PSA I just learned for fellow autistics who struggle with comforting people who are upset:

Emotional mirroring is very important to allistics and can be very influential when they are in a heightened emotional state. If you struggle to calm people who are upset, or if people don't believe you are sincere when you try to comfort them, make an effort to mimic the person's emotional state in your facial expression. To allistics, just looking equally sad, frustrated, angry, ect. can be perceived as evidence that you are empathizing with them and make them more receptive to your efforts to comfort them.

Restlessness and Agitation

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

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  • furry.wolf


    Yea, but I do this and people just think I'm mimicking them😥

  • Cloudlight


    Are you mimicking their tone and actions as well? Typically only facial expression is mirrored in empathetic reaction, so anything more can be seen as intentional and potentially mocking. Allistics are typically very emotionally sensitive already, so in a heightened emotional state it's very important that your actions appear natural to them or it can be perceived potentially malicious (assuming the person is not aware of or willing yo accommodate the fact that you are autistic)

    • furry.wolf


      that makes sense, thnx👍

  • Chirp


    I've also found that the 'Do you want advice, comfort, or a listening ear' method works well, but only if you dont ask them outright. Gently probing to see what they respond to will help you figure out what they need, even if they don't know it themselves. I usually find that listening until they're done talking, then sympathizing, and offering a small amount of advice is the best order. If they don't want / respond to help, then phrases like 'Wow, I can't believe that happened' is a good triple whammy for sympathy, validating their feelings, and prompting more discussion

  • FoxyFox


    Hey, when you're back, I have always tried to act like everyone else but I can't get eye contact correct. I always accidentally stare. I also forget to breathe sometimes. What could that be?

    • Cloudlight


      I think that might just be a circumstance of having too many things to focus on at once, so none of them are accomplished well. There's no need to force yourself to make "perfect" eye contact, often people don't notice as long as you're looking in the general face area. I lipread a lot bc of hearing issues and most people have said that they don't notice at all. Pay close attention to your limits and don't force yourself to prioritize other people's comfort or "blending in" over your own needs and comfort!

  • grufromminionsirl


    i usually just stare at people like a deer in headlights and they usually get more upset so thanks

☝ This content is generated by our users and it is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision

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