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SharonB
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14 Aug 2021, 5:58 pm

Who is the guardian of emotional intelligence in your relationships (familial, romantic, friendship, etc.)? Based on current gender norms, it is the woman (or most feminine). I have read that as gender roles shift, this may change. I hope so.



SharonB
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14 Aug 2021, 6:04 pm

I know there are people who are therapists (of both genders) that must have it as part of their jobs. Relative to a household, I wonder that there are people who homeschool their children and manage it. Perhaps with focus it's more doable?

For me, my ASD-like BFF is a woman and by some standards she is the more reserved ("masculine") one of us, but we share the responsibility of emotional labor more evenly. I can't tell with the woman in my family b/c they are borderline narcissists. With the men in my family it falls on me.

In my heterosexual (cisgendered) relationship with children, I feel the peer pressure that I (the woman) do the emotional labor and have the emotional intelligence. It amuses me to the Nth degree that a non-Autistic man (my husband) entrusts the emotional well being of his children to an Autistic woman (me). Either I'm that ok at it, or he is that conforming or lazy. Both? In my case I've had the resources and put in the work and it's going well enough (albeit I have troubles modelling assertiveness). In the case of my ASD-like mother and ASD-like grandmother it didn't go so well - they didn't have the resources or support. In all our cases, it would have gone better if it was more equally shared. In any case, it's exhausting to emotionally regulate myself... and my children... and many times my husband (as best that I can). After even the smallest incidents at breakfast time, I need to recover. It's like an all-day battle (and my kids are "well behaved" by outside observations). I am exhausted.



Lost_dragon
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14 Aug 2021, 8:06 pm

SharonB wrote:
Who is the guardian of emotional intelligence in your relationships (familial, romantic, friendship, etc.)? Based on current gender norms, it is the woman (or most feminine). I have read that as gender roles shift, this may change. I hope so.


As in, who do I confide in for support? Or am I misunderstanding this?


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Edna3362
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14 Aug 2021, 10:22 pm

I'm not sure if my input counts because I rarely had any connections with any male.
Females, even one that isn't even cisgender, I'm practically surrounded with.

And do not get me started with cultural aspects on top of this. :lol:
There's even a business stereotype around this culture involving a lot of soft skills.

One of those that are even allegedly declare internationally that "You cannot be X without soft skills".
Therefore NTs cultures here do have a certain soft skill that other cultures may not easily attain.



My closest and most frequently with are practically professionals in their own right; are in jobs that do strongly required higher levels of social and emotional intelligence.

So yes, I'm also referring to my own mom -- the closest -- she's basically a politician and a counselor in her day job.
She's not one of those people with a problem that their kids had to put up with it. Unless she's ill enough...

The second one's my SPED teacher -- a psychologist and a co-owner of business.
Partially it's her job. Partially voluntary. One of the very kind of social mentor.

Third closest?? A friend overseas. A student of psychology. We're equals than at odds even if I'm younger than her.

Fourth closest is practically a nurse. It is unclear who's more of a nurturer between the two of us.

Fifth closest is a foreigner online. Most relatable as an aspie. We're more of equals than at odds even if I'm older than her.

Sixth closest would be my own sister. It's supposedly my role as the elder one, yeah? No. I epically failed this one. :lol:

Seventh was a guy online who's at least 3 years my senior. :lol:
In a paradoxical position; he's more nurturing but at the same time he has more issues than I do.


The rest?? I'm generally the a listener and someone to confide to, than a direct nurturer or someone who confides in any dynamic so far.
Or someone who's just doesn't have the mood to interact and entertain unless bored -- too aloof to go further.


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IsabellaLinton
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14 Aug 2021, 11:27 pm

I have alexithmia and stress disorders. I shut down around a lot of people so that I won't need to access or express my emotions. I'm always flooded with nameless emotions on the inside and I don't know what to do with them, so it's easier to remain stone-faced and try to act detached. It's a vicious cycle with my mother because she sees my stone-face, and assumes that I'm resilient. She'll hurl what I call "stress bombs" at me, a constant barrage of emotions, problems, and anxiety, thinking that I can handle it because I appear to be stoic. I can't handle it. I can't always self-regulate my internal tsunami. An onslaught of sympathy or empathy in reaction to her stress bombs often sends me into silent spiral mode, since I don't know how to articulate my concern. Then I'm even more stone-faced the next time I see her, and the pattern repeats. Add a heaping tablespoon of guilt to each exchange, on my part.

