Do I have any obsessive/compulsive behaviors (O/CB)? Sure…but it’s not clear to me how to differentiate them from other, purposely cultivated behaviors (it seems odd to me to characterize chosen behaviors as O/C). And it’s something I’ve been thinking about quite a bit recently. While this may be a little in-depth for IMHO, let me explain:
I’m a computer scientist/programmer, particularly in A.I. Due to my programming training, I look for ways to create “optimized behavioral procedures” – for instance, keeping the dishes and silverware orderly. Each item needs to be in its proper place; that way, I never have to search for a utensil, dish, pot, etc. (The fact that, for instance, the knives hanging on the wall have to be evenly spaced and as close to vertical plumb as I can get them is an example of why it’s difficult for me to differentiate.)
In a related way (to preserve the orderliness of the kitchen), I always unload the dishwasher the same way: the silverware rack is removed and placed on the counter above the drawer, then the bottom rack is emptied (from front right to back left corner), then the top rack, then the silverware is put away and its rack is returned.
So, there are innumerable behaviors that I have/do that I’ve actually put some thought into, come up with a certain set of steps, and have adopted as habits. This way, I no longer have to think about them – they’re automatic. I always button my shirts (assuming a button-down shirt) from the collar down; I never end up with misaligned buttons/holes. My keys are always in the front left pocket of the pants I’m either wearing or wore the previous day. Furthermore, there is always a “spacer” (bottle opener, extra ring) between my house and car key. And even further, all the teeth of one sided keys face the same way on the keyring. Similarly, all the bills in my wallet (which is always in the back right pocket of my pants) are oriented and face the same way, ordered from lowest denomination to highest. Again, it’s not clear to me how much (if any part of these behaviors) can be classified as O/C.
The one thing that makes me think a good portion IS O/CB is the level of agitation I experience if something isn’t quite right. For instance, if my wife doesn’t squeeze the toothpaste tube from the bottom – I need to “fix” it. To be honest, I don’t know whether I’d dwell on such a thing if I just left it alone (surely, a mark of O/CB) – the fact is that I don’t just leave it alone. On the other hand, there are certainly innumerable other things that I don’t consider; I can’t really give any examples…because I don’t consider them.
All in all, it seems to me that most (all?) people have some level of O/C behavior, even if it’s limited to one particular thing.
On preview: I do the clock/numeral thing AND the sandwich bread orientation. And it occurs to me that another O/CB of mine is to write long-winded posts on the SDMB in an effort to make sure I’m fully understood. :smack: