I have problems with reacting on time and I learned to cope with this by agreeing to everything. Someone asks if they can open a window, I automatically say “yes” because analyzing the situation in my mind takes a long time (they can but - I’m cold - I’d prefer if they didn’t - figuring out how to say it). People get impatient and repeat the question before I have the answer or assume I’m rude. Any ideas how to deal with being slow?
realsocialskills said:
That’s a tough problem. I don’t think there’s a simple or universal solution.
One thing I’ve found helpful is telling people I’m close to that I have this kind of problem, and asking them to ask questions differently. For instance “I’d like to open the window. Would that be ok, or do you want it to stay closed?” is easier for me to give a real answer to than “Can I open the window?”
Another thing is that sometimes I can buy time by repeating part of the question. This can also prompt them to clarify. For instance:
  • Them: Can I open a window?
  • Me: You want to open a window?
  • Them: Yes, I’m hot.
  • Me: I’m cold. Could you take off your jacket instead?

That way it breaks down into smaller steps, like this:

  1. I hear their question
  2. I process what the question is and verify that I’m right
  3. I figure out what I think and maybe say so

It can also sometime work even if I can’t say very many words right then. For instance:

  • Them: Can I open a window?
  • Me: A window?
  • Them: I’m hot.
  • Me: Too cold.
  • Them: You’ll be too cold?
  • Me: Other room?
  • Them: Ok, I can try working in the other room with one of those windows open.

This doesn’t always work, but it does sometimes.

What works for y’all in this situation?

into-the-weeds said:

Sometimes these tricks work more for me, but sometimes I need a lot more time (like, I don’t think I could accurately answer the window question in a practical length of time.) Communicating in writing or another text-based form can help. But ultimately the only viable work-around for this I’ve found is to form relationships where the other person understands that this is a thing, and is okay with me saying “yes” and then half an hour later saying “wait, I should have said [other thing,] can we [something else]?”

Which obviously does not work for everyone!

So, lots of sympathy, anon, and I’m going to be watching the notes on this one for ideas. This has had a pretty big impact on my life.