Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Bluntness-----Keeping Comments to Yourself

Now, MJ is a great kid, and we've never really had any problems with him being tactless or blunt about appearances or if somebody acted differently. In fact, after watching parts of Phantom of the Opera, he still did not see anything wrong with the Phantom when he removed his mask. What an example to us all!

BUT--there comes something with Asperger's that doesn't stop him from telling people things they already know, or questioning them too much.

For example, MJ will be in a class or group and the teacher will want to review something they already learned. Rather than just sit through it, MJ is shouting out comments and raising his hand declaring that they already learned this and so they don't need to teach it again.

Another time might be if a teacher is doing something on the board and makes a mistake or is explaining something that isn't as "scientifically correct" as MJ thinks it is, then he is up correcting the teacher and directing her of what she should be doing or saying.

OK, so he isn't telling people they are fat or ugly, but this other way of bluntness or correcting others seems to get him into trouble just as badly.

I've sat down with MJ and tried to explain that sometimes you just need to keep your comments to yourself. I wasn't getting through to him, and so it was interestingly enough that my husband, Aspie himself, could sit down and explain how he learned.

He said when he was growing up in school he used to sit and comment and correct his teachers all the time and they would get upset with him. He said he didn't understand why they would be mad when he was just "helping them do it the right way" or know what they already had taught, but he learned people didn't like to be corrected if they were not in a position to be. Like if you are the student, or child, then you are in a place to be guided, but if you are the teacher, then it is your place how you are going to teach the class or what or how many times to review.

Of course, as an adult, I know my husband still has issues of this bluntness. As an adult, with other adults, these comments often come out as sounding like negative criticism when maybe they are just random thoughts. He'll often go to another coworker who has a different responsiblity or job and comment on how he would do something a different way when it really isn't his place. He's had a difficult time with this, as I try to explain to him when his coworkers get upset, that they don't want someone else coming in telling them how to do their job. He says, "but I know how to do it better" or faster, or whatever. But it doesn't matter. It is their job to do and they don't care.

I guess maybe it's the world that is wrong and the Aspie that is right. When you think about it, an Aspie personality is just trying to alert the world of all the possible information that they might be missing. Why should it be a bad thing to know a better way or easier or different ways of doing something? Why should it be bad to correct someone if they have made a mistake? I suppose it is all just part of some sort of social worldly rules that try to get us all to have more tact and not step on other people's toes.

So what really is better? Be honest, or just let people do their own thing? I suppose it is part of a not being too honest thing, and is it really going to be that big of a deal if you tell them or not? And sometimes, even if you can do a job better than someone else, stick to your job and let them do it themselves unless you are asked to help or they blow something up.

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