Work politics and “playing the game”

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Emu Egg
Emu Egg

Joined: 4 Mar 2024
Age: 49
Gender: Female
Posts: 1
Location: United Kingdom

04 Mar 2024, 7:48 am

Does anyone else struggle with knowing this game and how to play it? I’m too blunt and get in trouble for speaking my mind.
Would love to get some tips on navigating this or your experiences.


Joined: 1 Dec 2022
Age: 38
Gender: Female
Posts: 21

06 Mar 2024, 11:32 pm

I have only had one job since getting my diagnosis, so my experience is somewhat limited. But I will say that at that job, I did disclose to my employer and my coworkers. I was open about being autistic. It was a wfh position and all my interaction with coworkers essentially was via chat (95%+). In a LOT of ways, I think disclosing was super helpful in my interactions. Even after I left that job six months ago, I still regularly talk with several of my coworkers and that has never really happened to me ever in my life. I was able to better explain that my communication style is different, as well as WHY, and it allowed me to just be more open in general. Everyone I worked with and told was awesome about it (one coworker did NOT like me - at times we would bump heads something awful even after I explained, BUT I do think it helped some) and I think it allowed us to be better teammates. We communicated well and were able to better divide up the work tasks to suit each of our individual strengths. I was better/faster/more accurate at the data entry portion of the job, and they were better at dealing with telephone calls, especially difficult ones. I'm not sure if it's related at all to me disclosing, but this was also the first job I ever worked at where anyone offered me a promotion. In fact, they created a position to be able to give me a promotion, because they acknowledged the work I did and appreciated it. I also got more raises. It might have just been that particular company vs all the others I had worked in, or it might be because my character was seen in a more accurate light after I explained the diagnosis, and so I was being judged more fairly and accurately. Or maybe a combination, I really can't say.

That was the only time I would say I managed to come anywhere close to "playing the game" with work politics. Prior to that, I found success in two ways for a while- I would work with a friend who was another good employee but who was well liked and essentially just mask similarly to them. Or, I would just try to stay quiet but focus on wearing a smile or at least something warmish. Express exactly zero personality. That doesn't last long.

It really sucks because not everyone can safely disclose something like that, and honestly no one should ever have to in order to be accepted, but right now I think we don't necessarily have good options. Sometimes the best choice we can make is to find the best way for us personally to get through it.

Other than that, you can use tools like chatgpt to help you craft "more personable" emails etc.

Tufted Titmouse
Tufted Titmouse

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Joined: 8 Feb 2023
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Posts: 28
Location: Earth

08 Mar 2024, 5:34 pm

I'm glad to read someone had positive experience.
But I do have to speak to ppl can't just use txt and am perceived rude for asking questions :skull: apparently the wrong way or tone or word or something.
Ppl extrapolate something I didn't said, totally ignoring the content.

I disclosured my neurodevergence, but on last "drama" I just got told that this "is an excuse" while the question was on why I acted like I acted and why I don't understand what exactly was wrong :skull: I literally cannot explain it other than have a different brain :roll:

So no, big words about acceptance, being welcomed and that you can be yourself, but the moment you are, you are slapped.
I decided I just won't speak at all cause what's the point.
My sad advice would be, don't believe them when they say you can be yourself - it's their comforting lie.

I would also love some tips but maybe more on how to be a better in masking and acting (which will passively help with politics) and how to deal with stress that it will induce, preferably also in socially acceptable way (steaming in work but in way that won't be too obvious maybe?).
Any help appreciated. Please don't feel offended that I'm "attaching" myself to this thread :?

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Joined: 11 Nov 2011
Gender: Female
Posts: 69,650
Location: UK

10 Mar 2024, 4:18 pm

I think it depends on where you work. I've worked at some really good places where the people are really cool and everyone just seems to gel and I've worked at some absolute hell holes where the management have far too much input with the social side of things and it just causes tension and divisions between the staff for obvious reasons.

I usually like to just take my time and find someone who I can at least have a laugh with and take it from there. If having a laugh at work is not an option then I know where the door is.

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