General Question

Violet's avatar

Is there a disorder for people who can't see from other people's views?

Asked by Violet (6566 points ) January 29th, 2010

A coworker is a very nice person, I have a feeling she either has a learning disability or some kind of disorder. She seems to not be able to see things from other people’s points of view, she doesn’t understand when she is inconveniencing other people, and she comes off as an airhead/ditz.

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58 Answers

clarice's avatar

I would say it’s plain ol’ stubborness & being thick-headed! Perhaps just lacking the empathy vibe too

Sophief's avatar

Are you saying, because she doesn’t see your point of view, then she must have some kind of disorder?

partyparty's avatar

Perhaps she is being selfish by thinking her view is the ONLY view.

Buttonstc's avatar

People with Aspergers syndrome have difficulty reading subtle social cues from other people which are usually obvious to the rest.

Violet's avatar

@Buttonstc I actually looked up Aspergers before I asked this question, and she doesn’t seem to have any of the other symptoms.
@Dibley no, not at all. When she makes a decision, she doesn’t think about how it will effect others.Does that make sense? I had a hard time wording my original question.
@partyparty I do think she is selfish, but in an innocent kind of way.

Sophief's avatar

@Violet Maybe that is just her opinion.

Violet's avatar

@Dibley maybe what is her opinion?

Sophief's avatar

@Violet Whatever it is she is saying that you don’t like.

Violet's avatar

@Dibley it isn’t what she says, it’s what she does. For example,
let’s say my boss has a meeting at 2:30, and this girl’s shift starts at 2. The boss has to go straight form work to her meeting. The girl will either not come to work, or show up really late, knowing the boss had a meeting, and think it’s ok. Then she’ll ask the boss to come back on time, so that she can get off on time, and then also ask for more hours..

Sophief's avatar

@Violet Ok, now I understand you. I worked with a girl like that, exactly like that. I was her boss, and when I told her her actions were wrong she would go to my boss, and complain about bullying, (she is also a very pretty girl, so always got her own way), anyway, I had been there a lot longer than her, and when redundancies came up, it was me that had to go! I think all I can say, is keep written notes on what she is doing, people like that can easily turn the situations around. Good luck. Sorry I was a bit off with you, I just thought you didn’t want someone to have their opinion, sorry again.

partyparty's avatar

@Violet I think she is being very manipulative, and not playing by the rules

Violet's avatar

@Dibley That sucks! The girl you dealt with sounded like a brat. This girl is really innocent, and submissive. (and not need for apologizes, I know my questions was vague).

Violet's avatar

@partyparty it’s possible, but she is innocent, submissive, and kind of a push over.

Sophief's avatar

@Violet She was a brat, to me. To everyone else she was innocent. I appealled in my redunancy and listed everything she did, they just looked at me like I was out for revenge.

augustlan's avatar

Borderline Personality Disorder has some of these traits. From the link: They also typically view themselves as victims of circumstance and take little responsibility for themselves or their problems.

Fyrius's avatar

Innocent, submissive, a pushover and oblivious to other people’s interests and feelings, that does sound like someone with Asperger Syndrome (or a related disorder), maybe one who has learned to deal with the other symptoms.
One of the upsides to that genre of disorder is that you can more or less get over it as you grow up, learning to at least give behave like a normal person. Even if you say she doesn’t seem to have any other symptoms – where I’d also like to interject that probably nobody has all the symptoms – I still think it might be something like this.

Or maybe it’s something else. I don’t know her.

TheJoker's avatar

Actually there is a name for it, it’s called being Ego-centric. The terms most commonly used in Developmental Psychology when discussing children.

Cruiser's avatar

It’s widely known as IGMHSFUMAIDHAC Syndrome – I got my head so far up my a$$ I don’t have a clue Syndrome. There was actually a provision in Obama care to help alleviate this growing problem.

Fyrius's avatar

@Cruiser
No need to be so mean. The girl in question seems to be inconsiderate despite good intentions.

Janka's avatar

I have to say (at the risk of offending @Violet) that I do not particularly like it the current tendency to seek for “disease” or “syndrome” from a person who has any sort of social problem or incompatibility or simply is a plain old selfish airhead.

12_func_multi_tool's avatar

conceit, vanity, jealousy
pretty much covers it. People aren’t’ just sick or well it’s a continuum of adjustment or maladjustment

Fyrius's avatar

@Janka
I disagree. I think this “current tendency” as you call it finally gives due recognition to the fact that the human brain is a complex natural machine, and that undesirable behaviours of it are triggered by complicated “technical problems”, often (if not always) beyond the owner’s control. Related to the still not duly recognised fact that human minds are not made of magic.
And at the risk of offending you now, I think the persuasion that prefers to simplify such intricacies away to have an easy-to-understand world where all bothersome people are just stupid and/or bastards is a backward mind-set that has no place in the third millennium.

