Various descriptions of ASD suggest people with autism are not capable of envy or jealousy, or understanding this response. Having not fitted in and made many shameful mistakes socially (and publicly), I now try to avoid people. Ive become jealous and bitter towards new people, and people from my past, They remind me of my shortcomings. Starting a new job recently (open plan office, group bonding exercises etc) there are young confident people ( I know that this is not a bad thing to be, young and confident..) and I feel like I am talked to like a child. I’m not confidently taking responsibility and generally come across as a mature ‘waster’. I have some handle on how I present myself but I feel very resentful, jealous, and ashamed. This is nothing new. I acknowledge this can only ‘eat you up on the inside’. It would be helpful to hear from anyone that has experienced this and have found ways to manage feelings of inadequacy? Something positive?
these feelings, insecurity and jealousy, are so bad that I can’t visit my family in the town I grew up in as I’m scared I will meet people from my past, who have moved on in life(kids, partner security).
I do identify with some traits of avoidant personality disorder but I believe this is a result of (indirect) bullying from a young age and just not fitting in.
(Edited in an attempt to fix the grammar)
I'm not sure it really is jealousy, although insecurity is probably correct.
I have felt resentful on a few occasions knowing that colleagues with less knowledge/experience than me were getting paid more than me, or that someone was able to buy a house which I couldn't afford when I had spent more years working just as hard as they do. But I see that as the result of living in an unjust world, not jealousy. Unfortunately we aren't all born equal, with the same fortunes and opportunities. And we don't all have the same personalities, drives, ambitions, and ways of thinking.
I understand now that I'm unique. I no longer care what others think of me, as their opinions are no more valid than mine are and I think I've coped as well as I could have, considering.I focus on what drives me and what makes me happy, and it's not conforming to any socially constructed "standard" of what my life should be like.
I'm a middle aged intelligent woman and so it might be expected that I went to university, that I would have a management job, that I own a house, drive a car, have a family, like going out with other women my age. None of that is true. I work part time in a non management role. I rent a flat. I get the bus to work. I underachieved at school due to being overwhelmed in a classroom situation. But I have studied using distance learning as an adult and enjoyed learning that way. I have gained an NVQ (equivalent to 2 A Levels) and an OU diploma (first year degree level) using that method, which were great achievements for me. I only compete with myself, not others.
I don't know what interests you or inspires you, but I 'd suggest you try focussing on your own interests and using your own unique skills. Are you in the right role for you? Would you be interested in taking a course or retraining? Perhaps you could join a club or society that interests you, giving you the opportunity to discuss things you enjoy with like minded people? All these options have the potential to raise your self esteem and lower your feelings of insecurity. I'm sure you don't really want to be an "office clone" just to fit in.
Thank you Pixiefox. I am not in the right role, it’s very much a ‘needs must’ position for now. I did work in a field that I felt strongly about but couldn’t sustain the mask and hide my intellectual short comings. I can see that you are right, focus on what I can do rather than what I can’t. It would be wonderful to immerse myself in something I could enjoy. It’s
One day I hope to be where you are, free from other people opinions and applying myself and my skills. There are times I have believed I am there but then I go in to work...transported back to school where other people’s opinions seem to matter. I’m on the lookout for something that doesn’t trigger that.
Thanks for the motivational words.
You said you had recently started a new job, so you must have impressed them at your interview to have been taken on, but you also said you are not in the right role. Do you think there is anything that could be changed to improve how you feel - such as transferring to another department/team, moving to a different work space, "swapping" some tasks with someone else, changing your working pattern (coming in and leaving earlier or later) etc? If these or any other changes would help, you could set up a meeting with your line manager to discuss it - the worst they can say is no. I take it that as you have posted here you are autistic, so have you told your employers? If autism is making things difficult for you at work I believe they have a duty to support you and make reasonable adjustments.
Stress always makes things seem worse. When I worked full time I found getting out of the building at lunchtime for a walk on my own helped. If you can get to a park, field, woodland, etc. that's ideal for winding down - if not, perhaps try a walk around the block with headphones on?
Communication issues are at the heart of autism. You may be getting completely wrong information from your colleagues about what they think of you, and they may be finding it hard to understand you. Do you have anything in common with any of them, that you could get chatting about? It may just be that it's going to take a while to make friends. I went on communication and assertiveness courses to help me when I was in a job at a larger organisation that offered various training courses, which I found helped.
Try to see your job as just a way of making money, not a way of life - work to live, not live to work. Focus on what you want to do outside of work. Plan & save to go travelling, go to concerts/museums, buy a musical instrument & learn to play it, take up painting or photography, learn computer programming or another language - anything you fancy to absorb you and make life more enjoyable.
Two books which helped me, and might help you get things more in perspective are: "A Field guide to Earthlings" (an autistic guide to neurotypicals) by Ian Ford and "The Guerilla Aspies Handbook" by Paul Wady.
It's for many of the reasons you have stated that I've decided to go back to an old employer who I left in June last year. The main reason is to work from home again - I highly recommend it if it's possible in your field of work. I won't bore you with the full details but the next employer went into liquidation and I was made redundant on the spot meaning I needed to find a new job (where I currently am). Huge changes and both office based and very social. It's had such a negative impact on my life that I've made a conscious decision to start living within my comfort zone and within my limitations for a change. I've always threw myself into situations I find stressful to 'better' myself because that's what we're told to do with our careers. No more. I'm living my life for me now, without apology.
Why is pushing yourself outside your comfort zone in a work situation considered a good thing anyway?
We are who we are, and when you throw yourself outside of your comfort zone everyday just to simply 'fit in', we shouldn't have to do it in our work to 'excel'.
Far from it for me to tell you how to live your life but since I've made the decision to go back to my old employer (8 weeks and counting!) it feels like I can see the light for a first time in a very long time, the cloud is finally starting to lift. Maybe find what and where your comfort zone is and happily live within it?
It does seem to the expectation that everyone should be 'challenging themselves' or working on their weaknesses. Thanks, I do need to find my comfort zone, everything so far has been uncomfortable or unsustainable.
Sorry for the delay in responding. Thanks for your suggestions.
It’s a temping job so there wasn’t a formal interview and, sadly, no scope for moving around or finding a position that would suit. I’m in my mid 30s and I have had opportunity to work in an area I was interested in but I wasn’t able to apply myself and stick it out, I am not intelligent (in an academic way or otherwise). I find people overwhelming, I regularly misunderstand, misread and make mistakes in my work, I forget things. I can make conversation with most people but seeing them regularly, in a work setting, it’s very difficult to keep up the pretence.
No formal diagnosis. I was seeing a psychologist who used to assess children for autism and she had suspected that I have an ASD. I had a pre assessment interview with a private assessment centre, they said there were indicators but unfortunately my previous job ended and I’ve not had the funds to follow through with it.
I never know if I've missed the banter gene or I am indeed autistic. I definitely have an ego which doesn't seem to fit.
I will look into other ways to apply myself out of work and hopefully make some changes.