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I think a lot of people spent their childhoods being very deliberately forced out of their comfort zones by parents / teachers / whomever in a way that was just deeply unpleasant and degrading and so, when they reach young adulthood and are finally allowed real control over their lives, become set on only doing things they know they’re comfortable with forever. that’s a really important thing to be able to do, especially if you’re so used to having your boundaries routinely ignored that you aren’t even certain what you like vs what you can bear, so I absolutely see why a person would have a negative reaction to being told that discomfort is good: it can very easily sound like being told that all that work they’ve been doing to prioritze their needs for the first time ever is Bad and Selfish, actually. and to that I will say two things:

one: as long as you aren’t hurting or, like, being a dick to anyone, just staying in your comfort zone isn’t an immoral action. if you just want to read one type of book (or just fanfiction), or just eat one type of food, or just watch one type of movie, or not go to new types of social events, you aren’t being a bad person for that, and if people say that, they are soundly wrong and just trying to get a self-righteousness kick.

two: trying new things because you want to expand yourself feels a hell of a lot different than trying new things because you’re being forced to. you’ll feel better about trying new foods if you know you have a back up familiar one in case you can’t stomach the new one, it’s easier to read new books if you can experiment with audio versions or reading it in little five-page chunks by yourself, you can breathe a lot easier going somewhere new if you aren’t chained there for three hours because your parent is your ride home, etc.

tl;dr: new things are good. I get why you might not want to try new things, and that’s fine, but it’s also more comfortable to try new things as an adult with your own agency so, yeah, what have you got to lose by trying a weird old art film?

It’s really important to recognize that the negative reaction you might have to being forced into something new might make your reaction much worse than if you had the no-pressure option to explore it on your own. I always try new foods when no one is around, or only some few close friends I trust on that level, because I feel judged for being a picky eater – even if people aren’t *actually* judging me, I feel judged anyways and the pressure makes the whole experience unpleasant and I’m less likely to enjoy the food

It’s also important to recognize that sometimes, newness, in and of itself, can trigger a disgust reaction. For this reason, when i’m genuinely trying some new food/drink, I take a small bite/sip or two to get over the initial “this is new and new is bad ew ew ew” reaction, and then take the next bite/sip to actually evaluate how I feel about the flavor/texture/etc. Even when i don’t end up liking the food, this often takes a food I’d be super grossed out by and moves it closer to the “eh i simply don’t like it” category.

huge part of being autistic (and why that is Literally Traumatizing) is that your comfort levels and sensory experiences are so out of touch with everyone else’s that you’re just routinely subjected to awful, terrifying, torturous stuff as a kid and you are told “no one likes this, everyone is scared sometimes, but you just have to do it”

because the adults in your life think you’re experiencing a normal, bearable level of discomfort? because that’s what they themselves would experience, in your situation?

And you have never experienced being another person, so you think you are experiencing a normal, bearable level of discomfort, and just over-reacting to it.

The part that really digs itself into your psyche is the certainty that you can’t expect the world to be kind to you. That suffering so much is just and even necessary. The feeling that the whole world will see you in excruciating distress and think it’s unnecessary to help you, just, scars some deep primal part of your brain

it me


#as does this‚ in a way #and yeah‚ consent matters #is the blue I see the same as the blue you see #interesting #this probably deserves some warning tag but I am not sure what #autism #(…I don’t have a dedicated tag for immune bullshit as such‚ but that bit in the comments about) #(”the adults in your life think you’re experiencing a normal‚ bearable level of discomfort because that’s what they themselves would”) #(sure is a thing)

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