November 21, 2020

It’s easy for me to miss or misunderstand people’s motivations and reactions. It isn’t willful ignorance – I want the information, but often can’t gather it on my own.

When I describe my social experiences to neurotypical friends or family, I love to hear them say, “Here’s what may be happening from the other person’s perspective.” That’s useful data.

I appreciate data more than advice.

Like many people, I usually find it easier to give suggestions than to give information – in my public writing as well as my personal relationships – but what actually helps me is different.

Data helps me form a more complete picture of a situation, factoring in how others feel along with how I feel, layering both onto my perception of the facts.

Sometimes, that’s all I need to take confident action. If it isn’t, then I’m finally ready to ask: “What can I do?”

P.S. I write from my personal experience as an autistic. What I share is not a substitute for advice from an autistic medical professional. Also, some of my opinions have changed since I first wrote them.