Offending people

Do you ever offend other people unintentionally, like me?

I try to live a quiet life, not bothering other people.  But other people expect me to behave in a particular way and get very upset at things that don't really concern them.  

A recent example is how I upset me sister, by not inviting her to my graduation ceremony.

Beforehand nothing was mentioned or discussed.  I never had any intention of going to the ceremony.  The idea of getting dressed up and being seen on stage by hundreds of people terrified me.  Since the ceremony was optional I turned down the invitation and the two guest tickets.

A week later I got a very distressed phone call from my sister, trying to invite herself to my ceremony.   She had assumed from the beginning that she would be invited.  

End result was that she was so upset.  I got uninvited to her family Christmas.

  • Hi Robert,

    Whilst I believe that no one has a right not to be offended, that's really a separate issue here.  Yes, I do it a lot.  I don't even really think about what I'm saying half the time.  In more recent years, I've become a little more aware of it, and afterwards - if I've said something that I think might have upset someone - I'll obsess over it, then try to give an explanation next time I see them.  Quite often, I've been told in response "Ah... well I did wonder what you meant.  I did think it a little odd."  Several times - especially if my brother is involved - I've had sharp responses from people.  For instance, when I got married back in 2000, we had the formalities done at the Registry Office and only invited our parents.  The reason being that my ex-wife was a pagan, and the main thing for us was the next day, when we had a pagan hand-fasting.  Everyone was invited to that.  My brother, though, was upset that he hadn't been invited to the Registry Office - even though my ex-wife's brother wasn't invited either, and he was fine with it.  We explained it all beforehand to everyone, too.  Still... my brother thought it was a 'slap in the face.'

    I think it's a great shame about your sister's response.  It seems small-minded to me.  Almost - dare I say it - a typically NT response!

  • Robert123 said:

    A recent example is how I upset me sister, by not inviting her to my graduation ceremony.

    Beforehand nothing was mentioned or discussed.  I never had any intention of going to the ceremony.  The idea of getting dressed up and being seen on stage by hundreds of people terrified me.  Since the ceremony was optional I turned down the invitation and the two guest tickets.

    A week later I got a very distressed phone call from my sister, trying to invite herself to my ceremony.   She had assumed from the beginning that she would be invited.  

    End result was that she was so upset.  I got uninvited to her family Christmas.

    From one level of perspective, it does seem odd that you your sister would be upset about not being invited to a ceremony that you did not yourself attend. If you had of gone her upset would of been quite understandable.

    From another level of perspective, N.T.'s (and otherwise) tend to invest alot of emotional energy in imagining themselves being at and taking part in future celebrations that are viewed as being collective rights of passage. So it is understandable that your sister is upset about not being included in your success involving the graduation ceremony, being that it is somewhat obvious now that she was looking forward to it and being with you as such.

    The fact you had not mentioned or discussed your sense of terror to your sister concerning the pomp and circumstance of the ceremony, this will of been part of the problem of course, as her expectations had gone the whole length of the course unabated.

    I assume she does not understand autism/asperger's syndrome all that well.

    Perhaps, as a recompense, you could see if the dean of the university would give you a private ceremony which your sister could attend, possibly?

  • What I find most baffling about those particular types of instances when people become offended, is their apparent lack of concern for the person involved of which it concerns.  So for example, this is your graduation ceremony and as such it is up to you who you invite or even if you attend.  I too didn't go to my graduation ceremony and thankfully wasn't challenged by my family about it.

    If someone I knew was having a wedding/ graduation or whatever, I would respect them enough to respect their wishes, whatever they may be and be thankful at least that they at least thought about me and made me aware of their plans, whether I was invited or not.

    I have heard people who I work with constructing all sorts of emotional dramas over said occasions where they haven't been invited or involved at the level they perceived they should be.  All of it seems a load of nonsense to me that is just a waste of time and energy.

  • Greetings. As I said upon a different Thread, I, personally, seem to "offend" some people simply by EXISTING. I attempt here, an example of some significance in my life, which I have always wanted to say to other people, just to find out reaction to the event. It sort of also relates to "graduation", certainly to schooling, and certainly to "offending people".

    In secondary school, I was as if not allowed to complete one of my "A-Levels". At the end of the school year, I was one day invited into the head-mistress' office, where she fumbled successfully through reasons to expell me from the school. I asked her for any reasons why, and they were as follows:
    1 - 'You fell behind in your work!'
    My answer - 'I recently contracted pneumonia, as you know, and I have since made up for the work which I missed.'
    2 - 'You are rude, and you STARE at the teachers, including at me right now!'
    My answer - (I immediately break "eye contact", to begin upon the technique I know for "not staring") 'I look at you, Miss, as you look at me. Isn't it seen as rude to never look at people when you are talking to them?'
    3 - (After a minute or so) '...You are flaring your nostrils at me!!'
    My answer - (...I am, and to this very day, *still* utterly astonished at this given reason. Thus, I can only sit there, absolutely flummoxed, confused, and dumbfounded...) ....!

    End. If anyone finds this post to be silly or unbelievable... then that means that you have indeed fully understood it. All of it is true. And it is NOT FAIR. Yet it took me thirty years, perhaps, to understand the *real* (unsaid) reasons for my being "let go"... But I wait to see if anyone here also cares or understands..?
    That is all for now.

  • Yeah, to the point that I don’t even want to try and work it out anymore. I’d rather just have less to do with them. Often I have no choice in that matter anyway, they stop having anything to do with me. I think I’m beyond caring. For me right now, I’m more interested in creating a life which works for me. If that upsets people, I don’t like it, but I accept it. I’m sorry you got uninvited to Christmas though. That hurts. I’m contemplating not going to my sisters. They won’t want me to talk about my special interests, they try and get me to drink alcohol with them and it’s not too much fun, but I do like to be around my family. If only I could just keep quiet! I might try.