago, Mona said:

LoL, I think like that, too. There’s a book called “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” that explains the differences in how men and women think, so they can better communicate to each other. I read it many many years ago.

Basically, women’s brains are like spaghetti. Women’s thoughts are like noodles and each noodle overlaps and touches another noodle, so one thought can be associated with another thought and so on. However, men’s brains are like waffles. They have thoughts in each separated compartment (nook). 

This is not in accord with how I was taught that brains actually work....And neural networks look a lot more like spaghetti than waffles.

https://developingchild.harvard.edu/resources/experiences-build-brain-architecture/

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Instead of a train of thought, I think most people's thought processes are more like a roomba of thought.  They go around until they bump into something, which sends them careening off in another direction and sometimes spin around and around fruitlessly until their battery runs out.  

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OP makes perfect sense to me, and I'm neurodivergent. Learning how to state the components of my train of thought separately, with back-and-forth response, and adapt them according to feedback, took years. (This may have been an artifact of learning to write paragraphs with narrative flow before I could reliably speak in sentences. When writing stories that take up multiple paragraphs, one does not generally give gaps for other participants to respond, and having a recognisable beginning/middle/end was considered pretty good for an under-8 child, which inadvertently reduced the importance of consistency and logic in the rest of the narrative...)

 

However, from what I've seen, neurotypical people make more consistently-sized jumps and process the validity of a given jump differently. Note that not all neurotypical people use the same rubric for jump validity, and different contexts/audiences also change the preferred (and optimal) rubric. More effective neurotypical communicators also communicate each jump they do make (directly or via some sort of cue), as a way of testing whether the other people in the conversation are willing for it to go in that direction. Also, a lot of neurotypical people haven't had practise at spelling out how they arrived at a particular thought process and therefore are less good at describing how it worked on a particular occasion (especially if the request was a surprise to them).

 

I know two neurotypical people who could start talking about wasps in a conversation about carnivals, but it's because for them, there is only one jump in carnival-to-wasp (for different reasons). In certain contexts, both often make large conversational jumps - one of them routinely doesn't "see" the smaller jump options they missed, and the other one can make pretty much any conversation link to the animal kingdom in some way (but makes an effort to only state the jump when they think other people want to know that link). Neither would do what was described in OP, and go through multiple linkages without checking the other participants were following each link.

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