Is perpetual anger an NT thing? Or just how we see it?

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JoJerome
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19 Dec 2008, 9:13 pm

Hi all. Brand-spanking new here, been lurking forever, and finally decided to turn to my own planet-mates as it were for feedback on an issue or three. Today's topic:

I find more people in this and most every workplace who seem to come off as perpetually angry; I assume at the world and just taking it out on me rather than at me specifically. I feel yelled at and dumped on over issues that no rational person can think I have any control over. Or, the-sky-is-falling anger over tiny issues that really don't have to be solved this very second with the red-alert urgency being implied.

E.g.; Thank you for making me aware of the software glitch. But as you are well aware that I am new to the job, untrained on this software, and this software is someone else's baby, you storming into the office every 90 seconds to throw a tantrum doesn't make me learn the system and program faster. Your first clue that I've repaired it will be me coming up to you and announcing that it's repaired.

Not that I'd actually say it like that, but just so you get the picture.

I'm certain that in situations like this, the person is frustrated with the software glitch and not the 2 of us personally who are attempting beyond our training to repair the thing. And this is one example out of many people who's normal tone of voice translates to me as, "You and everyone else around me are scum of the earth."

As Aspies, are we maybe more susceptible to seeing people as eternally pissed off at us and the world? More susceptible to personalizing someone's general anger? Or are NTs in general really that eternally pissed off and illogical and other NTs don't see that as an irritant where we Aspies do?

Or is it not an NT-Aspie thing at all and just me being blessed with so many such personalities around me?

And would it be unethical to spike the coffee maker with Valium? I suppose it would.

- Jo



ike
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19 Dec 2008, 10:43 pm

JoJerome wrote:
As Aspies, are we maybe more susceptible to seeing people as eternally pissed off at us and the world? More susceptible to personalizing someone's general anger? Or are NTs in general really that eternally pissed off and illogical and other NTs don't see that as an irritant where we Aspies do?


Some NTs are. Most are not. Anger isn't described specifically by the "big five" personality tests, but I believe it's considered part of the "neuroticism" spectrum. But most people aren't constantly angry no -- those who are generally have elevated blood pressure and a variety of other "stress" related health concerns.

JoJerome wrote:
Or is it not an NT-Aspie thing at all and just me being blessed with so many such personalities around me?


I could be wrong, but I don't think it's an NT/Aspie relationship thing, I think it's just a thing that some people do. It's entirely possible however (if not likely) that if you find yourself working at an office where your boss is that way, that he will have hired or been hired by other people who are that way. In other words, anger may be a part of the dominant corporate culture in your particular office. If that's the case I would probably try and find a different job, if it seems like a lot of the execs or whomever have high blood pressure or they're often yelling. I've worked at a couple places that are like that. Managers in any given company tend to try and hire and work with people who are like them, so if they're angry, they look to hire angry people. Just the way it goes.

JoJerome wrote:
And would it be unethical to spike the coffee maker with Valium? I suppose it would.


Perhaps... but you can buy Valerian root over the counter. ;)


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20 Dec 2008, 2:09 am

I read somewhere once (I have 'that kind' of memory..anyway) that to look angry, as in 'mildly annoyed or concerned' &/or carry a clipboard both serve to function, in the NT world, that one is important. And the work they're doing is seriously important. So vitally special important that they must be highly agitated (ie: angry) to take it that seriously.

Whatever.

But workers can be really melodramatic. I've watched a human YELL, then kick, a photocopier!! ! Why? The photocopier doesn't care, I promise! Becoming angry with a photocopier is futile! Instead, why don't they do a diagnostic, like check the ink cartridge, paper supply, power cord, etc?

As to why a worker would be angry with you, about another event they might be upset with (that probably doesn't have anything to do with you)....sigh. NT emotions are fickle. Refer to above about that poor photocopier. Right, just take it out on the photocopier. As if it's a personal affront (it's not, NT, get over it).

I think the Valium idea is great! <<< Hah hah!! Typo! And I'm NOT fixing it! I wrote 'Valium' but I meant Valerian Root - Freudian slip?
Revenge of the photcopiers?



Welcome JoJerome!


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JoJerome
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20 Dec 2008, 8:54 am

In the current situation, (and I find in most cases overall) the bosses are chilled out - it's other workers who kick the photocopier (great analogy!). And thinking on it, it's often the ones who've been there a long time. Maybe it really is asserting one's authority. Maybe it's being burned out on being there too long.

But I find myself spending a lot of time strengthening my shields around that sort of behavior. "Take a breath Jo ... stop trying to figure out why this person is mad at the photocopier ... or why they're angry with the customers for not knowing procedures they had little way of knowing ... it's just some people's way ..."

