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CockneyRebel
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22 May 2008, 6:02 am

That woman appears to be a sweet, decent person, to me. My dad used to be a jerk, whenever I'd offer him help. He used to yell that he didn't need any help, and to leave him alone. That woman seems really nice. I think that you should keep being friends with her.


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Shelby
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22 May 2008, 10:43 pm

I asked 2 more NTs today, both of them also said it was a rude and hurtful thing to say!

Actually this question has turned out to be an interesting NT vs Aspie social experiment! Every single NT said it was rude and they would be hurt, and every Aspie has said it's nothing. Is that because the NTs are able to read more into her words? I mean, it's supposed to be typical for Aspies to take everything literally. So it makes sense you all read "I want to listen to my music" as "I want to listen to my music." The NTs read it as "I don't want to talk to you right now."

NTs may enjoy their alone time too but no NT (or Aspie) I've ever met has said it that bluntly before. Most people (including my Aspie self) will be polite even if they don't really want to talk to someone. I have had to grin and bear it when someone talks to me and I want to listen to my Ipod.

shopaholic: No I don't think it mattered how she set things up, we were just carrying weights and it didn't matter how they were set up. It wasn't the fact that she wouldn't let me help her, it was the music comment that made me wonder...is she politely telling me to go away??

CockneyRebel: She is usually so nice so I'll take your advice and stay friendly with her. The thing I wonder about this woman though, is that she is a super friendly people pleaser and I've wondered before how genuine it is. I don't get the feeling she is fake, but then I don't have the social radar that NTs have. If someone is smiling I generally assume they are nice, when of course fake people generally do smile and act sweet. I wondered if I finally caught her at a moment when she dropped the facade, and maybe she has only been pretending to like me.



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22 May 2008, 10:48 pm

Shelby wrote:
Aspies to take everything literally. So it makes sense you all read "I want to listen to my music" as "I want to listen to my music." The NTs read it as "I don't want to talk to you right now."



I interpreted it as both, but I don't see anything wrong with someone not wanting to talk to someone. People shouldn't have to talk to anyone just because someone wants to talk to them.


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22 May 2008, 10:50 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!


Sometimes NTs are just responding with truth. Chances are that she might have been happy doing her chores herself, so she gave you an honest answer. I find NTs rude all the time, but I tend to be oversensitive, so I let it go and later on I look at the whole scene replayed in my mind then decide that they probably gave an answer similar to what mine might have been - blunt and right to the point. She may not have intended to be rude, but with her iPod on, she may not have realized how short and abrupt she sounded. Not that I'm defending her, but in that kind of situation it's hard to tell. Best thing to do is if you're not really sure, then give the person the benefit of the doubt until it happens again. If she's short with you again on another occasion, then it's probably safe to say she's deliberately being rude. Look at it this way - if she was smiling and apparently making the attempt to 'seem' nice while telling you she didn't need any help, more than likely she just didn't need any help, period, and wanted only to do it for herself.


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shopaholic
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23 May 2008, 6:12 am

Shelby wrote:
The thing I wonder about this woman though, is that she is a super friendly people pleaser and I've wondered before how genuine it is. I don't get the feeling she is fake, but then I don't have the social radar that NTs have. If someone is smiling I generally assume they are nice, when of course fake people generally do smile and act sweet. I wondered if I finally caught her at a moment when she dropped the facade, and maybe she has only been pretending to like me.


Aahhh! Light dawns. I hate people like this, they are like nails scratching on a chalkboard to me!

I have another possible scenario for you:

Maybe someone else upset her a few minutes before, and she is the type of person who always wants to come across as nice. At the exact moment you spoke to her, she was too upset to have been able to do that, so she chose not to interact with you.

Maybe 5 minutes later she was feeling better, or maybe the other people she was speaking to already knew about the situation that upset her & so she was able to talk about it with them?

I know I'm just guessing here, but the point I am making is that there are many many possible explanations for her actions, only one of which is that she "suddenly" stopped liking you for no apparent reason.

I would reiterate the advice that others have givien you - wait & see how she is with you next time you see her. If she is as friendly as normal, either it wasn't you in the first place, or it was so minor that she has already dealt with it & moved on.

If, however, she continues to be "off" with you, say to her that you have noticed that she seems to be upset - is there something wrong? This will give her a chance to either tell you if you have upset her, or to feel bad about the way she has been treating you and start to be nicer.



