Why do kind people disregard people with autism?

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Moo Moo
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20 Apr 2017, 5:13 pm

Since my diagnosis my few friends and family don't want to associate with me at all or as much (and we rarely saw each other anyway)
Some of these people are awful so I understand why they are behaving this way. Some of these people are lovely and are known in the community as social reformers and work hard for equality for all. Except me. I sometimes transgress NT rules and say things that others wouldn't. I get that. I make up for it by being the kindest person I can. Apart from my Husband I am now totally alone. I understand that I must be irritating but some of the behaviour I have received is unacceptable and I really don't think they would treat others this way.
My question is this:
Why is being autistic so unappealing to NT'S? I know some people who are truly horrendous yet they have many close relationships with friends and family. I say the occasional inappropriate or out of context comment and I am shunned. I'm not particularly sociable but I do sometimes feel lonely. I'm overly polite and I can be quiet but I bet there are murderers with more friends than me! I don't like to be late and this particulary seems to anger people. I never speak about it I just turn up early.
Can anyone shed any light on this issue for me please? Should I develop sexist, racist views and lose my manners? Would swearing more in conversation help? Should I be late to appointments? What would it take to be accepted?

Thank you for any replies in advance.



slw1990
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20 Apr 2017, 8:35 pm

I don't get it either. It seems like a lot of people think that having poor social skills is worse than anything else. A lot of people can get away with doing almost anything bad, as long as they have good social skills.

Did you disclose your autism to them or explain how it effects you?



Moo Moo
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21 Apr 2017, 3:46 pm

Yes I did but tbh they told me not to bother trying to get a diagnosis because there was no way that I had autism. I think I need to accept the reality of the situation and move on.
I suppose it's better to have no friends or family than bad ones ❤



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21 Apr 2017, 4:01 pm

Lack of social skills makes them uncomfortable and nice people don't enjoy schadenfreude.

The thing is, we don't really understand what we are doing wrong, but they can see it sticking out like a sore thumb. I do have some friends on the spectrum and I can see what they are doing that makes other people uncomfortable. i.e. talking too loud, putting on an annoying voice to tell an anecdote, making fun of people by accident when trying to make an innocent joke (that one is hard to explain because people think she is being malicious when she's actually trying to be friendly).

I'm actually not too keen on people turning up early. It's an inconvenience because I'm not ready for them yet. It's generally best to turn up 5 min late for a social visit, but not for a dr, dentist, lawyer, job interview etc.

I used to be overly polite and well spoken, but I've managed to tone it down a bit and adopt colloquialisms. Weird thing is I met a man recently who I adore. He is so polite and well spoken I feel sad for how I've let that slip in myself. I look at him and feel like I've lost a part of who I really am along the way. But it has helped me make friends, so I don't know. People feel less like I'm looking down on them if I use slang.



Luna Aquarius
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21 Apr 2017, 4:08 pm

In my experience, if you tell someone you have autism, they see you differently immediately. I'm not really sure why, but they stop seeing you as equal to them. They don't necessarily see you as something less than whatever they are, but it's definitely different. For example, I told someone years ago, and now they start making efforts to avoid anything that they think would "set off" my autism, as if it was some kind of touchy alarm system, rather than a part of me. They tell people not to touch me, constantly make sure that it's not too loud in a certain place, and basically try to avoid anything that the autism diagnosis says bugs autistic people. I have never ever made any mention of noises or touches bothering me. I guess they added what traits they generalize about autistic people to my personality. This person is very kind, but I wish I had never told them.

I think the answer to your question is if these people are really kind, then they're probably just worried about upsetting you. Most people have a very hazy idea of autism, most of which probably comes from Rain Man. It's not that they think you're unappealing, it's that they don't really know what to do, which makes them uncomfortable.



slw1990
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22 Apr 2017, 12:44 pm

hurtloam wrote:
Lack of social skills makes them uncomfortable and nice people don't enjoy schadenfreude.


So they might think that we are being socially award on purpose to make them uncomfortable?



ZachGoodwin
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22 Apr 2017, 2:37 pm

I wouldn't feel disregarded. I tend to usually be tired, excited, have low self-esteem, a bit edgy, exaggerate, stressed, and hardly smile which makes my conversation with other people very awkward. The best people who can hold a conversation sit back, relax, listen, and speak slowly without throwing accusations on first sight.

The person above me is speaking alright, and looks very normal, but when some people speak in rants and feel bad about themselves or other people, that is when other people start to feel uncomfortable.



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22 Apr 2017, 3:17 pm

slw1990 wrote:
hurtloam wrote:
Lack of social skills makes them uncomfortable and nice people don't enjoy schadenfreude.


So they might think that we are being socially award on purpose to make them uncomfortable?


