#28 Brutal Honesty (a.k.a. rudeness)

Written by SAPL on November 30th, 2008 in Communication, Socialization.


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“Wow, they’ve a got nice place,” says Jack as he and the wife drive by a luxury condo community. “If anything ever happens to you and the kids, I’m moving there.”

There’s honesty. And then there’s brutal honesty. Too often the Aspie possesses the latter.

Since Asperger people would rather be truthful, it never fails that sometimes that truth hurts. Or just pisses someone off. The Aspie is so focused on stating what is true, that he or she cannot foresee how the truth might affect the other person’s feelings. Like equating the loss of the wife and kids to an opportunity to live in luxury, for example.

Yes, if you ever are interested in knowing if your butt really is too big, just ask Asperger people. And then you will learn never to ask again.

Brutal honesty, known to neurotypicals as rudeness, often crops its head in personal conversation, but it can manifest itself in various situations.

Political discussions are never sparing, but the Asperger might appear as the Nazi, rather than just radical, making his views known about not feeding the hungry, so “they will starve to death and we’ll have less people to worry about feeding.”

Brutal honesty can be direct, as the examples above, but also indirect, as in the form of an insulting compliment like, “Wow, you look so much prettier than the last time I saw you,” or “I’m really surprised your boobs are still full, considering most big ones like yours get flat at your age. I wonder when yours will start to go south” to “just wait until we have our children. You’re going to have stretch marks to map the entire state. You may be lucky enough to avoid them with the first child, but by the second…no way.”

Brutal honesty rears its head in both public and private conversation, small settings and large. “Should you really be wearing white considering everything I know you did in college,” the Asperger asks the bride during the reception in front of the groom and the bride and groom’s parents and a dozen other guests.

In summary, Asperger people remind us that if you really don’t want to know, don’t ask.

10 Responses to “#28 Brutal Honesty (a.k.a. rudeness)”

  1. Andi Says:

    An Aspie would say ” … fewer people to worry about feeding”, not ‘less people … ‘. Honestly.

  2. spunkykitty Says:

    sometimes brutal honesty is humorous (well at least to another aspie, like me) – but other times being simply honest can cause serious social condemnation… like what i m facing right now… but thx for a humorous take on honesty – u r making me smile… 🙂

  3. Kelsey Says:

    I’ve offended sooo many poor souls on accident. The gift of forethought is lost on me in casual conversation much of the time.

  4. PStevenson Says:

    people often say lying is bad until they meet people like us. stupid finnicky NT’s

