Help with Autistic vs Non-Autistic Conversation

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watercourseblue
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13 Nov 2021, 6:20 pm

I would appreciate if anyone would share their opinion on the following conversation-snippet between an Autistic person and a Non-Autistic person who are dating. I am withholding my opinion so as not to taint the response of others. Thank you very much in advance for your help.



Non-Autistic Individual
"You never try to apologize. No, instead when I told you how I felt you said I was angry, and cuss a lot. You don't read or understand what I say. You just act like a dick. If I read a text where someone said exactly what I said, I would thought: "Wow I make them feel like s**t and am a total as*hole," but you don't even do that right."


Autistic Individual
"You're right: I don't 'do it right' because it requires recognizing the social queues

1] You, being non-autistic, can SUCCESSFULLY recognize Social Queues.
2] You, being non-autistic, can SUCCESSFULLY take these Social Queues and respond to them using the appropriate Social Responses

I, being Autistic, cannot easily do these things"


Non-Autistic Individual
"No one else who is autistic I know uses it as an excuse. That's like an alcoholic saying they only beat you cause they're drunk as they continue to drink and not stop when their partner tell them to. They just say why are you dating me then if you don't want to get beat."



Sweetleaf
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13 Nov 2021, 8:28 pm

To me it seems like the autistic person may not be trying to meet them half way. There can be communication issues with an autistic and neurotypical person, but if both people can try and meet the other half way that can help.

I don't think you need to successfully recognize all social cues 100% of the time, to recognize if your partner is upset. If they are upset at something you did...it doesn't matter if you meant it in a way to cause that, you should still apologize.

Me and my boyfriend do not text argue, but we've certainly had conflicts. For sure some of it has been from me acting like kind of a jerk without meaning to and then refusing to just apologize and instead trying to argue about how I didn't mean it that way so he's wrong for being upset. I have certainly improved that quite a bit, just had to sort of engrain it into my skull that its not the intent that matters its what you do that matters.

Certainly easier just to say, 'I'm sorry I was acting like a jerk'.

In my opinion it is not really fair to just say 'well I can't read social cues, so its ok if I'm a jerk'. Everyone makes mistakes but it helps if you can own up to it without making excuses.


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14 Nov 2021, 2:40 am

watercourseblue wrote:
Non-Autistic Individual
"You never try to apologize. No, instead when I told you how I felt you said I was angry, and cuss a lot. You don't read or understand what I say. You just act like a dick. If I read a text where someone said exactly what I said, I would thought: "Wow I make them feel like s**t and am a total as*hole," but you don't even do that right."


Sounds like they are complaining about a lack of cognitive empathy.

Quote:
Understanding Affective and Cognitive Empathy in Autism

One of the most common myths about autistic individuals is that they don’t feel empathy towards others. There are two interrelated types of empathy: affective or emotional empathy, which involves feeling an appropriate emotional response to another person’s emotion, and cognitive empathy, or Theory of Mind (ToM), which involves understanding or predicting another person’s perspective. The affective component of empathizing involves feeling an appropriate emotion triggered by seeing/learning of another’s emotion. When engaged in affective empathy, we vicariously experience the emotional states of others, understanding that our feelings are not ours, but rather those of the other person. Sympathy is also considered an affective component of empathy. It is the feeling or emotion triggered by seeing or learning of someone else’s distress which moves you to want to take an action that will help ease their suffering.

The cognitive or ToM component of empathy involves the understanding and/or predicting what someone else might think, feel, or do. It is the ability to identify cues that indicate the thoughts and feelings of others and “to put oneself into another person’s shoes.” It is also referred to as “mentalizing,” “mindreading,” and “perspective taking.” The ability to reflect on one’s own and other people’s minds (beliefs, desires, intentions, imagination and emotions) allows us to interact effectively with others in the social world. ToM may also be thought of existing on a continuum with some individuals able to “mindread” relatively easily and intuitively, while others experience varying degrees of problems interpreting and predicting another person’s behavior. Most (but not all) typical individuals are able to mindread relatively easily and intuitively. They can read another person’s facial expression and body language, and tone of voice and recognize his or her thoughts and feelings, and the likely course of their behavior. In other words, they interpret, predict, and participate in social interaction automatically, and for the most part, intuitively. Often referred to as "mindblindness," it is this cognitive component of empathy that is delayed in autism.
Unfortunately, the failure to understand the difference between affective (emotional) empathy and cognitive empathy has led to a persistent myth and stereotype that people with autism lack empathy and cannot understand emotion. It’s critically important to recognize that autism is characterized by challenges associated with cognitive empathy (ToM), not emotional empathy which is intact. Although autistic individuals may have difficulty with social cues and understanding and predicting another’s thoughts, motives and intentions, they have the ability to care and be concerned about other people’s feelings.



hurtloam
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14 Nov 2021, 5:11 am

How did you broach the subject? How you expressed the way they make you feel can get their hackles up and make them go on the defensive.

Have you googled "How to communicate without blame"

It's difficult to evaluate this situation without context.

The autistic one sounds like a doormat to me. Maybe they weren't in the wrong at all.



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14 Nov 2021, 6:24 am

It seems to me an example of two different communication styles. One that is direct and straightforward, one that is requiring theory of mind as mentioned in other posts.