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23 May 2008, 6:34 am

From the sounds of it she was probably just a little stressed out and wanted to be left alone. My advice would be to keep going on as if nothing had happened, if stuff like this keeps happening then you have a reason to be concerned.


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23 May 2008, 8:30 am

I say why bother taking offense? There are too many scenarios to logic this out anyway. The 'wait and see' advice is sound no matter the details. If you have been as good in your interactions with her as you could, it is pointless to allow yourself to be anxious over it, no matter how much the NTs say you should. Honestly, what good would it do? It will only make things worse when she perceives a change in you and reacts emotionally (if she is indeed NT) and it will cause a bunch of NT type drama. The ability to objectively, unemotionally handle these situations is an advantage, i think, and one that has often kept problems from escalating for me. Even though empathy may not come naturally for us, we can use the natural tendency to not assume offense and get emotionally riled to be peacemakers in relationships.

The only strategy that i have for these situations is to watch for a consistent pattern of behavior while assuming the best. Then, if i see a pattern that is suggestive of some discontent, i can approach the person at a happy moment for the both of us and mention that something seems to have changed between us and ask if he/she would share the problem with me so i can make things right again. Often people have just said "Oh, nooo, there is no problem!" and everything was fine again. Their behavior either had nothing to do with me, or they realized that i meant no offense and let it go. Either way, problem solved. Or, they would say "no problem", but continue the pattern, at which time our relationship became established as civil acquaintance instead of friends. In that case, i had either assumed friendship where there was only an acquaintance, or they didn't want to be friends. Not everyone is compatible as a true friend, so nothing personal. I can keep looking for a friend if i need one (though, the fewer face-to-face friends, the better, as even one is exhausting if properly maintained). The final response is, of course, a telling of the problem and subsequent reparations. (I always just assume responsibility, and when i do, they have almost always also assumed theirs. If not, why hold on to it anyway? Maybe they just aren't mature enough to handle the teeny loss of face.) In a professional relationship, civil acquaintance is enough to keep the workplace running smoothly and all from being under stress.

Sorry so long. Hope this all helps. Keep us posted!



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23 May 2008, 9:37 am

Upset or set up, or? topic

I like these topics. I may have had a similar experience when I worked in retail.

The other NTs knew I was not one of them. I found them to be more moody than I was, or at least they showed it. It was as if they were acting toward me as they thought I acted toward them. Kind of an in-your-face thing. I would shrug and walk away. What could I do? I do not talk others out of bad moods. I am not a Mundie Rescuer type. :eew:

I would not trust this woman again.


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Shelby
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23 May 2008, 6:06 pm

Shopaholic: Tamara, another girl I work with said the EXACT same thing. That maybe someone upset her, and she was still a bit shaken from that so she couldn't talk to me. That would make a lot of sense, because a couple hours earlier she was extremely nice to me. As Tamara put it to me: "What did you do after she said that to you?" I said I put MY Ipod on and I didn't want to talk to anyone because I was upset. Tamara said "Well there you go, maybe someone had just done the same thing to her." I will keep that in mind the next time I see her.

deadpanhead: Good advice, I will assume the best. If it comes up that she asks if I was offended, I will certainly tell her that it wasn't the nicest thing to say and it bothered me, but I won't hold it against her. Otherwise I won't go out of my way to bring it up, it's not serious enough to make too much of a big deal but I will try to keep my "radar" up looking for any signs that perhaps this woman truly doesn't like me. Like you said, I don't want to bring up a bunch of NT drama. I could just imagine her going over the top either apologizing profusely, or getting huffy with me for being oversensitive.

Thanks again to everyone, you've been very helpful understanding the twisted NT world! :P



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23 May 2008, 7:00 pm

Shelby wrote:
Thanks again to everyone, you've been very helpful understanding the twisted NT world! :P


You are ever so welcome! Glad you are feeling better about it and have a plan. (At least that's how it sounds.) Do come back and let us know how it goes. Virtual hugs.



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26 May 2008, 6:19 am

Oh I do not understand this woman! I saw her today. She did not wave at me like usual, did not speak to me at all. But she walked past, smiled and put her hand on my arm. Then kept walking without a word. Then walked past not long after as she was leaving, put her head down and didn't say goodbye but her friend did. There is no possible way she is angry at me because I didn't do anything. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND NTS!! !! !! !



