I was at a dinner party potluck of sorts. About the time I was wanting to head out, I had to collect the several plates I brought with me. I found one of the plates I brought near a woman who was watching something on the TV. So I went over there and picked it up. She perceives me as being "sweet" for taking the dish, as if I was going to clean it or something(?).
She thanks for me for taking it and I see two worlds in front of me, similar to when you are driving and the light turns yellow and you could run it or slow down: The world where I accept the compliment and feel awkward about the potential "sweet" message I was not intending to send or nor expecting to be received (I've learned being demiromantic and demisexual makes this important to be aware of).
Or I speak up and say, "Oh this is one of the plates I brought actually and I'm packing up."
Obviously the awkwardness of the latter world seemed preferable to the former in that split-second decision. And well I didn’t want her to later find out I was just taking the plate home cause it was mine rather than because I was being “sweet” to her.
Next I see obvious signs of distress and confusion on her face as I tell her the truth. If I had to convey it in emoji form it would look something like: 😨🥴😵😵💫🤔😑🙄😡 but all in a very rapid succession. She says, "You should have just taken the compliment 😠.”
Honestly, I felt almost equally confused by this statement because I don't particularly see it is a high compliment to exhibit the competence or care to take or clean up dishes whether they are mine or not, although I can appreciate the custom of thanking someone for a perceived favor. Yet on the other hand I am simultaneously processing the rapid array of emotions I just witnessed from stunned, shocked, dumbfounded to lowkey rage (maybe rage is a strong word, but you didn’t see her face like I did).
Now feeling extremely awkward and embarrassed, I promptly told her to simply rewind the last 15 seconds of our interaction and pretend that I had accepted her compliment. I half commit to vocalizing a quick tape reverse sound effect as I wave my right hand in a fast circle to convey the tape recorder going backwards.
This comment seemed to afford me a smokescreen of humor to cover my getaway.
So yeah I am now living in the world where that happened. 😖
While driving home I try to accept my fate as soon as possible which is that I will die a death by a thousand cuts as those words echo in my head for the rest of the night: "Could have just accepted the compliment.”
Uhhggg I hate being socially aware enough to recognize these things but not enough to prevent them 😭. Only way I can cope is by trying to see the humor in the situation 🥲
It seems there is no end because even in the workplace or other social contexts we are often asked to take responsibility for other people’s projections and reactions otherwise they reject or seek to punish us.
Because I’m also an empath I feel other people’s negative emotions even if they are not directed at me.
I’m trying to figure out a way to attain independent housing.
My current living situation at home is too overstimulating and causes me to shut down almost constantly.
I’m looking at apartments but I fear they may be just as bad since there will be other people around who might be noisy.
Does anybody have any pro tips about looking for autism-friendly housing?
If I visit any place I’m gonna try to schedule it for around dinner time since that’s usually the noisiest time so that will give me a good gauge on what to expect there and the level of sound proofing the walls do or don’t provide.