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Shelby
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21 May 2008, 10:13 pm

There's this womanI work with, she is always very sweet and friendly to everyone and I like her a lot. Yesterday I saw her, and she was super friendly and chatted to me a few minutes about clothes and even said she would give me a shirt that I liked. A couple of hours later, she was carrying some heavy things back and forth. I went and asked if she wanted help to carry stuff. She had her Ipod on, and she said "No I just want to listen to my music and do it myself."

Was that a rude thing to say? She said it very nicely, but I never know when I should read between the lines. At first I thought, fair enough because I sometimes want to listen to my Ipod and not be bothered. But...I'm autistic! Of course I get like that, but she's NT. I started to feel a little upset by what she said. Does "I want to listen to my music" mean "I don't want to talk to you?" I didn't speak to her again, and when I got home I called up an NT friend and told her what happened. She said it was a very rude thing to say, and that some people in this world will tell you to F*** off, but others will sugar coat it and tell you nicely - but she still basically told me to F off. Then another friend came online, she said the same thing. My mom said the same thing, and I asked another girl at work today and SHE said the same thing! All of them agreed that this woman was being rude to me.

I've asked a bunch of NTs so I thought I'll ask some Aspies now. Should I be offended? Or should I seriously consider the fact that I might be irritating her and this was her polite way of telling me to leave her alone? Any thoughts would be welcome!



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21 May 2008, 10:26 pm

uhm. I don't think it should be all that big a deal. Different people have different things that they do that they just like to do themselves to be by themself. She could be destressing or having a peaceful, mind calming moment. Not all NT people need constant social interaction. Maybe she is a bit introverted. I don't really know...those are just some things that came to mind. I hope you don't take it too personally though. You did say she is sweet and friendly.


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21 May 2008, 10:27 pm

doesn't sound that bad. If you had wanted to, you could have jokingly chided her about it...but it takes a lot of practice.

It could be that she doesn't want to be the 'helpless female' (there are some women who resent that), dont' think it's a problem, unless she's been distant since. Or that's my impression.



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21 May 2008, 10:28 pm

hmmmmmmmmmm

in the end you cant really judge someone's actions based on other people's idea of what that person meant.

all of these people could have the wrong idea.

you do say that you might feel like this sometimes.. i dont think its ONLY ever possible for an autistic to want to do their own thing on their own.

my opinion is to take it for face value and don't let it change anything down the line.

if her behavior is consistantly passive after that point and she actually never does try to interact with you anymore, then maybe you should start to have these worrysome thoughts.

i know i would be mortified if i was misunderstood once and found out that someone's friends and family was calling me a jerk all the while.


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21 May 2008, 10:30 pm

A lot of people like organizing and moving stuff around as a method of relieving stress. Maybe she just needed some "me time." Especially if she had her ipod on before you asked her.

Personally, I think a lot of women get offended too easily if another women wants to be by herself sometimes. I wish I had female aspie friends. :(



21 May 2008, 10:45 pm

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At first I thought, fair enough because I sometimes want to listen to my Ipod and not be bothered. But...I'm autistic! Of course I get like that, but she's NT.



I was a bit bothered when you said that. It sounded like you were using your condition as an excuse and only we should act that way but not NTs. :?
I don't think that's fair. I think NTs have every right to not want to be bothered either when they are doing something if it's okay for us to be that way.
And how do you know she is NT? Sure she can act normal and look normal but how do you know she doesn't have a neurological condition? I don't think my Dad is NT, nor is his brother but they both look normal and act normal so lot of aspies would assume they're NTs.
But if they knew them longer and saw them all the time then they might notice a difference in them. My ex noticed my dad acted different than the norm.


Anyway I just think she wanted to handle the heavy things herself thinking she doesn't need any help. What is she supposed to say if she doesn't want help from you? Would it have been more polite if she said, "No that's okay, but thanks?"



little-bird
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21 May 2008, 11:00 pm

You really shouldn't be offended. You offered and she turned it down. Perhaps she was brusque, perhaps she did want to be left alone - what is wrong with that? It doesn't mean that much. It is also okay to feel a little taken aback, but hey, you just get on with things. Also, it is a little ridiculous to to assume that because you are autistic and want to listen to your ipod and not be bothered, that NT's therefore cannot do the same, as Spokane_Girl has pointed out. Of course they can feel this way. We are all just a bunch of humans with differences.



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21 May 2008, 11:04 pm

Shelby wrote:
There's this womanI work with, she is always very sweet and friendly to everyone and I like her a lot. Yesterday I saw her, and she was super friendly and chatted to me a few minutes about clothes and even said she would give me a shirt that I liked. A couple of hours later, she was carrying some heavy things back and forth. I went and asked if she wanted help to carry stuff. She had her Ipod on, and she said "No I just want to listen to my music and do it myself."

