Why do we make enemies so quickly?

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Riddick124
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13 Feb 2008, 12:47 pm

It is like with herds of animals, the ones that are different are shunned. It is a basic instinct from a time long ago, since we do not "fit in" we would have inpeded the development of the group long ago, this is why the instinct existed.



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13 Feb 2008, 11:32 pm

The fear of the unknown or anything different is a result of the 'fight or flight' instinct. It is that instinct which has allowed humans as a species to beat the competition and proliferate as well as we have. It has enabled us to avoid danger and overcome predators.
However it is also this fear reaction which has caused more genocide and atrocities throughout human civilisation, as well as having potentially prevented discoveries and opportunities that could push us further.
There comes a time when a species needs to move on from their primitive origins and embrace an attitude where the group is of higher priority than the individual, therefore any difference should be seen as a potential evolutionary step and a good thing.


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14 Feb 2008, 12:00 am

It's not just because we're "different". Albinos, for example, don't make enemies easily as we do.

The reason is another.


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16 Feb 2008, 12:26 am

It seems to apply to everything including families. In my case, my parrents gave me the most choirs, and my punishment was always swift and severe. I had far less freedom and they also poured fewer resources into me. That brings back memories of shoveling truck loads of dirt in the hot sun while my little brother partied with his buddies.

I think the problem I've had is just selling myself. If you can't sell yourself, people will try to shortchange you at every turn. I think most of them don't know the difference between quality and shoddy work. Makes me wonder if they have any sense of professionalism.



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23 Feb 2008, 10:16 pm

After reading this thread, it's good to know that I'm not the only Aspie experiencing issues with work. At first, I thought it was an 'age' thing (when I began working at 16). But that was a looong time ago for me. I'm over 40 and still have to deal with the usual bs I've encountered at just about every single job I've had: not sucking up to management or participating in office politics; following company policy (while others noticeably disregard it and aren't 'disciplined' for doing so); working diligently and consistently (while others slack off); and generally upholding my sense of values (versus what I see around me at work everyday). I'm not a 'cold', 'aloof' or 'uncaring' person. In fact, the opposite is true! Instead, I have issues with social interaction and I am acutely aware that I 'stand out' as a result. It's incredibly difficult for me to engage in mindless chatter about 'what so-and-so did over the weekend' or gossip about others in a 'clique' setting.

Additionally, I think that gossiping about others openly indicates a lack of professionalism in the workplace. The negativity created from this is counter-productive to maintaining a healthy work environment. Although there are HR policies in place to resolve work related issues, it seems to be a 'no win' situation. I know from experience. I attempted to resolve an issue which involved being the 'target' for a huge office clique; however, this did nothing more than irritate upper management and make me 'look bad'. As a result, I've learned to 'keep my mouth shut' and 'just do my job' because that's 'what's expected from me.' :wall:

While reading these posts, a thought occurred to me: are there any Aspies here, who are not dissatisfied with their jobs? Just curious. I'd like to know the answer to this question, along with the original question: "Why do we make enemies so easily?" I've noticed that there are times I don't have to 'do anything'... and "poof"! I've made a few enemies!! ! (Ever feel like that?!) :?


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24 Feb 2008, 10:47 am

I've noticed that NT's value the social bonding over producing results. The fact that anything gets done is only a byproduct of the social experience. I actually like my job because it is so complex that only an Aspie can do it. I have earned the respect of my coworkers because of my competance and abilitities not my ability to look good and socialize. I work for a company that is privately owned by a group of self-made millionaires so the culture there is very different than what one would find at a publicly traded corporation. My employers are very generous and overall great people to work for but they demand results and aren't shy about swinging the axe when they don't get them.


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24 Feb 2008, 5:01 pm

I have the issue of not knowing when someone is being sincere or not. So there have been times when i have tried to "infiltrate" the clique at a new job/school only to find out that the person that was my entrance to this group has been turning around and talking about me behind my back. I hate this. I much prefer someone to come out and say that they think I am annoying, then I know to avoid them in the future, rather then say it to everyone else but me. Where I then find out about it from a person i don't get along with, who is at least honest, or from someone that is actually just trying to be nice and warn me.

