Taking Care, Not Assuming, Identifying Underlying Motivations

Three issues cropped up last week. All were re-iterations of past issues but ones that I know I need to continually work on. They are interesting and beneficial as well for personal development.

The first was me sending out an e-mail about a presentation that I am trying to arrange. I got the date right, but referred to it being on a Wednesday not a Tuesday!

I rushed! I often rush and it leads to errors like this. My mind rushes and thinks ahead to the next thing I need/want to do and not the issue was dealing with which I simply just wanted to get done. It was another example of my need to slow down and check data before circulating.

Needless to say a colleague e-mailed and asked for clarification. One-off is not a problem; but if I get a reputation for repeating it becomes damaging. Another reminder that I constantly need to slow down, check and take more care.

Second issue was talking to a colleague who I haven’t seen too much of late. When I have, it has usually been in passing and she hasn’t said much to me which I took as a possible slight, i.e. because of my AS the other person is indifferent to me!

This time she spent a lot of time talking to me. She inquired about me personally and also how things were going jobwise and my overall impression was that she was very positive towards – and liked – me.

Like with the checking example above, it was another reminder that I must not allow myself to assume things or automatically think that I am at fault in any way because of my  [Asperger] condition.

Finally, another interaction relating to empathy. I have been in a group seminar for a few weeks now which is part of a training programme.

Last week, a colleague got very upset with the programme overall and stated that she wouldn’t be attending any in the future as she thought they were a waste of time.

After others had spoken, I asked her if I could make a suggestion: would she consider coming to one more and see if she would give the process another chance after we had made some changes. I was attempting to sympathise and practice empathy on my part. Unfortunately my colleague refused.

Outside another colleague gave me his opinion which was a very different take. According to him, the person concerned had said at the last session had said that she was becoming overwhelmed with here work load and that she was looking for an excuse to exit. I hadn’t coded this.

When I thought about it it was logical, but that was not the point from which my subsequent thoughts had gravitated from. I thought that I had empathized by showing concern for her disquiet. In a way I had I suppose, but I hadn’t delved deeper cognitively beyond the surface to try and identify the real issue.

Over the last few years I have tried to develop my empathy skills by doing this. I need to continually try to look wider.

Managing with Asperger Syndrome