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Featured When does accommodating AS become being a doormat?

Discussion in 'Love, Relationships and Dating' started by BirdsNest, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. BirdsNest

    BirdsNest Active Member

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    What are people's opinions on this?

    I know I can't expect a person with AS to act NT.

    Talking to friends is hard as they don't understand AS.

    I'm not with anyone now but thinking of my ex. We both have AS.

    It simply didn't work out but I do miss him. I think I'm at a place now where I can be friends, while being open to getting back together (but things would have to be different) but also dating others with an open mind.

    But yeh a quick chat with friends -since I do most of the initiating conversations and I'm the one saying let's talk about feelings they make me feel bad about the relationship. They doubt our connection and it makes me question if I'm being a doormat or if they just don't get that caring for someone with AS means changing your expectations.

    I was at peace with the situation before, I find it hard to maintain boundaries when others project their expectations onto me.
     
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  2. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    IMO there are three groups of NTs relative to dealing with those on the spectrum of autism:

    1) Those who want to understand and succeed.
    2) Those who want to understand and fail.
    3) Those who are indifferent about autism and default to a mindset that it is we who must adapt to their way of thinking and relating to others.

    It sounds like those you are attempting to bond with fall into category #3. Those who sadly constitute a social majority. So yes, you're far more likely to encounter them than those in categories 1 or 2.

    Most of them don't have a clue. I certainly didn't, before I ever gave a thought that I might be on the spectrum too. It's not about being a "doormat". It's simply a social equation where the numbers are mathematically stacked against us largely through indifference and ignorance.
     
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  3. Chance

    Chance "all who wander are not lost" - Tolkien V.I.P Member

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    I have people I know that don't acknowledge I even exist until they are in trouble, and suddenly I am their best friend...

    Than I help them (sometimes in very, very generous ways) and all I hear is crickets until their next troubles arise.

    I started shutting it down. These people have never once helped me, and they use me over and over...
    I just don't care too much anymore. I wouldn't pee on a few of them if they were on fire...
     
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  4. Katleya

    Katleya Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I suppose your friends are among those non-spectrum people who would feel endangered to stop for a minute & consider that maybe what they want (or think they want) in life might not be what everyone else is longing for. Some people seem to feel extremely threatened by the fact that other people have different needs and aspirations, and they'll just blindly and blissfully follow the herd.
    If anyone is being a doormat, I'd say it's those people. They're not worth your time.
     
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  5. Keigan

    Keigan Restless Mind V.I.P Member

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    Interesting enough, if I hold people accountable for their action then they tend to drop off the face of earth quickly and they don't come around at all.

    Their choice how they live their lives as long as it does not significantly impact mine.
     
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  6. Ocarina

    Ocarina Active Member

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    I get this completely - with my last relationship I swung between feeling at peace with an unconventional relationship and being derailed when I looked at other peoples relationships, longed for the missing pieces, was swayed by other peoples judgements.

    Important to really investigate your own feelings here - and develop a strong and trusting relationship with yourself first and foremost. Once you reach that point, the opinions and behaviours of friends - and partners, become less relevant. If you're questioning whether you're being a doormat then I would suspect that the comments of your friends are bringing up some kind of insecurity or perhaps an innate wisdom that needs to be examined.

    I know in my relationship I was accepting to the nnnth degree - and I was somewhat in denial of the negative impacts that some of my ex's behaviours were having on me. Beneath all of this was a lurking discomfort that kept surfacing because my emotional needs weren't being met. Not my fault or his, but it was there and being triggered repeatedly. If friends are repeatedly making you feel bad about the relationship perhaps there is something worth looking at underneath all of this - are you hiding something from yourself or are you truly at peace with the way things are between you (you being you and the ex)?
     
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  7. Ocarina

    Ocarina Active Member

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    To add - the question you posed was:

    "When does accomodating AS become being a doormat?"

    I think other peoples opinions are irrelevant here - it's a deeply personal thing.

    One becomes a doormat if one forgoes ones own needs in order to accommodate the needs of another person. For a relationship to work, both partners needs must be met (more or less) - if in being accepting you are neglecting your own very real needs and desires, you are at risk of being a doormat and breeding resentment. Only you can decide whether this is happening - nobody else can advise you on what your requirements are, but it's important you can be honest with yourself.
     
