In gaining my skills to regroup for the next chapter in my life, I have made the decision to do a blog series on Adulting. The seventeenth installment is about public interaction and how keeping your emotions in check is key to managing them from resulting in meltdown.
Well, it’s been another week for me. Nonetheless, I have been watching a multitude of “public freak-out” videos on YouTube. Contrary to what people think, the customer is not always right, and interoperation is everything. But the principal of over 100 or so of these clips is to “keep your cool”, do not swear, do not bring any differences such as race, sexual orientation, gender identity or so forth into the mix. This will heat the make the incident much heated.
Now I am not saying that those in customer service are always right, certainly not. But makes or breaks the deal is how BOTH parties interact with one another. Respect is a mutual concept. To get it you need to show it to the person. The employee may not be right and some do marginalize on cultural differences and do not totally respect those with disabilities, including autism. That is where the autistic must then educate themselves on what is the policy, how to interact and fight for what is right and get what they need and deserve. I have to admit, this can be challenging and some autists do not manage conflict well, including myself. However, tools such as social stories and role play contribute key factors into managing this.
When anyone uses “enhancers” such as curse words, racial or homophobic slurs, deadnaming a person, so forth, they are in turn showing the person serving them along with fellow customers a side of them that they may not want to see. For myself, I think of this often because you will never know who you will see in public that you may know or may make you a YouTube video because of your actions. Therefore, you must try to always keep this in mind by keeping your emotional regulators in check. We may not feel that those ways about a person, but we want to call attention because that person is in the wrong and we as autists are in such an immature state of thinking that we do something so immature as use an enhancing curse word, slur, etc. without thinking about the person we are doing it to and as a result we may lose what could be a good connection because of a unforgivable action.
We as autists have the opportunity to be such intelligent people but when we do not interact properly in public or outside of our home, this is perceived as we are this dangerous monster that no one wants to be around because we may flip out on them and make everyone that our friends are associated with have a negative connotation about us of which the stigma chain continues to grow, thus limiting our friend circle and making it shorter and shorter.
If we as autists can be such intelligent people, yet acquire such difficulty in managing ourselves in public when one calls out our indifferences, this will set us back into a state of regression and not getting us to our true place that we can excel in. We must educate that there are people that may not see autism as a good thing, and this can include the autistics that need supports as well as those who do not need them. There are many areas in the world that cannot see the positives of autism and look at interactions such as a meltdown or being coddled by a parent or caregiver and cannot see past those moments because they are so narrow visioned and sometimes are not able to accept the simple fact that at that very ugly moment in their lives that is truly not who they are.
Regardless, as autists in the public world, be mindful of your actions, always. There will always be people who will try to wrong you, victimize you, challenge you, and so forth but the key is how YOU act towards them will be perceived as how in the end how YOU will be treated.