Now, I walked out on this one job. Customer picture Framing. I loved the job itself. It was great. I spent most of my time away from people focused on my work. I worked there a year and a half. I went through 3 store managers, 2 associate store managers, and two shop managers. The first 2 store managers were store managers and didn't mess with the shop. The first shop manager was awesome, between her and the other three workers we pulled the shop from being 2 months behind to being 3 days ahead of schedule, in 2 months. (we came in after an overturn of the shop where the original crew got fired). Then the first store manager's mother got sick so she left, our associate manager got transfered, my shop manager left because of her kid's schedules, and the next store manager retired due to health issues. So the new shop manager, is brand new, and has never been a framer before. So i end up actually taking over the shop duties of the shop manager, including scheduling, our shop paperwork, our receiving, everything (Hey i get a new title and everything senior certified framer). (this is while we still have the second store manager) While she does the duties of the shift/rotation manager within the store (which yes is something i never want to do)

now once the second store manager leaves. we get a store manager who was last a shop manager 7 years before, who had never gone through the company's conservation/preservation training that had been implemented within the last 2-3 years. who the first time she meets me tells me that she has never gone through this training and that there will be changes made in the frame shop. (the very first time she meets me) Now i don't really see her after that. There are two incidents with customers where because of the company's new conservation policy, i tell the customer that this shop can't do what they are asking it to do. (Frame size/glass weight issue and a canvas/glass issue) where they go the manager. Now the previous two managers supported the frame shop on these types of issues, it was part of company policy. What does she do? Tells me to take the order. I told her i wasn't doing it (our names went on these orders, our frames had gaurantees and we had printouts of our stats) So she took them and another person in the shop had to be told to do it.

Then one day she comes in with the new district framing manager, doesn't even look at me, or acknowledge me and she starts verbally rearranging the frame shop. Not like the tables, but where everything is in the bins. We've been working with the bins the way they were for at least a year now, we a running a profit (i know i've been running the reports), and we are at least 3 days ahead of schedule, as well as being one of the higher sellers in our division. as they leave she tells him that she'll implement the changes the next day. this bothers me enough that i stop what i am doing, just so that i don't have her in my shop the next day, and do all the rearrangements that she said. it takes the rest of my night. and i leave my work for the person in the morning. then the next day, she comes in and starts to just tell me to move stuff, and i go "move what?" and she just looks around, and turns around and leaves.

I stayed for another 2 or 3 weeks, and had another altercation over frame/glass weight issues, and just walked out. Came back the next day with my resignation letter. Dealing with her was making me physically sick. i felt so much better the next day.

frame /glass weight.... permanent hanging, in larger pictures, if you are using glass, the frame you are using has to be wide enough to support the weight of the glass... if you have a 24 by 36 inch picture, by company policy, you cannot place it in an inch wide frame, the frame bows, or if dropped it will shatter the glass or the frame (shattered glass that damages the picture is now the liability of the company).... a properly framed picture if dropped, will not shatter the glass, or fracture the frame.... maybe chip.... but a chip can be repaired. it loses more money to have to replace the frame everytime it gets damaged because it was too small for the glass than it does to teach the customer that the company does good framing and possibly get a little more money for the bigger frame.



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24 Feb 2008, 8:03 pm

privateperson1 wrote:

I just get annoyed because sometimes it feels like no matter what company it is, only the people with the least relevant skills are rewarded.
It's like being surrounded by monkeys and they are the ones who will that get the larger promotion because they need us to stick around and do the real work.


It's because people tend to reward those who agree with them the most, those who kiss their butts the most, and/or the ones they want to sleep with the most. Me, I just do my job and try to do it better than everyone else. No one notices hard work, though. They just dump more work on you because they know you'll do it. Meanwhile, it's the cute people or the peppy people who get all the recognition. Isn't it ironic that other people at work who've been bumped up the corporate ladder have only gotten there for being 'yes' men or 'yes' women, laughing at all the right jokes, etc. Then, when they need help actually doing the job they've been promoted into, who do they come to? You.

It sucks, but that's the way it's been as long as companies have been around.


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24 Feb 2008, 8:15 pm

kit000003 wrote:
frame /glass weight.... permanent hanging, in larger pictures, if you are using glass, the frame you are using has to be wide enough to support the weight of the glass... if you have a 24 by 36 inch picture, by company policy, you cannot place it in an inch wide frame, the frame bows, or if dropped it will shatter the glass or the frame (shattered glass that damages the picture is now the liability of the company).... a properly framed picture if dropped, will not shatter the glass, or fracture the frame.... maybe chip.... but a chip can be repaired. it loses more money to have to replace the frame everytime it gets damaged because it was too small for the glass than it does to teach the customer that the company does good framing and possibly get a little more money for the bigger frame.


Interesting. I didn't know that the weight of the glass mattered. I took some paintings in to Michaels to be framed last year and though they looked nice when I picked them up, after a while the frames started separating at the corners. I took them back in and told them they needed to be redone and the girl there accused me of doing damage to the frames myself. All I'd done was hang them on the wall and after a while, they broke on their own. I ended up paying for new frames. I wish I'd have known this back then...