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  8. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    One person's doormat is another's perception of kindness?

    It's all down to what you, yourself believe.
    Nothing is ever one dimensional with people. In a relationship with two people, there's always two sides to the story.
    If the current situation is what you want then why not? You may feel differently somewhere along the line and then the relationship will change again.
    We live and learn
    (Until we become clairvoyant ;)
     
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  9. Tyrantus1212

    Tyrantus1212 An odd dinosaur. Yet a dinosaur.

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    That's the right attitude Chance - and don't ever give them another chance (pun intended). They're not people. They don't act like people, so why should these filthy dregs of society even be called people? Shutting it down is the right way to do. Just leave them be for good, do not acknowledge their existence - and eventually anyone with a sane mind will do the same. I'm just so flabbergasted of the fact that so many fakes poison and contaminate our once lovely planet. Not to mention how many other types of scum exist on it, atop all the jerks out there who just cannot ever react calmly. I'm just so thrilled to be a part of the community here on AC that's filled with REAL people, the way God wanted humankind to be!
     
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  10. Tyrantus1212

    Tyrantus1212 An odd dinosaur. Yet a dinosaur.

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    I have plenty of trouble connecting with NT's and trusting lots of NT's (the second one is for the reason @Chance mentioned). I have very poor social and communication skills and it results in lots of miscommunications on my end, as well as me saying or doing something that makes the other person upset. The miscommunication also happens to make the other person upset. This ends up resulting in me being nervous around the person I made upset, which leads to even further awkwardness. On top of it all, it's just hard for me to withstand all the intensity of the NT's, so few people that I can just be myself around - and there IS no other me on this whole planet. I've never gone on a date before, and I'm not sure I ever will. Everyone thinks I'm extremely weird and often ask me why I do what I do. I don't always have an answer, because I sometimes don't know myself. The fact that I also cycle over anxieties over and over again asking NT's for reassurance also contributes to the awkwardness and ultimately my hurt feelings. I am extremely sensitive to people overreacting to me, and I CANNOT STAND conflict of any kind, very much like Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory.

    I only have 3 actual friends, they're fairly new friends since I've been a lone wolf for the majority of my life - and I still have social troubles when I communicate with them...but so far so good, they didn't leave me (yet? I keep worrying about that constantly, even if there are no signs). I can be a really good friend to them, but at the same time I tend to be very needy and make too many demands. That makes me worry about scaring them off and I can't afford to let that happen again. Per my therapist's suggestion, I've managed to become a bit less needy. I used to text them every day and ask them to hang out every weekend. Every day, every weekend. It's a miracle I even managed to make any in the first place and I cannot let go, ever. I never let go of anything, and I need to keep these people in my life forever. Having someone there for me makes me actually be human and not an empty shell.

    As for most of the other people...I just pushed them all away when I was in college because I tried way too hard to fit in, and with my social skills being even worse I ended up becoming the most hated student in my department. I was a pariah, pretty much. I ended up being loud, obnoxious, annoying, rude and some of my jokes even bordered on sexual - and all this without me being aware that I did it. Only realized how off-putting I've been after an intervention was done by a professor and group of students. I had no real friends in college...I did meet one really cool guy before becoming this "unsocial" butterfly, but he died in a motorcycle accident - which shows just how much I'm not meant to have friends. For the record I'm not even sure if he would have become annoyed by me later on but I do know that he was an extremely nice fellow. I would most definitely never ride a motorcycle, though.

    Only a handful of people never (or rarely) get annoyed by me - and that's a miracle of its own. I'm very hard to get along with and I come with an instruction manual. Not only do I have really bad social skills, but I never even got to practice them as a child; I only had one friend (also socially awkward, moved to another city later) and otherwise I've been a lone wolf by choice because I was still shy. I've also had my fair share of bullying, ridicule and ignoring done to me so I know what it feels like. I feel like it's gonna take me years to get at least decent in mingling with NT's.
     
  11. BirdsNest

    BirdsNest Active Member

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    I seem to have sparked a bit of a debate here... ;)

    Sorry to @Chance and @Tyrantus1212 for your bad experiences...

