Very interesting read. I had to chuckle over: "Comparing non-autistic and autistic individuals then may be more like comparing a dog (a pack animal) to a cat (a largely solitary animal)..." Reminded me of how, as a child, I would sometimes follow my cat around on all fours as it prowled around in the yard, imitating his movements, right down to the rump-twitch before a pounce. Even taught myself to purr basically like a cat at one point, using the throat, and proudly displayed it to my mother - but I lost that odd "ability" as I got older and figured I should stop practicing it.
Me too. I like imitating animals. I thought cats look the coolest/slickest. I like watching how they apporoach prey. In general, I prefer "loner" animals and "loner" people to social ones. For example, I was obsessed with Clint Eatwood's character when I was younger and Richard Tyson's character when I got older.
I preferred cats to dogs and tigers to lions because of that "loner" aspect. I've often found the whole concept of man being a social animal almost repulsive and see it as a weakness. I find extremely sociable people as kind of "sheepish"/weak. I know it's stupid. Having said that I also have SAD and it confuses me as to why I have it. Maybe SAD is a positive thing in introverts like ourselves because it prevents us from being too rude, impolite, arrogant, etc. and suffering the social punishments. I like this passage posted by another member:
"Feeling anxious in social situations serves to remind each of us to pay attention to the effects our behavior have on those around us. If we didn't think about the effects of our behavior on others, we would probably get into trouble more often than not. We wouldn't bother dressing nicely or being polite. We might always say exactly what's on our mind, without considering whether it might be hurtful. Feeling anxious in social situations protects us from offending other people and from having other people judge us in negative ways. In fact, many of us find the qualities associated with mild shyness (e.g., modesty, a lack of pushiness) to be attractive. It is normal and often helpful to feel shy or socially anxious from time to time."