This is a comment by daelyte on the post “How Not to Hit on People“.
Diagnosed autistic here!
“If you have a brain reason why you can’t figure out social interaction, I’m not sure how much help I can be. This is merely for the awkward, not the autistic!”
Autism isn’t an excuse for bad manners. It just means being (mostly) unable to guess people’s internal state without verbal communication, and the resulting difficulty in figuring out social interaction from watching people interact while missing 90% of the information. Therefore spelling out those basic social rules that we may have missed on, without assuming the ability to read body language, is very helpful.
“If you genuinely are kind and mean well and are interested in other people, most people can tell. All the body-language shit? Assuming you’re neurotypical, your body will probably handle it for you.”
If you’re autistic, it just takes longer. Most people can tell from your actions over time, regardless of your body language.
“Try not to make a big sit-down-and-have-a-huge-chat deal about it; you can just say casually (when it naturally comes up in conversation) that the person is totally attractive and you’d like to date them.”
When it… naturally… comes up… sorry you lost me. For the autistic among us, it’s more likely to be in the form of blurting it out in the middle of nowhere. Any examples of what would be a good moment to bring it up?
“Firthing is when you stare at someone you have a crush on very intensely without actually talking to them.”
Many autistics of both genders are guilty of this, due to a combination of obsessiveness and not knowing any better. Got any more of those?
“4) Look for reciprocation. This is my favorite because you do not have to mess around with body language shit. The basic principle: if you are doing something you cannot reasonably ask about, see if they return the thing you are doing.”
This one is priceless. I would not have guessed this. Thank you.
“There is exactly one proper response to someone telling you “please don’t do that”: it’s “I’m sorry” and not doing that.”
What about: Which that?
“But that doesn’t mean that everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt. ”
To me, benefit of the doubt means being told what’s wrong without assuming that I knew already, because I wouldn’t knowingly make a stranger uncomfortable. When told to back off I will do so, and may be slightly embarrassed that I screwed up, but I often won’t know that something I’m doing is making someone uncomfortable until I’m verbally informed of the fact. I don’t think it’s too much to ask.
Photo credit: Flickr / malias