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2 rules to communicate better

with me, or probably anyone neuro-atypical, or... anyone really. I doubt I am alone who feels like this.


These are two rules me and my nesting partner use in our lives that have greatly helped us avoid unnecessary confrontations or awkward moments.


1. If I didn't ask your opinion/help, don't give it to me.

2. If you're not ready to listen and accept whatever answer I will give you, don't ask.


A lot of people try to be helpful by giving you their opinions, pointing out things you might have overlooked, or handing you tools you didn't ask for. I personally find it insulting. Why? Because you are insinuating you know better about me and my problems than I do, and If I just lived like you, everything would be OK. Except that's not reality now, is it? Just giving your opinion to someone who didn't ask it, feels the same as a Jehovah witness knocking on a door. Sure, all they want is for you to not end up in hell, but who does it really help?


"But I'm just trying to make conversation." No, no you ain't. You're trying to show how much better you are because clearly you are assuming a bunch of stuff that you didn't even ask first. So how can you avoid this?


Ask, as simple as that. Ask do you need help with this problem, or can I give you my opinion. Because I might have just been needing to vent, and hearing the same thing for a third time today, ain't helping. Better yet, show interest. Ask about the problem, and why I find said thing problematic. Then, if you feel like you could an unbiased opinion or give me a tool that actual fits, I'll be glad you did! Not doing so means you probably gave me a hammer, while I needed a specific size of screw for my project. So just stop assuming you know better, it is terribly debilitating to be told so ALL THE TIME, by EVERYONE.


ex: I don't like kids.

One day you'll want kids.

(?!?)


This is problematic because you are assuming that I don't know that I might want kids as I age, and you're not even asking me why I dislike kids. AND it's really none of your business why I choose, or not, to have kids one day. Maybe I want to talk about it, maybe I don't. But now, I probably won't because you have essentially CHOSEN FOR ME the right answer.


Better: I don't like kids.

Oh? Is there a reason?

Yeah, they are noisy and disturbing and dumb and cost a lot of money. I don't think I'll ever want to be pregnant. Plus accepting how my body and hormones would change scares me a lot.


This initiates a 2 side conversation and might create an actual healthy debate. The other version just gets you a "Yeah, you're probably right."


The second rule is very very simple. I will not lie because the truth might be uncomfortable to you. The way you react to my opinion is yours and yours alone and if you can't deal with the fact that my answer might not fit in your own narrative, then just don't ask. Don't make us loose our time and our energy. I love a good debate, but you searching for a confirmation bias* isn't a debate. Lying for your convenience puts way too much burden on me, for no reason, as it doesn't help anyone.


We can see this a lot in french as one of the most popular greetings, isn't "hi", but rather "how are you?" Except, you are expected to say "fine and you?" It doesn't matter whether you're feeling sick today or you caught your hand in the car door this morning. Really answering "how are you" then ends up being seen as rude because you can't deal with the fact that maybe, no, I am not good today. Just say hi, and skip the bullshit convenience small talk.


If you aren't using words to communicate something, then maybe just don't, is all I'm saying here.


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