Anonymous asked realsocialskills:I’m autistic, and my mom outs me against my will to anyone she has known for more than 5 minutes. How do I get her to stop?realsocialskills said:Unfortunately, I can’t think of any way to get her to stop that seems likely to work. I’m posting this in hopes that someone else has ideas.Have any of y’all succeeded at getting a parent to stop outing you?
I don’t know what your relationship with your mother is like, but maybe ask her if you can talk to her privately for a moment, and be firm but gentle, use words like “This is important, we need to talk.” Vocalize in the nicest way possible about how you feel about what she does when she introduces you to people. Think of an agreement when you want to “out” yourself as being Autistic, if you even want to out yourself.
You can even write all these feelings in a letter if talking to her face to face is too intimidating.
That kind of thing is much more effective between equals. I haven’t seen it work well as a strategy to get someone with power over you to treat you better. Have any of y’all?
I have, but not in an instance where I really need to force the issue. Like this sort of thing works when someone with power either already cares enough to listen, or can be made (by forcefulness of communication and personality) to care enough to listen. It doesn’t work when the person has power over you and either doesn’t give a crap or doesn’t get it and sort of refuses to get it.
I’m not autistic, but in similar situations sometimes I have found the only real way to change how a person with power over you is talking about you is to bring it up in front of the stranger. Which I know can be scary.
Talking or writing directly to her first is pretty important, because bringing it up in front of a stranger can be kind of embarrassing for both of you, and if she’s open to changing her behavior without much fuss then that’s the best option. Plus some parents would get mad if you surprised them by bringing it up in strange company.
But if that doesn’t work, maybe try saying “Please don’t tell other people about my [autism? medical history?], that’s really personal information.” The wording should make it very clear to both your mom and the other person that what she is doing is wildly inappropriate. It should also be said confidently.
She might be so embarrassed in front of her friend that she won’t do it again. Often having a superior be embarrassed about their own actions in front of an equal is the only way to stop them from happening. But you have to be as innocent as possible about it. If it seems like you’re doing it out of anger, then she might just get mad at you in public. It has to be serious, but like you’re just making normal conversation. Or you could cry while you say it, but I dunno, I personally hate crying in public.
Uh, I am rereading this and it seems really calculating, but I have needed to know how to do this in the past for my own well-being.
Anyway, depending on your relationship with your mom, this might be dangerous for you. It also could be really anxiety-inducing. But if you’re desperate to have her stop, and talking to her alone isn’t working, it might work for you.
Wow; that’s an interesting strategy. I can see how that could work.