Getting Concerns Across Appropriately.

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StarTrekker
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03 Mar 2013, 10:31 pm

I really hate it when my concerted efforts to help people backfire. My sister came home today with an application for church camp, a very odd thing as she has never shown the slightest interest in religion. I wanted to make sure she was considering it of her own volition rather than being pushed into it by our relatively new, religious stepfather, so I asked if it was her idea or something she was being persuaded to do, and she inexplicably got angry with me. I was told later that my attempt at help was construed as "attacking" though I have no idea how, and no one in my family could adequately explain it to me. Anyone else ever think they were being useful only to discover the way in which they were doing it came off as aggressive or otherwise inappropriate? It's so frustrating sometimes.


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jk1
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03 Mar 2013, 11:17 pm

It has happened to me on countless occasions everywhere. I have no idea how my good intentions can evoke such hostile/rude response. Now I don't even try to help/interfere. I'd rather let people suffer if they have to, than feeling awful myself trying to help.



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04 Mar 2013, 12:24 am

I always wanted to help people in good faith, but frankly I decided to never help anyone in my family again. They are just not capable of normal behavior. They call me egoistic and many things, but do not care anymore. Good faith and good will are not appreciated. Sometimes I feel like I am surrounded by Neanderthals. It’s just frustrating. And the worst thing is a spent years of my life trying to fit in between people whom I share no similarities in behavior or thinking or any values. I am considered a bad person although my intentions were always good. If I knew that all of what I thought was going to be in vain I could have spend my time better.

So - yes. I do not know what people expect of me and I do not know what to do. I guess there is no helping people.



FishStickNick
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04 Mar 2013, 1:09 am

StarTrekker wrote:
I really hate it when my concerted efforts to help people backfire. My sister came home today with an application for church camp, a very odd thing as she has never shown the slightest interest in religion. I wanted to make sure she was considering it of her own volition rather than being pushed into it by our relatively new, religious stepfather, so I asked if it was her idea or something she was being persuaded to do, and she inexplicably got angry with me. I was told later that my attempt at help was construed as "attacking" though I have no idea how, and no one in my family could adequately explain it to me. Anyone else ever think they were being useful only to discover the way in which they were doing it came off as aggressive or otherwise inappropriate? It's so frustrating sometimes.

How on Earth is that an "attack"? :?

I get accused from "attacking" from time to time when I'm trying to help, typically with my mom. She tells me I'm being mean, presumably because I'm being blunt and direct and not doing the whole "pat-on-the-back-oh-there-there" thing.



awesomeautist
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04 Mar 2013, 3:32 am

StarTrekker wrote:
I really hate it when my concerted efforts to help people backfire. My sister came home today with an application for church camp, a very odd thing as she has never shown the slightest interest in religion. I wanted to make sure she was considering it of her own volition rather than being pushed into it by our relatively new, religious stepfather, so I asked if it was her idea or something she was being persuaded to do, and she inexplicably got angry with me. I was told later that my attempt at help was construed as "attacking" though I have no idea how, and no one in my family could adequately explain it to me. Anyone else ever think they were being useful only to discover the way in which they were doing it came off as aggressive or otherwise inappropriate? It's so frustrating sometimes.


What concerns me is that the stressed response you got may be indicative of your fears that your sister is being coerced into following a religious lifestyle. I don't think you would have got that reaction otherwise.



animalcrackers
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04 Mar 2013, 4:14 pm

StarTrekker wrote:
Anyone else ever think they were being useful only to discover the way in which they were doing it came off as aggressive or otherwise inappropriate? It's so frustrating sometimes.


Yes, I have. So frustrating!

I get the same kind of misunderstanding with lots of things I say -- questions, comments, answers-to-questions. I've come to believe that part of the problem caused by the nature of language (people misunderstand each other all the time because meaning has to be interpreted) and the rest of the problem is that I don't use language the way other people do.

People read stuff into what I say that isn't there, because they expect hidden layers of meaning.

Maybe your sister assumed that you weren't actually asking a question, but voicing an assumption in an indirect way? (This is my guess because people do that with my questions--assume they aren't actually questions and imagine the words as meaning things I never thought and/or statements I never intended to make.) If she thought you were making a statement about her choice not being hers instead of literally asking a question, then she might have erroneously assumed that you were expecting her to defend her choice because you thought badly of it or something.


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muff
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04 Mar 2013, 10:53 pm

animalcrackers wrote:
People read stuff into what I say that isn't there, because they expect hidden layers of meaning.


yup. this is the answer right here.



StarTrekker
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07 Mar 2013, 7:16 pm

animalcrackers wrote:
StarTrekker wrote:
Anyone else ever think they were being useful only to discover the way in which they were doing it came off as aggressive or otherwise inappropriate? It's so frustrating sometimes.


Yes, I have. So frustrating!

I get the same kind of misunderstanding with lots of things I say -- questions, comments, answers-to-questions. I've come to believe that part of the problem caused by the nature of language (people misunderstand each other all the time because meaning has to be interpreted) and the rest of the problem is that I don't use language the way other people do.

People read stuff into what I say that isn't there, because they expect hidden layers of meaning.

Maybe your sister assumed that you weren't actually asking a question, but voicing an assumption in an indirect way? (This is my guess because people do that with my questions--assume they aren't actually questions and imagine the words as meaning things I never thought and/or statements I never intended to make.) If she thought you were making a statement about her choice not being hers instead of literally asking a question, then she might have erroneously assumed that you were expecting her to defend her choice because you thought badly of it or something.


Wow that makes perfect sense, I never thought of that before. I notice that people like to find hidden meaning in all sorts of things when half the time it's just not there. Thanks for the explanation, that clarifies a lot.


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Diagnosed with ASD level 1 on the 10th of April, 2014
Rediagnosed with ASD level 2 on the 4th of May, 2019
Thanks to Olympiadis for my fantastic avatar!