Disrespect is Not OK

Autistic people truly want to maintain happy, joyful, and calm settings. When high emotions occur (often emitting from us and not others!), we feel emotional backlash. For this reason, when we make accidental social mistakes and hurt another person, we are truly anguished, sometimes for days, weeks, and months just from the single incident. Even more, if another person begins to disrespect us as a result of our social mistake, we might even internalize the disrespect as our rightful punishment. We try to rebuild the bridge and take responsibility for any other problems that happen with this person that we accidentally wronged.

The truth is, we all make mistakes. If someone wrongs me and then sincerely apologizes, I don’t continuously punish that person with never-ending disrespect. That’s manipulative and destructive behavior. I would be ashamed of myself for treating someone that way. So, why would I tolerate someone treating me that way after I made a mistake and apologized? If you find yourself in the situation, first stop blaming yourself for the other person’s cruel behavior. Next, kill them with kindness. Smile, wave, get along just fine in your dailyness, even if you are in truth terrified of that person. Lastly, whenever they disrespect you (either directly or indirectly), give the person an intense glare. Show them that you see their behavior, that it’s unacceptable, and that you are not afraid. This person never needs to be your friend. Do not make a happy friendship with them anywhere near your goal. In an instance like this, the goal is sustained mental health.

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