The company I work for is tripping on equality at the moment. Everywhere we turn we’re confronted with images of minorities of one type or another. Being a white, neurotypical male is making me feel, relatively speaking, minoritised right now.
I did a course today that ‘taught’ me all about the different types of neurodiversity. As I was listening, I was thinking about my upcoming end-of-year review. I found myself wondering if it would be advantageous for me to play the neurodiverse card.
I mean, I’m not exactly normal. My wife points this out to me all the time. I have something missing in my psychological makeup that means that I tend to do things differently from other people. Even the fact that I blog is evidence of something being awry.
At work, I do my job and I do it well, but I’ve never been classed as excellent: one of the three ratings we are classed under. What if I could prove that my deficits are down to my neurodiverse tendencies! Would that make me excellent by comparison?
I read on the course that it’s illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis of their neurological deficits. Put another way: if I did things in a way that expresses my unique neuro-makeup then it would be illegal to mark me down for this.
I’m not going to do that, though. I have a friend who is fighting cancer at the moment. My wife asked me why his family (and he) are not giving information more regularly about how he is doing. She is concerned. I said it’s all about shame. Dying is weak.
I would see admitting neuro deficits as being evidence of weakness. Rightly or wrongly: this is how I’m made up. I have an aversion to being seen as weak. So I do not easily admit to aberrations of thought, health or tendency. I am strong.
What’s the benefit of hiding behind a veil of silence? Well actually, I don’t see it as hiding. I see this as positive thinking. Someone once said something like (actually, let me look it up): ‘there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so’ (Hamlet).
If I think I am bad then I am. If I think I am neurodiverse then I am. If I think I need psychological assistance then I do. If I play the neurodiverse card in my end-of-year review then this would make me, in my eyes, weak. And I don’t want that.
Wait. Hold on. I just thought of something. If I think that admitting to weaknesses is weak then surely that’s a thought that’s making that thing so. What I need to do is change my thinking. I need to think that differences make me strong, right? Hmm.
One thought on “How to Think Yourself Out of a Hole”
You just need to be who you are. There is nothing weak in being different or the same. You are strong because you get up every day and do your life to the best of your ability, and that is strong. Dying is strong, illness is strength, pride is strength, putting it aside is strength. Nothing is weak unless you perceive it so.