NT with new Aspie acquaintance/friend wants to know....

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ptown
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11 Feb 2009, 9:08 pm

So, Tuesday, I spent 2 hours hanging out with my new Aspie friend after school. We laughed and had a pretty fun time. This was our 3rd or 4th long hang out. Then Wednesday, I was walking towards him and we were both headed for the same door. I was carrying a huge heavy box. He reached the door first, opened it, went through and shut it. This is nothing an NT would ever do unless we were pissed off. We would hold the door for someone with their arms /hands full. So, whatcha all think? Was he being rude or just in his own world? It hurt my feelings ALOT but maybe it shouldn't. I don't want to misinterpret or over-react. I used sarcasm and said "Thank you so much for holding the door for me when I was right behind you with all these heavy books and stuff. I really appreciate it." He didn't reply for about 20 seconds. Then he said, "sorry" but I don't know if he was saying sorry to me or someone else (room full of people). My strong assumption is he said -sorry- to me but I wasn't looking in his direction.
And I didn't have a chance to speak to him about it anymore. I won't see him for a few days. Do I need to be direct and ask him "In the future, if we are walking to the same door and I'm carrying all these books in boxes, could you please hold the door for me?" or should I just let it drop?
This is someone, who, when he chooses, seeks ALOT of my time and attention, which I am happy to give. But the door thing just tweeked me out a bit. thanks.



arielhawksquill
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11 Feb 2009, 9:22 pm

Chances are very good he didn't even think about the fact you were carrying a box and needed help. I'm almost sure it wasn't intentionally rude.

People with AS often need things to be explicitly spelled out, so saying something like "Hey, could you hold that door for me?" next time would solve the difficulty.



Postperson
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11 Feb 2009, 10:40 pm

just clueless aspie stuff, you should explain why it was wrong of him not to hold the door for you.



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11 Feb 2009, 10:52 pm

Postperson wrote:
just clueless aspie stuff, you should explain why it was wrong of him not to hold the door for you.


Yes, Aspies can be oblivious - don't feel badly, NT. And you are his friend! You seem like a nice friend for him and realize he likely just didn't realize.

Sometimes we cannot (as they say) 'put 2 and 2 together' but we can know Eigen values!


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Emoal6
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11 Feb 2009, 10:54 pm

he was in his own world, and thats probably also why he "waited" 20 seconds to say sorry. Aspies usually have hypersensitve senses and when overloaded by a crowded room its hard to decipher WHY someone is saying something to you. We might even understand fully what you said right when you said it, it just takes us that long to put the words into vocal form.

I wouldnt take this too harshly, he probably didnt mean it. And if he didnt lock eyes on you(in which he prolly woulda said, hey whats up in some form), he didnt even recognize you were there.

Id just take it on my part next time to say hey could you hold the door open" like another person already said. A misunderstanding happens when 2 people dont realize the other persons pov. If you were to "attack" him by saying something like WHY DIDNT YOU OPEN THE DOOR, it could catch him off guard. Its not somewhere you want to be if you cause a meltdown. Just let this one roll off your shoulders really, not worth it to lose a good friend(which he probably will become if you help him at it).



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12 Feb 2009, 1:38 am

Living as I do surrounded by people who, like me, may not always recognize cues, I have adapted to clearly state when I need help with something...just as I may very often need clear instructions in order to know what I should do.

My AS-ish boyfriend (who claims not to be an aspie) will constantly do stuff like you describe over and over and over again...and it is not that he just doesn't care, he is just preoccupied and unobservant. He sure has managed to piss off some NT girlfriends in the past...boy howdy! :roll:



ptown
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12 Feb 2009, 1:43 am

Emoal6 wrote:
And if he didnt lock eyes on you(in which he prolly woulda said, hey whats up in some form), he didnt even recognize you were there.
.


Wow. It's amazing to me that he could walk right towards me today (after how tight we've been over the last month, including yesterday) and not notice me or think to think that maybe I'd feel sad if he didn't acknowledge me.

Yesterday he said that he doesn't say "bye" to me after his lunch break chess fests with the other dudes cuz he's "code switching" into "normal guy behavior."

I have so much to learn...so I don't take things personally and get offended/hurt. But most of all, I don't want to say anything that will stress him out (I'm usually a very direct, honest, decisive, blunt and silly sarcastic person).

Thanks EVERYONE!! !! !! !



Last edited by ptown on 12 Feb 2009, 11:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

poopylungstuffing
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12 Feb 2009, 8:28 am

double post



Last edited by poopylungstuffing on 12 Feb 2009, 8:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

poopylungstuffing
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12 Feb 2009, 8:37 am

Sometimes if I dont formally acknowledge certain people, it is because I may feel comfortable enough with them that I don't feel that I need to.

I am not meaning to speak for your aspie friend and we are all different....


Other times I am "decompressing" and am not ready to interract...or something...