My kids and I are about even in terms of emotional intelligence. It's my role to care for them emotionally and to listen to their problems as they arise. In that respect I can't say I have an unfair burden, but most of the time I worry about them more than they'd ever know. They think I can handle everything because I'm their mother. I'm strong. I've seen it all. But again, I'm breaking on the inside whenever there's a problem.

My bf is a retired counsellor and he's far more emotionally literate than I am. I struggle at times to experience or even discuss some of the emotions he feels. Some of this is because of my autism but some is related to ADHD and my slower processing time. I can't really do romance or many of the subtle emotions associated with relationships. I don't pine away like some people do with their partners. We have a deep bond, nevertheless.


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SharonB
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15 Aug 2021, 9:35 am

Lost_dragon wrote:
As in, who do I confide in for support? Or am I misunderstanding this?

I was thinking about who smooths things out when there is upset. I think (don't know) it takes emotional intelligence for that. The whole topic confuses me. Depending on the Emotional Intelligence (EQ) test, I get 100% on the theoretical parts (know what to do) and closer to 20% on the practical application parts (actually do it). However, I know in many of my relationships when if there is upset, I'm expected to smooth it out (emotional labor?). Feel free to respond in any way the the subject line resonated with you.

Edna3362 wrote:
... who's more of a nurturer between the two of us.

That. I do not think of myself as nurturing and yet I find myself in that role. The very thought of being nurturing scares me b/c it's about focus. Friend needs support and I am attentive: "nurturing". Friend needs support and I am focused elsewhere: "neglectful". ------ I like your support network!

IsabellaLinton wrote:
I have alexithmia and stress disorders. I shut down around a lot of people so that I won't need to access or express my emotions. I'm always flooded with nameless emotions on the inside and I don't know what to do with them, so it's easier to remain stone-faced and try to act detached.

That's my tendency also. Now that I am aware, I'm better able to explain it on the spot (detachedly), or follow up later (written is best). It's still an unresolved issue with my mom and sister, which goes waaaaay back.

IsabellaLinton wrote:
My kids and I are about even in terms of emotional intelligence. It's my role to care for them emotionally and to listen to their problems as they arise.

Ah, yes. I forgot about that. When I have meltdowns (or nearly so) one of my kids will step up to bring it to my attention and make suggestions. I'm glad you a bf to help navigate some of this. So cool that you can feel that bond.



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15 Aug 2021, 10:14 am

SharonB wrote:
Lost_dragon wrote:
As in, who do I confide in for support? Or am I misunderstanding this?

I was thinking about who smooths things out when there is upset. I think (don't know) it takes emotional intelligence for that. The whole topic confuses me. Depending on the Emotional Intelligence (EQ) test, I get 100% on the theoretical parts (know what to do) and closer to 20% on the practical application parts (actually do it). However, I know in many of my relationships when if there is upset, I'm expected to smooth it out (emotional labor?). Feel free to respond in any way the the subject line resonated with you.


In my opinion emotional intelligence means how skillfully you can interpret, control, and express your emotions for a common good. It means using your emotions effectively to help you navigate life, risk, success, trauma, and interpersonal relationships. It starts with understanding yourself of course, but that's easier said than done. In general I can only identify a handful emotions when they occur (anger, shame/guilt, envy, worry/fear, peace, happiness for others, and neutral). Articulating those or any other is nearly impossible for me in real time without considerable reflection. I have a very, very hard showing or expressing my emotions when I'm around other people even though I'm flooding on the inside. Because of PTSD I'm always on guard or hypervigilant against caving in to the emotions and having a breakdown, or believing that my feelings are invalid.