Working as a Park Ranger last Summer, explaining as kindly as I could to a man that his hotel reservation doesn't include the park entry fee, he started throwing a tantrum inside his car; tossing his wallet and money around, waiving his arms about in huge angry-gestures. It was so comical I was dying to tell him, "Sir, if you pull your seat back all the way, then you could REALLY get some momentum with throwing your stuff around - make it look even more dramatic and theatrical."

All this to wonder: Taking your anger out so often on someone or something that has no responsibility or control over the situation takes a lot of circular reasoning and lack of logic, which is why I wonder if it's more of an NT thing. I say 'so often' because neither I, nor I imagine, anyone else, is completely immune. I've kicked the xerox machine once or twice in my time!

- Jo


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20 Dec 2008, 10:49 am

Some people just need something to complain about. That's how they socialize. If they didn't have anything to complain about, they'd complain about that.

I don't think this is an NT behavior - there are some members here who seem to be in a perpetual loop of anger about their situation or how they are treated by people around them.



PhilipWHolland
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15 Aug 2009, 6:28 pm

I often find MYSELF being the one who is perpetually angry, and the pesky neurotypicals being aggravatingly levelheaded. That might be because some things really bother me that others could never understand. I.E., a colleague telling me what I have to do, even though I do it every day, am already in the middle of doing it, and do it more thoroughly and precisely than she does. That, coupled with a lunch rush, makes me quite livid.


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15 Aug 2009, 7:31 pm

JoJerome wrote:
As Aspies, are we maybe more susceptible to seeing people as eternally pissed off at us and the world? More susceptible to personalizing someone's general anger? Or are NTs in general really that eternally pissed off and illogical and other NTs don't see that as an irritant where we Aspies do?

Or is it not an NT-Aspie thing at all and just me being blessed with so many such personalities around me?

And would it be unethical to spike the coffee maker with Valium? I suppose it would.

- Jo


I think it is more the former than the latter; I am hypersensitive when people are agitated/erratic/atypical for their own behaviors... it is greatly distressing. Given the difficulties in understanding the reaction in the first place, it is more difficult to differentiate between personal and generalized anger. Further, I don't think you can call this an AS/NT issue - some people are angry, some people are calm, and it doesn't necessarily have anything to do with their neurological framework.

Yes, it would be unethical. And amusing. But not a good idea. *chuckle*


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JoJerome
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15 Aug 2009, 11:37 pm

PhilipWHolland wrote:
I often find MYSELF being the one who is perpetually angry, and the pesky neurotypicals being aggravatingly levelheaded. That might be because some things really bother me that others could never understand.


That I can definitely relate to and gets into a whole other arena where I think the High Functioning part of our brand of Autism rides in part on being able to recognize and control (to some degree) that unusual anger. For me in the current job (Seasonal worker, so I've switched jobs since I started this post), it's a very, very minor thing that comes down to efficiency of the operation. Not only does the cow-orker not like my attempt at greater efficiency, but will go way out of her way to undo my work for no logical reason whatsoever. Again, it's a very minor and silly thing but one of those things that just irritates the living crap out of me about NTs!

@makuranososhi
Another good point. Perhaps kicking the photocopier really does make sense and it's NTs who have the ability to 'get it.'

:wink:



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16 Aug 2009, 10:53 pm

I know someone who is a really nice person, until she goes into "business mode." Then it's like she's got a mad on for the whole day, and between the flailing around being "efficient" and the constant "hmpfing," I get tired just being in the same room.

She also thinks that I'm "special."

Yeah, I'm "special." I use logic.



JoJerome
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22 Aug 2009, 11:08 am

bogie wrote:
Yeah, I'm "special." I use logic.


:lol:



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22 Aug 2009, 3:16 pm

JoJerome wrote:
And would it be unethical to spike the coffee maker with Valium? I suppose it would.

Extremely, it infringes both human rights and medical ethics.



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23 Aug 2009, 6:15 pm

If other people around you seem angry a lot you've either somehow found yourself amongst a lot of bitter, caustic, disaffected people, or you've somehow managed to piss off almost everyone you know.



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23 Aug 2009, 6:42 pm

LabPet wrote:
I read somewhere once (I have 'that kind' of memory..anyway) that to look angry, as in 'mildly annoyed or concerned' &/or carry a clipboard both serve to function, in the NT world, that one is important. And the work they're doing is seriously important. So vitally special important that they must be highly agitated (ie: angry) to take it that seriously.

Whatever.

But workers can be really melodramatic. I've watched a human YELL, then kick, a photocopier!! ! Why? The photocopier doesn't care, I promise! Becoming angry with a photocopier is futile! Instead, why don't they do a diagnostic, like check the ink cartridge, paper supply, power cord, etc?

