I'm sure you know what to do when your aspie is in a mood. Yes, leave them alone but also be there when they come out of the mood and need you again. Simple.
But when friends and family hear about the mood they cannot help themselves: the advice comes, the super-knowledge borne from lots of experience with non-aspie people. The ability to see past everything you know to what they think is true.
So, with that in mind, here is a helpful list to pass on to these would-be mood-breakers.
How to deal with an aspie in a mood.
Tell them to snap out of it.Go on, I dare you. I'm just going to be over here by the fridge, pretending I'm not with you.
Did it work? No, um. Well, how about not telling them to snap out of it? Maybe ask if you can help instead? Or just come over here by the fridge.
Ask them what is wrong.and don't stop asking until they tell you.
Well, this is bound to work. I mean, if you find out what is wrong, then you can fix it, right? Or you can tell them they are being silly and worrying about nothing and it will all be fine.
Tell them how bad you have it.This is a winner, this one. When an aspie is into the deepest fugue and would rather chew plaster board than talk to someone, what really helps is being told how the other person has it worse. Yes, please explain to someone who struggles with empathy how your feelings are going to make their feelings go away.
Make jokes!Jolly 'em out of it. It always works on cousin Gloria's little Eric when he's trying to climb into the potted plant, so why wouldn't it work on my aspie when they're behaving like Eric? Being joked to when you're in a mood is a great way to break the atmosphere and have everyone laughing their faces off.
Honestly, does it work with you when you feel bad? Do you want someone to come along and jab you in the arm and start telling you something 'funny'?
Bring tea and cake.Best idea you've had all day. This one might possibly work, if you count an aspie arm snaking out, retrieving the cake and snaking back into the room again a success. Otherwise, let us just drink the tea and eat the cake while we wait for the mood to diminish. That way I won't have to listen to you telling me how I should be dealing with my aspie as your mouth will be full of cake.
Have some more cake, why don't you.
Explain how granny would have dealt with it in 1952.Oh yes, this is always a good one. Aware that your own advice is waning, you turn to granny's solid, no-nonsense approach to child-rearing which made sure nothing like Aspergers would have got in the way and no mood of any kind would be tolerated.
Except that granny was probably bringing up half a dozen small children all at once and she didn't know about Aspergers and how do you know she didn't sit quietly and wait for her child to come round from their dark place?
And assuming granny knew exactly what to do with wayward children does not mean she would have know what to do with my aspie. If granny was here, I'm sure she could give me a hand, probably in putting the kettle on and brining more cake.
Ask what's wrong with my aspie.Go on, ask what's wrong with them and don't mean you want to know why they're upset. Let's all pretend you don't know my aspie has Aspergers or you don't realise what Aspergers can look like. Let's imagine no one explained Aspergers to you.
Let's just make like this mood is all about my aspie being an awkward beggar who has no reason to be upset. Shall we?
Tell them not to be selfish.One of my favourites, this. My aspie is coming to us today from a dark, cold, grey-lit place of broken dreams where everything has crashed away from them all at once. Their mood makes us all miserable, I know, but their misery comes from within and has nothing to do with upsetting other people on purpose.
It is not selfish to be upset and show it, or not to be able to control your feelings. It would be selfish if they did it on purpose. And no, that's not happening either.
Behave yourself!We covered the fact that this wasn't an on-purpose, right?
Being exasperated with my aspie will do nothing to help the situation. I think I already explained that your feelings do not feature very highly in this drama.
And telling them to behave is only confusing as my aspie is behaving: they are behaving sadly, angrily, with anxiety and so on.
So, behave yourself, why don't you, and stop making things worse.
Blame me.We were bound to get here eventually.
I think this is the point where I either hear (again) how I could control my aspie better, or I guide you to the door and send you through.
Blame me if you like. In fact, say or do anything you like, just don't come to my aspie and make them feel worse than they already do.
And don't expect me to put the kettle on the next time you come.
and later...With time and patience, the aspie mood lightens and then, from that moment on, you can help your aspie to recover from the bad feelings and put in place ways to help them deal with it better the next time.
If you have helpful family and friends who know exactly how to fix things, do what you like with them. If you have a choice, keep the door closed, unless they really do know how to help. Otherwise, trust you know how to love and help someone who is understood more by you than any other person.
Without love and patience, no mood is lifted entirely and only waits to come crashing down again. The last thing you want is someone who needs instructions marching into the scene,
Put the kettle on, readers, and cut the cake. Push a slice through the door and hope your aspie takes it. Then wait.