The autistic hermit

I’m reading a book on autism at the moment by a Belgian author (one I will review, don’t worry) and what I read a lot in that book is that she has a fear of missing out and pleasing others.

When I discovered or noticed that I wasn’t ever going to fit in, I stopped doing it. I started working on my own well-being first and then it gave me more energy to go out with friends or do fun stuff. If a friend knocked at my door, a friend I have for several years, even on a day I have seemingly nothing planned, but I didn’t expect to spend (so subconciously planned to be alone) I won’t open the door, or when I do, I won’t let them in. I will send them back home. I have done this before and don’t feel sorry for it in the slightest and I strongly recommend it to other autistics.

Your well-being should be your top-priority. Other people will follow your priority when you set it for yourself. People who respect you, will also respect your no’s. One thing I will never do is hang out with colleagues, after work. Any other time is fine, but after work is for recovering and doing house chores. Nothing ever gets planned during the week, only when I can’t plan it any other day. This is a hard rule for me. When I work, social things are going on in the weekend, not during the week, and even during the weekend I might not plan a single thing, so I have ample time to recover.

I will set hard appointments or meetings. If you can’t make it, I will reschedule, so you don’t have to rush and I don’t have to stress. It makes for a much pleasurable meeting for the both of us, and isn’t met with 30 minutes of apologies by the person that was late. If a meeting is uncertain to be going through, I won’t do it. No, I don’t feel sorry for this in the slightest as I respect my time and I respect the time that I would spend with you. It’s about respect for the both of us.

The number one person I respect the most is myself. If I can’t make it for whatever reason, I will cancel and reschedule. If you can’t make it for whatever reason, just cancel and reschedule. It shows respect for the person’s time, otherwise they are waiting for you.

If no person is involved, I might shift things around, but what other person are concerned, I rather have set appointments, even for phonecalls, so I know when and why it is happening. My own free time (whenever no person is involved) is flexible. I hardly ever plan anything in. I just do what I feel like doing, when other people are concerned, I’m less flexible.

I also don’t feel obligated to join a group if they want to go out for drinks. I don’t have that fear of missing out. At all. Go, have fun. I don’t care for going to a bar anyways. Not my cup of tea. Too much noise, and all that jazz. I would rather meet people at their home and do something there. Much less noise, more control over what we are going to do,…

Also: I don’t go to a job to make friends. I don’t expect you to help me move when I move to a new place (that’s how I know we are friends). I am much less inclined to call you my friend because we get along and see each other often. I used to call everybody my friend after meeting them a couple of times. Now, I don’t. I have been burned by “friends” way too much to trust people like this again. Does this make a hermit? Then I will gladly wear that as a badge of honor. I don’t care about being alone. I have enough the keep me occupied and that is more interesting than a conversation with another human being at all hours of the day. This doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a good discussion.

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