Neither is right or wrong, but it is difficult for the two styles to have a productive exchange.

If the situation is also emotionally charged as I assume it is from what is written, then that makes it impossible. It is just a reactive exchange then.

For these two people to understand each other they need to talk when not emotional and be willing to try to understand the others point of view before offering their own.

Idk - that’s just my take on it.



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14 Nov 2021, 2:46 pm

I agree with the above about sitting down to talk when both parties are calm and not emotionally charged.

But I will add to prepare for that calm talk, each person should figure out they truly want from the other person.

One person trying to control another is never ever going to end happily.

If each person knows the core of what the other person wants, they may be able to come up with a solution this is satisfying for both parties.

I find the orange analogy helpful when thinking of compatible solutions:

A baker and juice maker have one orange. Each wants it for a different reason (one for the juice, the other the rind for baking). They could have simply split it in half (fair) but in doing so the baker has no need for the juice in his half and alternately the juice maker has no use for the rind in his half. Had they collaboratively brainstormed, they could have doubled their take by having the baker take the whole rind, the juice maker, taking the juice.

Basically the concept is to find out what both people want at their core and it's possible that both can "get their own way" if they both know what the other truly wants. (Rather than having a "compromise" where both people feel "cheated" and bitter about it.

SARK wrote a book around this concept called "Wild Succulent Love" that I highly recommend at least skimming.


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17 Nov 2021, 1:03 pm

Oakling wrote:
It seems to me an example of two different communication styles. One that is direct and straightforward, one that is requiring theory of mind as mentioned in other posts.

Neither is right or wrong, but it is difficult for the two styles to have a productive exchange.

If the situation is also emotionally charged as I assume it is from what is written, then that makes it impossible. It is just a reactive exchange then.

For these two people to understand each other they need to talk when not emotional and be willing to try to understand the others point of view before offering their own.

Idk - that’s just my take on it.
I agree. The communication differences is a major problem I've had with starting relationships with NT women. I'm too direct & too straightforward & I unintentionally upset them or creeped them out by just trying to get a date. I believe a big key to making a relationship work is for both partners to be committed to making it work & both being willing to try to understand each other & willing to compromise. I could be very wrong but my impression is that the NT is not currently trying to understand where the Aspie is coming from & believes that he is just making excuses instead of even trying to accommodate her. The NT is about ready to give up on their relationship if the Aspie can not learn to act the way she wants/needs him to. They may be too incompatible with their styles of communication & one or both is not committed enough to really compromise. At this point it may be best for them to end things & for both of them to try & find a partner who communicates more on their levels & would be willing to work to meet each other halfway.


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17 Nov 2021, 5:03 pm

watercourseblue wrote:
I would appreciate if anyone would share their opinion on the following conversation-snippet between an Autistic person and a Non-Autistic person who are dating. I am withholding my opinion so as not to taint the response of others. Thank you very much in advance for your help.



Non-Autistic Individual
"You never try to apologize. No, instead when I told you how I felt you said I was angry, and cuss a lot. You don't read or understand what I say. You just act like a dick. If I read a text where someone said exactly what I said, I would thought: "Wow I make them feel like s**t and am a total as*hole," but you don't even do that right."


Autistic Individual
"You're right: I don't 'do it right' because it requires recognizing the social queues

1] You, being non-autistic, can SUCCESSFULLY recognize Social Queues.
2] You, being non-autistic, can SUCCESSFULLY take these Social Queues and respond to them using the appropriate Social Responses

I, being Autistic, cannot easily do these things"


Non-Autistic Individual
"No one else who is autistic I know uses it as an excuse. That's like an alcoholic saying they only beat you cause they're drunk as they continue to drink and not stop when their partner tell them to. They just say why are you dating me then if you don't want to get beat."


Assuming the non-autistic person is honestly describing how the autistic person acts, the autistic person's response does nothing to explain why they're acting that way. Telling someone "you're angry" is an example of what's called mind-reading, and is a communication error that is, if anything, more common in NTs than autistics, so it's got nothing to do with the autism. Swearing is often a sign of someone who's emotionally overwhelmed and losing control, which can happen with any neurotype.

So, overall, it does sound like using autism as an excuse for behavior that has nothing to do with being autistic.

Although the drunk person analogy is really stupid and makes no sense.



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18 Nov 2021, 3:41 am

Ettina wrote:
Although the drunk person analogy is really stupid and makes no sense.
It would help us repliers a lot if we knew the context & the situation more... But anyone getting compared to an alcoholic wife beater is a MAJOR WARNING SIGN :!: Either the Aspie is very abusive like violate with others or himself, throws or breaks things, threatens harm to her, calls her very insulting things, often yells, & other such stuff; Or the NT does NOT understand the Aspie at all & she is NOT wanting to understand him. In either case it would likely be best for both of em to end the relationship.

I've been compared to & even called a misogynist & potential wife beater more than a few times in the past but I NEVER been violate ever if my adult life & I'm a male feminist. Being majorly misunderstood like that is a major reason why WP is the main forum I've used for the last 10 years & why I'm misanthropic nowadays. People in general are very mean & hateful towards each other & I'm just sick & tired of it(watch American news to see what I mean)


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