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Featured Honesty and masking

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by flawedplan, Mar 6, 2018.

  1. flawedplan

    flawedplan Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I've been practicing Radical Honesty for 20 years, and like most people who take up honesty as a spiritual practice am fairly poor at finding and staying with the truth. So hearing about the inextricable link between Aspies and honesty appeals no end to me.

    I'm reading a lot of websites, and one thing I can't get my head around -- Autists are reputed to be paragons of no-holds barred honesty, at the same time they lead lives of absolute deception, which they admit in their own words.

    I don't get the contadiction. Does it change depending on the power dynamics? In other words, when an Autist is safe at home with their spouse are they more than happy to boldly say her butt looks big in those jeans? But when engaging with mythical sea creatures known as NTs they will laugh at jokes they find offensive and feel victimized by it. Agree with ideas they later post contempt for, but felt they had no choice in the matter. How horrible this must feel.

    This seems real unhealthy to me, and a sure way to perpetuate a victim identity. I'd feel like taking my "honesty" out on my wife too, if I let myself crawl like that.

    Why not just share the content of your mind? Even if it makes you stand out from the rest. That's what it means to be honest.
     
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  2. Gritches

    Gritches The Happy Dog V.I.P Member

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    Wow, you freaking nailed it. Nice.

    My take on it is that Aspies are, above all else, pragmatic. It's pragmatic to pass as NT in the NT's world but at home it's more pragmatic to take off that tiring mask and rest. I'd say it's a function of familiarity; with an absolute stranger on the street, I'm a whirlwind of fakeness and deceit, because if I were just my awkward, weird self they would be afraid. With someone very close to me, I feel less of a need to impress this person with how normal I can look, so the only deceit I'll practice is politeness, albeit half-assedly.
     
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  3. flawedplan

    flawedplan Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Afraid? Everyone's afraid.
     
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  4. pax

    pax Well-Known Member

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    @flawedplan that would be wonderful in an ideal world. If you find one, let me know! As House said, everyone lies. It's just how, and how often.
     
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  5. Fridgemagnetman

    Fridgemagnetman I only have one V.I.P Member

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    Honesty has a thousand hats.
     
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  6. pax

    pax Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]

    Honesty won't get you the corner office, (probably not even the job.
     
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  7. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    [QUOTE="flawedplan, post: 485566, member:

    Why not just share the content of your mind? Even if it makes you stand out from the rest. That's what it means to be honest.[/QUOTE]

    My minds content is usually a huge mix of stuff none of which I take to be true or false. I wouldn't know how to be honest in the time available usually! Nevertheless I do think there is a reality that I experience of being simpler and more direct than is usual. This can lead to puzzlement for others especially NTs and one of my colleagues said to me that this is partly because " normally people have agendas". She noted that it took her a long time to realise that I didn't and she found it unusual. This was helpful to me and I have noticed what she meant a lot since then. Now I factor in that although I don't have an agenda, they are going to think I do as usually people do. If they're not asp or aut. Communication is complicated...
     
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  8. Fridgemagnetman

    Fridgemagnetman I only have one V.I.P Member

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    That's brilliant. I hope I remember it.

    They do and assume you have one - when you don't - a lot of confusion results.

    Also when I don't realise the person I'm talking to had an agenda
     
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  9. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Finding out about aspergers has been so very much of getting to know who I am and I was perplexed at first with this idea that aspies just can't help but tell the truth, for sadly, due to my childhood ( not an excuse; just a reason), I am a fantastic liar and am not proud of it!

    What I discovered about aspies and honestly is the fact that the first thought to prop up in the mind IS the honest answer. It is learned that if someone says: do I look good in this? To give the diplomatic answer. I have tended to say: I think something else might suit you better.

    I have learned how to read what is behind a person's question and yes, make many mistakes still, but on avarage when someone says: I am way too fat. I can see what they do not want is: that is true. But soothing words of: we all have our issues or something like that.

    Because I have always been a people pleaser; I have made it my goal to not offend and thus, the few times I have affended, it mortifies me so much, that I feel frightened of even talking, because what one finds offensive, other does not, so really confusing.

    So, there is a defining line between aspies and honesty and what is considered honest and dishonest.
     
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  10. Chance

    Chance "all who wander are not lost" - Tolkien V.I.P Member

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    I love what you wrote! Its great but painful at the same time and thats okay, its what we have to deal with.

    Honesty for me is a noose at times... If I am honest, people will not like what I say (time and experience has proven that).

    Its not that I lie... However I will just omit the truth of what I want to say for FEAR or what I will have to deal with...

    Maybe this is why (in real life) I just don't say much at all. I hear people talk and I try and figure out where they are going with what they are saying... Sometimes I think way too much about it and it upsets me, when in most cases they meant nothing by the exaggerations or quirky comments that I might see as untrue.

    I'm so literal at times I get mad at myself, and if I was horribly honest I really think I would be hated way more then I sometimes already feel.

    Its not so much about lying so much as it is protecting what little I even grasp when I'm forced into communications that are difficult. Hell I cant even explain it, so I guess I will quit trying for now... : )
     
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  11. Forgotten Aspie

    Forgotten Aspie Post nubila, Phoebus - After the darkness - Light V.I.P Member

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    Its been only 65 days that I've know I"m on the spectrum. I 59 now.. but into my 30 I was an 'open book' around people. Too much so... it turned people off and it made me vulnerable in various ways. So, through various negative and positive experiences you learn to shape your behaviors. I know that as my situation becomes more stressed.. and I'm juggling more balls in the air than normal, the ability to control/ shape my behaviors becomes overwhelmed and the natural tendencies tend to come out more. So, while I am an open, honest, literal, minded person, I've adapted to my environment: often at the mental, emotional, and physical detriment to myself. It's why I've pretty much lived a life in isolation. Now that I've found who I am and others who CAN relate to this way of thinking, I can become myself again.

