Rules for neurotypicals

Dear neurotypicals

(This is a sarcastic post.)

Dear neurotypicals, please observe the following rules

  1. Staying still and simply smiling when you’re happy is weird. You should flap your hands or bounce to express your joy!
  2. Don’t stare into people’s eyes when you’re talking. It’s rude and makes people feel like you’re staring into their soul which is creepily intimate.
  3. Say what you mean to say. It’s rude to drop hints or dance around a topic expecting others to read your mind.
  4. Avoid doing meaningless small talk. It’s rude to the person who has to listen to you ramble on about the weather when they have better things to do.
  5. Don’t call people unless the matter is urgent and you already tried using text or email. Phone calls are rude and intrusive.
  6. Don’t ask people how they are doing if you only want to hear a positive answer. When someone replies telling you how not okay they are, it’s rude to judge them for honestly answering your question.
  7. You should find something you are passionate about that you can spend every day doing. Something that you can’t stop thinking or talking about. Only boring people don’t have obsessive interests.
  8. It’s rude to ask for someone’s feedback and then treat them like they did something wrong when they give you their honest opinion.
  9. Stop using scented products. No one wants their nose assaulted when they walk into a room.
  10. Stop putting together big parties and get-togethers. That’s just asking for overstimulation. Group events should be kept to a limit of 4 people.
  11. It’s rude to insist on verbal communication methods when someone has expressed that they prefer written communication.
  12. Avoid changing plans last minute. It’s rude to the person who spent their entire day mentally preparing themselves for the event.

While this post is meant to be a joke, I hope it gives neurotypical and allistic people some perspective on what it feels like to be an autistic person navigating a world full of neurotypical social rules.

Imagine what it feels like to act in a way that feels natural to you, only to be constantly judged as weird or rude for doing so. This is how I feel as an autistic person living in a neurotypical world.

I constantly worry about whether I seem awkward or rude. I put on a mask to seem as “normal” as possible. Yet despite my best efforts, I often get told I make other people uncomfortable or that I am acting disrespectfully. It’s demoralizing and has taken a toll on my mental health.

The burden is often placed on autistic people to understand and cater to neurotypical needs. Neurotypical and allistic people need to put more effort into understanding and accepting autistic people.

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