Wednesday, 5 February 2014

When to come out as Aspie?

So, you've just started a new job.  Or maybe you've joined a club, signed up for a sports team, or have a date.  Whichever scenario it is, you're about to meet some new people and would like to make a good impression.

At what point do you disclose that you have Aspergers?

Peek a boo
Dude, can I have a word?
photo by Amandarichard421
A lot of advice says to hold off until you've got to know them a bit, so you're judged on the strength of who you are rather than your diagnosis.  And if you pass for neurotypical, that might be a very wise thing to do.

But if you don't reliably pass for normal, I can't help but think it might be better to disclose up front, as soon as is practical.  Personally, I've brought it up when I started an exercise class (because motor skills), in job interviews, and to new colleagues.

Before I was diagnosed, I had a lifetime of people assuming I was stuck up because I'm fairly cautious around strangers and not big on free-range alcohol-based socialising.  Or assuming I was cold.  Or aloof.  Or a bitch.  Or I had something against them personally.  None of that was the case, but peoples' imaginations came up with all sorts of reasons why I wasn't like them.

That's why my personal policy is to disclose as soon as is practical, and explain why I am the way I am before they have time to make up their own reasons.

3 comments:

  1. I tend to come out early, too, if it comes up.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've chosen to come out to people as soon as I enter into a conversation with them. The main thing I still struggle with is how open I can afford to be about my diagnosis online, before people have a chance to look me in the eye (so to speak). I find that I can use the rules of personal interaction (politeness, listening, not interrupting, finding common ground, tying things in with people's personal experiences) to my advantage, whereas when people find out about my diagnosis first, I'm afraid they'll only see that, and reject me based on that information alone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. Yep, I hear you on the 'how open should I be online?' question. I'm in the process of doing a major clean-up of my online footprint. My Tumblr's gone (but that doesn't remove stuff that other people have re-blogged) and I'm now using this persona for the blog, rather than my real name. Quite a few older posts here have been temporarily taken down while I figure out whether to put them back up, rewrite them, or just bin them. It doesn't help that at this point I have no idea what I'm doing long term, career-wise... :)

      Delete