Before I knew anything about Autism, I already knew that I was struggling in my life. I had problems that other people did not seem to have.
Instead of holding my tongue, I seemed to have “diarrhea of the mouth” spewing out whatever popped into my mind. (Since I have a VERY active mind, some of the things were quite pointless and often offensive.) I loved to talk just for the sake of talking – perhaps this was some sort of verbal stimming.
I tend to be very honest, even when things that I have to say can be potentially hurtful to others. Unfortunately, I often am unaware when I have offended someone unless they blow up or get angry. Even if I somehow find out that I have upset someone, normally I have no clue why the person is so upset.
I am good with rules and patterns. Buddhism has a lot of lists and I LOVE lists! Below are two lists that have been extremely helpful to me. I kept these lists in handy places as reminders, sometimes even writhing them down on sticky notes or on my arms.
- To abstain from false speech, especially not to tell deliberate lies and not to speak deceitfully.
- To abstain from slanderous speech and not to use words maliciously against others.
- To abstain from harsh words that offend or hurt others, and
- To abstain from idle chatter that lacks purpose or depth.
So before speaking I would try to mentally run through the checklist below.
- Is it true? (If it isn’t true, do not say it. If it might be true, it isn’t true, so don’t say it.)
- factual? (If it isn’t factual, do not say it. If it might be factual, it isn’t factual, so don’t say it.)
- Is it helpful? (If it isn’t helpful, do not say it. If it might be helpful, be careful about saying it.)
- Is it pleasing? (If it is helpful, true and factual and pleasing, then you may say it.)
- Is it timely? (If it is not pleasing, but helpful, true and factual, you would choose the right time to say it.)
These list are largely responsible for my “passibility” as a NT person. Without them I am sure I would not be the successful person that I am today. Additionally, there has been less drama in my life because I am not constantly offending and upsetting everyone I meet.
I don’t care as much about passing as NT anymore, but having less drama in my life has definitely been wonderful. Being able to act somewhat “normal” has allowed me to land a GREAT corporate job. Most people have no idea that I am not the “typical” corporate business woman.
That is how Buddhism has helped my career.