They know it's not deliberate. They just don't like feeling uncomfortable and they don't know how to help the person who is floundering socially. They're nice so they don't want to impose and say, "hey when you do that it's a bit off." They feel that would be rude, but they don't want to be around someone who makes them feel uncomfortable, they don't want to watch someone else crash and burn whilst annoying those around them.



slw1990
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23 Apr 2017, 10:24 pm

hurtloam wrote:
slw1990 wrote:
hurtloam wrote:
Lack of social skills makes them uncomfortable and nice people don't enjoy schadenfreude.


So they might think that we are being socially award on purpose to make them uncomfortable?


They know it's not deliberate. They just don't like feeling uncomfortable and they don't know how to help the person who is floundering socially. They're nice so they don't want to impose and say, "hey when you do that it's a bit off." They feel that would be rude, but they don't want to be around someone who makes them feel uncomfortable, they don't want to watch someone else crash and burn whilst annoying those around them.


Okay, I thought you meant schadenfreude on them. It seems like a lot of counselors do this too. It would be nice if they were more direct, even if what they said was harsh so you can at least try to do something about it.



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24 Apr 2017, 6:22 am

I was recently told that I speak in a "posh" way which was a bit of a surprise given how much less formally I speak now compared to when I was a kid. I don't think it's an issue for anyone, just something to bare in mind.

I think it goes deeper than the vocabulary, to the thought processes behind it, for example I make mistakes like trying to control the flow of the conversation by asking a question then immediately suggesting my own answers for the other person to pick from. Nobodies ever pulled me asside and said stop doing that, but I think it's something I should probably stop doing.

It's possible that lots of subtle ticks like that could add up and people would see us as acting like some kind of social lawyer, always trying to get the words to match our expectation rather than fluidly reading the situation and adjusting.

I can understand feeling like you don't have the best friends, but to say that some of your friends are awful people would seem like a bit of a red flag. When I was younger I was friends with some working class lads from the area who lacked ambition and saw the other cultures as a burden to them. Since I got tired of hearing racist rhetoric everywhere I went I had to ditch them and I didn't really find replacement friends for years later. I still don't go out with anybody as regularly as I went out with them but when I do go out I know I'm not going to be embarassed.

Now I can say my friends aren't awful, even if they are innatentive to me, as I'm generally just an adjunct to their lives and their existing group of friends who they must have made when I was hanging around idiots or in the period afterwards where I was basically a shut in for 3 years.

Now I have to do a lot of "bootstrapping": imagining what its like to be happy so I can present as happy and become happy. Lucky I do have things to be pleased with myself for, the trick is trying to work them into a virtuous cycle.



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24 Apr 2017, 12:14 pm

It sounds like just plain ignorance due to not having been properly educated about autism.

The best thing that you can do is reach out by sending them some information about Autism like "Just like You" which is a video that the "Autism Society of America Put Out." You can also send them some helpful resources and perhaps refer them to conferences on the matter. Most importantly, let them know that Autism isn't contagious and certainly not some terminal disease. Rather, it's another way for us to see the world.

Also, invest your time finding some special interest groups and maybe an adult autism support group.



futuresoldier1944
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05 May 2017, 5:24 pm

I can certainly empathize with the other people who posted in this thread, especially the OP. I have made this new friend. He's a guy about my age. We have a lot in common, especially our career interests, which is how we connected in the first place.

The first time we met , I seemed to click with him as I've rarely clicked with people my age. He was so nice to me and treated me as if I was an old friend. In fact, he actually told me that I have another friend in him. They say that first impressions matter and my first impression of this guy mattered a lot.

Unfortunately, my Asperger's led me to come on strong to my new friend and not respect his "space" (his word) in my electronic communications to him. After he told me that I was coming on strong to him, I tried to do better in my electronic communications to him. Unfortunately, I didn't do a good enough job and my friend eventually cut off contact with me.

My friend knows that I have Asperger's. We met through an online forum about employment with a U.S. government agency that we both have received a conditional job offer from. And one time, I had mentioned on the forum that I had Asperger's. So my friend believed that he was trying to be more than accommodating to me and my Asperger's. But I couldn't help it how strongly that I feel about him, even though I barely know him.

But the irony of the situation is that I have met the guy in person twice for a total of six hours (4 hours the first time and 2 hours the second time) and both times, my interaction with him was normal. It was just in my electronic communications with him that I came on strong. During our first outing, I actually thought that I didn't talk enough. If anything, my friend came on strong during our first outing and even before we met in electronic communications. This is why I came on so strong to him. Even though I was conscious of the fact that I was coming on strong to my friend, I was still really taken aback by his reaction to my behavior as he had been so nice to me.

After I sent the text that made him cut me off, the silence from him was killing me and so I left him multiple text messages and phone messages and also dialed his phone number multiple times, even though I knew that he probably wouldn't answer. These were stupid and thoughtless moves that only made the situation worse.

