Is Western Europe more Aspie-Friendly than the US?

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blackomen
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18 Jul 2019, 12:48 am

Maybe not all of Western Europe, but two countries and their cultures stick out as being a little more Aspie-friendly than the US.. not saying their paradises for Aspies but things feel slightly better.

The UK: expectations for behavior in social situations is more rigid and set in stone compared to the US. For an Aspie, it's much easier to learn a set of defined rules and guidelines rather than trying to fit in with the flow in a more informal social culture that's prevalent in North America.

Germany: I feel they have one of the most Aspie-friendly work cultures. You come to work for 7-8 hours a day and are expected to work hard the whole time. You don't get that much overtime and get quite a lot of vacation days as a tradeoff for being expected to work like a dog. Meetings, smalltalk, etc. are kept to a minimum. Yes, you may still need to schmooze with coworkers and management to get ahead in your career but socializing during the workday seems far more taboo there than in the US.

What do you think? Is the grass greener on the other side (esp if you come from or at least worked extensively in one of these countries)?



Biscuitman
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18 Jul 2019, 4:27 am

blackomen wrote:
Maybe not all of Western Europe, but two countries and their cultures stick out as being a little more Aspie-friendly than the US.. not saying their paradises for Aspies but things feel slightly better.

The UK: expectations for behavior in social situations is more rigid and set in stone compared to the US. For an Aspie, it's much easier to learn a set of defined rules and guidelines rather than trying to fit in with the flow in a more informal social culture that's prevalent in North America.

Germany: I feel they have one of the most Aspie-friendly work cultures. You come to work for 7-8 hours a day and are expected to work hard the whole time. You don't get that much overtime and get quite a lot of vacation days as a tradeoff for being expected to work like a dog. Meetings, smalltalk, etc. are kept to a minimum. Yes, you may still need to schmooze with coworkers and management to get ahead in your career but socializing during the workday seems far more taboo there than in the US.

What do you think? Is the grass greener on the other side (esp if you come from or at least worked extensively in one of these countries)?


I do think the UK is on the whole fairly 'aspie friendly', though not for the reasons you suggest

I am interested in understanding your thoughts more on your comment 'expectations for behavior in social situations is more rigid and set in stone compared to the US'

I am quite fascinated by human behaviour, especially different cultures, and your comment left me a bit confused (but maybe so because I am from the UK, when you are immersed in something you often don't see it so clearly!)



KeepOn
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18 Jul 2019, 10:21 am

British people tend to like eccentrics and characters which can play well for people with Aspergers to some extent. Most people here find my ways funny and interesting and want to know me better and it's easier to make friends, whereas when I lived in France and Holland I found the people more narrow minded around Autistic traits. They just thought of me as weird and ostracised me.

I also find you get away with being more reserved and quiet here than most other countries which I appreciate. Many countries in Europe expect you to be socially perfect and outgoing all the time. I find a lot of Brits to be socially awkward in one way or another.



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18 Jul 2019, 2:09 pm

As mentioned Great Britian always seemed to produce eccentrics and creative type of people. In addition Lorna Wing, Uta Frith, and Tony Atwood are from there. Thief newspapers covers autistics respectfully. So they seemed way ahead of America to me.

In the last few years since Austerity took hold I have been reading all sorts of stories from the UK about “high functioning” not getting diagnosed, separation from mainstream schools, and horrific conditions in institutions.


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Last edited by ASPartOfMe on 18 Jul 2019, 7:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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18 Jul 2019, 2:23 pm

Denmark rates pretty good. The Specialisterne program assists clients on the Autism Spectrum with TECH. related employment.



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18 Jul 2019, 2:40 pm

Usually on WP members from the US seem to get upset if they are only 19 or 20 and haven't got a boyfriend or girlfriend or moved out of their parents home yet. I get the impression that US people are under more pressure to have their life together by 18 or even younger. Here in the UK it isn't considered unusual for young people to still live at home with their parents and not be in a serious relationship yet. Also it seems that US people judge adults who aren't paired up. I can't speak for the whole of the UK, but where I live people really don't judge you if you are single. In fact I know more single people than not. It's no big deal.

But I might be wrong about the US.


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18 Jul 2019, 7:17 pm

In Germany and Scandinavia, people tend to speak more directly and honestly, which I strongly prefer. There's less second-guessing and mind-reading needed.


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blackomen
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18 Jul 2019, 10:17 pm

Joe90 wrote:
Usually on WP members from the US seem to get upset if they are only 19 or 20 and haven't got a boyfriend or girlfriend or moved out of their parents home yet. I get the impression that US people are under more pressure to have their life together by 18 or even younger. Here in the UK it isn't considered unusual for young people to still live at home with their parents and not be in a serious relationship yet. Also it seems that US people judge adults who aren't paired up. I can't speak for the whole of the UK, but where I live people really don't judge you if you are single. In fact I know more single people than not. It's no big deal.

But I might be wrong about the US.


Similar story in China.. you're expected to listen to your parents when you're 25 the same way you did when you were like 8. And you are expected to respect your parents' decisions if they don't like who you're dating and want you to cut him/her off even if you're well into adulthood.



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18 Jul 2019, 11:54 pm

blackomen wrote:
Joe90 wrote:
Usually on WP members from the US seem to get upset if they are only 19 or 20 and haven't got a boyfriend or girlfriend or moved out of their parents home yet. I get the impression that US people are under more pressure to have their life together by 18 or even younger. Here in the UK it isn't considered unusual for young people to still live at home with their parents and not be in a serious relationship yet. Also it seems that US people judge adults who aren't paired up. I can't speak for the whole of the UK, but where I live people really don't judge you if you are single. In fact I know more single people than not. It's no big deal.

But I might be wrong about the US.