Just get to feel the waters with him...you may not totally need to walk on eggshells regarding what you say to him..The better you get to know him, the more the comfort level will be obvious.
It's good to be direct...honest..etc...It might be ok to tell him you are not used to people who don't say hi...bye...automatically know to help with doors etc...

I may do stuff like this all the time and offend people without realizing I have, and never know, because people won't tell me...it will just affect their judgement of me and maybe they will tell someone else, and I will hear about it later.

I was in a band with NTs a long time ago, and i was constantly constantly offending them..and they would communicate about it amongst themselves and never tell me.

There was a very long time when I didn't know that "not making eye contact" was offensive to some people.



ptown
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12 Feb 2009, 11:31 am

poopy- thanks so much for this : "Other times I am "decompressing" and am not ready to interract...or something..."

This makes sense to me. I think I should just leave him alone until he comes to me.
That way, I won't have to feel ignored or rejected. I will just assume that he's not ready to interact and he will if and when he's ready.

I feel bad now because I was expecting him to act like an NT.

Thanks everyone.



ptown
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12 Feb 2009, 12:42 pm

poopy- thanks so much for this : "Other times I am "decompressing" and am not ready to interract...or something..."

This makes sense to me. I think I should just leave him alone until he comes to me.
That way, I won't have to feel ignored or rejected. I will just assume that he's not ready to interact and he will if and when he's ready.

I feel bad now because I was expecting him to act like an NT.

Thanks everyone.



holden
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12 Feb 2009, 12:59 pm

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poopylungstuffing
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12 Feb 2009, 2:11 pm

I didn't understand what eye contact was till High School.

A goth girl in my drama class brought it to my attention.

"Hey..why don't you ever look anyone in the eye?" is what she said.



ptown
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12 Feb 2009, 7:38 pm

as an NT, we were raised to believe that if someone can't look you in the eyes when they talk to you, it's because they are insecure or lying. now, i know lots of folks who look down or away because they focus more...even my husband does that.

today was great with my friend. he talked to me for hours about his dad being a dead beat womanizing jerk and abandoning him... he kept eye contact with me the whole time (normal for us). communication nearly flawless except he told me about some abuse and i was really listening but instead of commenting about HIS abuse, i empathized by telling him (one short phrase) how i was abused by my mom and he replied saying, "oh, okay, you win, yours in worse..." which was NOT my intent. i apologized and said my intent was to empathize, not to one-up...

me: was he abusive? did he hit you?
him: one time he put his elbow in my eye.
me: ouch, my mom bit me and hit me over the head with a wine bottle.
him:oh, okay, you win, yours in worse
me: sorry, i didn't mean to ....

when it was time for him to leave to hang out with his sister (thank god for her!), he said "have a lovely evening" and bowed to me like something out of the victorian days.

very cute. i did NOT bring up the door issue.



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12 Feb 2009, 9:03 pm

ptown: You seem like a great friend and any Aspie will appreciate that quality. I know Aspies &/or HFAs (high-functioning Autistics, such as myself) can seem clueless, which is because we are.
The most important thing, for us, is the intent. If his intent is good, then he's done well. Aspies/HFAs interpret very literally. This implies if he does well praising him is good. If he makes a social faux pas, even unintentionally, you might consider (1) this isn't purposeful or thoughtless, most likely (2) Aspies/HFAs can be painfully conscientious and try very hard. He may well feel very badly for his 'mistake' and isn't truly guilty for that mistake. (3) if the 'mistake' warrants correction, do so. But gently and with directness; he'll likely not 'read' those subtle cues a NT can.

I know this has been stated plenty before, but it's true: When involved with an Aspie, think Spock, not Dr. Phil. But Aspies can be true and loyal friends with a genuineness that cannot be matched. One positive aspect: Our lack of judgment (towards you &/or any other). And loyalty, honesty. Also, Aspies DO often 'live inside their own minds,' which means we can be in deep thought that is all consuming. Sometimes another will talk to me and I'll not respond. But not on purpose! And I would feel terrible if this was interpreted as my ignoring them; I'm not. Just in another realm and unaware of that which is outside my own mind. But I think/formulate in this way too. He may have special interests that he's focused on.

I do remember one incident with NT + Aspie friend (this was a romantic interest though). Male Aspie medical doctor (yes, socially awkward/shy) really loved her but just didn't know how to express his friendship/love. Most men (NT) would impress her with a flashy jewelry piece or a fancy night out. Instead, he gave her a candy heart necklace that spelled, "I love you." I remember she firstly said she laughed at him.....then later found him crying - hurt feelings because he felt he disappointed her. Then she read the message. He then finally revealed to her his sister, whom he loved very much, LOVED those candy heart necklaces and he thought that would be the best to give her. And he deeply meant the message.

So an Aspie gift, even if it's a candy heart necklace, might be more special and meaningful than any flashy diamond or pricey date.

If he confides in you, as you related, then he trusts you! If you want, you can watch my video (URL in signature line) to see what I do, and how I function which may be explanatory too. Plus my robot is featured.

Hi to your Aspie friend.


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