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Tim_Tex
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15 Jun 2009, 9:30 am

Having been manipulated in the past, I try to set a good example and not be manipulative.



ToughDiamond
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15 Jun 2009, 10:57 am

Keeno wrote:
As much as Aspies are bullied by others, a minority of Aspies are far from immune to a manipulative streak themselves.

At an Aspie meetup I attended this weekend, I witnessed (and tried my best to intervene) in the following incidents.

1) One Aspie going on and on towards another Aspie, fault finding and psychoanalysing him in a way that was clearly mind-colonising and made him very uncomfortable. He offered him a drink, he wanted a soft drink but manipulated him into having a shandy i.e. something at least semi-alcoholic.

2) One Aspie bombarding another Aspie with banter and a dry sense of humour to which he found it difficult to respond, trying to get him to respond in collusion to judgmental statements he made about other members of the group, nudging him when there was no response and making him uncomfortable.

It's clearly a minority but I have certainly seen it on occasion.


The first incident looks more like simple brash behaviour to me, possibly innocently motivated and due to difficulty in picking up social cues.

The second incident seems more sneaky though. Yet I'd have thought one of the main hallmarks of being an Aspie is social ineptitude, which suggests that if they behaves like that, they're not likely to have any great success with it, because they won't have the social skills to conceal their ulterior motives or to cause any serious harm.

Looking at myself, I've done my share of character-assassination, but I reserve it for people I see as having too much power in the first place, and would hate to think I'd done a hatchet job on any individual I see as having no more power or status than I myself have. There have been a few tyrannical/bullying bosses here in my workplace, and it seems to be the norm for their victims to highlight their nasty ways - some of it's exagerrated, some of it seems fairly objective. I tend to join in, as I think it's important for ordinary workers to be clear what's happening.

I've occasionally caught myself spreading things that probably wouldn't bear up to objective analysis, but as far as I know it's never been my conscious desire to be unfair, more a case of getting a little too carried away and feeling guilty about it later. And I've nodded along with views that I'm sure are over the top - it's difficult to go against the flow when the workforce is rounding on somebody who has been chucking their weight about.

It's something I've thought about a lot - I think there's a lot of tension in people who get bullied by their bosses, because they're basically scared of them, as I am, and nobody has the guts (or maybe rank stupidity, given the power differential) to try to confront the bullies and sort them out. I've advocated this a couple of times but everybody just looked scared and I could see they were never going to do that. Anyway, it seemes that the only remaining choice is between bottling the frustration and sharing it with each other, and the latter tends to prevail, which probably avoids a certain amount of depression.

Of course nothing positive ever gets done, though there is a feeling that in spite of the silence, personal grievances are at least understood, and that there is some potential for a rebellion if the said bully one day should go too far. There seems to be a social ethic to not run people down behind their backs, and I think that ethic has a lot of merit - indeed I long to live among people who really live by it - but I also think it can be taken too far: if somebody comes up and kicks you, it can hardly be healthy to feel that you're honour bound to keep the experience to yourself. I've heard of one dreadful situation at a "hippie" camp, where a small group had actually beaten somebody up, and all the advice they could get was offers of spiritual counselling to help come to terms with the incident! Some pacifists wouldn't recognise an enemy if it came up and smacked them in the face - literally.

I think the touchstone may be that you have to decide who is friend and who is foe, and simply come out about it, and never do this thing where a person is supposed to be part of a circle of friends but is being secretly slandered. The Aspie get-together is clearly an example of a situation where everybody is supposed to be on the same side, so defamation of character would seem completely inappropriate. Workplace situations are more complex, because employment itself can be a cruel, unequal bargain between employer and employee, and in many ways employers deserve all they get.

There was a book called "Games People Play" which catalogued a host of futile "games" purported to be common in general society. One of those games was called "Ain't it awful!" in which the players would take it in turns to wind the group up by whinging about an injustice, but without any progress towards curative action. I've seen a lot of that game in my time, and participated in it, but find it deeply unsatisfying, and I really wish society wasn't so full of those things.

The other problem is human ego - to directly confront a person with their faults tends to do more harm than good, even though everybody who knows them agrees those faults are real and annoying. To some extent I don't think it's the end of the world if the group shares such experiences of its individuals, as long as it's clear that there's no intention of turning the individual into some kind of second-class member. Unfortunately the intentions and the dangers are rarely apparent.



RightGalaxy
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15 Jun 2009, 11:14 am

I couldn't call that behavior really "manipulative". It's just Aspies trying really hard (too hard) to be social even with other aspies. They're SO brainwashed into messing up around NT's that they just mess up even around other aspies. They have NO social skills. "Manipulative" would be more of giving someone alcohol with a hidden agenda of having sex with them later by making them intoxicated or picking their brain and using it into shaming them to have sex with you. Another manipulation might be to get all warm and friendly with someone so they'll drive you home which is more than an hour away instead of buying a bus or train ticket...manipulative would be doing something because you want something off of that person "other" than their attention. I worked with a guy who bought me "Rollo" candy for a week before telling me his wife left him. I became a shoulder to cry on but he didn't have to get the candy. He was an aspie and didn't know how to go about asking for a show of compassion. All he had to do was ask. Someone should've been giving "him" Rollos. As a kid, I had a protector against the neighborhood bully BUT I had to do his homework for him and had to let him cheat off of my test papers. He didn't protect me from the bully because he was just a nice guy or wanted to do the just thing. The protection started "after" he saw all the straight A's. Seriously, when was the last time you "bought" someone a gift because "you" were hurting and needed somebody to lean on? I did this all the time before I learned NOT to do this. Now, I buy me gifts when I'm hurtin'. That how it "should be".



LipstickKiller
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15 Jun 2009, 11:21 am

*undiagnosed*

my mother called me manipulative but I can't remember ever being purposelly manipulative. can you manipulate unconsciously? if not, why would I be perceived as manipulative?



ToughDiamond
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15 Jun 2009, 11:48 am

Quote:
As a kid, I had a protector against the neighborhood bully BUT I had to do his homework for him and had to let him cheat off of my test papers. He didn't protect me from the bully because he was just a nice guy or wanted to do the just thing. The protection started "after" he saw all the straight A's

I don't think that's manipulative - he was protecting his asset (you), though if he wasn't claming to be doing it out of the good of his heart, it's honest enough. Except from the teachers' perspective of course.