  5. Randy Lewis Says:

    If you consider an Aspie a friend, a person with Aspergers can easily be the most trustworthy, awesome and dedicated friend or lover you have ever had.
    Never talk down to someone with Aspergers Syndrome, or talk to them like you would to a child. It is deeply offensive and can cause someone with AS to doubt themselves and reinforce/cause depression. How would you like it if someone treated you like a child?
    If you are in love with them, be direct about your feelings. Make sure you ask if they love you in return before acting on your feelings. It is important to have them explain what sort of love they feel for you (if any), someone with Aspergers may say ‘I love you’ but mean it in different ways – i.e. family, sibling or friendship love.
    The Aspie may not know how to accept a compliment.
    Never lie to someone with Aspergers or otherwise say or lead them to believe you’ll do things for them that you have no intention to. People with Aspergers, especially those that have been bullied by parents and peers as children, often have trust issues and even if they only catch you lying even once, may never trust you again. People with Aspergers may have a very strong personal “code of ethics” that is very real, if you disrespect or show lack of consideration towards them they will never forget the betrayal.
    People with Aspergers tend to be considered “smart”, especially females but don’t be intimidated by them. It might be a good idea to ask them to help you with something they are good at in exchange for your helping them meet people. This will allow you two to relate more.
    Don’t coddle them, but try to protect them from bullies and authority figures. People with Aspergers may have a hard time defending themselves.
    They will probably seem distant most of the time. This is normal. If that (or something else) hurts your feelings, explain as directly and calmly as can what hurt your feelings and why, and work out an agreement that both of you can live with.
    Be willing to make compromises while you’re with them. People with Aspergers often have symptoms similar to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Having no control over their environment can cause a great deal of anxiety and lead to depression.
    They may be a bit obsessive and perfectionistic, especially males. Try to put up with it. Rearranging or otherwise ‘touching’ their personal belongings is generally a bad idea. Never borrow things without asking in advance and prepare in case you are told ‘no’.
    Leave him alone if (s)he is angry.
    Be aware that Aspies have trouble expressing their feelings verbally. Many Aspies find it easier and better to express their feelings through writing and poetry.
    Many Aspies find it much easier to communicate on social networking sites such as MySpace or Facebook than it is to communicate verbally.
    However, this is not always true, Aspergers individuals sometimes eschew these activities for in-person meetings due to paranoia over getting social skills right, or for any other reason including the shallowness of society in the ‘digital age’.
    Even if the Aspie cannot stand to be around people for long, invite him/her to your birthday party. It is better to be invited to a party and never show up than to not be invited at all. Be available and prepared if they attend, absolutely do not invite them if you don’t want them to come.
    However, don’t invite them if you should be reasonably expected to know that they would not want to go, or cannot go unless you think they may be able to. If this is the case you should mention that you know they wouldn’t or couldn’t go but you thought they may be able to and you would enjoy their presence.
    It’s not good to stereotype Aspies, they are all unique and even those with mild Aspergers can seem like any other person sometimes. You must remember if that’s the case, that they still do have a social challenge. Even in a relationship, they may be being extra careful that they’re not doing something wrong, even though you may have reassured them over and over again. Just be patient and get used to it. This will probably be for an indefinite time, maybe all their life. They are people who have feelings and worth, even if they seem like aliens or robots sometimes to those who don’t understand Aspergers, and they deserve the same respect and compassion as anyone else.
    All Aspies are very unique in their own way, and are much more independent than other people, even though they may come across as very gentle and happy people. Sometimes your personalities can easily clash, as all Aspies are very strong about what they believe in. Some Aspies can get extremely upset or angry with certain people, but try to live with the Aspie beliefs and opinions because they strongly stick by them.
    Even what may seem like a small thing, like asking a girl out, or even a guy, can cause a lot of anxiety and can be troublesome to Aspies. Most of the “small” things are “Big” for them.
    Never over-react to their mistakes, this may make them feel uncomfortable around you, if you just simply tell them where they went wrong without making a big fuss, you will earn their trust, especially if you are a guy.
    Remember, Aspies are easily overstimulated. Even the bright colours of a candy shop can overwhelm them. They may love to touch soft materials, and always rub their hand against things they perceive as ‘soft’. They can love/hate a variety of different sensory perceptions. Never tell them to stop,unless it is putting them in danger, as this may lead to depression.
    Due to bullying by peers of the same age group when they were younger, some people with Aspergers syndrome may feel more confident talking to someone who is older or younger than them.
    Some Aspies, mostly females, may feel more comfortable hanging out with people of the opposite gender, especially older ones. So don’t accuse them of cheating on you.
    If somebody with Aspergers comes to you for help, they are usually looking for a direct answer like, “turn left at the light”. If you don’t have such an answer, offer to help them find an alternative definite answer. Bad advice may or may not be acted upon by someone with Aspergers depending on if they know it is bad. This can lead to a permenent severing of trust and/or confidence in your ability to reason if they think you gave them faulty advice and/or they followed your advice with negative results.
    Above all people with Aspergers Syndrome are individuals. As you get to know the person you might find out that a few of these tips don’t apply to the person.
    Aspies are not likely to ask for social help, if this may be asked of you you need to graciously decline unless you may be trusted. Anyone given preference will be held to a higher standard than the general population. Any fault of this trust is likely to result in being sort of “blacklisted”. Aspies might ask for advice or help sorting out social situations that seem self explanatory to neurotypicals. Try not to be annoyed, as this would probably be the highest title of respect that a person with Aspergers can give another. It can get annoying if they ask often but look at it this way, the Aspie is going hey, this person doesn’t seem like too much of a flake or a jerk so I guess I can trust them enough to ask for some advice on something. Also, a person with Aspergers will be learning from your advice, and what they see hear and perceive before and after, and while practicing your advice. An Aspie will learn a lot from any new (good) perspective you may be able to give on social interactions. They probably (fingerscrossed + I hope) aren’t going to hurt me for asking for some help. But, as previously stated if you take their trust for granted you may never have it again.
    Aspies may be trusting and forgiving, but not necessarily forgetful. People with Aspergers may hold deep resentments for anything including perceived ‘wrongs’. If you have moved to the bad side of someone with Aspergers it can be very difficult to regain their trust if not impossible. Attempts made to make things right may seem cheap to the person with Aspergers, especially if they are still in the thralls of anger (which may not be perceivable to ‘normal people’, no matter the level of the Aspies internal rage), so do not overdo anything. Let them know at least once (directly, remembering how nonverbal communication and social cues aren’t effective) that you are regretful of your actions, or if you are unsure of fault just that you regret the way things have become, and you want things to be like they were before or that you want to have a better relationship. However, a lack of any attempt ensures they will never be the same around you.
    If they are doing something that is bothering you, the best thing to do is just be staightforward and tell them.
    If you know they’re an Aspie you need to be straightforward, using social cues and nonverbal language might lead to the results you want in the short term, but the only reason would be because the Aspie has made eternal cuts to your relationship.
    Language with vague meanings, “beating around the bush”, social cues and body language, should be strongly avoided. A person with Aspergers probably will not pick up on hints and social cues which Neurotypicals commonly use to communicate with. Warnings & Considerations