Regarding helping others, I call that emotional charity. One thing that bugs me about women is that they tend to go to each other (their friends, mothers, sisters, etc) for emotional support even when they have romantic partners (either men or women) who should fill that role. I'm tired of women assuming their husbands, boyfriends, or even girlfriends / wives aren't emotionally literate or emotionally available. It's even worse when people come to me for free emotional charity but then because of my own limitations with emotional expression, I don't / can't ask them for support in return. It starts feeling one-sided but I'm aware that it's not entirely their fault. I need to learn to ask for help when I need it, instead of clamming up or shutting down. Journalling helped me to see this pattern. I'm referring to real life interactions in this statement, not my online friendships.

Written language makes it a lot easier for me to access my feelings whether supporting a friend, or deciphering my own emotions. I guess it helps that we're all Neurodiverse here, and we seem to "get" each other. I don't have to worry about the conventions of facial expressions, body language, or tone of voice either. In real life if the other person starts crying I panic because I'm trying so hard to control my own feelings or be strong for them, that I don't know what to do. At least when I'm online, I can feel a little more detached and not worry about tears.


SharonB wrote:
That's my tendency also. Now that I am aware, I'm better able to explain it on the spot (detachedly), or follow up later (written is best). It's still an unresolved issue with my mom and sister, which goes waaaaay back.


I'm not there regarding written communication in the family, and I likely won't be. My mother doesn't even have a smart phone or computer. She's never sent a text or email. Her voice mail is still a tape recorder. We can only do verbal, and that's why I became mute.

I do write quite a bit with the kids even if / when they're home. We will often use Messenger to discuss emotional or more serious topics. It lets us keep a record of what we said (e.g., all the "I love you"s), and gives us space / time to process what's going on without crying in each other's face.

SharonB wrote:
Ah, yes. I forgot about that. When I have meltdowns (or nearly so) one of my kids will step up to bring it to my attention and make suggestions. I'm glad you a bf to help navigate some of this. So cool that you can feel that bond.


Same. My daughter often says she parents me as much as I parent her. In many respects she seems older than I am, because she's at the stage of stepping out into the world whereas I'm at the stage of slowing down. We're good with each other's meltdowns. I hope she doesn't read this but the other day she had a doozy of a meltdown from stress, and she threw a drink against the wall -- among other impulsive things. That doesn't happen often and she's a great person but ... shite happens. I think she was pretty impressed that I just rode it out, let it happen, and made sure she was safe until we could debrief later.

These are the times I'm really glad I don't have a partner and I don't have to negotiate / cooperative with anyone about my parenting decisions. I try not to talk about the kids much to my bf, although he does help me navigate emotions in the big picture. My kids deserve private lives without having me tell others all the ups and downs. My beau has only met my daughter about five times in total because of lockdown, and I don't want to rely on his "emotional charity" because that wouldn't be fair either.


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Edna3362
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15 Aug 2021, 10:51 am

I have more issues around emotional regulation issues than complexes or triggers. :|


And observed plenty of... 'Relationships management' of various angles, sizes...


In both with my mom and the teacher -- in job they manage groups differently, they also put different roles AND fronts.

From an onlookers point of view, they're both intimidating leaders and facilitators capable of creating, hosting and managing social spaces. :lol:

And had a somewhat similar familial social duty as the eldest daughters of their respectively numbered siblings, and the matriarchal figure of their respective households.

Therefore they both got this particular role as an advisor of sorts; both professional and personal.

Even their personal lives -- but they do so differently; my mom is one of those super social extroverts with resilience.
While the teacher is a highly sensitive introvert. I figured the core differences.



In my past online life, I got the sort of same experiences and role myself. :lol:
Had tons of friends. Been the advisor. Been the mediator. Been the first person to go to and trust issues over.
Been the in-between two raging parties and play messenger or therapist. :lol:

I could easily play that role whenever I want, but I don't want it now.


And in real life... I'm too busy dealing with encumbrances to do something similar.
Too busy being overwhelmed, too confused as to how to 'manage' myself.

