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Ask Permission or Seek Forgiveness?

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by SimonSays, Apr 27, 2021.

  1. SimonSays

    SimonSays Time is an illusion I have a lot of V.I.P Member

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    So today I committed a bit of a faux pas.

    I went downstairs to put my laundry into one of the two washing machines that we have in this shared house. One was in use, and the other one had three small things in it, the machine was open, nothing was happening, and people do sometimes leave things inside, or don't get them out for a bit, so I took the three things out and put my stuff in, and as I did, the girl in number one, who was using the first machine, came in, and they were obviously her things, and she had one more thing to add. She didn't say anything, just put her item down on the pile and went back to her room.

    I got a text from her a few minutes later saying how she thought I was so rude, saying…"if you find clothes in the machine don't just take them out. I should ask permission before I do that." So I apologised. I didn't realise it was an issue.

    In her world, what I should have done was see those three things that could have just been left, try to figure out who left them, make contact, ask permission if it's okay for me to use that washing machine, wait for them to come and take them out if it is. I’ve got to do all this, rather than what for me was the path of least resistance, which is… take them out and use it.

    I understand her point. I can see why she found it rude, and that's why I apologised. But it's an example of how I usually do things. I usually just act in the moment, and if it's not good enough, if it's not acceptable, if somebody has a problem with it, then I can apologise later. I didn't realise. I didn't think. I thought it would be okay, something like that, because that's what's going on for me. I don't immediately go… right, who can I ask for permission to do this.

    She didn't text me privately; we have a group WhatsApp for the house so when there's something that needs to be sent for everyone to see, we can. She can see my number. She could have texted me privately, but she did it publicly, perhaps because it was so terrible what had been done. Instead of saying anything or trying to make an excuse about spectrum or Asperger’s, I just said sorry. But that's what I'm like. I will seek forgiveness rather than have to look for permission to act in a way that I feel is okay.

    I can see why it wasn't okay. If she had already put that second machine on when I came down, I would have accepted it and gone back upstairs and tried another time. If I had spoken to her when she came in, but I had my earplugs in. I'm in silence. If I had said… “Are these your things? Sorry, I didn't realise.” perhaps no taking offence would happen, and so the apology was needed.

    So I'm wondering if this is a Simon thing or whether there are others who also tend to seek forgiveness rather than ask permission, and does it work for them?

    I do ask permission sometimes because it seems like it's the right thing to do, and when I get permission there is a certainty about the situation; there is no ambiguity about it. It makes sense. Rather than just use a thing, I can say… is it all right if I use this thing and if it's yes, then there is no more thought about it. If it's no, then I haven't done something I'm not supposed to do.

    I've always been like this ever since I was a kid, and always done things that might require me to apologise. What do you think?
     
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  2. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative V.I.P Member

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    To some degree, it's not just your fault. When dealing with something like a shared washing machine, one thing you DO NOT DO is take your stuff down there in seperate groups, leaving some of them unattended between each other before activating it. Why? Because this sort of mishap is not exactly uncommon. Not to mention, what if someone had outright stolen it? Granted, that's more likely at one of those public washing machine places, but still.

    And, it's an easy assumption that someone simply left a few things in there.... particularly when there's only three of them! Who puts just THREE articles of clothing in when there's more stuff to put in, with that stuff elsewhere and requiring a second trip? And why? OF COURSE you didnt know what to do. I think most people wouldnt.

    Apologizing is certainly not a bad idea, mostly because it's polite, but at the same time this is a lesson the girl needs to learn, whether she likes it or not.

    Quite frankly, were it me in this situation, all that stuff is exactly how I would have responded to her message. To create a possible learning moment. Unfortunately, many people cant accept that the world doesnt revolve around them and that they can in fact be wrong about stuff like this. But still, I'd certainly try.
     
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  3. SimonSays

    SimonSays Time is an illusion I have a lot of V.I.P Member

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    @Misery
    So, are you someone who usually asks permission, or do you just do it, then seek forgiveness later if necessary (or tell them why you felt justified in not needing to ask)?
     
  4. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative V.I.P Member

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    I always ask permission, if the situation allows it. But in that situation? I've no idea if the person will come back at all, and there are things that need doing. So... out go the 3 things, and in goes my stuff. Possibly, I might wait like 5 minutes first just in case, unless I'm not in a patient mood, at which point I wouldnt.
     
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  5. SimonSays

    SimonSays Time is an illusion I have a lot of V.I.P Member

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    Looking more closely at this idea, not this specific example, asking permission creates the possibility that I won't receive it. Whereas if I just do what I think is right without asking first, then while it may sometimes turn out I need to apologise, I still did what I wanted to do at the time. It feels like there's more freedom in that. It makes more sense to me.
     
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  6. OkRad

    OkRad μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος οὐλομένην V.I.P Member

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    She should have LEFT A NOTE!!! How could you know? Why would she assume you are telepathic? You have a right to group text back and say, "In future, if anyone is going to be traipsing around the house with half finished project, please leave a note to let others know your claim to XYZ is still operational!!"

    Totally unfair to you.
     
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  7. WildCat

    WildCat V.I.P Member

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    If you want to apologize for something that should honestly be trivial you can do that, but then you can make use of that group chat or bulletin or whatever it is and leave a note of your own as well. Seems okay here, since she didn't want to tell you about it right then and there, so hey.

