Adulting, Independence

Adulting: Accepting Criticism

Criticism, Everyone’s susceptible to it. But for the neurodivergent such as myself, it can be taken with such seriousness and heightened since that you are the worst person in the world. It may hold some merit that it was your fault and that some or all of those particular things may need to be worked on, therefore we take everything oftentimes as if things are wrong with everything in the world. Sometimes, however we turn a blind eye to the opposing view of the story and that what the other person has to say about you isn’t necessarily true and makes people feel like they are in the wrong when they are not.

Yes, this is certainly true in friendships and when the other person makes you think as if it is their fault that you don’t want to be the friend with them, when in fact it is their fault but you as the autistic don’t want to admit it to the person or fear additional criticism when giving back the feedback in what you do believe is a constructive manner. This then returns you to square one in the argument and thus gets you to the start of the fight. Sometimes the neurotypicals don’t get us and we don’t get the them. What we see as a problem they don’t and we don’t see the things they see as problems in us. We as autistics give off non emotional signals that come across as if we don’t care, when in turn we care we are just blank with emotion of what to say and how to say it that it can take time.

Also, simple requests such as keeping noise down or using an indoor voice can crush the inner heart of the autistic as if they are this totally bad person and nothing in the world will ever go right for them. When we have to look at it as just that, a simple request that a person has, nothing else. So, what do you do? Just honor it, and they’re shouldn’t be any problems. If it doesn’t ask of the world to change it shouldn’t be a problem. Yes, you were probably in the wrong and maybe the person making the request was a little gruff when making their request, but maybe we didn’t consider what they were doing prior to making that request or what the elements of their days was as well.

We as autistics are generally good people. Although there are a few bad apples, generally speaking we want to be nice to people, honor rules and requests and so forth. We don’t want to cause any problems; we just want to be accepted as people in society and have our safe space to be ourselves. Autistics, myself included don’t like when we do the negative things and for the most part, we want to fix them for the better. We, especially the ones that are more independent just want to do things like the neurotypicals and not be seen as “different” or “special”, we just want to be treated like everyone else.

With that being said, we don’t always realize that we do something that isn’t right or we just don’t have the knowledge how it affects others unless we actually know. When we are told, we often hypercriticize and think we are the worst person in the world, when it can likely be simple things that take a second thought to remedy. Oftentimes, we can’t get that thought of that person critiquing us or correcting us and we oftentimes go from zero to 100 in a matter of minutes, sometimes seconds. We just can’t stop thinking about it and when it brews out it can sometimes be a negative thing.  

This is when we must employ our coping skills such as our grounding techniques, etc. to better ourselves and not dig waist deep into this situation obsessively. Do things that calm us down like watch a movie or TV program, make a meal if you can, etc. By using these skills, you are challenging your brain to divert these negative thoughts into positive ones. Yes, you can think of ways to better the situation and then do away with it. You mustn’t hyper fixate on what you did or didn’t do because you won’t be able to enjoy life to the fullest. Just remember of others more often but in an autistic world it can be tough.

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