Do you ever feel guilty because of your behaviour due to your autism? I'm not really thinking extreme behaviour, more the little things.
I'm asking this because the other day I saw my parents for the first time in a while. I spent the whole time I saw them waffling on about myself and things I wanted to talk about. Afterwards I realised that it hadn't occurred to me to ask them how they were or what they'd been doing. I felt a bit bad when I realised this. I don't want them to think I don't care. I feel quite selfish when this happens but its not because I don't care about them and their lives. It just never occurred to me to ask and I find conversations about other people hard to keep going.
Do other people have situations like this and then feel guilty?
Greetings. I am just passing, so I spot this Thread appearing.
I Myself often feel the most guilt when, where I (am forced to) live, I pass by or see someone whom I like very much -- that is, someone whom I have known for many years and are not 'mean' to Me. I stare after them, wanting to say something nice and meaningful... but all that happens to Me is a massive fear of... well, everything !
Sometimes I will wave or give the "Peace" sign. And that is all I have to say about this just now... :-)
Thanks. I have these situations too where I want to say something and just can't. I feel frustrated when this happens.
I think I felt particularly bad with this situation because I was so oblivious at the time and afterwards when I looked back I realised my mistake. This is probably progress for me to be fair. I actually realised my social error. Perhaps this is a good thing. Maybe I can work on it.
I guess I'm really wondering should I feel guilty? Is it actually my fault considering I'm autistic. But I don't like to play the autism card.
It's very confusing.
I used to but I gave it up. Feeling guilty is destructive. I do the exact same thing you do with your parents, but the way I deal with it now, is that this is simply who I am, I accept myself and others either will or won’t and I reckon by now, my parents have a good idea about what I’m like and they’re still talking to me so I guess they accept me as well.
If you really wanted to change it, you could. For example, by preparing before you go. Write out the questions you would like to ask, such as how are you, and simply be prepared to feel uncomfortable for the short period of time while you’re talking about them ~ with practice this will get easier. Then when that’s done, you can get right back into the business of being you and you can talk away with no guilt, about all the things you’re interested in.
I mainly get it at work, and over small things. For instance, I may be focusing so much on something that I'll ignore something else and need to be reminded (I've explained to my manager that I have a tendency to do this, and at least she understands). An example the other day, too. I was working with a more experienced member of staff and we were performing a task that needed us to pay particular attention. Unfortunately, he'd started chatting about something I knew a bit about, so I got sidetracked and made a small mistake. It was more of an oversight. Fortunately, I noticed in time and no harm was done. But I felt bad about that for a few days, because it was a silly mistake to make. The truth is, though, it wasn't really my fault. We should both have been concentrating on the task and not chatting. It could probably have happened to anyone. I felt bad about it for a number of reasons - not least because it made me look incompetent.
I suppose in some ways I set quite high standards for myself, and when I don't attain them I feel guilty. I need to stop it. It's been ingrained throughout life, though - starting with that incident with the number 3s in the classroom when I was 6 - when I'd done something right, but was told it was wrong. I strive very hard to get things right now, so that they cannot be called into question, and when I don't quite make it I feel very bad about it.
I think part of what threw me with this is I actually noticed. So in some ways now I'm looking at that really positively and thinking wow I actually noticed a social error without anyone pointing it out.
But in other ways I do care about my parents and I don't want them to think otherwise.
I think part of the problem was because I hadn't seen them for a while I'd stored up lots I wanted to say. I sort of forgot they also have lives that carry on when I don't see them.
Planning it more is a good idea.
A social error?!?! ~ that could be part of your problem. I don’t see me not asking how people are as a ‘social error’ ~ what the f**k is a social error? That’s wild, lol! I just see it as that’s the way I am. I’m not that interested, in the main, to hear about other people because their lives generally bore me and I’m honest about that so I guess most people I know wouldn’t expect me to ask them how they are etc as they already know I think their lives are boring, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love and care about them, it just means I don’t want to hear about their boring lives as it winds me up trying to listen to them. My son gets upset by this but so what, I’m not in control of his happiness and if he chooses to get upset by the fact I hardly ever listen to him, so be it, that’s his problem, and it’s certainly not mine.
