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Friday, 18 October 2013

The scourge that is Helpful People

Whether its part of my nature, a product of my environment or just something to do with being aspie, I have trouble asking for help.

Mainly, I just don’t feel I need it. Whatever I am attempting to undertake, I am perfectly competent to achieve, or I wouldn’t have started it in the first place. Simple, pragmatic fact.

Except its not a fact.  In what I know is a very aspie way, my view of the world is very black and white. I have trained myself over many years to perceive the almost invisible shades of grey that NTs see in everything.  And I can now, when I try, perceive those shades of grey in most things, but almost never in myself or my own abilities.

After a very long day, I was having trouble using the computer at home; simply selecting the option on a drop-down menu in Word was proving a hell of a challenge but, because I know that I am competent at using Word, when wife started making suggestions and, worse, pointing at the screen and showing me where to click, I verbally lashed out at her. I finished what I was doing and went to the kitchen to put the kettle on to make tea – my classic move of “I’m leaving the room, leave me alone” – and have a bit of quiet time to calm down.

Which would have been great if wife hadn’t then came in and said that when she tried to help it would be nice to have some gratitude.

Cue fight.

Now I’m sure any aspies reading this will understand the problem. Its not about someone helping, its about someone effectively questioning your competency, and trying to “help” where help is not necessary – even when it is!

The fight was brief, and I did explain to wife my frustrations at my own performance and the perceived criticism, but that I did appreciate that she meant well, and so its all sorted out.

Until next time, when virtually the same thing will happen again and we’ll end up having the same fight.

So, I need a solution; how do I convince myself that someone’s offer of help is not about criticism of me or my ability but a genuine offer of assistance with no agenda, particularly when I am rattlin’ (a good colloquialism for on the edge)

For now, I am simply going to watch for these instances and make a note of how often they happen and what my response is, how often it becomes a fight.

I suppose sometimes letting someone must be better as it will keep the peace, and there are days where its better to keep the peace than make a point, right?


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