I was wondering whether anyone else finds that their direct communication gets them into trouble?
I personally think it's really ironic that we get accused of not being able to communicate or having communication difficulties when most people with ASD are more direct. Surely being more direct should mean that that meaning is clearer, unabridged etc. However, this is seemingly not the case.
I generally find that when I feel hurt, I communicate straight away, and I tend to say exactly what I want or don't want. Sometimes it's hard for me to remember to be polite because this is extra information to have to negotiate in the heat of the moment. Anyway, so let's say I communicate directly by saying, "I didn't know that was happening. I feel quite overlooked." What I then get told is that my timing was not good and the tone was not good.
I don't know about others, but I try really hard to get it right, but it really is quite exhausting, and I actually feel I did quite well to say what I felt at the moment when the subject came up and to explain why also. I find it really hard to tone down the way I say something because it's linked to how I'm feeling and I'm not good at faking it.
Basically, what tends to happen is that I just go round and round in circles. Whenever I try to communicate my thoughts and feelings, I get ticked off for it and how I felt is ignored and overlooked.
Does anyone else struggle in this way and does anyone know any strategies to cope better? I'm not sure I have the energy to try to work out the right tone and way of putting something to make it more palatable!!
I used to feel the same way as you and was made to feel like I was a burden. I then came to realise I a good communicator and I'd been being a numpty thinking the problem was always with me.
Nowadays I usually give my point of view, explain my reasoning for that and ask if there's anything the other party would like to discuss/clarify based on what I've just said. I work in disability support, therefore, there's a lot of awareness of my need to be direct and honest, as well as why. Despite this, being in a female dominant environment many people still choose to lie when there with me then talk about me in a negative way behind my back. I can't make these people kinder or change the way they decide to communicate. My line manager is happy with the way I communicate so I leave my colleagues to it now and focus on the things that have gone well, rather than dwelling on the people whose behaviour upsets me.
Yeah, that sounds a good approach! Thanks for sharing how you communicate in a group. I'll try to use that model as it look very good. I suppose some people are just always going to talk about people behind their backs whatever...
So here's the thing... NTs lie, all the time, about everything... and most of the time it's not only considered acceptable, it's required.
Communication is made up of 3 aspects:
Here's the rub - not all of the above contribute equally to the message being conveyed... have a guess what the split is...
Studies show it's:
Guess which bits we're not good at... yep, music & dance - we're direct, we use the 'right' words to convey meaning because that way we won't be misunderstood, right?
Because we don't use the right music & dance what we say is misinterpreted and we misinterpret (i.e. interpret literally) what people say to us.
How to cope better? No idea, but do your colleagues know you have ASD? I've found that since 'coming out' it's helped people not be so pished-off at me when I say what I think or how I feel and do it 'wrong'...
Isn't it funny that in the moment the NT party may be/act 'offended' or 'hurt' yet afterwards it will be the AS party whose mind will be thinking it over and over, worrying about what went wrong, how to do better next time... The NT has probably already forgotten.
Yes, because it's always us who are considered to be 'wrong'...
The best I can usually hope for is that the NT in question thinks I'm being 'ironic' or 'funny'... rather than simply honestly telling them something they don't want to hear...
"Cor mate! Your breath could strip wallpaper... haha!" (said as joke but not really a joke) seems to be more acceptable to NTs than
"You have really bad breath" (as honest feedback)
Even though it's the same message!
My very sweet colleague said to me "you're not a people-pleaser"
I think she's trying to tell me something.
I speak my mind and I like it that way. Some appreciate it, some don't. I do try to moderate myself right down to polite for work but I'm still way too much for some. Do I care? Not really. Not unless there is a police officer involved ...
My view is "You're not paying me to be likeable"
Well quite so! My boss told me once I was unprofessional when I spoke out about something. I asserted that there is nothing wrong with the way I express myself. She has since been told to wind her neck in and leave me alone (words to that effect)
I bet what you'd said was right though... and possibly showed up your boss?
Well yes it did. She's total rubbish though so she had it coming.