Do I tell people

so today I was diagnosed with mild autism and mild aspergers, I wanted to ask should I tell everyone?

  • My policy on this is very flexible. It's not a secret, but nor is it something that I would tell everyone, and it's not something I reveal in its entirety.

    The people who I'm closest to all know now that I'm autistic. I had some strange reactions at first, but no-one so dismissive that, over time, I haven't been able to explain in more detail so that they've slowly come to understand better. However, it should be said that most of them were well aware of my long history of mental health problems, and always tried to support me with those, so I think that my diagnosis has been seen by them as explanatory, just as it has been for me.

    With other people, I have never just "come out" with a big announcement; people's reactions can be very negative and insulting sometimes, so I always give myself a little time to get to know them first, so that I have some idea how they might react. In particular, I look for how they react to my autistic traits when they have been noticeable. In many cases, just explaining a particular trait that is causing difficulty is sufficient; "I'm just one of those people who....". Even with people who are sympathetic, it's worth weighing up whether being bombarded with "so what's it like?" questions and having to counter misinformation is worth the bother for relatively casual or fleeting interactions, or with people who's opinions you aren't going to be able to change.

    So there's no black-and-white decision between tell everyone or tell no-one; I take it case by case, weight up the pro's and con's, and decide accordingly whether I'll say nothing, admit to a particular trait, or reveal my diagnosis.

    You should also take into account other people's tendency to gossip. What you tell to one person can easily be spread around very quickly. They may well have no bad intent in mind, but it means that people could potentially find out who you would rather didn't know. At the very least, you should be very explicit with people about how public or secret what you're telling them is

  • You should also take into account other people's tendency to gossip.

    Yes.  Welcome to the small world of neurotypicals.

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