    One of the greatest gifts of discovering I'm on the spectrum is a new understanding of who I am, and the ability to accept who I REALLY am... under all these masks I've learned to wear throughout my life. It is amazing what I'm discovering. Through out the day I see myself in this new light. Shaking my head in amazement as I laugh at what was right there in front of me all these years.
     
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  12. Bolletje

    Bolletje Potato chip wizard

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    Brutal honesty does not work for me, I'm tactfully honest. I obfuscate or downplay the truth when I deem it necessary, and sometimes I opt for socially acceptable answers instead of the truth, because the raw truth will just hurt the other person unnecessarily.

    For example, I wouldn't hypothetically tell my partner he looks fat in his new pair of jeans, I'd tell him I like his other pair better on him.

    I won't tell my best friend I think her husband's a vile excuse for a human being, I will let her know how amazing I think she is and how she doesn't need him to validate that.
     
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  13. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    People with ASD don't feel comfortable with lying, including white lies, but also, they don't feel comfortable with confrontation. Most adults with ASD are socially aware enough to realise that being honest can cause offense, which creates a conflict, because on the one hand, you don't want to say something that isn't true, that feels wrong, but on the other hand, you don't want to cause offense.

    Also, it is certainly true that when NTs are communicating, they are not just communicating, but also doing something, they have an agenda. Or they are saying something indirectly and expecting you to fill in, or infer the hidden meaning, what they are actually doing or saying. It makes communication much harder for us.
     
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  14. Catana

    Catana Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    All I can say, really, is that your argument is based on a stereotype that aspies have been burdened with. "So hearing about the inextricable link between Aspies and honesty appeals no end to me." There's nothing inextricable about it. It's a generalization that has been turned, by well-meaning people, into a trait that is supposed to be true of all aspies, and isn't. Everybody lies, sometimes, and sometimes for very good reasons. As for masking, that's a defensive measure that's most usually adopted without any conscious thought. So I don't see any contradiction between that and your apparently rigid concept of what honesty has to be.

    A further point that occurred to me after I posted this: your argument implies that most aspies are hypocrites. Maybe that's unintentional and you're unaware of how it comes across.
     
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  15. Fridgemagnetman

    Fridgemagnetman I only have one V.I.P Member

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    Lacking theory of mind
    A habit of thinking self- centrically
    Upbringing
    Experience of disappointment
    Abuse

    I'm not describing my morning

    More that we are all biased.

    Our 'honesty' could be restated as lack of social tact.
    It can be seen as brutal when there is an unstated social expectation,within a social group, or an individuals expectation. Often this can be based around how to behave in public or how to respond to criticism
    How to emphasise (raising ones voice meaning anger- for me it's enthusiasm and emphasis)

    One of a thousand hats.
     
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  16. OliveBunny

    OliveBunny New Member

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    I do find that ppl on the as tend to lack hidden agendas and that is probably putting a finer point on the type of honesty that ppl generalize about as. At least in my mind. Also, I think it's good to keep in mind that the spectrum is wide and complex. For instance, I test very well in the social skills and language category but, very low in sensory and circumscribed interests. I also test high for empathy. There are so many different types of as ppl. Everyone is an individual. People and situations can't be put into neat boxes. Frustrating isn't it?
     
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  17. Catana

    Catana Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    This is why stereotypes are so persistent.

    "People with ASD don't feel comfortable with lying, including white lies, but also, they don't feel comfortable with confrontation." No. Some people with ASD don't feel comfortable with lying... also some don't feel comfortable with confrontation. When members of your own group lump everyone in it into an undifferentiated mass, they support and strengthen the stereotype.

    "...it is certainly true that when NTs are communicating, they are not just communicating, but also doing something, they have an agenda." No. ... when some NTs are communicating... they have an agenda. Is it worse to support stereotypes about groups you aren't part of? Stereotyping is just as malignant in either case. And because it's mostly unconscious, it's that much harder to defeat. We have to become aware of our own words, and the beliefs behind them.
     
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  18. Fridgemagnetman

    Fridgemagnetman I only have one V.I.P Member

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    Very true.

    But, I feel sometimes, accuracy is sacrificed for brevity.
    We can't worry too much about our initial response as there would be far less of them.
    And often our first thought is not our best thought but it is reasonable to get a response and contribution out there.

    We're all sculpting the same rock together.

    But the extra awareness of personal bias is very much a trend I intend to follow.

    Great contribution.
     
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  19. fairy_girl

    fairy_girl Active Member

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    I never had a very good poker face so I have always told the truth or fudged the truth depending on the situation. My family knows that they should never ask my opinion on things or hairstyles if they don't want it. I have been known to never sugarcoat things growing up and it hasn't really changed now.
     
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  20. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    Ok, I concede that not literally all people with ASD feel uncomfortable lying, there may indeed be some that are ok with that, and that not literally all feel uncomfortable with confrontation, but it is fair to say that most feel this way, and that most NTs communicate in this way. If you did a poll on this forum to see who feels uncomfortable with lying and confrontation, I think that you'd find that very few, if any, would agree that they feel comfortable with these things.

    However, while I get your point about stereotyping and agree that one should avoid it, I'm not talking about media stereotypes here. I'm talking about common clinical traits. People with ASD, or suspected ASD, share some common traits because it is in the nature of the condition, and I would say that not liking to lie or avoiding conflict count among those common shared traits. I'm not saying that every single person has these traits, but most probably do. If the condition did not have shared common traits, then the condition could not be defined and therefore could not exist! I would say that one has to have most of these traits to confidently say one has ASD and get a diagnosis in the first place.
     
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