Yes, I too have only just noticed that I never ask people how they are but so what, that’s me. If I really want people to know I care, and I think that asking them how they are will show that, I’ll simply plan to do that but never have I thought I was committing a social error. I don’t even know what a social error is. And if somebody is taking too long to tell me how they are, I’ll simply stop them and say I’m sorry, but this is starting to really wind me up and I’m starting to lose the will to live so I’m going to have to ask you to stop taking about yourself as it’s driving me crazy. And I’ve noticed that people ask how are you etc all the time and yet they don’t really want to know so asking those questions, in my opinion, isn’t the best way to show somebody that you love and care for them, although I’m sure my son would disagree!
Couldn’t you send them a lovely card with some nice words telling them you love, care and appreciate them, then you won’t have to bother asking them how they are when you see them? You could also add that you are partly doing this as you have recently become aware that you rarely if ever, ask them how they are and you didn’t want them to think it was a sign that you didn’t care, because it’s not, it’s simply part of who you are.
So basically, you are allowing your little 6 year old self, who is frozen in time, to rule your life.
How can you say the mistake wasn’t your fault? Who’s fault was it if it wasn’t yours? NT people can often have a conversation and still pay attention to what they’re doing. If you can’t, then it’s not the other workers responsibility to not talk when working with you, it’s your responsibility to not talk, regardless of whether the other person wants to chat or not. It’s your responsibility to say, I’m sorry, but I can’t chat and concentrate on the task at hand, at the same time.
But making a mistake doesn’t make you incompetent and I think you know that. It seems you were more interested in what others think of you because you said it made you look incompetent. Why do you care about not looking competent? While ever you care about what other people think of you, you will always feel bad, because no matter what we do, we can never please everyone or make everyone like us and why should we. If we like ourselves, that’s always enough.
I accept that my social skills aren't great. But I definitely see it as an error. If someone talked about themselves to me for an hour and didn't take any interest in me then I wouldn't want to be around them. It's not that I don't care about their lives, it just didn't occur to me to ask. And if I had asked I would have found it difficult to continue the conversation. But I don't think their lives are boring and I think it would be extremely selfish of me not to care about their lives.
Yes it is part of me that I find conversation difficult. But I cannot expect everyone to put up with me talking at them and never to let them.
I don’t expect anybody to put up with my endless talking, they either do or they don’t, and most don’t, and that’s probably one of the reasons why I don’t maintain friendships, but that won’t ever shut me up or make me want to listen to them. I’ve had enough years of trying to make myself like other people and it didn’t get me anywhere, and if anything, it was a waste of my life.
I suppose if you want to think of yourself as a mistake or an error, that’s your choice, but I doubt it will bring you much joy, but if keeping to some imaginary social expectation or imaginary social rules works for you and you don’t mind feeling bad or guilty for not always sticking to them, then that’s your choice and that’s all good. We all make our own choices and nobody can say they’re wrong.
I doubt anybody would ever be able to talk to me about themselves for an hour, unless I found them really interesting and inspiring, otherwise I would probably shut them up after 10 minutes max. My son and one of my good friends will do the same with me, and far from being offended, I’m very grateful they do, because I can’t tell when I’m boring the pants or somebody if they don’t tell me but I don’t see that as my problem or an error on my part, more like their lack of being able to be honest. I can’t help it if people aren’t honest.
Just because I don’t ask about people’s lives, doesn’t mean I don’t care about them but it usually means that their lives bore me s******s, which doesn’t mean I love or care for them any less and if they insist, I will listen but it’s often painful so I’ll want a reward, such as they have to sit and listen to me for a solid hour or something
And to me, that doesn’t make sense, that you’re selfish if you don’t care about somebody else’s life. I can’t work out the logic of that one. But not asking somebody about their lives doesn’t mean you don’t care (I’m my world view anyway)?!?!?! There are many many reasons a person might not ask you about your life and few of them will be because they don’t care about you, it’s usually because they are autistic or something similar or they have a lot on their minds or they’re upset about something.
I respect the fact that you have these rigid social rules you have to stick to but if they make you feel bad, wouldn’t it be worth it to revise them?
I've been thinking about this a lot and I don't think I ever feel guilty. I feel regret, certainly, over things I haven't done in the past, but guilt is a bit different. Guilt implies that I know I've done something wrong. Again, I feel regret over how I have treated people, but not guilt. This is a recent revelation for me though as up until a few weeks ago I thought I had a lot of empathy towards people, but reflecting on past experiences I know that I don't. I only have regret over the things that influence me, not other people. I am beginning to realise just how little I actually "feel" in terms of emotions and how much is learnt behaviours. It's quite shocking really because I had always assumed I did care about other people, but pulling apart previous experiences, I feel very little towards other people. Even family or those who I should care about. I guess this is still a journey of discovery for me.