Have people said "you don't try hard enough"?

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Jayo
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09 Apr 2022, 4:45 pm

I found IME it was typically the opposite (at least in my later adult years) at jobs, where the feedback would be "you need to stop trying so hard" - which upon reflection was due to their not appreciating that I had to use analytical reasoning in place of spontaneous intuition. But I digress, what I wanted to raise here was whether anyone had to contend with accusations of "not trying harder" - which is quite obviously unfounded and unfair in most of our cases :x

Especially, when the expectation is for us to fluidly respond to social interactions based on non-verbals or the other person's "likely" state of mind, trying harder would mean more analyzing and ergo more appearing "weird". So maybe when they say "not trying hard enough" means over the course of several months or years, to absorb the proper interaction norms with NTs. Of course this is a value judgement which can't be measured - which is the corollary to the DSM saying "qualitative impairments in communication and social interaction".

In such cases, I find / have found that it's best to respond with the question "OK, well (out of curiosity) what led you to conclude that I wasn't trying 'hard enough'?" And then further question any responses, but make it from a curiosity angle rather than a prosecuting angle, if you catch my drift. :)



hurtloam
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09 Apr 2022, 4:58 pm

That sounds like a good question to ask?

Are the responses you get useful?



Jayo
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09 Apr 2022, 6:02 pm

hurtloam wrote:
That sounds like a good question to ask?

Are the responses you get useful?


Ehh...not really. :( At least they don't get aggressive. They'd typically just mutter some "by now" statement, e.g. "well, you would have gotten the hang of (insert NT-centric activity bias) BY NOW".
And then I'd come back with "So how do you attribute that to lack of effort?"
And then silence for a few seconds, and again some other mealy-mouthed, uninformed response.



AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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09 Apr 2022, 10:44 pm

Jayo wrote:
. . . when the expectation is for us to fluidly respond to social interactions based on non-verbals or the other person's "likely" state of mind, trying harder would mean more analyzing and ergo more appearing "weird". . .
This is the dilemma I found out late in life! :P

I’ve had some success with making a conscious effort to tone down my internal censor, so that the default setting is that its okay to go ahead and say it anyway (unless it jumps out at me as inappropriate)

COMBINED WITH

If someone needs space, go ahead and give them space (plenty of time later to mull over whether they made a social blunder or me, and a fair number of times, it’s them).

============

Somehow, a person giving you this “helpful” advice reminds me of the widely differing and contradictory things people says about jobs, such as:

“You’ve got to take a fair amount of sh#t at the job.”

“You’ve got to stand up for yourself.”

Hello!



Hip Albatross
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10 Apr 2022, 2:06 am

The well ment advise can be really hurtful.

I usually try not to infer bad intent, but i do pinch them back. Because i don't accept the hurtful behavior.

Id say something like "you could really work on your feedback skills. It can bring you lots in life!"

Give it a positive tone and it's all within NT boundaries of acceptable behavior.



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10 Apr 2022, 3:11 am

Quote:
Ask a naturally reliable person how you begin to embody reliability and you’ll get an answer back that sounds a lot like the Nike slogan: “Just do it.”

Because they really don't have anything much to say about it.

And thus I don't take anyone too personally... Anymore...

Screw all the hidden prerequisites they do not have to consciously fulfill, and the steps they do not even have to acknowledge let alone deal with it to begin with.
At the end of the day, it's just another form of ignorance I have to put up with.


Try telling a dysregulated person to just control themselves and try harder/not too hard to relax or be more appropriate. :lol:
As if that's how it works and as if that'll work.


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Dillogic
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10 Apr 2022, 4:36 am

A bit of both over the years.

When doing things poorly: try harder
When doing things adequately (rarely, exceptionally): stop trying so hard

The issue being the things I do poorly at don't have anything to do with how much I try, as I do the best I can at the time in all things, which leads to a fragmented pattern of outcomes because I am developmentally disabled after all.

It didn't bother me though. Somewhat innocuous words all things considered, and they either point to their expectations for whatever reason (we shouldn't hold such expectations of others), or an inferiority complex (best to let go of that as soon as you can otherwise it'll just eat away at your self-esteem).



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10 Apr 2022, 9:22 am

yes, all my life from early childhood on I was told I was not trying, told I was not paying attention, told I was lazy, Told I was being difficult and not following directions on purpose, told I was stupid, inept, mean, thoughtless, inconsiderate, etc.