Similar story in China.. you're expected to listen to your parents when you're 25 the same way you did when you were like 8. And you are expected to respect your parents' decisions if they don't like who you're dating and want you to cut him/her off even if you're well into adulthood.


I prefer that. I bet more people make the right decisions more and become more respectful of themselves and others. It's very heartbreaking to see your grown-up children making a mess of their lives and you've just got to sit back and let it happen. We are not animals in the wild, we are humans, and humans are very emotional creatures and we value social attachment, and when that person you love very much is destroying or neglecting themselves right before your eyes but you can't do anything because they're "old enough to make dumb decisions", it's very scary and heartbreaking.


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blackomen
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19 Jul 2019, 1:06 am

Joe90 wrote:
blackomen wrote:
Joe90 wrote:
Usually on WP members from the US seem to get upset if they are only 19 or 20 and haven't got a boyfriend or girlfriend or moved out of their parents home yet. I get the impression that US people are under more pressure to have their life together by 18 or even younger. Here in the UK it isn't considered unusual for young people to still live at home with their parents and not be in a serious relationship yet. Also it seems that US people judge adults who aren't paired up. I can't speak for the whole of the UK, but where I live people really don't judge you if you are single. In fact I know more single people than not. It's no big deal.

But I might be wrong about the US.


Similar story in China.. you're expected to listen to your parents when you're 25 the same way you did when you were like 8. And you are expected to respect your parents' decisions if they don't like who you're dating and want you to cut him/her off even if you're well into adulthood.


I prefer that. I bet more people make the right decisions more and become more respectful of themselves and others. It's very heartbreaking to see your grown-up children making a mess of their lives and you've just got to sit back and let it happen. We are not animals in the wild, we are humans, and humans are very emotional creatures and we value social attachment, and when that person you love very much is destroying or neglecting themselves right before your eyes but you can't do anything because they're "old enough to make dumb decisions", it's very scary and heartbreaking.


I don't have a problem with that if the parents are trying to save their adult children's lives. But I've also seen plenty of Chinese parents try to exert unusual control over their adult children's lives in order to enforce outdated customs or to push their agenda. Examples:

"We want you to break up because your girlfriend/boyfriend is white/black/hispanic/Japanese/etc. Why can't you date and marry a Chinese person?"

"I don't care if you love computers and dream of working for Google. You're going to med school and becoming a doctor. End of story."

"I don't care that you're 30 years old. We still expect you to be home by 8 and in bed by 10."

See more examples at http://reddit.com/r/AsianParentStories . It's literally culture shock finding out how little freedom adult children in most Asian households have, particularly in mainland China.



Joe90
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19 Jul 2019, 5:10 am

blackomen wrote:
Joe90 wrote:
blackomen wrote:
Joe90 wrote:
Usually on WP members from the US seem to get upset if they are only 19 or 20 and haven't got a boyfriend or girlfriend or moved out of their parents home yet. I get the impression that US people are under more pressure to have their life together by 18 or even younger. Here in the UK it isn't considered unusual for young people to still live at home with their parents and not be in a serious relationship yet. Also it seems that US people judge adults who aren't paired up. I can't speak for the whole of the UK, but where I live people really don't judge you if you are single. In fact I know more single people than not. It's no big deal.

But I might be wrong about the US.


Similar story in China.. you're expected to listen to your parents when you're 25 the same way you did when you were like 8. And you are expected to respect your parents' decisions if they don't like who you're dating and want you to cut him/her off even if you're well into adulthood.


I prefer that. I bet more people make the right decisions more and become more respectful of themselves and others. It's very heartbreaking to see your grown-up children making a mess of their lives and you've just got to sit back and let it happen. We are not animals in the wild, we are humans, and humans are very emotional creatures and we value social attachment, and when that person you love very much is destroying or neglecting themselves right before your eyes but you can't do anything because they're "old enough to make dumb decisions", it's very scary and heartbreaking.


I don't have a problem with that if the parents are trying to save their adult children's lives. But I've also seen plenty of Chinese parents try to exert unusual control over their adult children's lives in order to enforce outdated customs or to push their agenda. Examples:

"We want you to break up because your girlfriend/boyfriend is white/black/hispanic/Japanese/etc. Why can't you date and marry a Chinese person?"

"I don't care if you love computers and dream of working for Google. You're going to med school and becoming a doctor. End of story."

"I don't care that you're 30 years old. We still expect you to be home by 8 and in bed by 10."

See more examples at http://reddit.com/r/AsianParentStories . It's literally culture shock finding out how little freedom adult children in most Asian households have, particularly in mainland China.


That is true, it's not right to control lives like that.


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19 Jul 2019, 6:16 am

In the relatively short time I spent in the UK I found people to be a lot more gregarious than I expected and work culture not quite as easy to navigate/decipher but otherwise I enjoyed the place.

I fully agree on Germany. Germany, Scandinavia (+Finland) and the Netherlands generally have good work culture and laws, people are not overly social or talkative (just try to ask a Finn what an "uncomfortable silence" is :lol: ), people are a lot more direct and straight forward in communication and there's a lot less "lying to be nice" (let's see each other again soon etc) - for the most part, if you regurgitate such niceties you're actually expected to follow through :twisted: . People tend to leave you alone if you want without thinking you're weird and you're not expected to constantly talk and smile like a maniac. What I call "interrogation-syle" introductions are not much of a thing either and people are less nosy.

At least this has been my experience - I'm mostly talking about the city though, small-town life is often a different kettle of fish.


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21 Jul 2019, 10:29 am

Germany seems to be a very aspie friendly country. There's less small talk and people are more honest. People there also don't give a fluff-filled explanation for the things that they say or the requests that they make. Germans also have more of an understanding of the concept of personal space. Germans are very hard workers who have no time for small talk. No wonder I love Germany so much.


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