Other people always think they're right...




I would like to know why decisions I make are treated with scrutiny and suspicion, whereas decisions made by other people are fine because they are made with due care and attention? How frustrating for me, to be treated as if I am, by default, going to land myself in it. And, also by default, to accept that other people know best!

Yes, I admit, I do land myself in it quite a lot and other people, generally speaking, are less adept at the landing and the in it parts. All of that I take on board. Hand on heart, I know I am a flake and given to rash decisions based on the colour of my hair clips.

What I want to know is, why does this mean other people are automatically infallible? Don't get me wrong, I've already said I know I am fallible, but when does the subtle movement begin which seems to mean that my own failings make other people inherently more reliable?

This is how it seems, you see. As an aspie given to randomised decision making, I am used to people stifling a sigh or giving each other a look or steeling themselves to say the right things to pull me back, just in time, from a self-made precipice. I wait for it. I know my decisions will be doubted and I'm ready for the doubt. Usually, nothing can stop me; occasionally, I listen.

When it comes to other people, it seems my ability to land myself in trouble reflects well on them. Their decisions, good, bad and in-between, gain a glow of justification when measured up against mine. They are the strong, sensible ones, so that means whatever they decide must be right.

It doesn't matter what I say or how logical I am - and I can be very logical, very very, especially when it's to do with other people and not myself. My comments and advice are seen as inconsequential. How can I be taken seriously when I get it wrong so often in my own life?

You want to know how? I know Wrong when I see it, that's how. I've met it so often that it doesn't matter how you dress it up, or try to disguise it, I know it as soon as I set eyes on it. When it comes to my own life, Wrong and I have had a heady, on-off relationship for years and we never know when to call it a day. But if I see Wrong elsewhere, when it has nothing to do with me, I recognise that wily creature for the sneaking trickster it really is.

So, believe me if I say something is a bad idea. Listen if I give advice. Even if it is couched in daftness and colourful metaphors, there is truth running right through the middle of it. Trust me if I try to persuade you to try something else.

Sometimes I have trouble explaining myself and this is often true when I need other people to listen. Later, once we've fallen out and nothing I say will make a difference, then I can work out exactly why something is wrong and what I should have said. At the time, I will have either bumbled about saying it doesn't seem right, or I'll have come straight out with the declaration, 'That is a terrible idea! It couldn't be any worse! Are you insane?!'

Comments like this pop out before I even know they exist and are absolutely great for ending a discussion and alienating the very person you want to help. It also doesn't help that often they are true. I'm not saying the person is insane, but if I react this strongly and quickly it is almost guaranteed to mean that the idea or decision under the spotlight is a right and proper stinker.

Later, much later, when I have had to beg forgiveness for telling you the truth in a brutish manner and when you have graciously accepted the apology and sailed off on your boat of decision, then it will work itself out. And by that I mean the decision will prove to be a disaster after all.

I don't say this with any satisfaction or to gloat. It really, really frustrates me when other people discount what I have to say. I do get the logic of ignoring me, I see why it happens, but as I can't help but say 'I told you so', it's not as if there isn't a foundation for my frustration.

You see, I've been proved right before, many times. My words, unheeded, have turned out to be right, even if they were phrased badly. I've had people say, 'I wish I'd listened,' and then, then readers! they've gone on to expect my sympathy over their misfortunes!

This usually ends in a familiar way with me realising this sad person needs sympathy, only to find myself pointing out if they had done as I said, none of this would have happened. For some reason, this doesn't help and they end up behaving as if I'm partly to blame for the whole thing.

You know, it's no great surprise I prefer cats to people. They also rarely listen, they do their own thing, they are selfish and they blame you when things go wrong. But they're honest about it. A cat will never turn around and expect sympathy when they get stuck on the curtain rail - they'll go off and wash until the embarrassment fades. If a person caught themselves on the curtain rail, after you'd told them not to climb on it, they would expect you to help them down and then blame you for not telling them it was so high.

Sorry, readers, I have ranted a bit here. And unfairly, in a way, as other people are entitled to do whatever they like and shouldn't have to listen to a bossy aspie telling them what to do. After all, we aspies hate being bossed about, don't we? So why should other people be any different?

I'll tell you, though, if a reality-deficient aspie can see something is a bad idea, then it must be a real humdinger. If your aspie is ever truly horrified at what you suggest, do try to listen and see if they may be right. It could be they just misheard and thought you were 'leaving forever' rather than 'feeling clever', but on the other hand, you might be about to make a real mistake.

If you do go on, without listening to your aspie, don't expect any sympathy when it all goes wrong. We told you so, do you remember? No? Right, well it was on a Tuesday and you said...

Amanda



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