It took a toll. I had depression for 30 years without ceasing, I still have anxiety from trying so hard and never getting it right.

68 years later I learned it was my very poor visual and audio processing. Autism was to blame and nobody suspected it at all!
No matter how hard I tried, I simply could not overcome my neurology.

It only seemed to others as if I was not trying, when I remember being so intent on trying to "get it" (and never did) on trying to do the right thing, have the correct response, not ask repeatedly for explanations, etc. I was constantly in despair to try to fix all my failures, constantly anxious and afraid to try because I was sure I would once more get it all wrong and have yet another failure to be punished and shamed for.

I learned when I got diagnosed that everything was after all ,,NOT "all my fault" but that it was my neurology! What a relief!! ! You are not alone.


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Jayo
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10 Apr 2022, 11:54 am

autisticelders wrote:
yes, all my life from early childhood on I was told I was not trying, told I was not paying attention, told I was lazy, Told I was being difficult and not following directions on purpose, told I was stupid, inept, mean, thoughtless, inconsiderate, etc.

It took a toll. I had depression for 30 years without ceasing, I still have anxiety from trying so hard and never getting it right.

68 years later I learned it was my very poor visual and audio processing. Autism was to blame and nobody suspected it at all!
No matter how hard I tried, I simply could not overcome my neurology.

It only seemed to others as if I was not trying, when I remember being so intent on trying to "get it" (and never did) on trying to do the right thing, have the correct response, not ask repeatedly for explanations, etc. I was constantly in despair to try to fix all my failures, constantly anxious and afraid to try because I was sure I would once more get it all wrong and have yet another failure to be punished and shamed for.

I learned when I got diagnosed that everything was after all ,,NOT "all my fault" but that it was my neurology! What a relief!! ! You are not alone.


Yes, I agree, it is not our FAULT - but it is our responsibility to change what we can, to address what we can (think of that famous serenity prayer, and you get the idea :) )

The book by Mark Manson called "The Subtle Art of Not giving a f***" illustrates this fault vs. responsibility very well.

We didn't ask to have an ASD, but...we can't get rid of it or fully convert our "operating system" to NTOS. :P We can only emulate it based on cultivated intellect, occasional feedback, accumulated experience and reflection, etc.

Since I was born in the '70s and wasn't diagnosed till 2001, as a still fairly young adult, I didn't have the benefit of looking at YouTube videos and such to reinforce learning of certain socio-emotional dynamics or motor skills tasks. I had to rely on other modalities. Later in the oughts decade, and beyond, I occasionally looked at YouTube videos on certain actions where I knew I'd be somewhat impaired, so that I got a fairly good handle on them - this can be especially useful if you know that you're about to start a certain task, activity, interaction, job or what-have-you and peers are going to observe your form. Some books can help too. We have the advantage of being able to retain more info, it's just where we need to apply it in a generally accepted manner where we tend to falter.



AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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12 Apr 2022, 10:02 am

autisticelders wrote:
68 years later I learned it was my very poor visual and audio processing. Autism was to blame and nobody suspected it at all!

And you’d think a school or workplace could work with processing differences.

But no! :tongue:

For the longest, schools couldn’t even handle left-handedness, and tried to bully and shame kids into writing with their non-dominant hand.



Fnord
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12 Apr 2022, 10:23 am

Jayo wrote:
Have people said "you don't try hard enough"?
Just my grade-school teachers, and only when I asked for help in understanding a concept or procedure.



PseudointellectualHorse
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12 Apr 2022, 9:58 pm

autisticelders wrote:
yes, all my life from early childhood on I was told I was not trying, told I was not paying attention, told I was lazy, Told I was being difficult and not following directions on purpose, told I was stupid, inept, mean, thoughtless, inconsiderate, etc....I learned when I got diagnosed that everything was after all ,,NOT "all my fault" but that it was my neurology!
I echo those experiences. In youth, there's a sense of what you're supposed to be, and that's a good thing...insofar as it's achievable. But we're born with strengths and weaknesses, and have got to work within the framework of the possible. Someone else mentioned the Serenity Prayer; yes, fix what we can, achieve what we can, accept our limitations.