    Responding to Ocarnia:

    This, this and this! But what are the missing pieces?
    I had more conventional relationships and it felt confined.
    There is no road map.

    I agree- their comments are clearly bringing up *something*.

    Yep, this was the same here.

    I'm not truly at peace since I haven't had chance to talk to him properly about the breakup yet. Usually this helps me get some closure- but we can't talk properly as he is currently very unavailable - his job is busy/demanding/lots of travel. Having AS on top means he just doesn't have much to give a relationship. (Or at least, has decided he'd prefer to direct those energies towards working.)

    We are having friendly text messages and he called me recently to catch up. Nothing has changed really though, he will talk for a bit and then just drop off the radar, esp if I bring up something on the emotional side he just doesn't respond. It really frustrates me and I am using this to remind myself that this is why we split up. In a way, it is moving me towards a place of even more peace.
     
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  12. BirdsNest

    BirdsNest Active Member

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    Thinking about it: I feel like a doormat as I'm persisting with bearing the burden of taking care of the emotional side to whats left of our relationship.

    Since he cares less about meeting to talk he probably thinks I only want to talk for my own benefit. Talking about emotions does make him very apprehensive- that's why he drops off when I bring up anything even remotely emotional.

    In his mind its over because of XYZ and those havent changed so whats the use in talking?

    I can see his point in some ways, you can totally talk the life out of a relationship.

    Talking does have its uses in some instances, its a chance to state the obvious- reaffirm the good and the bad. Like writing a concluding chapter to a book.
     
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  13. Fridgemagnetman

    Fridgemagnetman I only have one V.I.P Member

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    So, it seems like it something that you need to benefit you, not necessarily him.
    Also it seems its something he can't give.

    Looking for closure can also be a trick. Like imagining a relationship is a beautiful rainbow. Marvellous while it lasts but you dont spend time searching for the rainbows end. There will be new rainbows.

    Maybe think about your patterns a little, as this may repeat in future relationships - nt or as.
     
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  14. Ocarina

    Ocarina Active Member

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    This, this and this! But what are the missing pieces?
    I had more conventional relationships and it felt confined.
    There is no road map.
    .[/QUOTE]

    There really isn't a road map - but there are individual requirements in a relationship - perhaps one of yours is communication, the need to talk through problems - which it sounds like is at odds with his need to avoid confrontation. Being accommodating of this need whilst pretending to yourself that your own need isn't important is not healthy for either of you - and maybe this is one of the missing pieces. You're either walking on eggshells to accommodate him and stuffing down your own needs - or you're expressing yourself and in doing so failing to accommodate his need to keep silent.

    I think it's important to note that both sets of needs are important - but they're not compatible.

    Relationships require compromise from both sides in a balanced way - if you're with someone who can't or isn't willing to compromise then you're required to bend excessively to keep the status quo and that's (in my eyes) a dangerous path to tread.

    Not knowing you this is pure supposition but I think there is a certain type of Aspie who is incredibly resilient, who takes on challenge and stress very often at their own emotional or physical expense and may as a result end up feeling drained and taken advantage of even though this is often not the intention of the person or people you are interacting with. Remember you are allowed to have feelings and needs too - treat yourself as though you matter and the rest will follow....

    Very Good Wishes.
     
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  15. Ocarina

    Ocarina Active Member

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    There really isn't a road map - but there are individual requirements in a relationship - perhaps one of yours is communication, the need to talk through problems - which it sounds like is at odds with his need to avoid confrontation. Being accommodating of this need whilst pretending to yourself that your own need isn't important is not healthy for either of you - and maybe this is one of the missing pieces. You're either walking on eggshells to accommodate him and stuffing down your own needs - or you're expressing yourself and in doing so failing to accommodate his need to keep silent.

    I think it's important to note that both sets of needs are important - but they're not compatible.

    Relationships require compromise from both sides in a balanced way - if you're with someone who can't or isn't willing to compromise then you're required to bend excessively to keep the status quo and that's (in my eyes) a dangerous path to tread.

