Have you ever been so frustrated that you can’t do something right? Have you wanted to give up? Have you ever held a grudge against somebody because of something they did wrong? Both of these rules are in Temple Grandin’s book titled “Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships. I wanted to incorporate both of these rules into one blog, because they tie in together. First off, the old saying goes “Life Is About Making Mistakes”, I remember the many times that I have gotten frustrated about not being able to do something right, or because of the mistakes that other people have made when they are around me. One of the simple facts of life is that you need to learn from the mistakes you have made, and other peoples behavior is beyond your control. The thing about this is that you need to learn how to forgive both yourself and other for the mistake was made, and sometimes it is not easy. This is true regardless of your relationship with the person.
I can remember when I was in either third or fourth grade, I had severe troubles with Math. Those were the years we were starting to cover all of the aspects of multiplication and division. When I would study my multiplication and division facts, I had absolutely no problem with them, but when it came to the long division and multi-step multiplication, I never seemed to be able to learn the concepts. When I would sit at my desk and do my homework, I got so frustrated about the fact that I couldn’t do the problems, that I would just go into a meltdown. My fourth grade teacher, Mr. Gaillot would give us these practice workbook pages for homework every night, and they contained about 25-30 problems total. That is quite a few math problems for an elementary student to have to do for homework, and especially for a student that is having difficulties learning the concepts. Teachers think that giving their students an abundant amount of problems to do for homework every single night will help a learning support student learn the concepts even better, when it will overwhelm them even more. There were nights that I wouldn’t even do the assignment. Mr. Gaillot had a policy where if you didn’t do your homework, you were given a homework slip that was to be signed by your parents, and you had to stay in for recess for the day. This policy was started after a few students that slacked off and did not do their homework, and I was one of those students. Back then, I dreaded it when he would do that, but now I realize that he did this because he really cared about all of his students and wanted them to try their hardest and succeed. Gaillot has also been the coach of Freeport’s football team for many years, and he mentioned one of his students that played on his team when I was in his fourth grade class. He was talking about how the student decided to drop out of high school because of failing grades. This student obviously was too afraid to ask for help, and thought that he was hopeless. I felt the same way back when I was in elementary school, I excelled in all of my classes, except for math. From fourth grade on, I always struggled in that class. I probably always will be frustrated with math, and I will try my best to take the initiative to ask someone for help when I need it. I made the mistake of not asking for help when I needed it, and refusing to do the assignment all-together. You absolutely have to ask if you need it, because if you don’t, you won’t do the assignment correctly and you will get a failing grade. Down the road, if you refuse to do something that you don’t understand on the job, you could end up being fired, plain and simple. Dr. Grandin mentions that you will have to deal with a bad boss at least once in your life, and that there are two types of “bad bosses”. These types of bosses are jerks who all the employees hate, and bosses who are nice to neurotypicals and don’t like aspies. Back to the point, you have to tell your boss that you need help, because they won’t realize it if you don’t. If they give you a hard time about asking for help, then you can talk to their boss about it. There is no need to deal with a person like that.
Now, I want you to put yourself in this kind of situation. You and a group of friends are out at a local restaurant. Your friend asks you to buy a few alcoholic drinks, and you are hesitant at first. You then give in and order one, and drink it. One of your friends is pushing the limit and going way too far, and they start acting totally out of their character. Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse, that same person makes a nasty, derogatory comment about you. How do you react to it? Do you ignore them? Do you express your anger and throw a punch at them? Those are the two most common decisions people will make in a situation similar to this, but there are other options. If you throw a punch at the person, somebody could get hurt or killed. If you ignore them, the problem could escalate even more. About a week passes after the incident, and you hold a grudge against the person that made the derogatory comment about you. Now let’s imagine another thing about this situation, this person also happens to be your best friends girlfriend. There are many ways to approach a situation like this, you could hate your friend for dating this girl, and hate the girl for the nasty comment she made about you, or you could talk to your friend about the situation. I would most definitely recommend talking to your friend about the situation. You have a voice, so use it and tell your friend your feelings about the situation. But, do use caution about your tone of voice and the words you use. Always approach them in a confident, but polite way. Talking to them rudely will most likely jeopardize your friendship with the person completely. And don’t ever say anything derogatory about their girlfriend either, that is another thing that can cause you to loose your friendship with them. If the friend is rude to you, then I would most move on and find another person to be friends with. If he wants to date the girl that made a nasty comment about you, then that is his decision. I have said it before, and I will say it again, if someone doesn’t want to be your friend, it is their problem, not yours. I would just forgive the person, move on and find another person to be friends with. There are better people to be friends with than this jerk, so why should you worry about them? You are better of without them anyway.
As I talked about in the first or second paragraph, life is about making mistakes. People will learn from mistakes, and they hopefully won’t make them again. I have learned from my mistakes of not doing my homework, and I will never do it again. Your friends should also learn from the mistakes that they have made. If you want to be my friend, it’s okay if you make a mistake now and then. If you are really my friend than I will forgive you, but it may take time to do it. However, if my friend makes a bad decision, they better be willing to listen to me about my feelings. I am an honest person when I am around my friends, and I will tell you like it is when you are doing something that could get you into trouble in the future. The person probably doesn’t realize that their behavior is going to cause that to happen, so you need to be honest and tell them like it is. But remember to do it in a respectable manner, they will turn away from you if you don’t.
I really hope you liked this blog, and that you will take this advice in the future.