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HAL_9000
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09 Feb 2009, 5:56 am

How far should one go to be assertive? I was at a mental health clubhouse today, and this woman told me to get out of her way and pushed past. A waited a few moments and then I said "in future, don't be such a f*****g cow," and then I walked out. I probably went too far, but how should I stand my ground and stop people thinking they can just walk over me without being offensive?



b9
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09 Feb 2009, 6:34 am

HAL_9000 wrote:
How far should one go to be assertive? I was at a mental health clubhouse today, and this woman told me to get out of her way and pushed past. A waited a few moments and then I said "in future, don't be such a f***ing cow," and then I walked out. I probably went too far, but how should I stand my ground and stop people thinking they can just walk over me without being offensive?


in my experience, a person who is that rude is an exception. everyone who witnesses behavior like that from someone thinks ill of them. i think it is justifiable to resist people like that, and with impunity.

i ignore people who are unreasonable in their requests, or who request (demand) what they want in a bossy or falsely entitled way.

so if she said to me to "get out of her way", i would check to see if i was blocking all available egress. if i was not, then i would ignore her.
if she persisted, i would wonder which way is "her way" that i should get out of, and ask her that question.

depending on her reply, the matter would be either resolved or inflamed.

if someone has a sense of "inherent" entitlement, and also a dogged urge to be unimpeded, then i become defiant and oppositional to every push they make in my direction.
this is not applicable to you i guess because i have also unresolved ODD, but there is no law against resisting, and even circumventing, another persons sense of misplaced aristocracy.

if the girl was an ambulance officer or the like, i would get out of her way without question.

if "pushing" means that she put her hands on you, then that is assault (except in emergencies).
in every instance of a person physically pushing me, i will stand rigid to the spot and they must use force to move me. i even will lean in their direction and dig in if they are heavy men.

whatever.



Nick_1970
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09 Feb 2009, 7:30 am

b9 wrote:
HAL_9000 wrote:
How far should one go to be assertive? I was at a mental health clubhouse today, and this woman told me to get out of her way and pushed past. A waited a few moments and then I said "in future, don't be such a f***ing cow," and then I walked out. I probably went too far, but how should I stand my ground and stop people thinking they can just walk over me without being offensive?


in my experience, a person who is that rude is an exception. everyone who witnesses behavior like that from someone thinks ill of them. i think it is justifiable to resist people like that, and with impunity.

i ignore people who are unreasonable in their requests, or who request (demand) what they want in a bossy or falsely entitled way.

so if she said to me to "get out of her way", i would check to see if i was blocking all available egress. if i was not, then i would ignore her.
if she persisted, i would wonder which way is "her way" that i should get out of, and ask her that question.

depending on her reply, the matter would be either resolved or inflamed.

if someone has a sense of "inherent" entitlement, and also a dogged urge to be unimpeded, then i become defiant and oppositional to every push they make in my direction.
this is not applicable to you i guess because i have also unresolved ODD, but there is no law against resisting, and even circumventing, another persons sense of misplaced aristocracy.

if the girl was an ambulance officer or the like, i would get out of her way without question.

if "pushing" means that she put her hands on you, then that is assault (except in emergencies).
in every instance of a person physically pushing me, i will stand rigid to the spot and they must use force to move me. i even will lean in their direction and dig in if they are heavy men.

whatever.


I envy people who can actually give that response in real time. It would take me a couple of weeks of re-thinking and reenacting the situation before I come up with something as witty. At the time of event I either come as overly aggressive so the whole situation turns around on me, or the exact opposite which spirals into an internal battle as to what I could have done



Nick_1970
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09 Feb 2009, 7:49 am

HAL_9000 wrote:
How far should one go to be assertive? I was at a mental health clubhouse today, and this woman told me to get out of her way and pushed past. A waited a few moments and then I said "in future, don't be such a f***ing cow," and then I walked out. I probably went too far, but how should I stand my ground and stop people thinking they can just walk over me without being offensive?


Hello HAL,

A question to your question: Why do you think that someone behaving in such a way is "walking over you"?



b9
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09 Feb 2009, 9:16 am

Nick_1970 wrote:
I envy people who can actually give that response in real time. It would take me a couple of weeks of re-thinking and reenacting the situation before I come up with something as witty. At the time of event I either come as overly aggressive so the whole situation turns around on me, or the exact opposite which spirals into an internal battle as to what I could have done

it is not witty. it is just a fundamental assesment that, if unedited may seem "witty".

never resort to anger to solve anything. anger is only an assertion of displeasure and is not constructive in the effort to learn things.



