This is one of the trickiest emotions for people with ASD to deal with. We are, as you probably know, very black and white in our view of the world. This applies to emotions too.
It wasn’t that long ago that I posted a blog asking my readers to define what anxiety meant because it’s a word my psychologist kept using but I never really understood properly. I can do anger, sadness, fear, hurt, guilt.. but anything less defined than those is pretty hard for me to interpret or even express/ understand.
Why is confrontation so hard?
It’s a ton harder than it ever is for a neurotypical person.
The simple act of shouting creates an instant anxiety/ fear response in me. Emotions are super hard for me to express already, but add in the pressure of a confrontation and this causes an I stand meltdown.
I have to get away from the situation immediately, I need quiet, calm, space on my own to calm the farm inside. Only I can do this.. following me or interjecting just delays everything and triggers me again.
What does it look like from the outside?
To a neurotypical it looks like I don’t give a shit. It looks like I’m walking away without wanting to sort the situation out. It might even look like I’m being deliberately obstructive.
This is a mistake that is often made by neurotypicals that don’t understand autism. This simply re-ignites the confrontation further and continues to re-trigger another meltdown.
What to do to solve a confrontation with someone who is autistic?
I can’t speak for everyone but these are a few things that help me:
- Allow me that space and time.
- Let me come back when I’m ready.
- Be patient.
- Accept that written explanations could be easier for me under stress.
- Don’t hate me, or try to ‘fix me’.
We aren’t stupid, we aren’t being obstructive, we are autistic. Our brains are wired differently and we live in a world that still doesn’t fully accept this.
Therefore we solve things differently too. This is ok.
2 thoughts on “Autism, anxiety and dealing with anger.”
That was an interesting read..I have a grandson (19) with ADHD I find I am counting to 10 loads of times because it’s his way or no way… Love him to bits but it’s hard going sometimes…
You are doing great on the surface to us all ..but no one knows what goes on behind closed doors …be kind to yourself Melanie and take care 🤗
That’s interesting because from the little bit know the coping strategy for him would be quite similar. ❤️