Was that a rude thing to say? She said it very nicely, but I never know when I should read between the lines. At first I thought, fair enough because I sometimes want to listen to my Ipod and not be bothered. But...I'm autistic! Of course I get like that, but she's NT. I started to feel a little upset by what she said. Does "I want to listen to my music" mean "I don't want to talk to you?" I didn't speak to her again, and when I got home I called up an NT friend and told her what happened. She said it was a very rude thing to say, and that some people in this world will tell you to F*** off, but others will sugar coat it and tell you nicely - but she still basically told me to F off. Then another friend came online, she said the same thing. My mom said the same thing, and I asked another girl at work today and SHE said the same thing! All of them agreed that this woman was being rude to me.

I've asked a bunch of NTs so I thought I'll ask some Aspies now. Should I be offended? Or should I seriously consider the fact that I might be irritating her and this was her polite way of telling me to leave her alone? Any thoughts would be welcome!


She could have just wnted to be alone, maybe you could try talking to her again. If it happens again then she is doing t to avoid you.



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21 May 2008, 11:21 pm

I personally wouldn't think twice about it. I mean, whether she meant exactly what she said or was giving you the brush-off, she was still trying to be nice about it at least.
The thing that worries me is not what she did, but the way your NT friends/family took it. I know I do stuff like this all the time and of course mean what I say... it explains some of the strangeness in people when I see them the next day though.



Shelby
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22 May 2008, 1:51 am

That's very funny to see that all the NTs I asked said "Oh that is so rude!" but all the Aspies have been more understanding. We supposedly don't have empathy, yet everyone here has shown more empathy for this woman than any NT I asked. Though interesting none of you asked for more information - most of the NTs I asked wanted to know things like if she had done it before, and wanted more background on the kind of relationship we have before they made a decision whether she was rude or not.

Thankyou to everyone else who gave their ideas, I think the people who said to wait a bit and see if she will speak to me again are right. My friend Tamara said the same thing, just maybe take a step back and not go out of my way to talk to her, and see if she will come to me. Then I will know if it was a personal thing (I should add, after she made the music comment to me, someone else came in, she turned off the Ipod and talked to them. We were also setting up for something, she wasn't sitting by herself on a park bench which would have been a different story. Maybe she wanted to be alone but the room was filling up with people, so it seemed awfully personal when she spent the next 15 minutes chatting happily to everyone else.)

As for using my condition as an excuse...oh you know what, I'm not even going to waste my time on the couple of negative nancies who decided to criticize me instead of helping out with advice. What I was saying is that it's normal for me to go off in my own world and nobody may bother me, sure NTs might want some down time to listen to music, but to actually say that you'd rather listen to your music than talk to someone - yeah it would have been different if she just said "Oh no thanks, I don't need help" but to actually tell me she wanted to listen to her music is the part I had a problem with. Tamara said she would cry if someone said that to her. If a known Aspie said that to me, I wouldn't take offense in the slightest because I would be like "Cool. You've had enough of people. I hear that." But she was at work and she's in a job directly dealing with people. It wasn't a nice thing to say, but I'm not going to hate her for it.

Thanks again to the people who responded with helpful advice!



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22 May 2008, 1:54 am

Shelby wrote:
That's very funny to see that all the NTs I asked said "Oh that is so rude!" but all the Aspies have been more understanding. ...

... or maybe we just don't get it - lol


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Shelby
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22 May 2008, 2:49 am

LOL Bazza! Yeah because at first, I thought "Oh yeah, she's just having an autistic 'i hate the human race and want to be alone with my music' moment." But then I wondered if it was a bit more personal...does she not want to talk to anyone, or does she not want to talk to ME? I got my answer 5 minutes later when she was cheerfully chatting to other people. I'm still not sure whether to take it personally or not...all the NTs are still saying I have every right to be upset and all the Aspies are saying don't let it bother me. Or...is that just the Aspie attitude of "Don't care what anyone thinks."?



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22 May 2008, 3:16 am

NT butting in ..again!

I would give this woman another go. She may have wanted to retreat and probably has her own issues.

I guess you are deciding to trust her as a potential friend and you are constantly seeking reassurance, so that you were stung by her words even though she said them nicely. She may need space too.

I hope things work out!

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22 May 2008, 3:47 am

Sounds to me like it wasn't about talking, but rather that she wanted to set the things up her way.

Are you the kind of person who might have got too involved in the actual setting up, or would she have had reason to think that you were?



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22 May 2008, 3:55 am

I don't think there's any reason to be offended.
She might have wanted to do things herself to make sure it was done right, or she might have just wanted a break from talking. Everyone needs their space.
Just because someone isn't autistic is doesn't mean that they like talking 24/7.


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22 May 2008, 4:33 am

No not really if i was u i will just get on with it i know its not easy but believe me gettin upset with little tings doesn't really help.