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Featured Explanations perceived as excuses

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Katleya, Apr 1, 2017.

  1. Katleya

    Katleya Sarcasm Lover V.I.P Member

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    I was wondering if any of you felt the need to explain processes in certain situations. I do, and it typically gets a response from my NT coworkers or boyfriend that is light years away from my intention.

    Here are two instances:
    - I've tried explaining that I may have difficulties with certain tasks, or that I processed information differently and needed a few particular steps taken (such as being given ample time to write down instructions, or requesting to be exempt from acting as the note-taker in meetings because I can't handle several people talking at the same time, and my coworkers just loooooove to chat during meetings). I've also tried to explain meltdowns to my boyfriend when we moved in together after more than a decade of occasionally seeing each other, naively thinking that it could help avoid situations that cause the meltdowns in the first place.
    In all of these cases, the response I got was that I "should not hide behind the condition and let it define me" -- except, while it does not define me, it is a very valid explanation for my difficulties and atypical reactions.

    - Another instance is mostly from work. To put things in perspective, my contribution usually kicks in around the end of a project, so that means I have to fix anything that wasn't set up properly in the first place. I work in marketing, and have to work along the salespeople, who are pretty much running around like chickens with their heads cut off.
    So, sometimes I'm asked why this or that got delayed or didn't work well. If it comes from me, I take full ownership, but usually it started much earlier in the chain. And I'll explain exactly that: what was not properly done, and what steps I took to fix it, how much more time it took compared to what was scheduled (you know, before somebody went and ruined things), etc. My rationale behind this is that we need to clearly identify each and every thing that can be improved upon, with the end goal of not seeing those mistakes again, and saving time, so more efficiency.
    My managers view this as making excuses. But I'm not. I'll even stay overtime to fix things that other neglected to do/do decently, but I can't be expected to always make up for other people's shortcomings. Maybe they need more training, or for their morale to be boosted, I don't know, but if none of that is ever raised, it can be expected to be corrected.
    Maybe management does not like to be told something can be done better? Especially if they were not the ones coming up with the idea? I'm very confused.

    Have you noticed similar things happening to you at school, work or with your families?
     
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  2. Gritches

    Gritches The Happy Dog V.I.P Member

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    Yes, I don't even try to explain why I did something anymore - then I'll just be in more trouble for "making excuses" or "hiding behind my disorder". I just eat whatever consequences come from my AS-related interpersonal faux pas; I don't even care anymore, it's just...whatever, life is pain and hell is other people.

    Anecdotally, I was once put in a mental hospital. I made the mistake of explaining to the psychiatrist (PhD and everything) about how I have to take a calculated approach to social interactions, and I make a lot of mistakes because of my ASD. She asked me "how often do you use your autism to try to get out of things?" and she diagnosed me a sociopath.

    I was absolutely galled that she dared to say something like that to me. I refused to recognize her diagnosis and said many things that really did not help my case, in retrospect, but I was beyond pissed and I refused to comply with treatment from that doctor, just for that comment. I was at a 3-day-stay facility, but I held onto my pride for four months until I finally caved and agreed with her diagnosis and got out the next day. Ha, I actually kinda miss the staff there, I got to know them well.

    Wall of text, but the moral of the story is that NTs, at least some NTs, do indeed hold the position at the center of this topic, and some are serious beyond reason about it. Lots of minds that need changing.
     
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  3. Katleya

    Katleya Sarcasm Lover V.I.P Member

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    Yes, definitely a lot of changing, or at least more openness.
    I'm having trouble coping with the fact that it's really unfair. I know I should just suck it up, but still...
    It's not using autism to try to get out of stuff (such an awful thing to tell you, btw, especially from someone who should know better). The way I see it, our way of thinking and functioning creates a disability in the current setting, but it's invisible. Explaining it to people so that they can act on it and ensure a smoother collaboration for everyone is not hiding behind AS... it's just stating something that may not be obvious, but could have an impact. I've tried to compare it to someone whose legs were cut off: they still want to go places, but you might want to provide them with a wheelchair or prostethic legs, so that they don't need to crawl. But like you said, there's still a lot of progress to be made on NTs' end.
     
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  4. WereBear

    WereBear License to Weird V.I.P Member

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    {Insert favorite curse words here.} That is so messed up. And NTs wonder why we are so cynical about their world :)

    This is what NTs do to each other, too. It's exactly what people do when they don't want to accommodate another person. They make up an excuse so they don't have to.

    "I really get upset when you yell at me."

    "You should stop being so sensitive."

    "It messes up our plans when you are always late."

    "You should expect that from me."

    And so forth.
     
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  5. OkRad

    OkRad Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    This is why I NEVER talk in public and never tell anyone anything about myself ever. I just suck it up. Their confusion is not something I can fix!! It just adds to it if I try to explain. So I let people think what htey will. I'ts less hurtful than if I try to explain
     
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  6. WereBear

    WereBear License to Weird V.I.P Member

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    We are the boot in their gears. Because so many NTs just go along to get along; and we cannot do that.
     
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  7. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Art imitating life?

     
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  8. midlife aspie

    midlife aspie Well-Known Member

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    We should ask those people if they would tell a person who was obviously missing a foot or a leg that they are making excuses for not walking!
     