At any rate, it seems obvious enough that this woman is a selfish airhead. The question is, why is she so? You shouldn’t halt your train of thought and call it a problem solved as soon as you have an observation you can be judgemental about, because the reason may very well be a disorder.

12_func_multi_tool's avatar

@Janka So you’re saying I over simplified? To the contrary the road from sickly psychotic to a fully functioning self-realized person implies even more complexity. I almost hear you are saying, well she has a screw loose in that organ we call brain, and deep analysis is either needed or futile because we do not fully understand that organ. Clarify if I’m off base???? yes?

mowens's avatar

I’m pretty sure it is called being an asshole. :)

Janka's avatar

@Fyrius I do not mind admitting that people are not in control of their personality traits or tendencies, and I also am painfully aware we don’t understand the full complexity well enough at all. I did not mean to imply that everything that is bothersome is in the person’s control, or mean.

What I object to is labeling a lot of what I think is normal variation in those as “disorders”, based on such limited knowledge. “Disorder” implies something that needs to be treated away. When based on such limited understanding, labeling a lot of things as disorders tends to label as “sick” things that “we do not like”, making everything that is bothersome not in the person’s control, __but someone else’s__.

I think what we need is more tolerance for normal variety of personality etc, and acceptance that sometimes what is bothersome is simply bothersome; neither sick nor evil.

@Violet Yes, you are off base. I think instead of thinking if the coworker is evil or has a disorder, you should concentrate on what you can do to make it less bothersome for yourself. Her behavior is her concern; what you choose to do about it is yours. (Informing her that it bothers you could be a nice first step, if you haven’t already.)

12_func_multi_tool's avatar

@Violet a census (a current textbook) concludes that 5% of the population is actively psychotic and that is not in prisons or mental wards. It’s the salesman whom sells a junker car to and elderly lady on social security and brags and thinks he’s just done one heck of a job. These people are functioning but sick. But like Janka says labeling is not the whole answer, anyways we would have to bring her to a good psychologist to make a diagnosis. What is important now is how to deal. And there are techniques. But to end on a downote some people just cannot be helped or changed, they live in a different egocentric world and will not leave it come threat of death, because they are more afraid of life.

Silhouette's avatar

Sounds like your typical self centered tool.

lonelydragon's avatar

Since she doesn’t seem aware that her behavior is a problem, I wouldn’t say she is being intentionally selfish. Also, you said she’s nice, and in order to be nice, a person has to have at least some perspective-taking abilities. It sounds like she’s lacking in social awareness, which could, as others pointed out, be a sign of Asperger’s or some other disorder. If she is truly as submissive as you say (and not just being manipulative), then I doubt she’s doing it on purpose, because submissive people tend to have strong people pleasing tendencies, and she wouldn’t intentionally do something to tick others off.

Fyrius's avatar

@Janka
Okay, that sounds fair.

There’s still the issue of what is “normal variation” and what is not, however. I wonder if professional psychologists would agree that there exists any such thing.
I think something interesting to realise here is that not just people with a disorder, but everyone is heavily influenced by the ways their brains happen to work. We’re all imperfect machines with some clumsily fixed malfunctions here and there. Calling one sort of pattern in such defects a disorder doesn’t really make people with disorders all that different from people without.
I should be careful with what I say on this, because I’m not a neuropsychologist and I don’t like being wrong.

”“Disorder” implies something that needs to be treated away.”
Not really. Many disorders are untreatable.

P.S. I think your last comment was directed to @12_func_multi_tool, not to @Violet.

Janka's avatar

@Fyrius Getting off-topic, but yes, the definition of “normal variation” is a very complex thing. I am absolutely certain professional psychologists agree that there is huge variation of personality and social skills among people without disorders, but I am also quite certain that they do not really much agree where exactly to draw the line between normal and not normal. Also, that disorders are untreatable does not mean that we would not wish to treat them; just that we can’t.

YARNLADY's avatar

She sounds a lot like my Daughter-In-Law, who was diagnosed with ADHD in school. I think that diagnosis was incorrect. There is some kind of disconnect between her way of thinking and the rest of the world around her.

Violet's avatar

@lonelydragon she is not aware of how she is. She is very socially awkward, but she has friends.
@YARNLADY she is not hyper though
@Silhouette but she doesn’t know how she is. She is sensitive, quiet, and nice.
@Janka Her behavior is of my concern. I am her superior, and her actions and decisions end up screwing over me and my boss.
@mowens but she’s not, she’s really nice
@Fyrius I think there is a good chance that she has Asperger’s
@12_func_multi_tool your desciption does not fit this girl

Response moderated
YARNLADY's avatar

@Violet When I looked up ADHD, it turns out there are now several varieties, and one description, called ‘inattentive’ is a non-hyper person. Why it isn’t just ADD, I don’t know.
I did a search for How to supervise a difficult employee and found a lot of useful articles, like this one.

