How to cope with grey areas
July 25, 2014 11:24 PM Subscribe
I have Asperger's, and so I have a tendency to be more comfortable with things that are black and white, rather than things that are grey, figuratively speaking. I want to change this, as this tends to affect more than one aspect of my life.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (11 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
For example: I have/had this friend. At first, I thought things with this friend were going well-- we were talking on the train a lot, we communicated via Facebook and email, etc. But then today, he and I had a huge talk. Basically, our definitions/visions of the friendship weren't the same, and he felt I was expecting more out of it than he was. I'm not going to go into it, but he did have some valid points (i.e., there were times when I went overboard with messages). What he wanted to do was be friendly (and I guess his definition of friends), but not be as close as we were, as he wasn't comfortable with that level of engagement. This was very confusing for me, and so I asked (and am asking) a ton of questions. Usually people blow me off when they don't want to engage. My friend said he almost did that, but didn't because he didn't want to be a jerk. I want to try and make it work, not just for him (because honestly, he could have just left), but because maybe someday in future I'll be friends with someone who doesn't want to be super close and while I don't mind that with some people, I want to learn how to not mind that so much with others.
Another example: at work, I was trying to get my vacation dates approved. My boss is the only one who can do that, but he was very busy with a case he was working on. It took a while for him to finally get back to me, and in the end, I got the dates approved, but before there was there was just a period of uncertainty that I was really uncomfortable with, and so I ended up emailing him a few times. I consider uncertainty to be the temporal version of a grey area, and I think it's not too dissimilar from the situation with my friend.
I'm speaking to my therapist about both of these situations, as well as other similar ones. I seem to have a hard time grasping the idea of a grey area. I want to get around this, because, again, I feel that not doing so would be very self-limiting. But I'm not sure if I ever can-- because of my Asperger's, I wonder if this is something I can ever really do. I think about this for a while, and then I get sad, because I really want to have friends of all sorts and not be plagued and made anxious by uncertainty and not knowing all the time, but I can never be normal. I'm not sure if this is something the community can answer, but I thought it wouldn't hurt. Help?