Responses to query "why are you like this"?

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Jayo
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24 Jan 2022, 8:05 am

I haven't gotten the offensive query "why are you like this??" in some time, but when I did - pre-diagnosis at age 27 mostly - I just brushed it off with a rather flippant retort or with another question.

e.g. "why do you judge?" or "why is anyone like anything? what does it matter in the end??"
Yes, it's kind of perverse yet philosophical and nihilistic...but the subtext, as I hoped the, ahem, NT would pick up is that the matter isn't up for discussion, just drop it and move on to another topic. But they usually kept pressing the line of inquiry, which is in large part what compelled me to seek a formal diagnosis. This was years ago, before I even knew what Aspergers WAS. I was relegated to telling them that I had "a form of ADHD with social anxiety" as the so-called professionals told me. :roll:

The subtext I always read into that abrasive query was "why aren't you more like ME?" or "why don't you get obvious things that other people get?" - I suppose with the wisdom I've accumulated since then, I would've replied not with a question but "Well, that decision was made by someone at a much higher pay grade than you or I" - regardless of religious beliefs, I think that's a pretty good retort :D



Raleigh
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25 Jan 2022, 5:24 am

because autism would have it so...
because anxiety would have it so...
because OCD would have it so...

works for everything, really.


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timf
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25 Jan 2022, 7:20 am

"luck of the draw" - a particular neurological variant. What is your excuse (added if the person is belligerent)



Benjamin the Donkey
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25 Jan 2022, 7:37 am

Reply, "Why are YOU like THIS?"


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Fnord
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25 Jan 2022, 9:46 am

"Why am I like this?  Because it beats being self-righteous, judgmental, didactic, and contentious."



kraftiekortie
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25 Jan 2022, 10:01 am

Because I am me!! !! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:



theprisoner
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25 Jan 2022, 10:32 am

I have no defense.


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Fenn
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25 Jan 2022, 3:24 pm

There are a number of ways to responding.
One way I have heard - the idea is that you want to respond to someone who is rude or aggressive without making things worse:
Look the person in the eye and say with as much firmness and honest and frankness as you can
"peanutbutter".
The idea is such blatant non-sequitur will stop the conversation, but leaves you in the driver's seat instead of being a victim. I have used it. It works.

Another way I will reply has to so with the idea of mindfulness and acceptance:
"it is what it is"
Another variation is
"we are what we are".

I also like fictional character Adrian Monk's refrain:
"It's a blessing . . . and a curse"

Some days - it is ME asking the question. Then the best answer I have been able to come up with is something like
"everybody's got something - this is my something"

From my faith tradition there are other answers:
1 Corinthians 12 and John 9

Sometimes I turn to the Psalms which are able to address both my high and my lows.

I also find it helpful to look at the writings of Therese of Lisieux

https://everydaypower.com/st-therese-of-lisieux-quotes/

As a scientist my answers are simple: genetics - this view is supported by twin studies, and neurology. But while these answer "why" from a certain perspective they are not very satisfying from a personal perspective. Like asking "why did the last domino fall" - doesn't really tell you anything about who set up the dominos and why did he do it.

I also often think of the line from the poem "Desiderata". (The title means "those things desired as essential").

"If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desiderata


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Dear_one
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25 Jan 2022, 3:51 pm

I am here to be the best human I can be, and the most like myself as well. You might as well ask a lion calmly surveying the Savannah why it is not in church.



ToughDiamond
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25 Jan 2022, 4:24 pm

I don't think you're far wrong to see the question "why are you like this?" as abrasive. Me, I'd see the question as an example of weakness in the conflict-resolution department, because I'm pretty sure it's important to be specific when giving criticism, but I suppose it could be that the speaker is so annoyed by whatever you did that they've temporarily flown off the handle and blurted out a crappy question. If so, with a bit of luck they'll apologise and try again when they've calmed down a bit. It's downright mean (or maybe just stupid) to insinuate there's something the matter with a person but refuse to specify what that something is.

If I couldn't see what they were driving at, I think I'd simply ask what they meant by "like this." But if they looked angry, I'd probably wait till they were calmer. I can't remember any examples but I'm sure I've been in a situation or two where such a response has made things worse, probably because I didn't wait.

I think you're right to say that a flippant retort isn't the best way of dealing with it. I used to be terrible at dealing with angry critics, and would come straight back at them with "Don't take that tone with me, you aggressive bastard," or words to that effect. But that didn't resolve anything either, except in cases where the critic really was an aggressive bastard. It took me a long time to realise that sometimes relatively fair-minded people get annoyed and their sense of reason falters for a little while.



kraftiekortie
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25 Jan 2022, 5:02 pm

Why am I like what?

Why are YOU the way you are?



HighLlama
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25 Jan 2022, 5:04 pm

Raleigh wrote:
because autism would have it so...
because anxiety would have it so...
because OCD would have it so...

works for everything, really.


Even if you suffer from God.



Aspinator
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25 Jan 2022, 5:07 pm

I feel a good response would be: because my mommy and daddy had sex



funeralxempire
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25 Jan 2022, 5:25 pm

"Why are you like this?"

Because you're insufferable and I desire for fewer interactions between us to occur. <exit scene>

:mrgreen:


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starrytigress
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25 Jan 2022, 7:33 pm

Sometimes I think aspies are more aware of social niceties than NTs are.
I came across a relevant pin on pinterest that for the life of me I can't figure out how to put in this post but I will transcribe here.

I hate when people ask me "Why are you so quiet?" Because I am. That's how I function. I don't ask others "Why are you so noisy? Why do you talk so much?" It's rude.



Last edited by starrytigress on 25 Jan 2022, 7:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

FleaOfTheChill
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25 Jan 2022, 7:35 pm

My response to questions like that are highly dependent on my mood/headspace. I'm doing alright today, so if someone asked me that now, I'd likely smile real big and say something along the lines of, "I know! I'm freakin' amazing, right?"
:mrgreen: