What turns me off (part 2)

I realize that the world is not a perfect place, and I realize that every person has their own quirks, but I wanted to talk about four more types of people who I can’t stand being around. If you remember from my part one blog, I mentioned five characteristics that I can’t stand about people, and they were self centered, easily distracted, nosy, pessimistic and touchy feely. The funny thing is that kids with Asperger’s Syndrome do show all of those characteristics, including the ones I am going to mention on this blog. There are people like this everywhere, and best way to deal with them is to avoid being around them as much as possible. Like I said in my first blog about this, I am not purposely trying to offend you, it’s just that there are people who do this all the time, and many of them don’t even realize that they are doing it, and that they don’t understand that these characteristic are what draw people away from you.

1.) Bossy people:

No matter where you go in the world, there will be people who are (in my opinion) the most difficult to deal with, and they are the bossy ones. No matter what the situation is, they will always try to tell you what to do. They always like to think that they are in control and they run the show. They are most likely the ones that don’t have that many friends because nobody wants to be around them. If you remember from my last blog, I talked about one of the students in my electronics class at Lenape Tech. We were working on the windmill that is going to power the greenhouse for Lenape’s Natural Resources Technology class. The teacher picked a few students and asked them to move some cinder blocks and put them in the large pile that was outside the greenhouse. They already had about five students that were helping, and I didn’t think that they needed anymore. Anyway, the student lashed out at me and said “Derek, get off your ass and help us move these blocks”. I simply refused and told him that he doesn’t have the right to stand there and tell me what to do. The only thing I recommend you do with people like this is to just sit there and ignore them. Being bossed around by people really makes a person’s anxiety level high, and makes their self esteem very low. I will always refuse to work with anyone who stands there and orders me around. I don’t know anybody that enjoys being around those kind of people.

2.) Cockiness:

There are people like this everywhere you go, the overconfident arrogant ones that are not really worth anything. One characteristic that cocky people display is self-centeredness. They are full of themselves and they seem to enjoy bringing another person down to make them feel bad. If you are not like them, they will either ignore you and pretend you don’t exist, or they will find something rude and derogatory to say about you just to make them look cool in-front of the crowd. High school and college are the places where you will experience these kind of people the most, but there are plenty of them out in the real world as well. I have three possible suggestions for dealing with someone like this, and they are all different. If this person is treating other people rudely and not you, I recommend just sitting there and pretending they aren’t there.

I’ve had to listen to these people ever since I started junior high, and when you hear them say such nasty things you just want to punch them in the face, right? Second, if they do say anything to you, I recommend that you either use humor or make a cocky comment back. If you love vocabulary, I recommend that you use big words so that you will confuse them. This very well could make them realize how stupid they are. Using violence will only cause the situation to escalate, and you will be the one that gets in trouble. I’ve made that same mistake. During my sophomore year in high school, I was in Freeport’s TV Production crew. I was working on camera, I accidentally bumped the camera when we were taping the morning announcements for the next day. The director, who was a senior blurted out “Derek, what the fuck is your problem”? I then had it with people talking to me rudely and pushing me around, so I threw the headset I was using on the floor and sat down. Luckily, it didn’t hit the floor hard enough and it didn’t cause any damage to the equipment. I refuse to work with anybody who is going to talk to me that disrespectfully. Anyone who shows disrespect toward me will get disrespected back, it’s as simple as that.

3.) Dishonest people

If you remember my blog titled “Four Important Qualities of  A Best Friend”, I had honesty as one of them. Not telling the truth is a very bad thing to do, and people will most likely find out if you don’t. They might not find out right away, but they will eventually. When I am a truly friends with someone, I tell them like it is. I do that because I want them to listen to me and know that I care about them. A true friend listens to another person’s feelings, and they are honest and tell you the truth when they talk to you. For example, if I had a friend that was going to a party where there were illegal drugs, I would want them to listen to me and I would try to convince them into not going to the party. Teenagers often don’t think before they do something, and sometimes their actions can get them into trouble with the law. I also can’t stand people that lie constantly, and when they know you can tell that they are lying. There are two thing that can make a person think you are lying, they are their tone of voice and their facial expressions. A lot of times when you ask them a question, they will nervously answer and use filler words such as uh, um and like. Their facial expressions will look nervous, and they will try to convince you that they are telling the truth when they really are not. The only piece of advice I can give to you about liars is to never trust them for anything whatsoever.