In other words... I would know what to do AND could do so if it weren't for emotional dysregulation and various executive functioning issues.

And I'm not usually the most willing of all parties whether or not that's the issue. :lol:




But yes.
I have a decent support system. I'm just lucky in that regard.

:twisted: Too bad I'm asocial. If I wasn't, I would probably be very grateful... Or very fearful.


And if I'm in any sort of relationship...
I do not have fantasies or assumptions around it. Maybe that's why, on top of not having a real interest around it.
But others do -- so I let them define it first along with their intentions or desires, then I decide what it also meant.


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Lost_dragon
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15 Aug 2021, 3:44 pm

SharonB wrote:
Lost_dragon wrote:
As in, who do I confide in for support? Or am I misunderstanding this?

I was thinking about who smooths things out when there is upset. I think (don't know) it takes emotional intelligence for that. The whole topic confuses me. Depending on the Emotional Intelligence (EQ) test, I get 100% on the theoretical parts (know what to do) and closer to 20% on the practical application parts (actually do it). However, I know in many of my relationships when if there is upset, I'm expected to smooth it out (emotional labor?). Feel free to respond in any way the the subject line resonated with you.


In regards to my friendships and peer group, I often find myself playing therapist to others. Apparently I have a calming presence and people usually feel safe telling me secrets, venting or privately asking for advice. However, there is typically some back and forth, I tend to find that friendships where we ask for advice from each other or generally share our emotions at a near equal amount are generally more stable than more one-sided arrangements.

There are times where I will openly admit to someone that I don't know how to help but that I wish I could help. Sometimes I just allow them space to vent, typically with a leisurely activity in the background (playing a cosy / casual low-stress game, taking a walk around the area together, offering them a cup of tea and a space to sit down etc.)

However, there are moments where I am asked for advice when I'm not actually needed. For example, two of my friends went on a night out together with a few others. I was resting up at home. Both of them separately asked for advice regarding the other friend, unaware that they were both talking to me about how to navigate the same situation from different perspectives. I found it slightly amusing that they were both asking for advice on something that could've been solved in a two minute conversation with each other.

It is quite rare for a friend of mine to burst into tears and seek immediate comfort. People usually pick up on the fact that I am not a particularly physically affectionate person. If someone does start crying , I usually feel awkward. They are unlikely to go to me if they want a hug. Rather, I am more the type of friend that others go to if they want someone in the room with them as they let their feelings out. There are a couple of exceptions to my feelings on physical affection, if I am very close to someone (to the point of being best friends or close to it, a family member, or I am romantically inclined to the person in question) then I am far more receptive to it. I absolutely hate hugging strangers. Often I physically recoil or go still when someone unexpectedly hugs me. If I feel safe around someone, to the point where their presence is comforting, then I actually enjoy hugs from them and this is quite significant to me.

My feelings towards touch are very mixed, I enjoy hugs but I have emotional trauma. I used to have flashbacks to traumatic events when people would hug me particularly tightly and I would blindly fight my way out of it, but thankfully I no longer have this reaction. I occasionally have the odd flashback if a trigger occurs, such as recently when I watched a documentary and one of the subjects reminded me of it. Fortunately, they happen far less than they used to and I have made peace with it. There's still a little sting to it though. So when a hug occurs and it feels positive, it feels nice...it's just...the best feeling really. It can be confusing.


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16 Aug 2021, 1:00 am

I'm the most emotionally intelligent one in my relationship with my boyfriend, but not because of pressure. It's natural for me and also enjoyable.


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16 Aug 2021, 10:47 am

My (ND, but not on the spectrum) long-term partner has taught me so much about emotional intelligence over the years we've been together. It takes patience and perseverance from the other party, as well as your own willingness to learn new things to be able to grasp such an intense topic like this. It took me years of learning to figuratively fall and get back up again to get to the point where I am today, and I couldn't have done it without his help because literally everyone else in my life would not even bother to help me better understand.

I can say that today that we are very close to equal when it comes to emotional intelligence, but he still holds the torch at 60% and me at 40%.


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