    Something like, "if you're going to use a washer, fill it up" and an optional reminder about the consideration of others in the house. No "please" or "thank you" in that note if those phrases are foreign concepts to them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2021
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  8. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    l agree. Unless you place a post-note saying dibbs on the washing machine which she clearly didn't do that- forgetta about it. You simply had to say, l thought you forgot you put stuff in there. l couldn't wait all day(unless she pays you personally by the hour which l highly doubt). Your job in life isn't to manage her washing routine even if she is an idiot. Who puts 3 things in a washing machine? Give me a break. Then she has the nerve to call you on it? Nope. She clearly isn't working with a full deck of cards. l mean her detergent pods are missing out of her package.
     
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  9. unperson

    unperson Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    It's her lesson to learn, but an empty 'sorry' was a good response. This stuff happens with shared washers, wouldn't be the first time in a share house - she may have done it to others as well.
     
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  10. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Anyway it's a shared house and she shouldn't be using both machines at once, it's selfish. Who has 2 washing machines in their home? Not many. We use one, and wait for it to finish to do a second load. Think what you are doing that's auty is overthinking/ruminating about this. Try distracting yourself instead.
     
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  11. SusanLR

    SusanLR Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I would be the type to tell them why I felt justified in not needing to ask.
    If anything were brought up concerning the subject.

    I try to keep my interactions with others in life to a minimum.
    Avoid any angry confrontations if I can.
     
  12. Gift2humanity

    Gift2humanity Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I don't know we all have our different nature.
    At least you are prepared to apologise to someone after if you realise you have done something wrong, some people can't do that, their ego is too fragile, they see it as weakness, when I think admitting wrong takes guts.

    As for Aspie stuff being an excuse, it's a reason, I just openly say, "I am autistic so I don't...".
    Then people know why I do the things I do or say or why I don't do/say certain things.

    There's things I don't realise require permission and I am ok with saying, whoops sorry I should have asked permission, or can I have permission now please?
     
  13. Gift2humanity

    Gift2humanity Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    While I see what you mean, in some situations there are rules, where you should ask permission. I am taking it that you mean more casual social situations.
    In these situations, as a kid, I remember stealing my sister's makeup then moaning at her when she justifiably wasn't happy.
    As an adult, when I used to smoke, if I was on my way to the shop for fags, and say, if a mate had left a packet on the table outside, I would say "I'm on my way to the shops for fags, can I have one of yours and I will give one back when I return"
     
  14. Gift2humanity

    Gift2humanity Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Good point.
    I can't stand vagueness and unwritten rules, this is what happens type of thing, I need to be told. I'd have preferred a note "Please don't fill the washer, I am coming back to fill it"
     
  15. Gift2humanity

    Gift2humanity Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    That's a good point too.
     
  16. Gift2humanity

    Gift2humanity Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    This is one of those awkward social situations where I might struggle.
     
  17. SimonSays

    SimonSays Time is an illusion I have a lot of V.I.P Member

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    I didn't apologise because I had done something wrong. I didn't do anything wrong, I just did something different. I apologised because she got upset. She felt offended. People see things differently. I understood why she did.
     
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  18. savi83

    savi83 Well-Known Member

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    The way I look at it is that she needs to realise that you are all sharing the washing machines. You cannot expect people to hold onto a washing machine for nothing. You are either using them or not, there is no in-between.

    Just because someone is offended doesn't make them right.

    I'm guessing that there are no rules in relation to the use of the utilities. Do you have housemate/tenant meetings?
     
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  19. SimonSays

    SimonSays Time is an illusion I have a lot of V.I.P Member

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    Exactly.

    No one has a right not to be offended anyway. Taking offence is quite a subjective thing. I could say she chose to get offended by the belief she held. But as some have mentioned, they might've done the same thing, and even criticised her actions and reactions.

    Perhaps had we been friends, or even friendly, things would've transpired differently. The fact is we do not speak, or maybe a better way of putting it would be, they don't speak to me. I am ok with this. I like silence. I have earplugs in whenever I venture into public areas anyway. But it does make it a lot easier to see me as 'the bad guy' and react to something more powerfully, which has happened many times in my life.

    I would never have thought to 'ask permission', but then some of us can do things without having to. That can mean there could be issues arising out of that, but these 'challenges' can be tests for me, to see how I deal with or feel about what takes place.

    A different Simon could have responded more in line with the thoughts others have expressed here. I just saw it as trivial, and was surprised by what she said and how she said it. I wanted to stay in my creative state rather than have to get egotistically involved and attempt to be right. I can accept she didn't like it but don't have to make her see my perspective, or tell her all the times she bothers me by her rudeness of coming into the kitchen to cook when I am already cooking, and playing her music openly and loudly while she does. Without earplugs it would be unbearable.
     
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  20. SimonSays

    SimonSays Time is an illusion I have a lot of V.I.P Member

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    I am the same. I used to use my written skills to do the confronting for me; that level of distance enabled me to stay in control and take the time to reply properly. Because confrontations about things like that washing machine incident can become ego based quickly, I would not enjoy attempting to interact with somebody on that level in real time, nor would there be any point.

    I am used to keeping my interactions with them to the minimum, which is basically zero. If I see that she has put her milk bottle horizontally in the fridge again, and it has leaked as it always does, I don't do anything except wipe up the spilled milk and put it in the door upright. This girl is a student. Very young. Seemingly stupid. Puts a banana skin in the recycling bag. For me it's like dealing with someone from an alien planet. I'm not equipped! Lol.
     
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