4.) Judgmental people:

Every single person on this whole planet is different, which is a very good thing. If everybody in the world was the same, Earth would be a pretty boring planet to live on. I want to ask you one question, when you see a person that demonstrates odd behaviors, what are the first things that go through your mind? If you go back to my last blog that talked about how social isolation hurt me when I was in school, I wanted to be alone during recess and lunch. I really hated the fact that people were not like me, and that they always made judgmental comments toward me. People automatically assume that when they see someone who sits alone that they want to be away from people and that they want to stay in their own little world. You never know what is going through that person’s mind when you first see them, maybe they have been mistreated by people and are afraid to open up to them, just like I am. Judgmental people are the ones that want to give every single person a stereotype. It is very rude to judge somebody for their habits, whatever they may be. For example, if I had a friend that was a drug addict or an alcoholic, I would want to try my best to help them with their problem, and to accept them for who they are. Drugs and alcohol are very difficult habits to break, and they can take years before they become clean. I have been around people like that many times, and it makes you feel very sick inside listening to some of the things that people say. High school and college are not the only places where you will find these people, they are just about everywhere you go. Parents need to teach their kids to not be judgmental about people and to respect and accept them for who they are. They need to teach them to help their friends with their habits, whatever they may be.

Before I go, I wanted to say one thing. I am not trying to sound hypocritical in this blog, I have caught myself doing all four of these things. Every single person in the world has done at least one of these things when they are around people, and they are just afraid to be honest and admit it. Think about how these characteristics can cause people to run away from you instead of be around you.

Thank you very much for reading this, and I will be back for another entry next weekend!

Please check out these other blogs:




Social Isolation Hurts

The high school years are difficult for anybody. Teens face the difficulty of figuring out who they are, and have to deal with the peer pressure coming from dating, sex, alcohol and drugs. Being a student in high school, I have noticed that parents do not teach their kids respect and understanding others as much as they should. I have been a target of bullying and gossip throughout my entire life. Ever since I was in kindergarten, not a day goes by without having to listen to somebody point and laugh at me, or make a rude and judgmental comment about me. Because of this, I don’t really have that many friends in school. Many times, teenagers act like this because they want to look cool around their friends. They think that friends will accept them better when they make another person look bad for no clear apparent reason.

If you remember on my two blogs titled “do social skills groups help all students on the spectrum”, I mentioned my odd, obsessive interests that changed throughout the years. During my preschool and toddler years, I had a huge interest in fans. When my parents would take me out places and I would see a fan, I would perseverate about it. I remember my mother telling me one day that I would always stop and stare at ceiling fans and refrigerator fans. If you recall from the same blog I mentioned earlier, there was one incident where my mother lost track of me when we were shopping at a grocery store. She was shopping in an aisle that was on the other side of the store and tried to ask me a question but I wasn’t there. She then looked around the entire store for me, and then she saw me staring at the fans inside the refrigerator. My mother also said that when she found me, I was staring at the fans for about 30 minutes.