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azpoetchris
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24 Feb 2008, 9:44 pm

Metal_Man wrote:
I've noticed that NT's value the social bonding over producing results. The fact that anything gets done is only a byproduct of the social experience.


Unfortunately, you're absolutely right. It seems that diligence and reliability are surpassed for mediocrity and social bonding by those in management positions. Of course, when something 'goes wrong' with an assignment because 'Ms. Mindless Chatter' was too busy 'making the rounds' with her gossip buddies, guess who is assigned to 'fix' her mistakes? Sound familiar?? :wall:

I can also relate to the issue regarding the inability to determine 'sincerity' in the work place. (Or, in my case... just about everywhere I go!!) I tend to view the world through my own lens... which I think is all too common for people on the autism spectrum. In other words, if I uphold honesty, integrity, sincerity and other similar attributes in myself, it's difficult for me to comprehend why 'others' aren't able to uphold the same values for themselves and others. (I guess this is what's meant by 'literal-mindedness' and 'one track thinking'.) I've tried to 'correct' my thinking (believe me, I've tried all types of 'self help' methods!) but I simply cannot 'be' someone I am not... and that's "NT". :?

Does anyone here have ideas on how AS individuals can 'interact' better at work (or at any other places where 'social bonding' is prevalent)? I'm more than willing to listen to advice / insight / suggestions... anything!! (If you've read any good books on this subject and can recommend them, I'd like to know about that too.) I'm frustrated, bordering on cynical, and I definitely need to make some changes. :flower:


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kornik
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25 Feb 2008, 2:28 am

I ahve learnt over the time the critcial importance of doing this and have often wondered why I failed to do so sufficiently.

A key reason is my failure - if that is the right word - to sufficiently explain and communicate my inner thinking. As we know it is a real strength of ours.

In my caes, I have - erroneously - assumed that people will latch on to my thought processes and what I am trying to say. This has not been the case and I think I have misjudged greatly in the past my confidence in promulgating my views.

The key is not try and give the impression that our way is the only way and to give the impression you are diregarding eferyone else's viewpoint.

PowderKeg wrote:
It seems to apply to everything including families. In my case, my parrents gave me the most choirs, and my punishment was always swift and severe. I had far less freedom and they also poured fewer resources into me. That brings back memories of shoveling truck loads of dirt in the hot sun while my little brother partied with his buddies.

I think the problem I've had is just selling myself. If you can't sell yourself, people will try to shortchange you at every turn. I think most of them don't know the difference between quality and shoddy work. Makes me wonder if they have any sense of professionalism.



azpoetchris
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25 Feb 2008, 8:00 pm

"A key reason is my failure - if that is the right word - to sufficiently explain and communicate my inner thinking. As we know it is a real strength of ours."

I couldn't have said it better.... thanks!! :thumright:

My question is: how do I interact in a social setting (ie: work) without conveying the 'invisible' message my NT co-workers seem to pick up.... that I'm 'socially impaired' and therefore worthy of negative attention (ie: gossip, rude remarks, dirty looks, etc)? :huh:

Our department is having a social event at work this week, which I have mixed feelings about. Though I don't mind attending, I feel so awkward and out of place... especially when I attempt to 'make small talk' with people I don't feel 'connected' to... other than sharing office space at work. Any ideas on how to calm the 'pre social event' anxieties? :help:


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FreeSpirit2000
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31 Jan 2010, 8:17 pm

All I have learned is just play along with the rules of the NT world. Don't constantly whine and b***h about your problems to others, understand the social tricks of the trade well, make sure you understand what your peers mean when they talk about things, don't try too hard to be funny and make nonsense jokes. Just be yourself, act natural, and don't do behaviors that will attract bullying.



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01 Feb 2010, 4:12 pm

About the social event at work . . . my advice is to have a backup plan. Go “on time” (which might mean 10 minutes after the official starting time), continge the event, enjoy it in a light way, and be prepared to leave early.

Highly skilled social people hop parties. If one party is merely okay, they’re go on to the next one with a friend or a group of friends. And the transport from one party to the other is itself a social event. And that helps them keep a light touch at any one party, because they don’t have that much invested in it.

So, you could start a project (preferably a future project which puts you ahead of the curve!) and that gives you the perfect one-sentence reason to get back to your desk. And you might also have something fun lined up for that evening or the next day, even if it’s as simple as continuing a book you are enjoying or stopping off at the dollar theater (now $2 or more! But still a bargain).



asplint
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02 Feb 2010, 12:16 pm

Hello,

I can relate to all this. I've met at least my share of nasty, brutish and bullying people on the job. I'll be the first to agree there's no positive correlation between rank and common courtesy.