    Not knowing you this is pure supposition but I think there is a certain type of Aspie who is incredibly resilient, who takes on challenge and stress very often at their own emotional or physical expense and may as a result end up feeling drained and taken advantage of even though this is often not the intention of the person or people you are interacting with. Remember you are allowed to have feelings and needs too - treat yourself as though you matter and the rest will follow....

    Very Good Wishes.[/QUOTE]

    I hope the above doesn't sound as though you need to not care - or not understand. It sounds as though you understand your ex partner exquisitely and accept him as he is - lucky man. Maybe you now owe yourself the same kindness and understanding .
     
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  16. BirdsNest

    BirdsNest Active Member

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    Yeah I think I could just not take his avoidance personally/lack of initiative personally- wait until I know he is in the city again so we can talk in person. That should be in a few days time. He's never denied me my requests to talk but he's never been the one to take initiative to make it happen either. A simple phone call and asking if he wants to get coffee is probably all it takes to get him out, and then we can chat if I manage to bring the topic up.

    To be fair EVERY time I've brought up something emotional its been via text message, which isn't ideal and not my preferred method of communication. Usually I just need to SAY I need to talk as a way or trying to get the ball rolling, as 'in the moment' I get so anxious about how/what/when/where/why to say things that I end up saying nothing at all.

    I do have a need to communicate but I am poor at it. I'm making an effort all round to be a better communicator. Also I can't do emotive talks for very long either, I tend to shut down after 5-10 minutes.

    I have been on a few dates with others. There is one person I'm really into -although haven't been on a date with, they are the brother of a close friend of mine- but they don't live in my city. I think I would do a long distance thing for someone really cool and this person could be just that.

    So its not like I've put all my eggs in the basket labled my 'ex' but I am still open to possibilities - with them and with others.
     
  17. BirdsNest

    BirdsNest Active Member

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    Used to be me- better now at looking after my own needs. I don't feel like people take advantage of me nearly as much as I used to. (It happens from time to time but thats life.)

    Thanks xx
     
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  18. Alaska

    Alaska Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I do not know you or your ex, so what I say may not be worth paying attention to. I will put it out there and you can decide.
    There seems to be something of a contradiction in what you are saying. At first you said that you like being communicative and need it and your ex does not like being communicative, especially about emotions. Then you said that you had only talked about emotional issues in texts, admitting that this is not ideal. Then you said that you only talk about emotional issues for 5-10 minutes and usually do not bring them up at all. You said that he will meet to talk over such issues any time in person.

    It sounds as if you also have trouble with communication issues and he has been willing to try to accommodate your need or desire for communication on emotional issues. This means you might be about the same on communication of emotional issues except he is willing to try if you ask for it and you mostly shut down when you have the opportunity to talk about it in person.

    Things are not as clear-cut as you presented them at first. You may be able to work things out after all if you still want to.

    I feel slightly doubtful that you entirely want to work things out with your ex because of your mention of that other guy you are interested in. It seems as if you need to decide what you really want. I think things will be a lot clearer and easier for you once you decide.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017
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  19. BirdsNest

    BirdsNest Active Member

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    Hey all,

    Just wanted to update ya.

    We've hung out a few times since, he seemed really pleased to see me. We've talked more in the past few days than we have in a long time, had a great time and even took the piss of our own breakup. He did initiate a chat about 'us', which had the right balance of talking about relationship stuff and having fun. It wasn't heavy and I've been feeling good about this.

    He admitted that although he tried his best, he was a bit of a **** boyfriend and said my expectations were reasonable. Work sucks up most of his headspace, but he loves his work and where it is taking him. He seems to want someone but also unable to see how he can balance that with his career at the moment. (Not to say there isnt, just that we haven't thought of it yet.)

    He asked me what I wanted but I wasn't very clear really- beyond saying I wanted to be with him and being apart was really crap. He said he was guessing at something not casual but not super serious either. That's true but I like to add the caveat that I don't equate amount of time spent with someone as indicative of a level of seriousness. I need me time or my brain dies. I really like him and I'm ok with an unconventional relationship.

    Anyway we left the conversation a bit unsure and it was a bit inconclusive but I feel its a chat we can return to.

    We'd have to think differently and do differently, I don't think hitting him around the head with a stick and yelling "TRY HARDER" is going to get us anywhere.