I've been in communication with a mental health counselor that I used to see for my Asperger's to ask him for advice about the situation. About two weeks after my friend cut off contact with me, I sent him a message telling him that I was talking to my counselor about the situation. He responded--his first message to me since he cut off contact with me--that he understood that I have had trouble making friends, but that doesn't give me the right to disrespect his feelings. He ended his message by telling me not to contact him again. Obviously, I have made him very uncomfortable and he probably doesn't know how to react toward me. In hindsight, having an online forum as the only social link between my new friend and me was not a good way to try to start and maintain a friendship. It might not even be a good idea for a NT person, and it definitely isn't a good idea for someone with Asperger's like me.

I still would like to try to patch things up with my new friend, if I can still really call him that. I've been trying to give him the "space" that he says that he needs and that I have been inconsiderate about. I'll probably try to contact him again in a few weeks, but it may be difficult to do so. The problem between us is that he doesn't really understand me and I don't really understand him. I might even have to explain to him about my Asperger's and how it affects my behavior. But I really wouldn't want to use my Asperger's as a crutch and as a way to excuse my totally inappropriate, immature, and emotionally needy behavior toward my friend. However, I can't help it or ignore the fact that my Asperger's probably did affect my judgment and behavior in regards to my friend. Even though my behavior was inexcusable, I was not at all being intentionally inconsiderate. I may just need to get my friend to understand this if it comes down to it.



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05 May 2017, 5:55 pm

Quite frankly, I have actually thought, more-than-once, if some people aren't sort-of jealous that they don't ALSO have what they feel they could use as an excuse for THEIR not-exactly-normal behavior.

Also, I think some people shun, what they don't understand, cuz they've already got so much in their lives to figure-out----PLUS, many times, I think family doesn't want to accept that someone in their family isn't "normal", because then they think people will think THEY'RE not normal (sort of a "guilt by association"-type thing).








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futuresoldier1944
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05 May 2017, 6:37 pm

Campin_Cat wrote:
Quite frankly, I have actually thought, more-than-once, if some people aren't sort-of jealous that they don't ALSO have what they feel they could use as an excuse for THEIR not-exactly-normal behavior.

Also, I think some people shun, what they don't understand, cuz they've already got so much in their lives to figure-out----PLUS, many times, I think family doesn't want to accept that someone in their family isn't "normal", because then they think people will think THEY'RE not normal (sort of a "guilt by association"-type thing).


You told me in PM that your post isn't a response to my post but to the OP. But it's also relevant to my situation as well. My friend doesn't really understand me or my Asperger's. And I also think that my friend has some sort of issues of his own as well. That may have been why he insisted on the online forum that we meet in the first place even though I was very hesitant about doing so, but then he later got scared. When I was still Facebook friends with him before he blocked me, I saw two pieces of evidence on Facebook, one from his childhood and one from his adulthood, that has led me to infer that he has gone through some rough times of some sort. I don't want to get into the details as it's really personal and it would be considered controversial even in this forum. But my friend went through a big lifestyle change between the time of his childhood and sometime in his adulthood or adolescence. After I saw these things on Facebook, I didn't get a chance to hang out with him again. But even if I had, I still wouldn't have been comfortable asking my friend about it yet. However, the issues that I perceive from my friend is one reason why I really want to patch things up with him. I think that he needs a friend just as much as I need a friend.



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06 May 2017, 7:40 am

^^ Yeah, I hadn't even read your post when you had PMed me (TL;DR)----but, I DID, just now, and I agree with you, that he seems to have some issues, as well. I also believe he got scared (seems very Aspie-ish, to me, as we get scared when someone comes-on too strong----NOT that it couldn't be some other kind of "difference").

I'm so sorry you lost your friend; they're so hard for us to get / maintain.









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06 May 2017, 12:37 pm

Campin_Cat wrote:
^^ Yeah, I hadn't even read your post when you had PMed me (TL;DR)----but, I DID, just now, and I agree with you, that he seems to have some issues, as well. I also believe he got scared (seems very Aspie-ish, to me, as we get scared when someone comes-on too strong----NOT that it couldn't be some other kind of "difference").

I'm so sorry you lost your friend; they're so hard for us to get / maintain.


Well I haven't lost him forever yet. Hopefully, I'll eventually be able to make up with him. I would really value his friendship, even though I don't know him very well. And the ironic thing is that even though my friend came on strong during our first meeting and even before, I was NOT scared at all. In fact, I really liked his coming on strong. It's why I unfortunately ended up coming on strong to him, which I rarely do to other people. It was so easy to interact with him. I guess he's what I've long needed. But my new friend may not know whether I'm what he's needed.