Learning how to deal better with little things

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Shadweller
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23 Jul 2022, 5:03 am

I gather that a tendency to over react to relatively small things is a trait of some Autistic people. I am one of them, but I feel like I should be able to get more of a handle on these things and manage the situations much better. Overreacting to small things can set off chain of events like rolling a snowball down a hill.

For instance in the supermarket this morning i thought id go early as it would be nice and quiet. But the supermarket hadn't got any milk in the size i wanted it meaning I'd have to go somewhere else. I know this is not a big deal. I can either buy a different size or go do another supermarket.

While I was weighing this up and processing it some older guy irrelevantly says "am i in your way?" His presence had nothing to do with the fact that the milk i wanted wasn't in the store. I was so preoccupied and distant that i didn't even properly register that he was talking to me, and so i could not be bothered with false politeness and explaining all of that to a stranger anyway. I don't like talking to strangers. I wish they would all leave me alone. Probably seems rude, but sometimes when I am in my head and someone unexpectedly talks to me I find it hard to snap out of my processing and to think of a conversational response. My head is otherwise engaged, I guess you could say.

I think that overreacting to small things is possibly a form of dropping the mask and it gives neuro typicals an opportunity to make mocking remarks about "They are all out today" like this guy today went on to do. Talking about me as if i wasn't there.

I should have said "Do you mean all the odd people that might have mental conditions that you don't understand? Is that what you mean?" In stead I just glared at him.

Little things can become bigger things when they combine in ways like this.

I seriously think I'm gonna start wearing noise cancelling headphones in the supermarket, hopefully people wont try to talk to me then, and I wont have to listen to their sarcastic mocking comments either.

I try to learn what I can learn from any situation like this. Sometimes there is nothing that I could have done differently. I was annoyed and whilst processing someone tried to talk to me while i did not feel flexible or prepared to to engage in a conversation that made no sense. Basically, I could not be bothered masking and so I got insulted.

I was in a good mood up until that point too. I would like to try to get my day back on track. Hopefully thinking about more important things and getting up and doing more important things should help. Rather than spending ages ruminating about this annoying small incident. The endless rumination afterwards can sometimes be the most torturous aspect of the whole process.



Joe90
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23 Jul 2022, 5:43 am

Hmm, just trying to picture the moment when he was mocking you. He obviously thought he was in your way, to which all you needed to say was "no, mate" - although I do understand that you were in your own thoughts, but you wouldn't need to have explained or even make polite conversation. So did you think he was going to mock you if you did explain what you were doing?


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Shadweller
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23 Jul 2022, 8:56 am

Yes Joe90, what you say does make sense.

However, sometimes I have this thing though where I might think of a verbal response but then I just think it in my head, but don't actually say it aloud for whatever reason.Whether its a lack of confidence or not wanting to cause a public scene I dont know. Other times I just cant think of a response at all, even if it was as straight forward as your example.

On this occasion I think I was just annoyed that my milk wasn't there and just could not manage any social interactions at all at that moment. The social or verbal part of my brain was off line. Its hard to explain., I sometimes retreat and withdraw deep inside myself in supermarkets and other crowded public places. I find them hostile and unfriendly places.

Apparently difficulty converting thoughts and feelings into speech is one of the difficulties that some Autistic people have. I am among them.

On the one hand it does piss me off, these smug "they're are all out today" kind of remarks. Presumably he means all the retards/oddballs/ and social defectives. The self satisfied attitude of people that dont have any issues being comfortably able to look down on easy targets to make themselves feel better. But these people have no class, no education, no awareness of anything.

One day I swear I'm going to do more than just glare at someone for one of these put downs. I'd love to be able to muster up all the indignant fury of all these put downs and come back with one of these remarks that tend to come to mind afterwards.

Something has got to give. Either I ill have to reach a point of really not giving a f**k. Sometimes I think that might eventually happen, but I was defintely either born sensitive or conditioned to be so, so that will not some easy, if it ever does. .

I dunno. Anyway I gave that ignorant clown his few seconds of mirth. Good on him.Hope he feels proud of himself for being such a big hearted and understanding sort of person.

Next time a similar thing happens I might just confront them with what exactly do they think they are they laughing at, and tell them that they are mocking traits of Autism. Not that Autism is in some special category where nobody is allowed to mock, but people should be aware that it is no different to mocking someone with a physical disability. I hope they feel proud of themselves for finding it all so amusing. Maybe a family member of their might go on to be diagnosed with Autism, and I'm sure they wouldn't find it all quite so amusing to laugh at the freaks if that was to be the case.

Anyway rant and vent over now.