    Do not encourage someone with Asperger’s to behave in an inappropriate manner. Doing so may cause them to behave in the inappropriate manner more often. With perceived benefits this may likely become a part of their ingrained habits/rituals/rules. This is a bad thing.
    Subtle hints do not work, if you want to communicate then simply say it. i.e. An Aspie may overstay their welcome if you don’t tell them (politely of course) that it is time for them to leave, you to go to bed, or whatever. In fact if you try to hint for them to leave by using a nonverbal cue like checking your watch, often, you may likely make the Aspie uncomfortable if they can tell you are trying to say something yet they don’t know what to do.
    Always practice consistency. Mixed messages or regularly changing your mind can cause someone with Asperger’s to trust you less or make them angry with you.
    People with Asperger’s are very gentle people. But when they get noticeably angry they usually mean it.
    Some people with Asperger’s don’t enjoy being touched (some may), so be careful about giving them hugs, hi-fives, etc.
    Some people with Asperger’s may not show much empathy towards other people. This is not because they are trying to be rude, they are expressing their unique individuality.
    Many people with Asperger’s are very nice people. However, they’re only human. Like with any other human being, your personalities may ‘clash’.
    Aspies tend to highly dislike being manipulated or taken advantage of which because they aren’t quite as naturally adept as a normal person at social skills means they’ve likely already had experiences of being pushed around before. If one is angry at you it’s probably they thought you were being mean, too bossy or bullying someone. Remember a large degree of an Aspies’ social skills were gained through trial and error! So if they seem to be bitter or have a chip on their shoulder keep that in mind.
    Aspies also have to deal with negative stereotypes of being crazy and violent which doesn’t always apply but makes trying to get along with other people even harder. Not all Aspies are good, there are some stinkers too. On the other hand there are countless crazy and violent people who don’t have Asperger’s. Try to remember an Aspie is a human being too, they cannot be generalized like this, and some are good and some are bad just like anyone else.

  6. cyndi Says:

    My father in-law says to me ” you lost weight” I say back “looks like you found it”

    Awkward silence ……..

  7. armored goldfish Says:

    I’d probably would respond to the ‘fewer people to worry about feeding’ with “Hey, asshole, how about you starve yourself and see how you like it?!”

    Lowering the tone of political discourse: totally the fault of Aspies. Or not.

  8. just me Says:

    AS a married aspie female, I wish I could take back the brutal things my sweet husband has endured.

  9. VIKI Says:

    we aspies are better people from the rest because we are more honest. if you want to lie to yourself why ask us,we will tell you the truth. it’s not rude. its being honest.
    i do not understand why all people do not tell the truth like us.
    why lie?

  10. ted rayon Says:

    I live with a aspie. Sorry, but nobody has an excuse for being rude! Learn manners or stay indoors for EVER! I don’t feel sorry for you one bit

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