Since being home a great deal over Christmas Break, I spent a lot of time self-reflecting, specifically over my Value, Self-Worth and adhering to non-conformity. This is definitely some tools in the autists toolbox that they must learn. It identifies who they are, what they believe in, how they value themselves and how they do not have to fall in the conformity grasp of what they are naively turned to, but what they feel is right and appropriate.
As every autistic is free to explore themselves as they adult, there is no early enough moment to gear them of the freedom of learning, as many autistics self-learn. They must learn what is appropriate and not appropriate and what is proper and not proper to elements such as relationships, friendships and so forth. They must learn that what may seem normal to them by the relationship/friendship being as something mutual. We as autistics have a narrow tunnel shaped vision that we only sometimes see things as the way they are portrayed to us and that we must conform to the ways of the other person because they groom us or make us feel bad about ourselves if we are not meeting up to par with their standards, yet sometimes what we need is oftentimes not valued such as what we need from the friend/relationship to have it feel as it is mutual.
This can portray a skewed view of one’s values and worthiness of themselves. It can skyrocket into a deep depression or worse a complete shutdown or meltdown. In my years of therapeutic skill settings, so much has been preached on getting friend/relationships, but there is slightly ever the proper education of how you as the autistic should make the relationship as mutual or even the signals of when the person uses you nor when you are valued and heard. This is where one usually conforms because they have a pity party and feel bad for they other party because they, like the autist will have feelings of rejection and sometimes anger because they are not valued for what they need. We as autists oftentimes need time for ourselves to regroup because of experiencing autistic burnout. Like, for example after an afternoon of shopping where the stores are overly crowded or when you purchase things that the individual desires and is within their interests. We wish for time for ourselves. This can come across as we are ignoring the other party, however if we are upfront with our needs, they will hopefully understand, If they cannot value this in the autist, then they probably not a good friend for them.
Another good point in an autist is having a third party such as a family member or therapist point out the qualities in themselves. This can not only boost self-esteem, but show them the simple fact that they are worth more that they think and they can be who they want to be without seeking out the influence of others. This is a common teenage behavior such as a social media post that has one seeking out likes and comments, and if it is not met to the level of the person, they will be depressed and their self-worth will sink. Anyone, including autists must know that they are a person and whatever anyone else says that hurts them is just words and that they have to stand up for their needs first and foremost because if not it will be a detriment to their mental and sometimes physical health. Oftentimes, we can only see things as we see with a narrow view and do not see the whole picture of what the environment of the other party is or see the faults or views that the other party has ruined. We as autists must be diligent of signals and issues that come across of others we befriend and take caution to how much we put ourselves out to them because at times this can come back and cause damage to our value and self-worth.
We must realize that no matter what negative comments come across that we as autists should be valued as a person who has a voice, intellect, and can comprehend what is going on around us. We must also realize that we are worth more than those negative voices come across at us and lastly, we do not have to do what others ask of us if an any way it doesn’t seem right or normal to us.