Gratuitous rejection is wrong, but one-sided toxic relationships are wrong too, and should not be consented to, because it is wrong to let yourself be dominated or given less than equal clout. That is good moral cause to fall out with any person who relates to you in that way and shuts off reasoned communication about it. They are the definition of a jerk.
If it happened on Facebook, the natural solution would be to unfriend. But suppose the person is another aspie in your local scene, who you share mutual contacts/friends with: and suppose these ties matter in the diplomacy of coping with a divided scene. They are among the personal ties held civilly in the part of the divided scene that you belong to. You don’t want to be seen to cut off any of those ties. Yet one character has crossed the acceptability line in being a one-sided domineering jerk. What do you do?
- You unfollow them, if you had been following. Their posts no longer intrude into your sight, and it is a personal break with taking it from them.
- You cease to post any more responses on their page.
- You post an anonymised description, exactly like this, in a place of your own choosing where other of your local scene friends are likely to see it. You could do it on here. Then it is understood that there is someone you have not taken pushing around by, and for the folks who did not see it happen, any person who habitually behaves in the offending way might be the culprit. But the culprit can drop that habit and avoid drawing any notice, and the diplomatic ties remain intact.
- If they read your post, recognise themself, and unfriend you for it, then visibly so to everyone, it was they who broke the diplomatic tie, not you.
So, think through the scenario. There is an aspie with practically a reflex habit of leaping into a judgmental temper when he is in any difference of opinion, and one-sidedly pompously imposing boundaries of impatience and of how far he is willing to listen. He frequently falls out with folks by this. An absurd mixed-up character who starts discussions yet can’t have discussions.
When you first knew him, you had been on bad terms after a hasty reaction. But he had moved past that and evolved onto good terms with you in the diplomatic bonding of your part of the scene, and decently, constructively, you had let him. His Facebook page is busy and practically all politics: as it airs his concerns you want to be seen to acknowledge them not to ignore it. Yours is less so but does some politics, and you have found enough commonality of view to often share posts from each other, for quite a long time, very amicably. Right up to yesterday that was happening. Then suddenly –
He posts a story shared from “BBC London Calling “unofficial”” (which is not the BBC), It quotes the religious and God feelings of several politicians who are unpopular with trendy opinion, of both right and soft left, and that suggests it is bad for politicians to be religious. An overly sweeping anti-religion argument. “Either we have a wrong God or those people are completely mad and we should ask whether we should avoid to elect religious leaders or not” – clearly arguing against ALL RELIGIOUS LEADERS. You reply, and it goes:
- Does this apply to Martin Luther King, Desmond Tutu, Keir Hardie? Or, as they never actually ran for head of government, would it apply if they did?
- Sorry, but for once I consider your question ridiculous.
This matter is clearly about a certain type of manipulative career politician.
Dr King, Tutu and Hardie do not quite fit into that category.
You have the response which I have chosen to give you and I refuse to answer which I consider somewhat ridiculous.
- The post is clearly about that type, yes, but from them it derived + posed a blanket question about all religious politicians. Hence I disagree with that leap of reasoning.
- You may disagree as you wish.
But, I am not going to be drawn into one of your absolutist discussions this morning.
Yet you have never had long one-to-one discussions about anything! Never before has he failed to be aware, so he clearly is aware, that the culture of posting comments on Facebook is that you usually post a one- off thought comment on a post, which just sits there and need not produce any discussion at all. The poster or the page host is under no expectation to reply further and cause a discussion to develop. So both of his replies were unnecessary. By silence he could have preserved amity and avoided the discussion he did not want to have.
Instead, he leapt straight in to this unfriendly rude language about refusing to reply. That is not keeping on good terms. Why so defensive to a question that expressed the commenter’s thought, that he was not on any spot to have to reply to? The uncaringness for good terms, shown by the insulting confrontationality of “I refuse” in front of all the page’s readers, is the way you have seen him relate to many folks: it rings with weary inevitability. It’s one-sided: you know he would never take it said to him.
( Indeed, 10 days after this happens, he posts an objection to himself getting treated in a similar way by the mod of a science page! for being sceptical of a story on it. )
You might, for peace’s sake, post no more after this – but you have been absurdly accused of reading wrongly what any reader can see you read rightly – that the original post was against all religious politicians. So you post once more to defend yourself this. This would be a good moment for him drop it, for peace’s sake and to stop diggjng into a hole. Instead, you get back more slagging in public, you get this high handed rudely one-sided “I am not going to…”, and charge that there exists “your absolutist discussions”, from a guy who has just posted an absolutist pro-abortion post on the US Supreme Court and whose posts often declare moral red lines about racism and world current affairs. No one but himself had chosen to get drawn in instead of leave both post and original comment existing in peaceful silence.
INSTANT UNFOLLOW. That’s a page where the terms of taking part are unacceptably toxic and one-sided, where it no longer aids any civil ties or diplomacy to take part, indeed works against them. You sweep it out if sight. Doing your best as described to keep all diplomatic ties undisturbed by it, you sweep it out of sight. You cease to let it intrude on your autistic scene life with those of its number who do care about folks getting along.
6 Sep 2018