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13 Apr 2022, 12:56 am

All...the...time... Especially with math. No mater how hard I tried it was never enough. My family doesn't believe in learning disabilities and that if you have issues with some subjects maybe you shouldn't pursue that career instead of seek accommodations. Turns out I have dyscalculia. If I had gotten diagnosed sooner, my life probably would have been easier.

I'd probably still have an as*hole brother but my mother wouldn't tell me to give up on being a veterinarian. I was in the 3rd grade when she said that (although she claims she always encouraged me) and I just gave up trying anything in school. I wouldn't do any assignments and my grades dropped from A's to F's and I didn't care. I had a teacher who was a bully so that didn't help either. She didn't care that my grades were dropping. My parents worked full time jobs and didn't get home until it was bedtime. They left me alone with my mentally ill grandmother who would just go in the guest room and sleep the whole time. I lived in the boonies in the middle of nowhere. I had no friends (of course not, the teacher had convinced all my classmates I was to be avoided and mocked) but even if I did, I lived way too far for them to come over to my house or for me to come over to theirs's. I didn't know how to commit suicide, I didn't think it was possible for a person to take their own life but had I known there were ways I would have attempted as young as 8. But I did want to die. My parents never took the bullying seriously and told me it was my fault the teacher didn't like me. I must be doing something to make everyone hate me. I wasn't trying hard enough to make friends or be nice. If I tried to be nice, I got bullied even more. But yeah, if I had a dyscalculia diagnosis and if my parents put me in a different school, I probably would have fared much better.


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AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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14 Apr 2022, 5:27 pm

MagicMeerkat wrote:
. . . but my mother wouldn't tell me to give up on being a veterinarian. I was in the 3rd grade when she said that (although she claims she always encouraged me) and I just gave up trying anything in school. I wouldn't do any assignments and my grades dropped from A's to F's and I didn't care. I had a teacher who was a bully so that didn't help either. . .

Some teachers want an easy job and resent a student who needs extra attention.

Don’t know why these people went into teaching in the first place. I mean, we’d all hope a doctor would have the attitude, the hard patients are the good patients and are exactly why I went to medical school! :D

And it’s really terrible the teacher models bullying for the other students.



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15 Apr 2022, 9:40 pm

Not in those exact words, but for a few years I was accused in school reports of "playing the fool." The problem was that their style of teaching wasn't working on me - one of my accusers only taught the high-flyers at all, so if you didn't already know what he assumed you should already know, he didn't adjust what he said to accommodate you. He'd given one kid a text book with a lot of missing pages. He told him about it several times but all he ever did about it was to poke fun at him. When I first started at that school I was prepared to pay full attention and do my best to learn the work, but they went too fast and made too many assumptions about my ability to comprehend what they were on about, and there was often a culture of ridiculing anybody who asked questions that were deemed naive, and to blame the student when they weren't keeping up with the work. So my attention naturally wandered - there's a limit to how long a person can keep paying attention (or pretending to pay attention) to unclear gobbledegook, so clowning about was pretty much the only way I knew to stay sane.

At work I saw a message from the head of department to my immediate supervisor complaining that he'd heard I wasn't enthusiastic enough about some work he wanted me to do, asking her to ease off the pressure so I could work harder for him. Frankly nobody ever taught anybody how to do the work he wanted people to do, they'd just push people in at the deep end and leave it to them to pick up the ropes.

I'm not particularly willing to do more than a mediocre day's work for a mediocre day's pay (though if the remit is clear I usually can't stop myself from tackling the job full on and trying to do a great job), but for some reason employers seem to think the staff ought to work harder than they do. Maybe that's why there was ever any rumour that I didn't try hard enough. The supervisors who observed me closely were always more than satisfied with my performance, perhaps partly because they were scientists who usually think reasonably objectively, not bureaucrats who have their own silly ideas about what's real, and jump to conclusions because they've never been taught how to think rigorously.



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19 Apr 2022, 4:01 pm

ToughDiamond wrote:
. . . I'm not particularly willing to do more than a mediocre day's work for a mediocre day's pay . . .
I think you’ve identified an area of intellectual tension! :D

And tension among the moral and emotional dimension as well. My general advice is to “embrace the tension” (although I’m not sure it would work for many dysfunctional workplaces).

And then generally aim at that sweet spot around B+ to A- (which can often be an excellent ratio of input to output). Again, some bosses and corporations are so unrealistic that nothing will work. But I think this has a good a chance as anything.