Tuesday, December 23, 2014

When People Do Not Respond

Most of the time my posts are for people looking for encouragement regarding their healing journey. Sometimes, though, it's important to write to individuals on the spectrum trying to navigate life by looking to the normals out there to tell them if their behavior is socially acceptable or not. 

Sometimes, though, I do not think that is a very good idea because I'm not sure they really know what is acceptable, either. 

Over the last few months, whether it be a phone call, an email, or a hand written letter, I have noticed that I am not getting a response from anyone about anything--ever. Last week, the disappointment of not hearing from anyone really put my patience to the test, but I wondered if my feelings of frustration were really valid. Maybe this was just me not understanding how the regular people in the world communicate. Maybe silence is normal. 

Well, after a little research, I learned in this New York Times article that even in the business world, unanswered emails are not at all appreciated. While some people say no response is the "new no," most feel that that this attitude is just plain rude. And honestly, it is.

What I love about the Bible is there really are no "social rules." Jesus simplified life exponentially when He said the most basic but profound thing ever: "Do unto others what you would have them do unto you." 

So, sometimes issues that come up really aren't about autism! They are just the consequences of living in a fallen world. If you are still waiting to hear from someone on an important issue and weeks or months go by without a response, inquire (briefly and politely) again. If you are no longer in need but the silence has been painful and confusing, send a brief but polite note about how the lack of response made you feel. Maybe this will make them think twice about doing the same thing to someone else. 

We are all in this life together. We all teach and we all learn. Everybody plays. 

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