Friend Goals

Autistic people are loyal. We commit to more than just special interests. We commit to people, too. But we often don’t realize that others’ commitment levels are not the same. Neurotypical people seldom seek lifelong friends. Instead their friends are usually the people who bring the most fun and least drama into their lives. (And […]

Handling Conflict

Frozen over or fiery attack. Those are my natural reactions to even the smallest of conflicts. Perhaps it’s my autistic black-and-white thinking reacting to the fight or flight response. In order to combat jumping to extremes all the time, I try to speak less during small conflicts (to avoid a fight reaction) and listen more […]

I Need My Space

Brittle, ready to shatter. When I’ve reached those moments, I have a code phrase to let my closest companions know that I’m struggling: “I’m in a bad mood.” My loved ones recognize that this actually means, “I have no idea what’s wrong. I’m overstimulated; I’m confused. I need a little space and time.” These code […]

No Subtext, Really

Autistic people are straightforward communicators in a world full of neurotypical people who are used to reading between lines. This kind of sets us up for misunderstandings. Not only is it difficult for us to comprehend social situations, but at the same time, neurotypical people often read extra meaning into our upfront conversations (not to […]

Balanced Sharing

Since people on the spectrum are often honest and trusting (sometimes naively), many of us open up about anything we’re asked. This can lead not only to oversharing, but also painfully harsh judgment from others. As a way of balancing myself out, when I’m just getting to know someone, I share when the other person […]

Honesty

Autistic people wear our hearts on our sleeves. It’s a beautiful thing to be so honest with how we feel! Remember though, our honesty can inspire others, make them laugh, and cause pain. Enjoy the good times, and be brave enough to shoulder the criticism so we can apologize for our wrongs.