Last edited by Shadweller on 23 Jul 2022, 9:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

Joe90
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23 Jul 2022, 9:12 am

What did he actually do to mock you? I'm not taking sides here, I'm just confused. Did he laugh out loud at you? Did he ask "am I in your way?" in an annoyed or mocking sort of tone?


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Shadweller
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23 Jul 2022, 9:30 am

After asking if he was in my way he then went on to take the piss out of me to the shop assistant whilst i was in direct earshot and in a direct line of sight with him, with his comments along the lines of "They are all out this morning" (All The "Special" People - was clearly what he meant)

I am Autistic, not stupid, deaf nor blind, or apparently not even a human being with any feelings to consider. But apparently he doesn't know the difference.,

The shop assistant said "don't" to him. Presumably meaning dont continue to say things like that whcih may be liable to antagonise a person. She knows how challenging it can be for me at times in that Supermaket. I have had a large amount of incidents relating to social difficulties in that supermarket at just below the level of meltdown / shutdown. If I hadn't have got out as soon as possible each time I might have tipped over into full blown melt downs or shutdowns.

This is why i have switched my store visit time to 8:30 on a saturday morning as opposed to 11 am on a sunday. At least the store is far less crowded and hectic, and that reduces the overall stress of it a great deal.



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23 Jul 2022, 10:02 am

Outwardly I don't usually rise to little things these days, but inwardly I tend to worry too much about them.

What happened to the OP isn't likely to happen to me because I'm not in the habit of going into my own thoughts that deeply when I'm in a situation where I might be spoken to. It's annoying that the guy who got ignored reacted badly to it, but it's going to happen. People tend to feel upset when they get ignored, and they often assume there's an unacceptable reason for their experience. "I don't understand his behaviour" becomes "he's insane / rude."

When people do have a go at me, I'm usually able to return fire or (if I'm not too annoyed) try to resolve the matter. I used to escalate it every time if they didn't seem likely to turn violent, but I've mellowed a bit.

I completely agree that it's better to shop at quiet times. When the shop is busy I get sick of people thoughtlessly blocking my way.



Shadweller
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23 Jul 2022, 10:48 am

ToughDiamond wrote:
Outwardly I don't usually rise to little things these days, but inwardly I tend to worry too much about them.

What happened to the OP isn't likely to happen to me because I'm not in the habit of going into my own thoughts that deeply when I'm in a situation where I might be spoken to. It's annoying that the guy who got ignored reacted badly to it, but it's going to happen. People tend to feel upset when they get ignored, and they often assume there's an unacceptable reason for their experience. "I don't understand his behaviour" becomes "he's insane / rude."

When people do have a go at me, I'm usually able to return fire or (if I'm not too annoyed) try to resolve the matter. I used to escalate it every time if they didn't seem likely to turn violent, but I've mellowed a bit.

I completely agree that it's better to shop at quiet times. When the shop is busy I get sick of people thoughtlessly blocking my way.


Thanks for your post. It's exactly the kind of face the facts in a helpful pragmatic, real world, matter of fact, fairly hard nosed and positive tone that I am trying to cultivate.

Time and time again I find that I run into these kind of negative and upsetiing interactions when I venture out without having taken any benzodiazepines. The positive reinforcement effect is extremely strong in my case, in as much as this kind of thing happens way less often If I have taken a small dose of a benzo before venturing out into public. They aid my masking, my social skills, my ability to blend in, all that sort of stuff that makes an enormous difference.

I very very rarely run into any difficulties with routine errands with my little benzo helpers. When I do challenge myself and put myself in new situations and places with new people, then the benzos help reduce my social anxiety, but I'm still going to commit plenty a faux pas and will have to face the consequences. BUt the benzos help keep the anxiety within a tolerable range, which sometimes it otherwise might not be.

Unfortunately even my routine day to day errands and tasks are fraught with difficulty for me such has seemed to be the extent of the breakdown of my abilty to mask and blend in with out attracting unwanted attention, if i try to do these things without benzos. I must stand out like a sore thumb as the old English expression goes.,. This has seemed to get worse and worse for me as the years have gone on. Or maybe I just notice it more now, now that I have my diagnosis and understand exactly what is going on. One of the consolations is that as of the last 12 months or so at least I understand the reasons why behind everything. Since my initial self diagnosis of Autism and then eventual formal diagnosis. Not a moment too soon. Just in time to help, when I really needed to at least understand what is going on. Even If I am still struggling massively in many ways.

There has come a point though for Autistic people like myself where you have to decide either to give up and become a reclusive hermit, or just get out there and brave the consequences of the unavoidable social blunders that you are not going to be able to avoid.. Some of them I will be able to learn from, so next time I face that situation I wont make the same faux pas again.

