Adulting, Independence

Adulting: Being A Good Sport

Throughout life, I have been taught not to counteract things that I may not agree with. In the self-advocacy movement, the view can always be conflicted with arguing or complaining to get what you want like a spoiled little brat. As I continue to grow older in life, I am learning that unless there is a significant need to speak up, which I can cautiously do, then it is best to be a good sport and go with what is moving forth.

Many times being autistic, we do not understand this “soft” skill and say what is on our minds, sometimes being very blunt about it with no filter. This can be offensive to many because many neurotypicals can “catch” the social cues and other elements of how to react to things gracefully and not to offend someone by responding in an inappropriate manner that would offend many who are indeed unaware that they are autistic or “special”. It changes the energy in the room to a hostile situation and can wreak havoc to all involved.

Yes, there are times when autistic people are indeed wronged and they as much as anyone have the right to speak up for what is right. However there is a time and place for that conversation as at the moments when you are energized with emotions will only cause one to express their frustration in a negative manner that only adds more energy to the situation that may already seem delicate to address. They may need time, as I do, to collect their thoughts and words together so they can address all the issues that may need to be addressed and not come across negatively in doing so.

Another concern is the fact that we as autistic persons may not understand what is indeed the norm or standard of the way something is conducted or how others may want to change a way they do things because they were not made aware of the change, something that is yet a big challenge of being autistic. Being graceful is a skill is just accepting something for what it is and when it is brought to the attention of others, they then make it aware to us that there was an error made. It has taken me decades to understand social norms and construct and to act in a way that is different. It seems as if I am regressing or not properly caring for myself as a result of the actions I have made.

It has taken me years to learn when it has been appropriate  to advocate for myself. Several times in my life I have raised my issues when I was not in a proper mindset and feeling that I wasn;t being heard only angered me further. I have come to the point of knowing that there will be times that raising my concerns will not get me what I want and if there is no harm done, then there is no reason to make an issue of something to only further compound my anxiety and other elements of my conditions.

Navigating the social construct that I must often navigate is nothing short of a challenge and I know that grace must be given to know that I cannot be hard on myself when I struggle with these issues of my life as I am autistic and while the world may not be understanding or as accepting of my needs, I have to remember that I have come a long way from the younger me and continue to grow everyday. While everyday cannot be perfect, I do best for the hand I am dealt and do not need to feel sorry for myself because of simple things that fall out of place.

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