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Featured How do I confront people?

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by RachelN, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. RachelN

    RachelN Active Member

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    My friends keep being mean to me about my girlfriend, and I don't know how to tell them to stop. Because of this, I stopped hanging out with them, but now I am lonely. I hang out with my girlfriend, but I would like friends outside of that.

    How do I talk to them about this? Whenever I want to confront them, my mind goes blank. A part of me wants to make new friends, but I don't know how to do that.

    It's like I don't have the toolsets in my brain. How do you confront people? How do you think of what to say?
     
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  2. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative

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    This might sound a bit odd, but... are you SURE they were being genuinely mean, in a malicious way?

    Something I've noticed about *lots* of people on the spectrum is that many cannot tell the difference between banter, and insults. I'm not entirely sure the word "banter" is correct, but that's the word I know for that sort of behavior. This is something that absolutely needs to be considered with a situation like this, however it seems to be extremely difficult for many on the spectrum to grasp the idea and spot it, even if it is explained to them (and I have indeed tried to do exactly that a few times).

    Before instigating any confrontation, it's important to take the time to try to REALLY understand. NT behavior can be very confusing for many of us, and it's super easy to misconstrue basically all of it. It's also important though to confront your own thoughts on the matter. It's easy to get into the mindset of "Of COURSE I'm correct on this" and that habit is hard to break out of.

    Discussing these things with your friends is a good idea, but dont make it into an angry conversation. Talk to them, one-on-one, and specifically point out that you want to have a serious conversation... no joking around. Most people, NTs or otherwise, understand what that really means. Ask them directly: WHY do they say the things they do? What do they REALLY mean? Explain to them your own thoughts on the manner (in a calm way) and make sure they understand the difficulties you face, so they can get an idea of where you're coming from on this.

    If it turns out that they genuinely dont like this girlfriend of yours, ask why that is. Sometimes, a given situation isnt as simple as it seems. Perhaps there is something that, with a bit of work, can be fixed somehow. Consider also that these friends of yours may have other things going on that can affect their mood and behavior. Someone going through depression and stress, for instance, is much more likely to lash out at random for no good reason, and that's not easy to deal with, but it absolutely happens.

    Again though... dont get angry about things while talking to them about it. Remain calm and rational during the whole thing. And accept the possibility that it may not end positively... but dont ASSUME that it will end in any specific way. You cant know until you go through with it.

    Good luck to ya.
     
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  3. Major Tom

    Major Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    People that don't accept your choices maybe aren't your friends? Unless you are doing something self-harming or otherwise. I'd find new friends or something.
     
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  4. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝

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    The word that you are looking for is "repartee."
     
  5. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    I think Misery is thinking something more insulting/negative-seeming, and from what I understand, your word is more like Oscar Wilde or the lines they show in previews between a man and a woman, I think.
     
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  6. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    This paragraph is about, among others, ME! :D I don't remember which thread it was in, but yeah, that happened.

    And he's right. I still don't grasp it!

    That's why I just put "friendly" and didn't answer, cause I sure don't know! I just stop talking to them, just like you did. But sometimes you can't do that!

    Once, somewhat recently, when a coworker did something like you describe, I somehow got myself to politely ask him to not do that, and he said something that reminded me of what Misery has said, and so I just told him I have Asperger's and then he was like, "Oh, nevermind," and stopped forever. :)
     
  7. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative

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    Actually, the dictionary definition is as follows:

    "an exchange of light, playful, teasing remarks; good-natured raillery"

    Granted, everyone's idea of "light & playful" can differ quite a bit. Which can actually be part of the problem. For example, if you do something in a wrong way, maybe you're trying to fix something and end up breaking it further instead, one person might give a really light comment like "Well that was silly of you, haha". I on the other hand, would give you something like this: "Good job there, genius. That's some real skill. Next time I want a toaster exploded, I'll be sure to come to you". And yes, I say stuff like that to basically everyone I know (my personal favorite is to say "CONGRATULATIONS!!!" if I'm watching a friend play a game and they lose somehow). But many of them do exactly the same thing, always have. None of it is malicious, and we all know that.

