I have recently been told by my employer that I sometimes respond sharply to my colleague, this is normally when I'm trying to do other tasks. I dont mean to be rude is this my Aspergers or am I rude I am trying to alter my behaviour but find it difficult.
Sounds familiar to me. When I'm interrupted from a task that I'm focused on, my brain seems to struggle to go into "social analysis mode", so my interpretation of what's being said and how I should answer is very factual - the part of my brain which would normally mask my autism and consider the social consequences just doesn't get engaged in time. There are times when I'm hardly even aware that I have spoken to the other person; I'll find myself minutes or hours later thinking to myself; "Did I just speak to X? What did they say? What was my answer?". This can even be for the simplest of things; if someone asks me "how are you?" when I'm flustered, it's not unusual that I'll respond with something like; "hot", "cold", "sweaty", etc.
I think that the problem very often is that non-autistic people are looking for implied value judgements and "reading between the lines"; but when my "social processing" isn't on-line, I don't take any of that into account and expect my response to be judged literally for the words that I'm saying - any more than that requires a shift in attention that is difficult and time-consuming, especially if I'm desperate not to lose the "flow" of whatever it is that I was doing at the time.
Hi Togluddite. This factor of multi tasking of doing social stuff while concentrating on a work task i find incredibly difficult. It has been something i have noticed in my current job and has always caused me a great deal of stress. A simple task of trying to.photocopy 14 sets of 2 double sided worksheets so they are stapled together from an original becomes difficult when someone pops over with "hi how are you did you get me email?!" The worksheets end up coming out wrong and i feel frustrated because a)ive wasted paper b)i need to spend precious time doinh it again and c)tje social interaction wasnt meaningful bevause i couldnt focus 100pc on it. If this is in the morning it can put me on the back foot for the rest of the day.
This is just one example of interrupted tasks but i wpuld be here all day. You get the idea. Usually it happens more than once yjroughout the day.
Before i had read about AS i had many thought processes about it and tried ways to manage it a) cant they see i am busy? Why cant they leave me alone? But i need a way to manage this... B) stop what i am doing and engage in the interaction. This put me on the back foot still as it was taking time out of the task then concentration to get back into it. Anyway i was accommodating myself to others, why couldnt they do the same for me? C) after reading inyo AS thinking maybe its my body language which isnt strong enough. So made a concentrated effort and this seems to be paying off e.g. not looking up or pretending to ignore then go "sorry what were you saying? Or "il be with you soon" or just general uninterested "ohhh riiiight". I have found this to work because its probably what other people do themselves.
I think its because you treat people how you yourself want to be treated. They wouldnt be bothered by the interruption so its never occurred to them it might bother others. Similarly if i see someone busy i wouldnt interrupt them cos i myself dont like to be interrupted.
I am still unsure if i havr AS but the more i read the more its helping me to manage life.