As to why a worker would be angry with you, about another event they might be upset with (that probably doesn't have anything to do with you)....sigh. NT emotions are fickle. Refer to above about that poor photocopier. Right, just take it out on the photocopier. As if it's a personal affront (it's not, NT, get over it).

I think the Valium idea is great! <<< Hah hah!! Typo! And I'm NOT fixing it! I wrote 'Valium' but I meant Valerian Root - Freudian slip?
Revenge of the photcopiers?



Welcome JoJerome!


when ever anyone kicks or strikes or shakes an inantimate object, the message is clear, this is what could happen to me (or whomever the person is ticked off at, more rationally). It is not so much a venting of dissappointment as it is an intimidation technique. The photocopier didn't cause the issue,of course, the frustration over having to need what ever it is the photocopier is supposed to produce. Kicking the photocopier means they have just kicked the boss, and never a good idea to do, NT or not.


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24 Aug 2009, 2:26 am

I think that people in tech support get yelled at a lot by both Aspies and NTs. People tend to be trying to do their job and are stressed out and hit a glitch and they lash out at the person who is in charge of fixing that glitch. Sometimes they yell before giving the tech support guy a chance to do anything. Sometimes they yell only when they feel the tech support person is not responding to their problem.

I consider myself Aspie and I also have anger management issues. I haven't had trouble with yelling at people in tech support because I generally email any problems that come up to them. But I have ended up screaming at building services when I reported a problem repeatedly and they did nothing. Notice how I wrote "building services", and that was the entity I was yelling at. The individual human being I yelled at who worked in building services may not have been at fault. I later wrote an email apologizing for my tirade. I wish I had not yelled.

I do think anger and Asperger's are tied in some way. Not all Aspies are angry people, but I find anger management books aimed at NTs to be completely useless while books written for Aspies about avoiding meltdowns are very useful for me. Meltdowns are an Aspie problem and I do see other Aspies at my job having similar meltdowns, screaming at each other in a way that NT people do not seem to yell. I find the best way to avoid conflict is to use email as much as possible and reread the email and carefully add little niceties on the top of the email.



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24 Aug 2009, 5:56 pm

sinsboldly wrote:
LabPet wrote:
I read somewhere once (I have 'that kind' of memory..anyway) that to look angry, as in 'mildly annoyed or concerned' &/or carry a clipboard both serve to function, in the NT world, that one is important. And the work they're doing is seriously important. So vitally special important that they must be highly agitated (ie: angry) to take it that seriously.

Whatever.

But workers can be really melodramatic. I've watched a human YELL, then kick, a photocopier!! ! Why? The photocopier doesn't care, I promise! Becoming angry with a photocopier is futile! Instead, why don't they do a diagnostic, like check the ink cartridge, paper supply, power cord, etc?

As to why a worker would be angry with you, about another event they might be upset with (that probably doesn't have anything to do with you)....sigh. NT emotions are fickle. Refer to above about that poor photocopier. Right, just take it out on the photocopier. As if it's a personal affront (it's not, NT, get over it).

I think the Valium idea is great! <<< Hah hah!! Typo! And I'm NOT fixing it! I wrote 'Valium' but I meant Valerian Root - Freudian slip?
Revenge of the photcopiers?



Welcome JoJerome!


when ever anyone kicks or strikes or shakes an inantimate object, the message is clear, this is what could happen to me (or whomever the person is ticked off at, more rationally). It is not so much a venting of dissappointment as it is an intimidation technique. The photocopier didn't cause the issue,of course, the frustration over having to need what ever it is the photocopier is supposed to produce. Kicking the photocopier means they have just kicked the boss, and never a good idea to do, NT or not.


Astute point. And any individual who is compelled to harm an inanimate object (besides the 'normal' venting) does have potential to hurt anther being. That can be a concern; anger out of control is as a weapon; rage.

I read recently Temple Grandin wrote (in paraphrase) that she's sad when a library is destroyed since 'thoughts die.' For me, I think similarly. By analogy, to vandalize is an act of rage, sometimes even hate. Such as when a piece of art is destroyed.....as if it is of no consequence.

I suppose the emotion of anger/upset is acceptable, normal. But not when this becomes destructive - the next step is to harm an inimate being and thought associated.


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25 Aug 2009, 8:22 am

JoJerome wrote:
Or is it not an NT-Aspie thing at all and just me being blessed with so many such personalities around me?

No, it's an IT-thing. Some people yell at us in an effort to either cover up their own incompetence, or make their work seem more important than it really is.

If I were to suggest an approach, I would use The Honky Tonk Man's: "If they start chanting "Boooring!", I take it down a notch."


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