I do well with sharing information to a broad audience like this blog. I don’t have to engage directly with anyone. I can share generally without specific details. It is relieving and non-invasive. Having direct conversations can be very overwhelming. I often use my blog and journal type responses to share information that is hard to communicate directly.
I’m unsure why it is so difficult to communicate directly to even those I trust whole heartedly. A goal of mine is to share more freely when needed. I think this will help me avoid bottling up so much to the point where I’m angry at someone.
For an autistic person, starting and maintaining relationships can be challenging. We have been pushed aside so often, we don’t want to create any waves. Whether consciously or not, we try to be agreeable to get by, even at our own expense. While difficult, I hope to learn how to be more direct.
I think part of the problem so many of us on the spectrum have in relating to other people (whether it’s a close friend or family memeber, or someone we just met, or even someone on our support team) is that our experiences are so different from that of non-autistic people. It’s hard to be interested in a relationship with someone you have little in common with. And then there’s the part where non-autistic communication is so different form autistic communication. So much less direct, less honest, and there is so much that is implied or otherwise based on guesswork. (and also on shared experiences and presumed shared experiences and perspectives.)
Given that communication in general is harder for us, having to face the barrier of expecting that we won’t be understood, or worse, will be critiziced or derided for having a divergent perspective or experience, is too much to deal with. Even people we are closest to can sometimes be impatient or disbelieving, which can be discouraging. It’s such a gift when we can find someone who “gets us”. Especially when they understand how hard language can be for us, and don’t hold it against us!
Thanks for this reflection, Mitchell. I can definitely relate to it. Sometimes, I find myself saying things just because I feel like it’s what the other person wants to hear. Learning to be true to my feelings and finding the words to express them continues to take time.
Thanks for being so candid. Your blog helps me to understand my son better