This is a stir the pot kinda post. You've been warned now. If you're not in the mood for thinking about broad issues, then you might not want to keep reading. If you think you can keep an open mind, then keep reading. If comments get out of hand I will have to moderate them. Please, don't make me do that by leaving nasty comments. Thank You!
There is this thing that I see happen often among autistic people. As with everything, it's not black, and white. Not every autistic person does this, and NTs can do it, too, but I find it to be a very, very common trait among autistic people.
Basically, it's not seeing the forest for the trees type of thinking. It's the idea that if one tiny thing is wrong (in their eyes) in a vast quantity of right, the wrong is still worth bringing up, and making a big deal about it.
A whole post, or project can be executed well, but if one sentence is worded incorrectly, or information is presented in a way that rubs a certain aspie wrong, then said person just has to bring it to the everyone's attention. Sometimes, the 'wrong' is just a matter of opinion, other times it's a matter of spelling, or misinformation.
I have seen autistic people lose jobs, friends, and more due to this type of negative behavior. No one likes to have their faults constantly pointed out to them. There a couple aspies on my page that only show up to comment when they have a complaint about something I have posted. I post on average 6 posts a day on my page. That means they have about 180 chances a month to say something, yet they choose to show up only about 1 of those 180 times to complain about an article I posted, or the fact that I addressed parents, and not adults on the spectrum. They don't add anything positive. They take away.
I am not exempt from being one of these aspies. However, I was brought up by one, and the effects are certainly still with me today. It didn't matter what I had done, or how well I had done there was always something that was not perfect, and my father never neglected to point it out to me. There was no hesitation in letting me know my mistakes. No sugarcoating, either. I think in his mind, he thought that it was a nice thing to let others know their mistakes, so they could do better. He didn't take into consideration that no one likes to be criticized all the time.
It's very much all or nothing, black and white thinking that often characterizes those on the spectrum as being inflexible. It's hard to not let these things get to us when we see something that we don't like. We want to tell the person it's wrong, or how to fix it. Even if the person has done us a favor, or is 99% correct in what they're saying. It's hard to not find the negative, and run with it.
I usually use this example.
Say, you and your aspie friend are going to go out to lunch. You ask your friend where they'd like to go. There's so many options here. They could say they don't know, don't care, or what they're in the mood for. The behavior I'm talking about in this if exhibited will choose none of those options. They will begin by saying they don't want to go to this place, and definitely not that place, and by the way, they don't like ______, and last time they went to ________ it was awful, and before you know it you're listening to 15 minutes of negative complaints about what this person doesn't like when the question was asking for a positive affirmation, rather than a negative commentary.
They did not add anything positive to the conversation. If this person does this very often their friend will not invite them to lunch anymore. People don't always need friends to be super happy, and fun. However, no one wants to be around someone who either complains all the time, or looks for the smallest thing to start a debate about.
I think I find the latter of that paragraph to be the one that irritates me the most. The aspies who require everyone that they speak to to use disability-friendly language, and the slight mention of something offensive (to them) gets them going on how you're all over their rights as a person, and how wrong that you are for saying such things. The people that insist you use *trigger warning* in anything that even might be anywhere near offensive to anyone. The ones that scream discrimination every time someone disagrees with them about anything. The autistics that insist others don't have a right to hurt their feelings by saying anything that rubs them the wrong way. They need the world to be this sterile environment where they can feel "safe" and by safe I mean agreed with all the time. It's a control tactic that I am not fond of. It also waters down the true meaning of discrimination, and what it means to really have your rights trampled all over.
Sometimes, it's best to take a pause before responding to others, and really ask yourself if what you're about to say is adding anything to the world, or is it taking away? Are you trying to push your idea of right onto others? Are you zeroing in on the wrong, while neglecting the big picture of what is right? Is there a nicer way to phrase what you're about to say? Is the thing you're about to correct going to matter tomorrow, or next week? Is it worth the negativity you will leave with this person?