[HFA] Communicating assertively in middle age

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Rainmanonrockwiz
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18 May 2017, 12:32 pm

Hi all, I haven't been on this forum in ages, but what brings me here tonight is another one of my absolute hell hard struggles on being assertive. I often hold back, and don't want to be pushing my thoughts down other peoples throats. As a HFA I try as much as possible to place myself into other peoples shoes, considering personal space as in both physical and psychologically, and when in discussions, try to capture what the other person is talking about.


Any way, got onto a private torrent / tracker site that has a communal radio station. When i joined in December, it was a great vibe. What would happen is there is one radio station channel, and everyone takes there turns to do a number of hours. People used broadcast programs like WinAmp, Foobar, and SAM Broadcaster that play the songs. THe programs back end has an mp3 encoder that constently streams over the internet, for others to listen.

Anyway when we all did radio shows, we always had about four to five listeners, they were comments on what each DJ was playing, and there was a good vibe.

Suddenly at the start of May, the site owner brings in a new rule where each broadcaster can only broadcast for two hours, and then has to go off air for 30 minutes for giving someone else the opportunity ago. That in it self represents two problems, no listeners are going to tune into 30 minutes of silence, and DJs are not going to do radio shows if they are no listeners tuned in. The next DJ has to start from scratch with 0 listeners, as the stream has been dead for 30 mins.

I kind of dropped a line here and there to members higher up the forum tree, who mentioned that they will look into it, and then nothing is heard back.

I saw another friend tonight get busted for not observing the 30 minute silence rule between shows, so I thought. (these friends in real life live about an hours train trip south of me) the conversation in the shoutbox was there, line by line in front of me, and my friend (who i've known for several years now) got served a warning, and ah hell. I now have to find the right way of being assertive but not over the top.

I hate to say it, but my mind went into a meltdown, yet I had some idea as I kind of been in a similar situation on wikipedia several years ago. I was fighting myself mentally to let go, let go, let go. But my mind was burning. I felt the force of wanting to say something, and the other force of not getting involved pulling me apart, but some times one likes to stick up for a friend.

Then bam, I let loose, and simply said, "because XXX was not going to be flexible with the rules of the radio, I'm now leaving the site for good and moving on". Within minutes I saw that i put myself into a hole, with another member noting "yeah right, sorry the community has been so so, I spose you've got to move on in life". Then after all that, I discovered that my friend was busted for actually posting a risqué joke.

And yeah, after a brief misunderstanding, things came back together again after ten minutes, and in the end I had a rather cordial conversation with the head mod, who in turn greatly appreciated the fact that I held the conversation in private. Up till tonight, I'd always had a good standing, and am going to catch up with another friend I met on the forum (about an hours west) that I haven't seen in ten years.

But though everything seems to have turned out fine in the end, I look at the 8 page PDF snapshot now, and go oh hell, not again.

I know others have had an issue with the 30 minute break time between radio shows, but for looking in the mirror, for me there's two things I'm taking away from this. a:) as an aspie do I have such a heavy opinion to the point that I can't agree with a certain rule in a forum / website and more importantly, b:) at 48 years old, why am I still having such problems in trying to be assertive.

I made it abundently clear in all my communications that I was happy with the compromise regarding the two hour limit, but felt that the 30 minute gap between shows was not working.

I'm trying to find out more on being assertive, I googled HFA assertiveness, but kept on getting husband and wife pages, with other sites on kids help. Not quite sure where to go from here as I seem to run into this issue every seven odd years or so, and want to try and prevent it in the future. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, it can be catastrophic to the friends in the online community I'm involved in, and it's psychologically very taxing.

I live reasonably comfortable in a unit without any serious financial stresses (sell stuff on ebay), and have most of family living about 90 minutes south of me on the train, and some other family members 60 minutes north. I have around four stable friends, and may come to meet a fifth shortly, so generally my life is reasonably healthy, both emotionally and psychologically. I would give absolutely everything to avoid these sudden autistic outbreaks.



Anon_92
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18 May 2017, 12:38 pm

Are you John Titor?



Rainmanonrockwiz
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18 May 2017, 12:50 pm

No, I'm not, who is he anyway? :)

Just clarifying, duplicate post has been deleted.

I don't know why or how that happened, but it's been sorted.



kicker
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18 May 2017, 1:25 pm

It sounds to me that you've had a major change to routine and then a friend got into trouble where it caused even more change to routine and you felt you couldn't handle it at the time. However you were able to come back and have a constructive discussion with the mod(s). Quit beating yourself up over it.

Simply put, I try to remind myself that I have ASD whenever I encounter a situation that causes any reaction for me. Most of the time it helps me clarify my reaction and regulate it.

Maybe you could apply that thinking to your current situation and ease some of what is concerning you.



Canadian Penguin
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18 May 2017, 5:32 pm

I don't think it's necessarily that you need to be assertive if you're trying to get your opinion across, it may be more that you want to be diplomatic.

I think the best way to approach it would be to not be too critical of the current set up, but to suggest an alternative, something like...

"I'm really enjoying my time here, [insert other platitudes], however I feel that the current set up results in listens leaving because of the amount of dead air. I think a break is a great idea, but 30 minutes may be too long. I suggest a session of 2 hours, 20 minutes then a 10 minute break during which time a small interlude may be played..."

You'll like get a better response than something like "This idea sucks" which may seem assertive, but it is more just being confrontational. You're not being critical, just trying to be helpful.


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Rainmanonrockwiz
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18 May 2017, 9:24 pm

@Canadian Penguin, that's just it, I'm diplomatic all the time, most probably too much, I don't know. The thing is it seems fine for months and months, to years at a time, and then there is just one night where there is an emotional crescendo where the ducks (unfortunately) were in alignment and it all blew off like the top of Mt Helens in May 1980.

The funny thing is I had the line already typed into the applet, and I told myself, once I do this, it will be irreversible and there's no turning back. I told myself five or six times over several minutes. I should have walked away to defuse the tension experienced. One holds back, and holds back, and holds back, and then comes the moment where one has to let rip.

They were no profanities, nor nasty quips, I simply noted that I didn't appreciate the way my friend got spoken to, and that I'm leaving because of the mods tone.

Within five minutes of posting the comment, psychologically (analogy) it was like I slipped off the ships deck, into freezing sub polar waters, fighting myself to get back aboard. (there was no banning or anything toward me), it was just the way I said something very clumsily, which made some think I was a total prat, with life issues.

I guess think of it as an analogy to a party cruise with a heap of my friends and work colleagues i've always got on well with, and at this moment I made a fool of my self (going off my head from too much alcohol, saying some stupid comments, and falling off the ships decks into the waters from being intoxicated). I'm just using the alcohol / ship thing as an analogy as I have never drunk alcohol, my father was hooked to the bottle during the 70s and 80s, and saw what a mess it made of him.

Now in the light of a new day, it may be all a storm in a teacup, but last night, i really felt like the world was closing in on me. Maybe I have left a bit of a bad taste in some people's mouths, where up to that moment I had a good standing. I just feel terrible because through me just having a human moment, that one feels they have burned some bridges (again).



Chronos
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18 May 2017, 10:07 pm

Anon_92 wrote:
Are you John Titor?


He was here tomorrow.