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26 May 2008, 9:03 am

I'd just take it with a pinch of salt, sometimes people are like that at work, you just have to let them get on with it and then after time it sorts itself out.



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26 May 2008, 11:06 pm

Shelby wrote:
But she walked past, smiled and put her hand on my arm. Then kept walking without a word. Then walked past not long after as she was leaving, put her head down and didn't say goodbye but her friend did. There is no possible way she is angry at me because I didn't do anything.


Hmm, mysterious, but not necessarily bad. She did smile (at you?) and touch you which i don't think anyone would do if they had a problem with you. Is it at all possible that she has recently learned about your Aspie-ness? It almost sounds as if she is giving you space she may think you need. You could try taking the initiative in things like saying goodbye and see how she reacts. I have learned that often people just think i want to be left alone because i don't initiate anything.

Also, it occurred to me that the NTs in your life may have assumed that you were venting feelings when you told them about the original 'incident' and were just doing the NT thing and 'validating' your supposed feelings by expressing outrage on your behalf. You may also want to take what they say about it 'with a pinch of salt' for that reason. From reading i gather that NTs, at least women, don't want another to offer help at such times but just to kind of join in the 'feeling fest' with them. I'll never get it either.

If the worst part of this is not knowing what she is thinking, you could end your torture by buying her lunch and explaining to her the way you are and ask her to just tell you frankly if there is a problem between you two.



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27 May 2008, 2:10 am

Good points deadpanhead. I don't think the NTs were validating since when I told them about it I did it by saying "Have you ever been not sure if you've been insulted or not?" and then told them. I could see they would try to validate if I began with "Ugghh this woman I work with said this and I'm so upset, ra ra ra..."

I haven't told her or anyone who might tell her about my Aspie ness, but interesting you brought it up. This woman is very huggy and affectionate but not so much with me. One day another coworker hugged me, and immediately she jumped in and hugged me too. A few times she has walked toward me like she was about to hug then stopped dead. I finally realised I tense up when someone is coming toward me, even though I like her very much and wouldn't mind a hug I was unconsiously pulling away and she noticed (many people do not and would hug me anyway). But I don't think she is giving me space because I think she can see I like talking to her. She knows I like her. A friend who knows her said she has often got the feeling that this woman pretends to be nice but is secretly irritated (she has a job where everyone admires her and constantly wants her attention). I had always been impressed with her because she's the one person who was never irritated by my autisticness and will patiently talk to me. But I wonder if the patience finally ran out. We Aspies can be quite annoying, to NTs and even each other!



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27 May 2008, 3:43 am

Yes, if you tense up when she hugs you, she will definitely notice!

It does sound like she may think she has upset you - could it have got back to her that you were asking questions about her? You say you have asked a lot of people - could she know any of them? She seems kind of unsure of how to act around you.

Try initiating something - see if she seems happy & relieved or irritated?



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27 May 2008, 8:34 am

shopaholic wrote:
Yes, if you tense up when she hugs you, she will definitely notice!


Thanks Shop, i was thinking the same but have posted so much already!

shopaholic wrote:
It does sound like she may think she has upset you - could it have got back to her that you were asking questions about her? You say you have asked a lot of people - could she know any of them? She seems kind of unsure of how to act around you.


Agreed here, too. Also, you mentioned, Shelby, that she is in a position that spreads her people time pretty thin. Even NTs can only keep up with a certain number of people at a time. Is there any possibility that since you admire her so much and feel comfy with her that you spent more time with her than she could spare and she is just regulating it? (I've actually had a nearly identical situation and learned to set limits for myself with the lady.) I think, also, that when we get comfortable with someone and do things that to us seem friendly, it comes off as disconcerting to others because they are reading us as if we are NTs. It doesn't add up for them so their imaginations run wild and they get uncomfortable.

Barring all the above, i suppose we have to touch on the darker side. Is the person who told you she is fake a reliable, trustworthy source? Could the person who told you have any ulterior motives; is there anything for her to gain by ruining this other lady's reputation? If she gossips about lots of people she probably isn't reliable. Is there anyone else that you know you can trust who might explain all of the current office dynamics to you?

Okay, that's it for today! I hope this is helping you sort it out and not making it muddier! :)