My sister doesn't want me to use aspergers as a shield

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magz
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07 Oct 2021, 5:17 am

badRobot wrote:
magz wrote:
Masking, while useful short term to gets things done, destroys mental health in long run. I know it too well.

It is worth noting that adopting behaviors you supposed to wear as a "mask" is a way to stop masking and it applies to NTs just as much. Thriving to act and look the way I would not be embarrassed to act and look in public even when I'm completely alone, doing it out of self-respect and not to please others is part of my mental health framework.

Quite unlike ignoring your needs, feelings and discomfort all your waking time.

There are good and bad aspects of "masking". Skills are useful. Self-neglect is harmful.


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badRobot
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07 Oct 2021, 5:27 am

magz wrote:
badRobot wrote:
magz wrote:
Masking, while useful short term to gets things done, destroys mental health in long run. I know it too well.

It is worth noting that adopting behaviors you supposed to wear as a "mask" is a way to stop masking and it applies to NTs just as much. Thriving to act and look the way I would not be embarrassed to act and look in public even when I'm completely alone, doing it out of self-respect and not to please others is part of my mental health framework.

Quite unlike ignoring your needs, feelings and discomfort all your waking time.

There are good and bad aspects of "masking". Skills are useful. Self-neglect is harmful.

Probably I'm missing something obvious, can you give some real life examples? How did you address it?



magz
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07 Oct 2021, 5:57 am

badRobot wrote:
Probably I'm missing something obvious, can you give some real life examples? How did you address it?
Politely smiling and pretending to be happy when you're all in sensory pain.
Keeping "appropriate" eye contact and nice face expression when your anxiety is all over the roof.
Suppressing stims just because they're "not normal".

How did I adress it?
First, I needed a good therapist to realize that what I was doing for all my life wasn't normal. Then, I needed a good therapist to learn to notice my own needs and feelings instead of being focused on "proper" performing.

I let myself be a bit eccentric so I don't have to be "normal" to function within the society. When you're an oddball anyway, eccentrism helps you gain control over the social aspect of it. People are less offended by my random faux pas when I look all nerdy than they were when I was looking "properly".

Then, realising your needs makes it possible to balance them with other family members. An example: my inlaws had a problem with my need for time alone - they took it as personal offence for not wanting their company - but I had to fight for it, it's vital for me. I had to be much less than polite to them to take care of this need. But if I had my time alone, I was capable of being nice to them when we were together.


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badRobot
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07 Oct 2021, 6:29 am

magz wrote:
badRobot wrote:
Probably I'm missing something obvious, can you give some real life examples? How did you address it?
Politely smiling and pretending to be happy when you're all in sensory pain.
Keeping "appropriate" eye contact and nice face expression when your anxiety is all over the roof.
Suppressing stims just because they're "not normal".

Ah, I see. But I don't really see that 'masking' is a root cause here. This is kind of self-imposed and unnecessary attempts to please others by staying in these uncomfortable situations instead of allowing yourself to withdraw. Yes, I used to do that too trying to blend in. I'm trying to address root causes at the lowest possible level, e.g. in 2012 I've ordered custom skin color ear plugs musicians wear to protect hearing and use them at concerts and large events like weddings when music and noise gets too overwhelming, now I can genuinely enjoy these events and don't need to 'mask' anymore. Of course this is just my experience, but I believe thinking this way is helpful in general.

magz wrote:
I let myself be a bit eccentric so I don't have to be "normal" to function within the society. When you're an oddball anyway, eccentrism helps you gain control over the social aspect of it. People are less offended by my random faux pas when I look all nerdy than they were when I was looking "properly".

Yes, this is my approach too.

magz wrote:
Then, realising your needs makes it possible to balance them with other family members. An example: my inlaws had a problem with my need for time alone - they took it as personal offence for not wanting their company - but I had to fight for it, it's vital for me. I had to be much less than polite to them to take care of this need. But if I had my time alone, I was capable of being nice to them when we were together.

This is something I don't really see as 'masking' too, more about putting pleasing others before your personal boundaries similar to what you described above. Related, but not exactly the same. I cut these issues dramatically by adopting Derek Sivers' advise "No yes. Either HELL YEAH! or no". I reserve my right to refuse attending events or participating in activities where I supposed to have fun, but I just don't like it. If people get offended by that, f**k them.



magz
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07 Oct 2021, 6:39 am

The original question was about OP's sister demanding some unspecified masking behaviors from him.
So, we can absolutely view his dilemma as pleasing his sister vs guarding his boundaries.


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badRobot
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07 Oct 2021, 6:46 am

magz wrote:
The original question was about OP's sister demanding some unspecified masking behaviors from him.
So, we can absolutely view his dilemma as pleasing his sister vs guarding his boundaries.

Yes, we can view it both ways without clarification. Not using ASD as an excuse is a pretty good advise in general, but it can easily be abused if taken too far or applied inappropriately.



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07 Oct 2021, 12:42 pm

Asperger shouldn't be used as an excuse (or a shield) to not try to learn things, as in one shouldn't say "there's no point in trying, I have asperger so I can't learn X", but it's a fact that it makes some things harder for us to learn than for NTs, so I think that that should be taken in to account and that NTs shouldn't get too mad when we don't understand something that "everyone knows."

What I'm trying to say is, if whatever it is that you're doing that annoys your sister is something you can't help despite having tried to change it, then don't feel too bad about it since it doesn't cause any physical harm (apparently?)

Honestly though, giving an opinion on the matter or some advice would be lot easier if we knew what exactly the problem, or problems, was. What kind of situations does your sister think you're using asperger as a shield in?



HeroOfHyrule
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07 Oct 2021, 4:31 pm

I have family members that act the same way. There are some things we really can't help doing (stimming, having special interests, etc.) and some things we just can't not avoid (eye contact, casual touch, etc.), but NTs don't get that. They've never lived with autism, so that experience is completely foreign and unbelievable. To them it's so easy to do to certain things and make oneself stop certain things, and they cannot fathom that our wiring makes those things incredibly hard. I'm really sorry you have to deal with that complete ignorance and lack of empathy for your situation.


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Empathy Quotient: 34/80
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11 Oct 2021, 10:04 pm

Sounds like my sister, she can be controlling, bossy, selfish, demanding & she think she knows more than me. You cannot be somebody you not, you got to be yourself, I tried being different, but I learned you got to be yourself. Don’t listen to your sister, she will make things worse for you, like my sister. How do people really know that they are right & you are wrong? Are they in your brain to know the truth? People don’t realize that they could be wrong about you.

Are you living with your sister? Find a doctor or a therapist that can help you with your sister.


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