As I got older, my interests in fans faded away. When I was in third grade, I became fixated with fire drills. Our school was completely remodeled, and we got a new fire alarm system. Ever since the first time I heard the alarm, I would constantly talk about it with around the other students. I didn’t even realize that the students have had enough with me talking about them until they finally said “Derek, stop talking about fire drills already”. My limited interests also caused some bullying when I was in elementary school. During recess when most of the students were running around and playing with their friends, I would always walk around the playground alone. I realized that nobody really liked me, and that they wouldn’t be interested in playing with me during recess anyway. My parents talked to the teachers and explained that they wanted me to join in activities with my peers, but I simply didn’t want to because they didn’t like me. If you remember from my blog about understanding others, there was a student at Computing Workshop with a more severe case of Autism than I have, and he also had Down Syndrome. He used a special computer called a dynavox to communicate. He had a set of beads that his mother gave him to play with, and during free time he would always sit in the corner and twirl them around. He was in his own little world when he was sitting and playing with those beads, and this student’s parents would always complain about his teachers taking the beads away from him as a punishment for not paying attention to the teacher. The teacher would not let him play with the beads during free time, and he didn’t know what to do with himself. The staff members at Computing Workshop also seemed to think that this particular student used playing with the beads as a method of dealing with stress, and when an adult that doesn’t understand his diagnosis takes that away from him, he won’t know what to do with himself. That is when he will start being uncooperative and not listen. I can identify with this student when I think about my experiences during elementary school, I was in my own little world when I would walk alone during recess. I didn’t pay attention to anybody, and nobody payed any attention to me. Because my parents wanted me to “play” with my peers during recess, my teachers would try to force me into doing it. There were times when I would try to resist to throwing a football with another student, or playing on a jump rope, but my teachers would grad me by my shoulder and push me into doing it. Back when I was in elementary school, I didn’t really have the coordination to catch footballs or play jump rope.

My coordination with catching a ball and participating in team sports have gotten better over the years. The majority of kids in high school should know that making fun of someone because they aren’t gifted at sports, or for any other reason is not acceptable. You have one of those arrogant jerks in every crowd, and the best thing to do is to ignore them. I still do have coordination issues now, and I have been around people who do not understand my Aspergers and that don’t have the patience to cooperate with me. I had to deal with one of those people recently in my electronics class at Lenape Tech. We were putting together a windmill that is going to power the greenhouse that belongs to Lenape’s Natural Resources shop. I can’t remember exactly what we were doing, but it was one of those activities that required strong hand/eye coordination, which is also required for playing most team sports. I didn’t quite understand what we were doing, and the teacher was not in the classroom at the time. We were working in groups, and a student very inappropriately lashed out and had a fit with me. He said something like “God fucking dammit Derek, I can’t believe you don’t know how to do this. You are so stupid, damn junior”. Yes, I realize this student didn’t understand my lack of coordination, but there was no excuse for him to lash out at me like that. After the whole incident, I walked away and asked if I could work with another student or have the teacher give me an alternate task to complete for the day. I should not have to deal with somebody that is going to treat me so rudely.

Because of all the social isolation I have been through throughout the years, I still have a difficulty trusting people. When I meet a new person, I have the tendency to think that they are going to try to make fun of me. It’s hard for anyone to get out of thinking that, especially for people like me. If you remember me mentioning how Mike, my old therapist would try to shove social skills down my throat. From my perspective, he seemed to think that depression and anxiety are things that you can just “snap out” of right away. When he would push me to the limit by putting me in social situations where I felt very uncomfortable, I would resist to it. I don’t like it when people put me on the spot, especially when it’s in a group of peers that I don’t know very well. It has always been difficult for me to deal with people like Mike who are “in your face” about things. If you are one of those kind of people, I will try my best to avoid being around you. It will take time for me to develop social skills that I am going to need for life, and hopefully they will help me deal with all of the rude people that I will have to be around. Those kind of people are everywhere you look, and you have to try your best to avoid them. If people are not willing to get to know me as a friend, then it is their loss, not mine. I have no need to worry about people that want nothing to do with me, they are the ones with the social skills problems, not me.

I am willing to be friends with any person who will accept me for who I am, and that will not try to change anything about me. I am beginning to have a better understanding of who are my real friends and who are not. If you are trying to trick me into believing that you are trying to be nice to me when you are really not, I will eventually find out. It hurts to be rejected by people, and it also hurts to be “set up” by them. I don’t really care if I don’t have a whole bunch of friend to talk to, one or two is enough. As I have said before, “quality is better than quantity”. If I do ever lose a close friend, than I will move on and try to find someone else to be friends with. It’s not my problem if you want to be friends with me, it’s yours. Forget about all of the people that want nothing to do with me, I’ve got other things to worry about. Graduation is coming up next year, and these people won’t mean a god damn thing to me.

