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[personal profile] i_love_freddie
"All lies and jest still, a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest."

Everyone says they want honesty. It is basically a given – who wants any kind of relationship with someone who will lie?

Think about it.

"Well yes you are very fat, you already know that or you wouldn't be asking."
“Actually, I really hated that meal you just spent three hours cooking.”
“Wow, you have the ugliest baby I have ever seen.”
“That new haircut is awful.”
“You know, you are the worst lover I have ever had.”
“No, I don't want to date you because I find you physically repulsive and ignorant.”

Being autistic, but undiagnosed until I was 25 years old, I had to learn what a lot of people take for granted. I have no filter, so I often randomly say whatever comes into my head – regardless of how rude, embarrassing or un-PC it is. I try to think before I speak, and I don't mean to offend people, but it happens.

But the biggest problem, the thing I hate most, is when someone asks me a question. Especially “How are you?” I cannot tell you how much I loath people asking me that. In my mind, if you make that enquiry then you want to hear about my recent health issues and how my dog has been sick etc. etc. If you don't care, then don't ask!

Because I am no good at telling lies. It is neither easy or natural for me. I can't count how many times someone has asked me a question and then gotten upset, offended or even abusive because I have given them a direct and honest answer. Granted, sometimes my answer can be a bit more blunt and direct than they were maybe expecting. Over the years I have learned how to sometimes tell the truth in a more sensitive way, and I have also learned that sometimes it is better to just keep my mouth shut.

But I do not understand why so many people insist that they value honesty, and then throw a tantrum when they don't like what they hear. Or ask for advice and proceed to argue with it. What do they want from me?

Don't ask an aspie a question unless you want to hear an honest answer.

These days I tend to only let people in my life who understand that I am honest and direct, and sometimes unintentionally hurtful. I don't mean to be and will always apologise if I have said something out of line, but it happens. Interaction with people is not easy for me because I can't take the necessary time to think through every little word before it comes out of my mouth. The people who love me know that it is just something I struggle with and help me work out what is acceptable to say and what isn't.

I am slowly getting more confident. One day maybe I will be able to join in a group conversation without a huge amount of anxiety. In the meantime? I am who I am. If someone asks me a question, they will get an honest answer. If someone asks for my opinion, they will hear what I really think. If they want to take offence, that is their choice.

But in my experience, most people don't want to hear the truth, they only hear what they want to hear.

Date: 2016-01-30 05:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] richaarde.livejournal.com
"How are you?" Yeah, that one is a rough question to process. Mostly because it doesn't mean anything, but conversations can't start without it.

I keep a few canned answers for such occasions, but I find the process grating. I'm usually good about filtering my responses but once in a while I slip up too.

It really is tough when we have to fake our way through stuff like this. Stay strong, and don't let bad reactions get to you.

Date: 2016-01-30 03:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] whipchick.livejournal.com
So very true! I think neurotypical people have a hard time grasping just how many little lies they tell as social oil every day!

Date: 2016-01-31 02:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dee-aar2.livejournal.com
Ohhh I so agree with this one ... people .. we .. just listen to what we want to hear and block everything else out. And it is never easy when we have to to think twice before speaking and then no say the truth because that isn't what anyone wants to hear. Sensitizing the truth ... does that help ?

Date: 2016-01-31 04:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] misfitmanor.livejournal.com
I found your list of actual "truths" pretty funny. I have plenty of spectrum in my social circle, so I've heard this complaint before, and I totally get it. Good job.

Date: 2016-01-31 08:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] inteus-mika.livejournal.com
Really appreciate these thoughts, and honestly wish more people would be more honest about what they consider honesty.

Date: 2016-01-31 03:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] majesticarky.livejournal.com
I have Aspergers and believe me, I can relate. I still get shit for my "innapropriate" jokes and just not having a good social acuity in general. I used to feel the same way as you about "how are you?" but over the years, i have just accepted it as a polite greeting, basically the same as "good afternoon". Most of the time when sales clerks ask me this, however, I don't really reply with " fine, thank you", but with "hello" just in principal. It's different when close-ones ask. I guess my answer depends on a lot of things.

Date: 2016-01-31 07:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] halfshellvenus.livejournal.com
One of the hardest things to learn in social interaction is evasion. I was brought up to be honest, and spent years stymying over the kinds of questions people ask where they don't really want to hear what you honestly think-- unless what you think is positive.

I never felt comfortable lying about it, so sometimes answering a slightly different (unasked) question or asking back, "What do YOU think?" or "Did YOU like it?" works pretty well. Sometimes people are just trying to start a conversation. When they're asking a real question, though... ughhhhh. Still hard, sometimes.

This is such a solid, honest (!) entry about the difficulty of that whole process if you are not prepared to tell social lies.

Date: 2016-01-31 07:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dmousey.livejournal.com
As the mother of an Aspie- let me hug you and say I understand your struggle. The use of 'the white lie' is generally to keep others from feeling so insecure. People looking for advice are most likely looking for validation of what they already know in their heart is right to do. (And yes- more often than not go against it because- we're suckers)

The easiest way- as I've told my son- to avoid hurting some one inadvertantly, is to just ask yourself "Is what I'm about to say/answer kind?" and take it from there. This gives you a moment to think before you respond. It's hard being literal in a surreal world.
Peace and thanks for sharing!~~~D
Edited Date: 2016-01-31 07:42 pm (UTC)

Date: 2016-01-31 08:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sinnamongirl.livejournal.com
I resonated with this, because I have a similar problem with bluntness - though a psychologist told me (at the age of 27 or 28) that it was due to ADD. Like, I just couldn't pay enough attention to figure out social norms I guess. And weirdly many of my friends value that bluntness - though generally when it's not directed at them. And I tend to value it too, but then I went through a long phase where I realized how I'd hurt people sometimes with it, and now over-think things and that's bad too.

It's good that you are who you are :) We need diversity in society, and being too blunt is better than not saying your mind at all!

Date: 2016-02-01 08:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eternal-ot.livejournal.com
Ha! This seriously requires guts..to be straightforward and honest. And I like this rant coz I can very well relate to this...but then I have learned to be diplomatic and somehow it helps..I am honest with only few people who know me very well.

Date: 2016-02-01 09:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prog-schlock.livejournal.com
My profession is basically to be extremely polite and not upset anybody at all times. I've become very good at saying something without actually saying it (but in the nicest possible way). The problem here is that, as a result, people often don't trust my opinion even when I'm 100% honest about it because they know I'm good at being polite.

There must be a happy medium between bluntness and polite dishonesty, but I've not been able to find it.

When you are asked an opinion question now, what is the process your brain goes through before you answer? I mean, do you consciously think "I need to phrase this carefully or they're going to get upset?" It strikes me that I'd have to be more skilled at language to think that and still respond - I'd spend time just staring at them not quite sure what to say.

I cannot explain why (and don't feel you have to listen to this whole piece) but this is the music I heard in my head reading your piece:



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