Thursday, June 23, 2011

Unbalanced Criticism

And my previous post leads me to ponder the criticism issue.  It's not that I hear an abundance of criticism.  Overall the problem is, of course, the communication deficit.  Because of the extreme deficit in the area of my aspie spouse giving compliments or praise, it seems as if any verbal remarks made to or about me are usually a criticism.

In "How to Win Friends and Influence People", one learns to balance criticism by first offering compliments or sincere words of praise.  In an NT/AS relationship, this probably isn't the way it's done.

The NT rarely hears praise or compliments from her aspergers relatives.  She is probably not acknowledged with positive verbal remarks or personal knowledge or appreciation of her character, personality, or any aspects of her humanity, for that matter.  So when she is then verbally criticized for something she thinks, did, or is . . . well, you can imagine the feelings this would invoke.

It's just a ranting day, I'm afraid.  I might delete these rants in a minute, but sometimes it's helpful to simply share raw, honest emotions.

The Flip Side of Theory of Mind

Last night I was criticized yet again for not doing something to the letter in the way my aspie spouse was thinking it should be done.  He didn't speak his thoughts or ask for things to be done a specific way.  Why would he?  Because his thoughts are the only possible, plausible, or potential way something should have been done.  And how could I not get that?  Huh?  What planet did I come from?  I should just know what he was thinking.  Oh my.

There was no thought of saying or sharing his thoughts out loud with me.  And I can explain until I am blue in the face why it is good and necessary to use verbal communication to convey one's thoughts on any given matter and he will argue incessantly that I should just know.

Moments like this leave me wanting to  . . . . I don't even know.  It's insane and I can't even explain how INSANE it is.  But other aspie's wives know what I'm talking about, don't you?

OK... as I'm writing this I'm realizing how some aspies must feel in the expectations we have of them to, for example, give us a hug rather than walk away when we are crying.  Our aspie spouses can't read our minds either-- even in the most basic of common sense situations.

But then our aspie spouse may expect us to read his mind about a very detailed way something should be done, because of course, his thinking is the only way to think about, well, anything. 


Deep breath.  This is SO hard.  Feels impossible to handle.

What's the solution?  I know, I know.  We can't expect anything 'typical'.  We must be willing and able to explain everything we expect/want by way of response (which needs to be a practical action he can do). 

But how do we handle this expectation he has for us to read his mind when he is unwilling (unable?) to verbally explain things to us?

I don't know. 

Screaming, yelling, and throwing things doesn't make things better, though.

Please don't ask how I know that.  ;)

DEEP BREATH.  This is so very hard.