Before I go, this is a message to all teens and young adults. Always remember to stay true to yourself, and don’t ever change. I have had to deal with countless people that have rubbed it into my face that they want me to be like they are, when I don’t want to do that. There will be people in life that act that way, and the only thing you should do is to just sit there and ignore them. My “social status” with my peers in high school doesn’t mean anything to me. I hope you enjoyed this, and that you will take all of this advice, and share it with anyone who may need it in the future.

Have you ever been dumped by a friend?

The teenage years are supposed to be the “best years of your life”, right? If you recall from my first entry about my experiences in high school, the high school years have been the most miserable time for me. I spent most of my junior high and high school years being ignored, teased and labeled. People really don’t understand how it feels to be ignored and labeled so much. Because of all the labeling and teasing people have given me throughout the years, it has made it very difficult to find that one true friend that wouldn’t ever bring me down and accept me for the kind of person that I am. In elementary school, people really didn’t seem to notice that I was “different” than everybody else. My parents would make arrangements with my friends parents to get together. When the middle school years came along, people started to avoid me and notice that I was different than everybody else. All of the people that I was friends with in elementary school seemed to “forget” about me. Social cliques started to develop, and I was the person that didn’t really fit in with anybody.

If you remember from my blog about ending friendships, I was friends with a kid named Jason in elementary school. During the weekends, we would always go to each others houses, sit and talk to each other during recess and lunchtime and talk on the phone when we had nothing else to do. Junior high then came along, and the social cliques started to develop. The students seemed to start noticing that I was different than everybody else was, which contributed to why they started talking to me rudely and making fun of me behind my back. The first thing I noticed right off the bat when I would talk to him was that he started hanging out with the people that would always label me and spread rumors about me. There were times that I notice when his new friends were around me, they would start making fun of me and spreading rumors about me when I was in the same room as he was. He never really stood up for me when they did it either, he just sat there and ignored the whole thing. The second thing that I noticed happening was when I would try to have a converstaion with him, he would try to keep it as short as he possibly could. When I would ask him questions, he would answer me with only one or two word responses. At first I thought that maybe he was just in a bad mood and didn’t really feel like talking to me, then I started to realize that maybe he wasn’t that interested in being friends with me. I spent the rest of my junior high school years asking the same question “Why would he ignore me and hang out with the students that made fun of me and labeled me?”

As I have mentioned before, people sometimes just don’t show that interest in being friends with you anymore, even when you have been friends with them for a long time. People change, and sometimes it’s for the worse. Since I am no longer at Freeport, I don’t see this person as often as I used to. When I do see this person, I think about how we used to be friends in elementary school and how we would always talk on the phone when we had nothing better to do. I’m glad I don’t have to see this person anymore, because anytime I do the memories of how he dumped me come back and haunt me.

Because of I’ve been set up by friends in the past, I find it very difficult to trust people. When I meet a new person, I tend to worry and think that they might have something against me and try to avoid me, or they might try to make fun of me and make me feel bad about myself. I am happy that I have friends like Aaron from my Computing Workshop summer camp, but I do wish that we had more time to spend with each other. Because of the labeling, teasing and loneliness that I have experienced in high school, I am very exited about graduating. On my I Google page, I have a countdown until the possible date for my high school graduation in 2011. One thing that I have learned from past friendships is that if they don’t want to be my friend, that it is their problem, not mine. That’s the attitude that I will always have with someone that wants nothing to do with me.It may take time to get over a lost friendship, but I will get over it eventually. I wish that people would have that same attitude as me, because it makes no sense to mope about a friendship that ended a long time ago. I will most likely never see these people again after I graduate from high school, so why the hell should I even bother worrying about them? Even though Aaron is busy, I am certain that he is still my good friend. One or two close friends is all I really need, someone left a comment on one of my other blogs that stated “quality is better than quantity”.

I really can’t come up with anything else to say about this, I hope you liked it and I should be back to write again next week!