I Like Animals More Than Most People

… Ok well maybe that is not exactly true. I like people, but more from a distance. It is hard to explain. People I don’t know make me anxious, mostly because I have trouble understanding them.

I was raised around animals (and people). Animals have always been easy to read. They speak with their entire bodies and always tell the truth. People (at least from my perspective) tend to be more cryptic.

Being around people, even people that I know and enjoy spending time with, give me anxiety. I need alone time so I can be away from people but I NEVER need alone time from my dog.

Being around animals is relaxing, perhaps because I don’t have to worry about communicating with them verbally. It is well documented that having animals in your life is good for your health.

Dog training was one of my childhood obsessions. I took classes, read books, and worked with my dog for hours. My dog was my best friend growing up. He was always there for me and never lied. We loved and respected each other.

Before I got my first dog, I thought I was broken, disconnected, and incapable of love. Having a dog around helped me to connect with the world and brought me out of my shell.

I’ve always felt a deep connection with animals, perhaps that is because people on the spectrum tend to be visual and pattern thinkers that thrive on positive reinforcement (just like dogs). Heck, Applied Behavior Analysis, used to teach Autistic children, is almost a perfect mirror of the dog training methods I learned growing up.

PLEASE do not misunderstand me, I in NO way mean that as a bad thing. I LOVE animals and am grateful that I can connect with them in ways that NT’s can’t.

Temple Grandin, brilliant Autistic mind, professor ofanimal science at Colorado State University, best-selling author, and autism activist is known as The Woman Who Thinks Like a Cow.

Personally, I think animals are very wise in many ways that humans can not understand due to their inability to communicate verbally. I would not at all be offended if somebody called me “dog brain”.

Maybe I don’t really like animals more than people, despite my social anxiety and other “typical” AS issues. I am a very loving and compassionate person who is often misunderstood, but I do care a lot. People are just hard for me to handle, no matter how much I like them.

Spending time with animals relaxes me and brings me peace. Is it really that hard to understand why if given the choice to hang out with critters over people, I will take the situation that leaves me calm over the one that stresses me out?

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18 thoughts on “I Like Animals More Than Most People”

  1. Wow! It is like you were writing about me! I am an Army veteran and I have seen things happen to people. People I knew. However, when I see the commercials about the suffering and abused animals my heart aches. I really have little interest in other people but my animals are so special to me. I mean not as special as my husband and son but they are more special than any other person out there. I suppose I’m messed up but, that is just who I am.

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    1. Messed up is that other people cannot accept that you think in a different way. I believe that humans are custodians of the animals so it is necessary that at least some of us care for them. These days animals are used more than treasured in most of the world they need the few advocates that they do have. 🙂

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      1. Agreed. I have a school mate back in my hometown of Hastings, NE who opened a non-profit, no kill animal shelter called Start Over Rover. They have come to do most of their work in the form of rescues from puppy mills. My little Brussels Griffon, Ginger came to us about 3 1/2 years ago at the age of 6. She had lived in a puppy mill for that entire time being treated worse than we treat our cattle. It is heart breaking and it makes me so full of anger when I think about all of the animal mistreatment which goes on in so called “civilized” society. I eat meat but we eat farm fresh eggs from small farmers locally who sell them at a small store in my town run by the Mennonites. We like to buy our poultry from them as well because the animals are free range without having been subjected to hormones, etc. I absolutely boycott any product made involving animal cruelty. We are definitely the custodians of the animals as, according to my faith, we were meant to be. Unfortunately that custodianship is forsaken by so many.

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        1. I think if more people knew the truth and saw the reality of how the animals are treated first hand it would be hard for them to support the commonly accepted practices. It is sad that society prefers to stay ignorant to the truth VS fixing it.

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  2. I have the same feelings of comfort, connection, and understanding with cats. When it comes to humans (and a lot of other animals, actually), I can’t even pretend to understand them, but cats have always made perfect sense to me. It definitely shows, too, because people have called me “cat whisperer” for as long as I can remember (and I certainly take the title to be a compliment!)

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    1. I love it! Animals in general have always been easier for me to read. After figuring out that I was on the spectrum I realized how bad my ability to read humans actually is. It is pretty bad… people are more foreign to me in their communications. #sadbuttrue

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  3. I struggled with this for a long time, People attach the ugliest thoughts to each other. I eventually discovered that good thoughts overwhelm them, just like in that kid’s movie “Monsters, Inc.”

    It’s been a long time since I had a pet, but I remember spending an afternoon with my cat Charlie. He sat on the dresser batting idly at balled-up Kleenex that I tossed up at him from the floor. I was too lazy to pick them up, so I just kept on pulling sheets out of the box. Boy was my mom P.O.’d!

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story! Being an Aspie makes connecting with people difficult, but it has blessed me with the ability to communicate with and understand animals. I think anyone who can learn to bond with and respect a creature of another species is better off, if you can bond with people too even better. Being connected is the most important thing. 🙂

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      1. What is interesting to me is how similar our behavior patterns were. My “disabilities” were different – the kids on the block all called me “Brain,” and I had a few experiences in elementary school that made it clear that people were pretty frightened of me for reasons that I couldn’t understand. But occasionally I “stimmed” in the way that you described, to the point of disrupting class. I was fortunate to be fairly coordinated, and spent a lot of time mastering a jump shot, so that at least got me some acceptance. But I still enter most social engagements with the prejudice that I need to protect people from my mind. It was with various cats that I found real comfort in my childhood.

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  4. I can see myself choosing animals over people. I made the aspie quiz i’m not on the spectrum but i wouldn’t be surprised if the test got it wrong. 🙂 or maybe i’m difficult. what i don’t understand in people is the constant bragging and the ” i’m superior to you” attitude. Even between family members you can feel the tension about who is the mostly realized in life, they even lie about their status and job just to show that they are superior.

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    1. Thank you for your comment. Being on the spectrum seems to coincide with having a bunch of traits that can be found in “regular” people. The spectrum seems to start when enough of those traits come together, but really I think almost everyone has a little Aspie inside.

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  5. That’s a great post. My daughter is exactly the same, she is quite oblivious even a lot of the time to people but every animal loves her and she connects to them. Its lovely to watch.

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