does anyone else get like this? I have got on brilliantly with some of my line managers, if given some freedom to be comfortable and do things my way my work is excellent and I happily do extra, and am still friends with previous managers.
however I have gone through life having huge difficulties if I start feeling trapped. If I’m told I can’t do something, for the sake of being told no, like I view it as them having full control and I start to shut down. I have social conversations with others at work, but I can’t face even a simple conversation with my line manager. My line manager stares at me and asks question after question about my weekends, my evenings, how I am, what I’m doing that evening. If other people asked me I’d be able to talk to them.
I’ve lost jobs, left jobs and walked out due to this. I do feel bad because my line manager has been in tears and finds my behaviour very upsetting.
Does anyone else have similar struggles?
Yes, I have experienced similar problems. One of my current managers wants to tell me all about her family, and discuss relationship problems she is having - for me this is deeply uncomfortable. With hindsight I can see how she may have perceived my reaction to her attempts to be friends as a rejection. others in the team are Facebook friends with her, this does not feel appropriate to me.
I have got on well with managers where there were clear boundaries in our relationship. I also need to respect my manager's behaviour and competence. If they behave badly, make poor decisions and are disrespectful or bullying I can't ignore it and get on with my job like colleagues can.
It is a real problem as relatively few managers seem to have the appropriate training, knowledge and skills to manage NT people, let alone autistic people. Senior managers discussing line managers who are acknowledged to have poor management skills say things like: "She'll never change, that's just the way she is". I find this utterly mystifying.
Not sure what the answer is. Self employment probably, but that isn't feasible for everyone. I think managers need more training and 360 degree appraisal and exit interviews should be standard. At the moment life is very difficult indeed if you are perceived to be different in some way and you can't bring yourself to be social with your manager. This should not count against us but it often does.
Thanks for the reply.
definitely feel the same in that if a line manager behaves badly or incompetently in a bullying way I can’t just let it go like others seem to.
People have always said to me to ‘play the game.’ But I just either don’t get this game, or I just can’t play it. I’m really bad at lying, but I really struggle to communicate or discuss ‘feelings’ especially when uncomfortable, or if someone’s prying. So I just go mute. When asked the other day if I could just come in and smile and ask my line manager if they’d had a good weekend, I couldn’t lie and say I could do it.
I wish I could play this game, and stop having these relationship breakdowns and having to leave jobs that I could do and would enjoy.
I know exactly what you mean - it is so disappointing and exhausting having to keep moving on when there is nothing wrong with the job itself. I realise there are social rules I could re-learn and apply to help me fit in, but I did that for many years and it made me feel dishonest and damaged my sense of self.
The managers I got on with were decent, hardworking people with clear boundaries, and like you I have kept in touch with a couple of them.
I wonder if it would be different starting a new job knowing I am autistic? I only got diagnosed recently so this would be a new experience for me. I might find it easier if potentially tricky issues are discussed at the outset, rather than waiting until they crop up.
I am supposed to be working on a career passport, but not getting on very well. Probably because too much damage has been done, and I feel panicky about working with my manager again. Trust is massively important to me and it is really hard for me to get it back once it has gone
I am going to ask Access to Work for a job coach and for ASD training for my colleagues and managers. I had some coaching years ago and found it quite helpful even though I ended up leaving that job too! So much depends on the employer being willing to make adjustments - and managers being able to adapt their management style.
I'm wondering the same as you, whether things would be different starting a new job knowing and trying to work through things earlier.
And yeah I feel trust is very important and once its broken down its so hard to rebuild it. Do you find that once you have an issue like that when you've lost that trust and relationship that you really struggle to take basic instruction from that person? Then get annoyed because things are that bad?