Hopefully.



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23 Jul 2022, 10:59 am

Ah yes, the little things that, logically thinking, really are little things, but can feel like a huge deal at that particular moment. Usually when these happen, I can look back to them later and conclude perfectly well how I should have acted, but somehow it can be really difficult to do so when the situation's on.



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23 Jul 2022, 11:22 am

Quote:
After asking if he was in my way he then went on to take the piss out of me to the shop assistant whilst i was in direct earshot and in a direct line of sight with him, with his comments along the lines of "They are all out this morning" (All The "Special" People - was clearly what he meant)


Oh, I see. Just you didn't mention that in your OP.
I'm always told that NT strangers have too much on their minds to judge another stranger who isn't really doing anything weird and have only encountered for like 10 seconds then they'll probably never see them again. But it's wrong. NTs judge all the time, out loud, which I think is rude. And yet we're the ones to lack empathy? :?

Quote:
I am Autistic, not stupid, deaf nor blind, or apparently not even a human being with any feelings to consider. But apparently he doesn't know the difference.,


Deafness is a more understood disability than autism, so he could have assumed you were just perhaps hard of hearing and shouldn't have judged you either way. See, this is where NTs lack theory of mind. They think everyone should be perfect and nobody should have any differences, and I'm not just talking about autism, but any differences, even that NTs themselves can have, such as deafness. I think that if NTs were wired to have empathy and theory of mind then they'd be more mindful about other people's actions and not go judging others so much or take things personally. Especially with strangers. They should mind their own business. It's not as if you were causing any sort of danger to anybody.

Perhaps this is why some people with autism or anxiety or mental health problems become agoraphobic, because they don't want to deal with judgemental as*holes.


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Joe90
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23 Jul 2022, 12:18 pm

This reminds me of an incident that happened to me once, when I was about 20. It was a freezing cold day, and I was wearing a winter hat that was trendy for my age group at the time. But I walked past these two old men, and I heard one of them say to the other, "look at her stupid hat!" I wish I had turned around and looked at them, to give them the message that I heard that and that it hurt my feelings.

I understand people having opinions, but they should have said something like "I don't like those hats that the youngsters are wearing these days". Or if they really wanted to judge then they should have said it out of my earshot, not as I was walking past. They were old as well, from the generation that was taught to respect, and I don't think they had dementia. No, they knew what they were saying but didn't seem to care.

I don't think people of a different generation should make rash judgements. I was only a youngster. I had a different fashion choice to them. Be a bit like me saying out loud "look at her stupid coat!" to an elderly lady with an old-fashioned sort of coat. Instinctively I would just see that she's an elderly lady and that her sense of fashion is different from mine due to age, and not have said anything.

It's like autistic people are always taught, actually have it drummed into us, that we must respect other people's feelings at all times and not judge or say rude things to someone or about someone in their earshot when we don't know their side of the story, yet NTs seem to do it all the time, like they're omnipotent and social rules don't apply to them or something. Yet we go through life carefully following the social rules by the book and we still don't get accepted by society.

Moral of the story: Be like them. Be a judgemental as*hole. Then maybe we might be accepted...

Ps. I didn't mean all NTs. There are some nice NTs that probably also get treated unfairly by the as*holes. But, in my experience, I think I've probably met more selfish, ignorant, insensitive, judgemental people than not.


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23 Jul 2022, 1:19 pm

I've been mocked, singled out and ostracized for the best part of nearly 50 years. First of all it was because I looked like a boy, then because I was the scruffy, dirty kid at school, then it was because everyone thought I was a lesbian, then the next minute I'm a slut. I mean come on. Then its because I looked like I'm on drugs. Or I'm either too quiet or too noisy or too brown or too thin. Believe me I've had the lot and ithe list goes on.

If it's from strangers in the street then I can easily walk away. If it's banter with friends then I just find something about them and have a laugh. But if it's people in the workplace for example who I know I just don't like and they don't like me but I'm stuck with them for a certain amount of time every day of my life then I will undoubtedly confront them and a lot of times I never actually see them again because usually they leave. I don't particularly enjoy showing anyone that side of me but unfortunately it is the only way to nip it in the bud.

But on the flip side of that I've mocked people or been a bit cheeky to strangers outside and as a consequence been beaten up and hospitalised. I think that is going a bit too far to be honest but it has happened.

You've just got to pick your fights sometimes. I think there's a song about there being a time to fight and a time to walk away.