Violet's avatar

@YARNLADY that’s very nice of you to do that research for me. You didn’t have to do that. This girl is getting fired in less than 2 weeks. I will look into the ADHD

YARNLADY's avatar

@Violet When I find a question that interests me, I look it up for my own education as well as to help other users.

Violet's avatar

@YARNLADY I do too : )

Janka's avatar

@Violet No, that falls under what you will do about her behaviour. Yes, as her superior, telling her that this behaviour is not acceptable and that you will do XYZ if it continues is your job. However, it is her concern to figure out what she wants to do about that information. You can of course tell her that if she thinks of something you could do to help, you will, but in the end it is not your responsibility, IMO, to figure out if her problems are because of a disorder or whatever, but hers.

Silhouette's avatar

—@Violet Have you ever heard that old saying “You attrack more bees with honey than you do with vinegar.” She sounds selfish, manipulative and smart. By acting sensitive, quiet, and nice while she takes advantage of other people. She has avoided a great deal of the annomosity used people generally feel for the person who used them. I don’t know this girl, but I have met my share of people who had the same symptoms she does and they were all in my opinion sweet, selfish users.

Self_Consuming_Cannibal's avatar

Yes. It’s called being small-minded!

Violet's avatar

She’s getting fired very soon anyway. I was just curious if she was has a disorder, or if she is just incredibly stupid.
@Silhouette She is not smart or manipulative, but she is selfish. (please trust me on this one). Have you ever read the children’s book Amelia Bedelia? In that book, she is a house keeper, and when she is told to draw the blinds, she literally will draw a picture of the blinds. When she is told to make a sponge cake, she literally puts sponges in it.
That is just like this girl I work with. I don’t want to say she is dumb, because it is very possible she does have a disability.. or brain damage..

Violet's avatar

@Silhouette I’m sorry, but that doesn’t sound like her at all. She’s not aggressive passive-agressive, etc

Silhouette's avatar

@Violet Okay, just a thought.

Janka's avatar

@Violet “I was just curious if she was has a disorder, or if she is just incredibly stupid.” I am sorry, but internet seriously cannot give you an answer to that. Practically any human behavior can be related to some psychiatric or neurological condition (yes, even good ones). That does not mean that anyone who exhibits the behavior has that condition. It is dangerous and not helpful to try and “diagnose” people in your every-day based on one “symptom” like this.

Violet's avatar

@Janka “dangerous and not helpful”.. all of your comments have been unhelpful. Spare me your lectures. If you can’t think of disorder this girl might have, I would appreciate it if you left the thread. Thank you.

Janka's avatar

@Violet Done, then.

Drgrafenbergmd's avatar

While not a disorder her actions could be called egocentric, the opposite of altruistic or what we call selfless.

Violet's avatar

@Drgrafenbergmd did you read the rest if my comments?

Drgrafenbergmd's avatar

Yes I sure did.

Violet's avatar

@Drgrafenbergmd well it is more than just selfish. this is what I told @Silhouette:
She is not smart or manipulative, but she is selfish. (please trust me on this one). Have you ever read the children’s book Amelia Bedelia? In that book, she is a house keeper, and when she is told to draw the blinds, she literally will draw a picture of the blinds. When she is told to make a sponge cake, she literally puts sponges in it.
That is just like this girl I work with. I don’t want to say she is dumb, because it is very possible she does have a disability.. or brain damage..

Drgrafenbergmd's avatar

I find it better to broadly describe people like her, the less involved the better. A well crafted description of pest isn’t worth much to a person who had to spend hours of her time recalling the incidents. DWBH?

Violet's avatar

I have no idea what you are talking about

Drgrafenbergmd's avatar

The don’t worry be happy at the end? Or the part where I said that she may more trouble to you simply because you have thoroughly tried to figure out “what her deal is”. To me it sounds like you are really put off by this person at this point and her awkwardness compounds the issue, I complain about my co-workers too. Maybe a vacation would help.

Violet's avatar

This part confused me ” A well crafted description of pest isn’t worth much to a person who had to spend hours of her time recalling the incidents. DWBH?”
She’s getting fired soon any way. I’m already training her replacement. She’s a really nice person, but it’s like she has brain damage..

Drgrafenbergmd's avatar

Alright I will rephrase:

Your best bet would probably be to forget about this person forever, so that they cannot occupy a single further second of your life. In doing this you will have much more energy to think about and thus put into action a infinite amount of other things, whatever you could imagine as a matter of fact, merely by not thinking about that girl.

Val123's avatar

Wow. Well, I guess….Passive Aggressiveness comes to mind. And I miss @Violet.

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