AardvarkGoodSwimmer, I like your "hit and run" approach to social events. Not all Aspies can do two or more events in a single day; I'd say the majority of us can do at least one for a few minutes.

Kornik and FreeSpirit2000 have some excellent points. (FreeSpirit2000, maybe you can give us a few concrete hints so we can better follow your advice?) It's a good idea to do what we can to conform, even if we don't always agree with or even understand NT customs.

Yes, NTs give us plenty of grief we don't deserve. For that matter, NTs give each other plenty of grief they don't deserve, either. It's our job, in effect, to cope with it and minimize it as best we can.

It's like the old joke about the problem with running prisons being the quality of prisoners you get these days. You can't control which "prisoners" you get and you couldn't completely control what they do even if they were literal prisoners.

The only thing we have absolute control over is our own behavior. We need to use it to our best advantage, given the situations we're in and the people we're in them with.

I get the impression some folks here look down on NTs. I may or may not be right, of course, but if our co-workers, customers and superiors get the feeling we think we're better than they, that's a very good way to make enemies.

Maybe NTs have a little difficulty with certain things, such as facing facts logically. On the other hand, maybe we can learn some things from NTs, such as tuning in to others' feelings and navigating complex social situations in real time.

Even if all your co-workers are morons, there's a whole lot of them and exactly one of you. And even if your boss couldn't find her own butt with both hands and a flashlight, well, like the old bumper sticker says - she may be slow but she's ahead of you.

At the end of the day, we need to suffer fools gladly once in a while. If for no other reason, everyone is a fool at something, and we need others to help us out once in a while. That's what organizations are all about.

I completely agree that it's unfair to be punished for correcting someone. I feel that mature people should thank, not attack, anyone who helps them do better. Unfortunately, many people in many organizations feel that corrections should only come from superiors, and therefore feel that a peer, let alone a subordinate, who shows them a mistake they're making is disrespecting them. In fact, just recently I felt it necessary to resign an apprentice leadership position in an international volunteer organization in significant part because I ran afoul of too many superiors' feelings in just that way.

If the people who run your workplace feel that "respect" in those terms is more important than correcting errors, you can go along to get along, or get out...and if you don't make that choice, someone else will make it for you under less happy circumstances.

Interesting point about why we Aspies get punished for cracking the same kinds of jokes or doing the same things that NTs do, yet when the NTs do it they get off lightly. It certainly seems unfair, and sometimes it is. We all know that, like it or lump it, when the boss likes one worker much more than another, he's not going to see their behavior in the same light.

Let's keep in mind that we may not notice certain social subtleties. For example, someone cracking a joke may use a certain tone of voice making it clear she means it as a joke, not as personal offense. When we try to duplicate the joke, we may not know to duplicate the tone of voice and hence our joke comes off very differently from the other person's.

It's like the old joke about the lap dog and the ox. The lap dog, well, jumped on the master's lap and got treats. When the ox tried to do the same, the results were not so happy.

Try not to get much involved in office politics and the like when you're new on the job. You need to feel out the terrain first. Especially don't take sides. And the first few co-workers to reach out to you may not be the best ones to align with...they might be bitter dissidents, trying to recruit you to their little rebel circles. (Or of course if you're an attractive female and the co-workers are male, they might even have totally unrelated reasons...stranger things have happened. :wink:)

Work is fundamentally about results, and the most important results include the ways our words and actions make others feel.

Try reading Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People. Really take his advice to heart...basically, he asks us to focus away from pleasing ourselves and vindicating our own ideas of right and wrong and to focus on recognizing other people's feelings - especially when we believe they're stupid or irrational - to motivate them to do what we want. If heaven knows how many thousands of NTs have improved their lives by hearing him speak, reading the book and listening to audio courses, maybe even an Aspie can learn something from him?

What do you think?


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Ericka38
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10 Feb 2010, 9:15 pm

I was recently told that my contract is not being renewed at my teaching job. I am a special education teacher-I think I am great at it, because I really understand the kids, especially the spectrum kids. But I read an article that said that basically to get tenure you have to "play the game" and i don't do that! I have never gone to the Christmas dinners etc.....I feel like that stuff is fake and they don't allow kids so I'd rather spend htat time with my son. I am going to be looking for some help though-maybe there is someplace in my area where they can help me learn some people skills? I hope so!