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  9. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Ironically they're the same people some of us put all our faith into in successfully diagnosing autism. Yet once that's accomplished, then they proceed to "implement therapy" by emphasizing the importance of assimilating into a social majority. Whether you can truly do it or not. :rolleyes:

    Then what? :confused:
     
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  10. WereBear

    WereBear License to Weird V.I.P Member

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    Only such screaming obviousness stops them.

    Because a lot of them are told that their moods and thoughts are totally under their control. This is BS, of course, but when they try and fail, they often do not blame the stupid stuff they are told. They have also been told that any failures are entirely bad character on their part.

    Recognizing and breaking free of this kind of thing is how I was able to manage things that used to grind me down to nothing.
     
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  11. midlife aspie

    midlife aspie Well-Known Member

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    I will say that I am pleased that social diversity is finally starting to get some recognition, but society has a long way to go yet towards recognizing how diverse diversity really is, and then another journey entirely in regards to understanding and accepting that diversity. The day these things happen, the 'everyone fits in a box and if they don't, force them into it' mentality that seems to hold sway will dissolve and perhaps real progress can be made.
     
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  12. WereBear

    WereBear License to Weird V.I.P Member

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    So very true. Because what civilization needs is new ideas, not the fake harmony of enforced compliance.
     
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  13. Fridgemagnetman

    Fridgemagnetman I only have one V.I.P Member

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    It leads me to think about the current trend towards acceptance of gender diversity,homosexuality etc, yet mental diversity will perhaps be left behind.....

    I suppose you could say one thing at a time but these things take generations to change. (Or if you think about it, you could say resetting the programming of the non mentally diverse take generations ;))
     
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  14. toothless

    toothless this is mr shadow,my support cat

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    hi katleya, it isnt just an issue of having an 'invisible' form of autism/or disability,basically what your facing is ignorance of the concept of how our brain works differently and we have quite a different string of difficulties to NT difficulties.

    i have low functioning moderate classic autism and my autism is obvious, to the point i was labelled as severely intellectually impaired until around 4 years ago [4 months of daily specialist testing in inpatient said i was mildly intellectually impaired].
    i have experienced MANY times where a support staff will refuse to help because they say i can use a computer so i can do these things myself, for example i cannot tie laces because there are so many 'steps' to them that i get overloaded and experience challenging behavior which then leads staff to saying i am trying to avoid doing the task.
    one support staff was angry at me because i couldnt tie laces and said you are 33 you should be able to tie laces,she hasnt got a clue how autism affects you,luckily she has left now.

    another issue;helping staff to wash dishes,i struggle with this because of sensory issues with water and its always been known so staff are supposed to do it,however loads of them say i am capable of doing it myself and they are support workers not carers.
    they have no understanding of autism and sensory issues.

    i could go into a lot more how they misunderstand me but you get the idea.
    humans are just ignorant plebs,they really annoy me.
     
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  15. Aspie_rin

    Aspie_rin Well-Known Member

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    I have trouble with executive functions so being organized and productive is really hard to me. When I explained it, the person said that since I got 98% in philosophy, wich involves abstract thinking (though it doesn't feel abstract to me), I should be able to be organised and productive, even though these two things are totally different
     
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  16. pax

    pax Well-Known Member

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    They aren't remotely connected as far as I can see.:confused:
     
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  17. Katleya

    Katleya Sarcasm Lover V.I.P Member

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    This reminds me of a class I once took in intercultural communications, and the professor started saying something similar to "China is less accepting of diversity in thought, and people are like nails: anything that sticks out will be hit with a hammer until it aligns with the rest."
    Everyone agreed. I had the hardest time explaining to them that Western cultures do it too, but how do you convince a group that monolithically thinks otherwise?
     
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  18. Katleya

    Katleya Sarcasm Lover V.I.P Member

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    Oops, I accidentally deleted half of my reply :/

    Hi toothless,
    I probably face lesser challenges, but yes, that's a very valid point you're making.
    I don't necessarily blame others for not understanding, because sometimes staff and coworkers can't understand something they don't know, but I do have a problem with people who refuse to learn, understand, or accept that maybe there are other views and ways of doing things than theirs. We constantly try to adapt, and like others said, society is not quite on the path yet of accepting mental diversity, but it's so disheartening that others won't even try to consider (let alone act upon it).

    @Aspie_rin
    What person in their right mind would link your philosophy degree to what you're doing?
    Then again... I'm still accused of lacking good faith when I say multitasking and constant interruptions make it very hard for me to do my job, but management got the idea during my first position that I could do anything because I learned faster than others. Yeah, right, if only it worked like that...
     
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  19. Ylva

    Ylva Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I have always found this annoying. I finally learned and stopped explaining myself. This is one lesson I should have picked up from Mary Poppins already.

    Maybe a meta-explanation about how explanations are different from excuses would help – after all, science has found that philosophy is good for children's learning – but honestly I think it's more about power, blaming, and scapegoating. I doubt your boss ever really cared whose fault it actually was.
     
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  20. Adora

    Adora Well-Known Member

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    This is why I don't tell many people I am on the spectrum,I know there will be those who don't get it and prefer to only tell on a need to know basis,my husband knows and fortunately he does understand and even told me he looked up ways to help me not to get too stressed and to help me not meltdown too much.
     
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