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09 Feb 2009, 9:21 am

She deserved a rude response. Not that it's necessarily good to go "quite" that far. I probably would have given her a nasty look and said "excise you" or something, but I'm not very good at being assertive. When someone pushes me really far though, sometimes I'll snap like you did so don't feel bad. She really did deserve it.


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stimpysuzie
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09 Feb 2009, 9:49 am

I have recently been looking into assertiveness and the like because of situations like this happening all too frequently.

There are passive people, aggresive people and assertive people (sometimes there are passive/aggresive people too)

As aspies we tend to want to fade into that background until provoked to do otherwise. So it could be said that we are sending out the image of passive/aggresiveness.

There are plenty of books on this subject and some of them are well worth the read if you want to move along more freely and painlessly in this world.

It has been rather enlightening to me, to read how I am affecting the outcomes of situations rather than the other person. God forbid the person trying to tell me this to my face mind you! (That's a passive/aggresive statement!)

I have a long way to go with this but I would rather get along with them than be in a constant internal fight with them.

That's my two cents!

Later Later



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09 Feb 2009, 10:08 am

HAL_9000 wrote:
How far should one go to be assertive?
How should I stand my ground and stop people thinking they can just walk over me without being offensive?

Really good questions.
I think that in the instance you mentioned, you probably did go a bit too far.
It can be hard to find the balance between arrogant rudeness and being a sheepish doormat.

I've usually been the sheepish doormat type. I have a history of letting people push me around and take advantage of me and tell me what to do. Standing up for myself was a concept that I did not understand and had no idea how to do. Social anxiety kept me in irrational fear of other people. And as I have a tendency to offend and confuse people with my social awkwardness, I always felt that letting others do whatever they wanted was the only way I could not offend them...

Occasionally I will try to be assertive, and it ends up coming off as this brick wall of blunt, ignorant rage. It is often counterproductive to whatever ends I was trying to achieve. I have a hard time just being calm, firm, strong, controlled, and determined.

I think that these last traits I mentioned are the ultimate goal with assertiveness. If a person loses control and flips out on someone who is crossing them, then they are no longer being assertive. It takes a measure of restraint. That level is different for each individual and each new situation. But I would guess that cursing, angry shouting and threatening gestures are probably out.

To me, standing your ground just means simply and forcefully stating and showing the impartial truth, when other people are bent on furthering their own agendas.


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UnusualSuspect
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09 Feb 2009, 10:18 am

HAL_9000 wrote:
How far should one go to be assertive? I was at a mental health clubhouse today, and this woman told me to get out of her way and pushed past. A waited a few moments and then I said "in future, don't be such a f***ing cow," and then I walked out. I probably went too far, but how should I stand my ground and stop people thinking they can just walk over me without being offensive?


You stepped over the line. For one thing, meeting rudeness with rudeness doesn't accomplish anything. What's more important here, which everyone seems to have ignored, is that you said it occured at a mental health clubhouse. Did it ever occur to you that the woman's attitude might have come from a mental problem? I don't see your response as being any different from people who treat someone with autism or asperger's rudely.



Nick_1970
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10 Feb 2009, 1:52 am

b9 wrote:
Nick_1970 wrote:
I envy people who can actually give that response in real time. It would take me a couple of weeks of re-thinking and reenacting the situation before I come up with something as witty. At the time of event I either come as overly aggressive so the whole situation turns around on me, or the exact opposite which spirals into an internal battle as to what I could have done

it is not witty. it is just a fundamental assesment that, if unedited may seem "witty".

never resort to anger to solve anything. anger is only an assertion of displeasure and is not constructive in the effort to learn things.


Even though I agree with most anything you write and find interest in your structured thoughts, I will have to point out that I actually said "witty response", not "smarta$$ comeback". With all due respect and pardon the language

Nick



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10 Feb 2009, 7:19 am

Nick_1970 wrote:
b9 wrote:
Nick_1970 wrote:
I envy people who can actually give that response in real time. It would take me a couple of weeks of re-thinking and reenacting the situation before I come up with something as witty. At the time of event I either come as overly aggressive so the whole situation turns around on me, or the exact opposite which spirals into an internal battle as to what I could have done


it is not witty. it is just a fundamental assessment that, if unedited may seem "witty".

never resort to anger to solve anything. anger is only an assertion of displeasure and is not constructive in the effort to learn things.


