Springingtiger's Blog


Blindly Following Doctor Cooper.

I personally think that having a diagnosis of Asperger’s should enable one to adopt strategies that increase one’s ability to interact with ordinary humans. I find myself at a loss to understand why some Aspies, admittedly mostly self-diagnosed,  so determinedly want to model themselves on Doctor Sheldon Cooper in the Big Bang Theory. While I can recognise the appeal of Sheldon Cooper, surely he represents an extreme of the behaviours from which we wish to escape. Some of us at various times have felt rejected by society and in turn have rejected society’s norms, but in practical terms an ability to interact with society is useful, to deliberately model oneself on someone virtually incapable of interaction with normal humans is illogical if not downright perverse.

It occurs to me that there are some people who feel a need to prove they have Asperger’s and so deliberately adopt Aspie traits as if to give themselves an identity. When one has these traits involuntarily they do not possess the same appeal, indeed for many of us life has been a struggle to escape their domination. My wife says that the Big Bang Theory reminds her of home, she doesn’t always mean that in a good way. It is a principle of Neurolinguistic Programming that we should seek flexibility of thought and behaviour and flexibility brings a degree of freedom. I was running my daily washing routine this morning when I realised I picked up my flannels in the wrong hands, rather than swap them over, I deliberately chose to continue. Sheldon Cooper tends to find himself paralysed when his routines are frustrated, why would anyone choose that?

I discovered people’s determination to be like Doctor Cooper from interactions on line, in particular I remember someone admiring Sheldon Cooper’s tee shirt folding gadget. I realised then they were governed by their need for identity, rather than logic, because they had failed to notice that the gadget does not fold equally, it leaves one  side longer than the other. It is far better to fold by hand so that the shirt is folded evenly. Having written all that, Doctor Cooper does have admirable qualities, but one can model selectively, as we say in NLP, you don’t have to wear purple to model Milton Ericsson. Richard Bandler emphasises that the difference between NLP and conventional psychology is that psychology focuses on what is wrong NLP, on what is right. I shall not cease to enjoy Sheldon Cooper in the Big Bang Theory,  but I won’t model myself on him.

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