    In an overall sense, it the whole thing translates to "friendly insult flinging", and yes, I'm aware of how absurd that sounds. But it's definitely a thing no matter how loopy it seems on paper.
     
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  8. Oldlady

    Oldlady Well-Known Member

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    My two cents ... you have to decide whether or not having these particular friends is more important than the feeling that they are being mean about your girlfriend.

    As for whether or not they are intentionally being 'mean', just observe if they do the same thing to one another. If they do, then they are teasing you. But, you still have to decide if this sort of friendship is worth having.

    How important is your friendship to them?
     
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  9. RachelN

    RachelN Active Member

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    I know the difference, and unfortunately they were being mean. That and it doesn't matter if it's banter. What matters is that it makes me feel uncomfortable. I don't know how to tell them that, though, and that's more so my question.

    I didn't really make the post to be explained my own autism. :/
     
  10. RachelN

    RachelN Active Member

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    I know the difference between teasing and being mean, guys. That's not really my question. My question is that they're making me feel uncomfortable, and I don't know how to tell them.
     
  11. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

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    you've got to be sort of cool, I'm paraphrasing but the Bible advises don't make anybody that important ,there is another phrase 'familiarity breeds contempt 'they need to know what your boundaries !are like a child would .
     
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  12. Fridgemagnetman

    Fridgemagnetman I only have one V.I.P Member

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    How about :

    I dont like you making fun of my girlfriend like that. Will you stop doing it please?

    Or are you more worried about being direct like this?

    In the long term it's better to learn to speak up now - nobody needs people who dont respect them in their lives.

    A lesson it took me far too long to learn.

    If they are good people you'll earn respect and they will stop.



    I suspect you think they aren't ..
     
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  13. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I'm actually better at standing up for someone else than I am myself. There have been many times when I just tell a person to stop it when they are putting down someone else. Anything else, though, I avoid confrontation like the plague. And I'm at a complete loss on how to make friends.
    Maybe they will ask at some point why you are avoiding them and you can tell them because you don't like hearing your girlfriend being talked about like that.
     
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  14. Oldlady

    Oldlady Well-Known Member

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    Oh ... well ... I can only tell you how i would do it ...

    "Guys it makes me uncomfortable when you are mean to me about my girlfriend."
     
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  15. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member

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    Confronting may be important as a skill for not getting blown off by people, such as in day to day business or dealing with doctors, etc, but I am not sure it is useful in friendships. Or at least it is a tool to use rarely and can backfire.

    Finding new friends that aren't mean is I think the better path. I think better no friends then bad ones. But if you are patient and persistent you should be successful eventually.
     
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  16. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative

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    Well, like I also said.... why not just ask them directly? "Why do you guys say things like that" is a good start. Hear what their side of the story is before making decisions on what to do.

    Once you know the truth behind it... tell them to stop. Politely, but still firmly enough to let them know you really mean it. Unfortunately, sometimes people cant quite take a hint. I usually just fling a shoe or something at someone but I wouldnt recommend that in this case, no...

    And if, after all of that, they refuse... or worse, if they say they'll stop, and they dont... then tell them to shove off, and go meet people that arent jerks. Real friends dont just keep doing something when they know it really hurts you, so if they refuse to stop after all that... they aint real friends.

    Sadly, it can be hard to find *real* friends. Particularly in the NT world, where so many people act fake all the time... I've never understood that, and never will, but so many do it.


    One way or another though, you should do SOMETHING. Yes, I know it's hard to confront people about something like this, but it's better than constantly wondering/worrying about it all the time. Dont let the situation stretch out too long, or it's just gonna feel that much worse for you.
     
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  17. Bronzelincolns

    Bronzelincolns Active Member

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    so you're a female with a girlfriend....ok.

    I think you're just going to have to find people who will be more accepting of your romantic choices.
     
  18. tducey

    tducey Well-Known Member

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    Tell them that you're happy with your choice and if they're not happy with your choice tell them you're not sure you want to be their friend anymore.
     
  19. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    Unless I missed it, I don't think it was said what is being made fun of exactly.
     
  20. Ylva

    Ylva Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Verbal/vocal responses rarely work, at least for me.

    A strict, but not completely disgusted, glance can sometimes do the job.
     
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