sharing

Women may assume other women have menstrual products and painkillers

If you are a woman (or others think you are a woman), women may occasionally ask you for pads, tampons, or over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen.

This is because most women menstruate, and periods aren’t always entirely predictable. People who menstruate can end up bleeding through their pants if they get their period unexpectedly and don’t have a pad/tampon. Pads and tampons are often not readily available (most bathrooms don’t have vending machines anymore).

Often, the only way to get a pad/tampon quickly is to borrow one from someone else who uses them. Since most women menstruate, often the best option can be to discretely ask a woman within a certain age range if she has one you can use. Since most women have been in this situation, most women are willing to share occasionally (with the expectation that others will share if they need them). So, if people think that you are a woman, they’re likely to assume that you have and are willing to share. 

Similarly, many women have migraines or cramps, and carry ibuprofen or other over-the-counter painkillers in order to deal with it. For whatever reason, it is often not readily available (office vending machines occasionally have it, but not usually). Being caught without ibuprofen when you need it is really miserable — and most women who experience menstrual pain have been in that situation and wouldn’t wish it on anyone else. 

So, it’s generally socially acceptable for women to ask each other for ibuprofen, and most women are willing to share from time to time. (So long as it’s not a situation where someone is regularly mooching off of them and not reciprocating.)

Tl;dr Most women of a certain age menstruate, and most people who menstruate are occasionally caught without menstruation-related things they need. (Eg: pads, tampons, ibuprofen). Often these things are not readily available, so most women share with each other from time to time. If you’re a woman or others assume you’re a woman, they may also assume that you have these things.

Borrowing computers

darziel:

realsocialskills:

Hi… I have a suggestion I’d really like to see: a post with more about people asking to borrow your computer and similar issues and why this can be a problem. Thanks for the blog! :)
realsocialskills answered: 
Here’s how I’d explain it to people who are inclined to expect to have the use of other people’s computers:
Some people experience their computer/iPad/phone/etc as part of their body and find losing control over these things intensely distressing. Asking to borrow a computer can be like asking to borrow part of someone’s body.
Even for people who do not feel that way - Computers and things are expensive. Some people don’t like to share them, because they depend on them heavily and wouldn’t be able to afford to replace them.
Don’t put people in the position of having to tell you they don’t trust you not to break their computer. There’s no polite way to say that.
It can be ok to ask, but it’s important not to assume that the answer will be yes. And if you’re anticipating the need for a computer during the day, plan ahead rather than putting others on the spot.
For instance:
  • If you know you’ll need to look things up during the day, and you also know that Bob always carries an iPad, don’t just assume that you’ll be able to use his. 
  • Either ask in advance, or bring your own
  • If you’re going to need a computer for a presentation or to show a video or something, it’s very important not to assume you’ll be able to use someone else’s.
  • Ask ahead of time, and take no for an answer if someone says no
  • Putting people on the spot pressures them to say yes even if it’s not really ok with them
  • Because it’s likely that everyone will think it’s their fault for ruining your presentation if they don’t agree to share their computer
  • Don’t do this to people.
Some people are happy to occasionally allow friends and coworkers to use their computers. Other people aren’t. It’s ok to be unwilling to share, and the reasons why are no one else’s business. Don’t pressure people into doing things with their computer that they’re not really ok with.

darziel said

It’s also worth mentioning that computers can store a lot of data about a person. Some examples are stored searches, or autocorrect suggestion, or a browser displaying frequently visited websites. These things can be cleared usually and/or turned off, but some people like having these features and if they need to clear those things they will need advance notice.

hellolittledeer:

Social skills for autonomous people: hedgeclippers: Social skills for autonomous people: Borrowing…

hedgeclippers:

Social skills for autonomous people: Borrowing computers

realsocialskills:

Hi… I have a suggestion I’d really like to see: a post with more about people asking to borrow your computer and similar issues and why this…

hellolittledeer said:

I know the fact that I make visual art with my computer has made it come to seem like an extension of my brain.  It’s not difficult to imagine others feeling this way.  Most of the people I know have good computer boundaries, but some people may not even know what is and is not a problem.  A few years back a friend’s partner asked to look something up on my computer and I said “sure,” unaware myself that they wouldn’t even process the firefox icon as being an internet browser.  Fifteen minutes of Internet Explorer browsing later, I was stuck with spyware and general weirdness that resulted in a complete re-install of Windows.  I’ll take partial credit for that mess, as I could have hopped over and opened firefox, but at the same time I wonder *how* they could have done all that while trying to look up an address on google maps and checking e-mail.

hedgeclippers:

Social skills for autonomous people: Borrowing computers

realsocialskills:

Hi… I have a suggestion I’d really like to see: a post with more about people asking to borrow your computer and similar issues and why this can be a problem. Thanks for the blog! :)
realsocialskills answered:
Here’s how I’d explain…

Hedgeclippers said:

I think it’s worth noting that some people are willing to look things up for you, or send a link or something, as long as they’re the one in control of the computer/tablet/whatever. So if someone asks to borrow your computer, you could suggest looking it up yourself (if you’re willing to). If you’re the one asking, instead of asking to use their computer, maybe ask them to look something up for you (or send a link, or go to a website. Or whatever it is).

This is also assuming that the computer borrowing is for something simple and that won’t take long. I think it’s probably best to assume that unless you’re very close to someone that you can’t borrow their computer for more than 10 minutes or so.