Thursday, January 2, 2014

Neurotypicals: No Help Wanted

The tendency for an Asperger person is to assume that someone who expresses distress wants help, but this is rarely the case. If an Asperger offers an observation or suggests a solution, the well-intended advice is likely to be received with hostility – logic produces the wrong answer. An Asperger may observe that neurotypicals attempt to resolve real world problems through manipulation of their own emotions, and even more frequently, the emotions of other people. For the social majority, the environment is almost exclusively composed of other people, so bad feelings, aggression, shame and bullying are ever-present.     

One might think that after being yelled at thousands of times, we Aspergers would ‘get’ that people’s stories of frustration (which often are the result of failed actions repeated over and over, or are due to a simple lack of practical or scientific knowledge) are not requests for help. We stupidly persist because it is in our nature to solve problems. If a person describes a situation that is causing them confusion and pain, and if I can unravel a tangle of erroneous beliefs and misinformation that is causing it, why wouldn’t I make the effort?
This desire to substantially aid another human being is considered a great defect. As a group Aspergers people are accused of being blind to the minds of other people, and that empathy, compassion, or any ability to put ourselves in someone else's shoes is absent from our soulless bodies. The truth is that it is our desire to help in ways that produce results. Unfortunately the social definition of empathy rejects and excludes rational response and tangible returns. A theater of gestures, facial expressions, and words of sympathy and commiseration are not only preferred, but demanded and scrutinized by the gatekeepers of ‘normal’ as the sole measure of human feeling. It’s a cruel system.
This narrow definition of what it means to be human not only impinges on the freedom of Asperger types, but neurotypicals as well are stripped of honest communication by the well-policed forms expression that society imposes. The majority of any population - low ranking children, women, minorities and the poor, are required to stifle their thoughts and reactions in order to preserve the power of the social pyramid. Empowering people with the courage to speak honestly is socially taboo, because honest communication between people confers equality.