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.)
More about Right Speech can be found here.
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.