We’re all imperfectly perfect and unique in our own way. We all have gifts and talents, strengths, and weaknesses that others don’t.
Unfortunately, some people’s individuality isn’t socially acceptable. If you’ve recently started working at a new job as an autistic individual and aren’t sure if your colleagues are being mean—or subtly alienating you—here’s what you can do about it:
Think About How Their Behavior Makes You Feel
A lot of people chalk off bullying as them being too emotional and sensitive. But if a colleague’s behavior is making you uncomfortable, there’s probably a good reason for it.
It may be difficult to identify at first, but see if you can identify the major things they’re trying to do. Do they always make a face when talking to you? Do they use a different tone when talking to you compared to when they talk with others? Do they cut you off mid-sentence when you’re talking to others?
Sometimes, people don’t notice their own behavior. They don’t realize that their actions can hurt someone. They don’t think twice about what they’re saying.
The best way to help them is by educating them. Remember, knowledge is power. When you educate someone about autism, you’re helping them learn about how they can help you feel more comfortable. It’ll also help them identify what they’re doing wrong.
Talk to your manager about conducting a presentation regarding learning disabilities and autism. This presentation will be an eye opener for individuals who know nothing about autism.
Talk with management and seek help. If there aren’t any policies regarding bullying and harassment in the workplace, offer to work with management to develop one.
Remember that bullying does not stop until you take action. Your workplace should facilitate you and you should be able to work in a safe and comfortable environment.
Policies against bullying and harassment can help create an environment that’s not just safe for you, but others as well.
As an autism awareness advocate and motivational speaker, Louis Scarantino has inspired and coached thousands with autism across the country. Growing up autistic has helped Louis observe, analyze, and create various strategies and methods to help others like him achieve their goals and dreams in life.