Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships 5: The Rut

In my last reading of The Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships, by Temple Grandin and Sean Barron, I finished Act One of Temple's presentation and began Act One of Sean's presentation.

Temple states that many of her peers with Asperger's have a defeatist mentality, as they suffer from laziness, bitterness, low self-esteem, a sense of entitlement, and refusal to take responsibility for their own actions and "the consequences of those actions", as they blame others instead (page 49). I don't think that Temple is going entirely to the extreme of saying that people with Asperger's need to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, for she supports helping people with Asperger's to learn social skills and discover talents that they can use in a profession. But she agrees, and I concur with her on this, that there is a place for personal responsibility.

Sean opens his presentation by talking about an incident in his childhood, when he had a crush on his teacher and was deeply disappointed when she was engaged to be married. Sean says that he then gave his teacher the silent treatment in order to punish her, but she was clueless about why he looked so mad at the world. Sean considers this to have been a turning point in his life. I do not know why, but perhaps it was because that set the stage for him to find a constructive way to deal with his resentment.

Both of these passages stood out to me because it's easy to get inside of a rut. The question is: How can you cope with that rut, or find a way out of it?

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