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24 Jul 2022, 8:17 am

Joe90 wrote:
This reminds me of an incident that happened to me once, when I was about 20. It was a freezing cold day, and I was wearing a winter hat that was trendy for my age group at the time. But I walked past these two old men, and I heard one of them say to the other, "look at her stupid hat!" I wish I had turned around and looked at them, to give them the message that I heard that and that it hurt my feelings.

I understand people having opinions, but they should have said something like "I don't like those hats that the youngsters are wearing these days". Or if they really wanted to judge then they should have said it out of my earshot, not as I was walking past. They were old as well, from the generation that was taught to respect, and I don't think they had dementia. No, they knew what they were saying but didn't seem to care.

I don't think people of a different generation should make rash judgements. I was only a youngster. I had a different fashion choice to them. Be a bit like me saying out loud "look at her stupid coat!" to an elderly lady with an old-fashioned sort of coat. Instinctively I would just see that she's an elderly lady and that her sense of fashion is different from mine due to age, and not have said anything.

It's like autistic people are always taught, actually have it drummed into us, that we must respect other people's feelings at all times and not judge or say rude things to someone or about someone in their earshot when we don't know their side of the story, yet NTs seem to do it all the time, like they're omnipotent and social rules don't apply to them or something. Yet we go through life carefully following the social rules by the book and we still don't get accepted by society.

Moral of the story: Be like them. Be a judgemental as*hole. Then maybe we might be accepted...

Ps. I didn't mean all NTs. There are some nice NTs that probably also get treated unfairly by the as*holes. But, in my experience, I think I've probably met more selfish, ignorant, insensitive, judgemental people than not.


You've met tits

I used to wear hats too

saves me having to style my hair and I like them.

don't care about trendy

meh humans comment...ignore



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24 Jul 2022, 8:22 am

babybird wrote:
I've been mocked, singled out and ostracized for the best part of nearly 50 years. First of all it was because I looked like a boy, then because I was the scruffy, dirty kid at school, then it was because everyone thought I was a lesbian, then the next minute I'm a slut. I mean come on. Then its because I looked like I'm on drugs. Or I'm either too quiet or too noisy or too brown or too thin. Believe me I've had the lot and ithe list goes on.

If it's from strangers in the street then I can easily walk away. If it's banter with friends then I just find something about them and have a laugh. But if it's people in the workplace for example who I know I just don't like and they don't like me but I'm stuck with them for a certain amount of time every day of my life then I will undoubtedly confront them and a lot of times I never actually see them again because usually they leave. I don't particularly enjoy showing anyone that side of me but unfortunately it is the only way to nip it in the bud.

But on the flip side of that I've mocked people or been a bit cheeky to strangers outside and as a consequence been beaten up and hospitalised. I think that is going a bit too far to be honest but it has happened.

You've just got to pick your fights sometimes. I think there's a song about there being a time to fight and a time to walk away.


I relate to your experience in many ways x



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24 Jul 2022, 8:46 am

Yeah sometimes it's like the whole world has an opinion.

The funny thing is though is that I've never exactly led a squeaky clean lifestyle so that's probably why a lot of what people have to say doesn't really impact me too much.

It bothers me more when I'm trying my best to clean up my act and I really struggle to stay on the straight and narrow and some people pass judgement on me then. That's the time when I need to learn a different way to deal with things because those are the times when it's most important.


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24 Jul 2022, 10:12 am

babybird wrote:
I've been mocked, singled out and ostracized for the best part of nearly 50 years. First of all it was because I looked like a boy, then because I was the scruffy, dirty kid at school, then it was because everyone thought I was a lesbian, then the next minute I'm a slut. I mean come on. Then its because I looked like I'm on drugs. Or I'm either too quiet or too noisy or too brown or too thin. Believe me I've had the lot and ithe list goes on.

If it's from strangers in the street then I can easily walk away. If it's banter with friends then I just find something about them and have a laugh. But if it's people in the workplace for example who I know I just don't like and they don't like me but I'm stuck with them for a certain amount of time every day of my life then I will undoubtedly confront them and a lot of times I never actually see them again because usually they leave. I don't particularly enjoy showing anyone that side of me but unfortunately it is the only way to nip it in the bud.

But on the flip side of that I've mocked people or been a bit cheeky to strangers outside and as a consequence been beaten up and hospitalised. I think that is going a bit too far to be honest but it has happened.

You've just got to pick your fights sometimes. I think there's a song about there being a time to fight and a time to walk away.


:| That's horrible what you've had to deal with, yet inspiring how you dealt with the crap.


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24 Jul 2022, 10:28 am

I go by this credo:

“Opinions are like as*holes….everybody’s got one.”