A sense of justice, autism in the workplace

In the big long lists of Autism characteristics it mentions having a strong sense of justice. This is something I’ve always experienced and can get me into trouble.

It popped into my head after yet another meeting in work where I felt I’d gone too far after the event. I felt a particular decision would leave people out and went about making my point over and over again in probably what would seem to be an aggressive way. I could not allow my support of a decision and didn’t think anyone else should either. Sometimes taking such a black and white stance can be a good thing, but I am often left feeling sad and guilty that I couldn’t just deal with the situation in a more measured way or just agree for the sense of peace on something minor. 

I can’t abide rule breaking and would call anyone out on it. This has in the past led to me upsetting colleagues. If I feel an error has been made or something said wrongly I immediately have to correct it, which can involve interrupting someone. In the moment it’s as if I have no control. In the past when I’ve had friends I would easily write off a friendship if I felt someone had done something wrong. I find small talk in work hard as it feels like I am unjustifiably wasting time, when I should be working. The only time work colleagues have ever had a genuine impression of me is where we’ve happened to co-inside lunch breaks or I’ve arranged a lunch time walk. Without these instances they’d just think I was a hateful, antisocial person. It took me a number of years to even realise that sharing my interests during non-work time might make the situation a little better.

In life if I don’t get an answer to a question I will doggedly pursue it until I do. Even if it’s something really minor I will keep asking over and over to the point of frustration of others. One small point of an email not answered is enough to drive me to a raging fury.

I have to be careful online as I can easily get into arguments with others. In trying to be helpful and correct someone I can go to far and upset them or others. Facebook groups with multiple posts can be tricky ground as I’ll get annoyed if I feel people are doing things which don’t match my rules. I’ve left the few groups which generate this reaction, and unfollowed the friends who post things which press my buttons.

On the more positive side of things I’ve written an account which was used to challenge a problem in a benefits process and successfully tackled issues in my community which have improved things for others. I will also back colleagues who I feel have been wronged and offer support in resolving problems as I have a good attention to detail, and a good memory for signposting to information. It is however hard to build relationships with people when they see you as argumentative, ‘nit picky’, blunt or just difficult.

I’d be interested to hear how others manage this, particularly in the work place.





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