The Fear of Saying “No”

Stepping onto a stone

“By stepping outside your comfort zone to do something peculiar, you confirm that you can do more than you’ve done. Move out!” – Israelmore Ayivor

“No” is one of my least favorite words. I hate saying it to people for numerous reasons. However, the main reason stems from fear.

Fear of them being hurt, upset, or unhappy. Fear of them disliking me, thinking I dislike them, or being rejecting. An even darker fear underlies most of these: fear of how they will retaliate.

Continue reading

“You Have Gotten So Good with People!”

Daniela and me

With my friend Daniela

The other day when I was grouping people onto the carousal – AKA herding them into a small space to count how many people will be on the next ride – which is a job that terrifies me because I need to tell guests to do something they hate doing, a fellow cast member and great friend named Amanda said one of the sweetest things ever.

“You have gotten so good with people!” She beamed. “I feel like a proud mother.”

Continue reading

Am I Good with People?

With my lovely friends Daniela and Claudia at training

With my lovely friends Daniela and Claudia at training

“I admire how you so easily talk with people and make friends.”

I was astonished by my roommate’s words. Is that true? Never in my life have I thought of myself as someone who attracted people or made friends easily. If anything, others saw me as a replaceable friend – good for when no one else was around but pushed aside when someone better came along the way.

Continue reading

Coping Skills: #81. Take Time to Change Your Mind

Time changes everything except something within us which is always surprised by change. - Thomas Hardy

Time changes everything except something within us which is always surprised by change.
– Thomas Hardy

“I’m sorry, but you have to put on your shoes here, sweetie.”

The request from the woman at my school was simple enough. However, the fact that she touched me on the shoulder unexpectedly while I was speaking to a friend and standing so near while looking straight into my eyes upset me. Silly, I know. Yet, my automatic response was panic. Instead of staying like a rational adult and just putting on my shoes, I stormed away in search of a safe place to hide in shame.

Continue reading

Social Observations From an Aspie: What Makes Guys Uncomfortable 1

Boys in The Yellow Boat

Most of the boys who were in The Yellow Boat with me last spring

As someone with Aspergers, I tend to struggle to read social situations. People chuckle and shake their heads when sarcasm goes over my head and I respond literally to questions asked. At least that means they are enjoying my confusion. In the past (and still sometimes now), people might have scolded me or been exasperated. Now, most just see me as quirky and literal.

The other day, however, a new idea came to me: what if my way of reading people actually was useful or interesting to others? Sure, I am not always perfectly accurate. Yet, my view on social situations is unique. Sometimes I walk into a room and am bogged down by the emotions. Do I understand them? No, but I certainly feel what others are going through at the time. Even when someone says something and I misunderstand it, the situation is fascinating to analyze.

Thus, I am planning to do some posts from now on about how I understand people and social situations. Maybe you will find them helpful, relatable, or simply amusing. Theses posts are meant to give you a little look into my Aspie mind. Please know, however, that I do not speak for everyone with Aspergers or Autism. These are simply musings from my own experiences.

Continue reading

Why Are People So Blind to Others?

Who Will Love Me

The biggest disease this day and age is that of people feeling unloved. – Princess Diana

So many people are struggling in the world. Just think of a five people (coworkers, friends, family, etc). Then think about what they are dealing with right now. You will probably notice that most are dealing with something difficult. Those who are not currently will in the future or did in the past; either that or you do not know about their current difficulties.

If that is the case, why are people so blind to others? How come instead of reaching out to each other, we draw back in fear? Why are others so closed to seeing the pain of those around them?

Lately, this has bothered me a great deal. Whether I am congratulating others for getting into a show and they fail to ask about me, nearly in tears over confusion with my faith, or working while others chatter with friends, I constantly feel alone. When no one reaches out to me, anger boils up inside as bitterness towards the whole human race increases.

Continue reading

Can a Thin Person Express Worry about Weight?

My friends at Oxford

Women can quickly begin to talk about weight even beautiful ones. My classmates in Oxford were a great exception for the most part which is part of what made the trip great.

As a teenager, I never engaged in “fat talk.” My friends complained about their weight and claimed to be the largest in the room. Meanwhile, I sat slumped in the corner, wishing to disappear. What were they thinking, these girls who were at least three times tinier than me? They thought they were fat? What did that make me?

Now that I have lost weight, you would think that this type of talk would be less triggering. At least it would make sense for me to not engage with it just like I did previously. Instead, I find myself struggling not to complain about my body or vent the deep shame for taking up space.

Continue reading