I will have to point out that I actually said "witty response", not "smarta$$ comeback". With all due respect and pardon the language
Nick


i am sorry i do not know exactly what you mean. did you think i was offended in some way by your post? i was not.

i have to clarify what i meant if i can (it is not easy to be clear)

you said that what i said i would say in that circumstance was "witty", and i said what i would say in that circumstance is not "witty", but a simple unedited mental assessment.

the initial and simplest mental concept that one forms about anything can be seen by others as "witty" because it is like an obvious thing to say that others did not think of to say.

i was not attacking your use of the word "witty", i was rejecting the badge of "wittiness" offered to me by you because i do not deserve it. i do not precalculate my initial thoughts, so i am not witty.

as to the mention i said of never resorting to aggression to solve anything, that was in response to the content of your post where you said you get aggressive, and not indicating i think you were being aggressive to me.

goodness i have to go to speaking lessons i guess.



Nick_1970
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10 Feb 2009, 8:52 am

b9 (benign?),

Perhaps I should apologize for using this word as its meaning is perhaps not as tangible as required for this discussion topic.

As for the aggression part I am with you 100%.

I apologize for dragging you into this mess. Take care,

Nick



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10 Feb 2009, 8:56 am

I have really worked at it recently.



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10 Feb 2009, 6:00 pm

b9 wrote:
HAL_9000 wrote:
How far should one go to be assertive? I was at a mental health clubhouse today, and this woman told me to get out of her way and pushed past. A waited a few moments and then I said "in future, don't be such a f***ing cow," and then I walked out. I probably went too far, but how should I stand my ground and stop people thinking they can just walk over me without being offensive?


in my experience, a person who is that rude is an exception. everyone who witnesses behavior like that from someone thinks ill of them. i think it is justifiable to resist people like that, and with impunity.

i ignore people who are unreasonable in their requests, or who request (demand) what they want in a bossy or falsely entitled way.

so if she said to me to "get out of her way", i would check to see if i was blocking all available egress. if i was not, then i would ignore her.
if she persisted, i would wonder which way is "her way" that i should get out of, and ask her that question.

depending on her reply, the matter would be either resolved or inflamed.

if someone has a sense of "inherent" entitlement, and also a dogged urge to be unimpeded, then i become defiant and oppositional to every push they make in my direction.
this is not applicable to you i guess because i have also unresolved ODD, but there is no law against resisting, and even circumventing, another persons sense of misplaced aristocracy.

if the girl was an ambulance officer or the like, i would get out of her way without question.

if "pushing" means that she put her hands on you, then that is assault (except in emergencies).
in every instance of a person physically pushing me, i will stand rigid to the spot and they must use force to move me. i even will lean in their direction and dig in if they are heavy men.

whatever.


Your balanced and dispassionate evaluation is spot on.

I've witness similar incidents when people in a highly emotional state (after a fight etc) felt they just had to get the hell out of there no matter what. It's hard to think about others in these kind of moments (and no, I don't find this behavior excusable). Talking to her might indeed help you find out if she was a cow or just upset.


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11 Feb 2009, 2:15 am

Unfortunately, I go overboard at time with it.



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11 Feb 2009, 4:59 am

i can relate to the OP's behaviour and verbal espousals!
i can be blunt, arrogant and mighty rude...as some of my posts here on WP can attest to.

in my earlier years i was the sheepish (but arrogant) doormat Acacia refers to in his post.

I have a way of functioning that is almost like a cobbled together scripting of different character parts. it is very much a part of my AS and when combined with mimicry skills,it meant i could assess behaviours of others and then assimilate them into my own grab-bag of scripts and tricks. it has been described as a kind of social echolalia. I think many human beings do this, both ASD and NT....But with people who are ASD - our usage of these scripts can be a little weird and a little out of kilter contextually. maybe also a little loud...a little out there. for example - i have been known to walk into a snooty art function - which i do rarely - and i start swearing very loudly and inappropriately because i am so crippled with anxiety. it does not go down too well.

i was talking to another person wiht AS yesterday about this chameleon capacity.

i picked up a lot of rather - shall we say - less than savoury terminologies on the streets and during my years of homelessness. i can revert to this type of behaviour whenever angry - in a similar fashion to the type of switches Donna WIlliams talks about.

it is unsavoury.
but it does come in handy.