Many people in life receive mixed messages. As an Aspie this is one of my hardest problems in life. Believe it or not, mixed messages can happen anywhere in life: from home, to work, to dating, and everywhere in between!
One of my biggest problems at home is that I will ask a question with both of my parents in the room and, simultaneously, I will get two different answers! To avoid this, I have taken to asking the question twice, with each parent in isolation of the other. This way, I can give equal attention to both answers.
Another example of mixed messaging can happen while dating. I used to have an ex who would frequently complain of my “immaturity” or even half-seriously wondered if I had mental challenges (more on that in another entry). Yet, she dated me for two months, and didn’t have a really good reason to stay with me, and I even asked why she was. I guess she must have somehow liked me, right? :/
A final form of mixed messaging happens with employers. I once got a bonus (yay!) and got threatened to have my pay docked (uh-oh!) in the space of what seemed like one day. I don’t actually think it was exactly a day, but it was definitely within the month, and the days were close enough to each other that I was still partying about the bonus while panicking about the pay dock! At one point I asked them why I was still working for them. The answer I got was pretty much…less than satisfactory. Still, I had a job for more than a year with them … so … that counts, right? :/
As you can tell, while others may be able to navigate mixed messaging — and to this day, I have no idea how — and while some mixed messages are avoidable, mixed messages fry my brain and make me less and less sure of myself.
So what is my advice for dealing with this particular Aspie? Well, for starters, try not to be indirect: if you are having a problem with me, let me know. Or, let me know what I can improve on instead of being sly about t. Sometimes, I need a kick in the rear to improve or get things to work out. However, don’t forget to give me a chance to fix those problems!