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Jack Parkman

Am I a jerk?

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I didn't feel like this belonged in the relationship thread, so I'll put it here. 

I just ended my relationship with my two best friends because I was tired of their behavior. I've known these guys for 10+ years. They treated me like family until the end. I said I thought they were awful because they constantly used anti-semitic and racist language in my presence. That's not who I am, and eventually I had enough of them throwing the N word around like candy and using the word "Jewish" to describe someone cheap. I felt that continuing to associate with these people was a poor reflection of my character and I felt like I had to be true to myself. I completely blindsided them with announcing my withdrawal. Am I an asshole or was it the right thing to do? 

I'm asking because I didn't know how to handle it and think I may have gone about it all wrong. 

Edited by Jack Parkman

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How did you go about it? And if you don't want to be associated with that kind of talk or behavior and maybe you don't enjoy hanging with them anymore in general, then you're making the right choice.

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13 minutes ago, soxfan2014 said:

How did you go about it? And if you don't want to be associated with that kind of talk or behavior and maybe you don't enjoy hanging with them anymore in general, then you're making the right choice.

I basically told them over Facebook in a PM. It has been eating at my conscience for years and it was very troubling to me. It got to the point where I felt like I was living a lie. The whole thing has become worse in the current political environment. 

I'm just a bit sad. I'm kinda mourning my loss. It was my choice, but it's still sad. It's going to be hard for a while, but I know that I'll be better off in the end. These were my two closest friends for the past decade. 

Edited by Jack Parkman

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I probably would have started with "Hey, can you guys cut out the racist and anti-semetic shit around me?". And if they say no, then drop em. But before that, I would give them a chance to see how much they want to be your friend. 

The "r word" is nails on a chalkboard to me. My closest friends know that I have special needs family members, but for those who don't know or don't realize, I ignore it until unless it become excessive, then I just say "Hey, not trying to sound uptight, but I really can't stand the R word. I have family members with special needs and it just bugs me to hear it. Do you mind just using something else instead when you're around me?" And if they say no, or say yes but continue to do it, then I just distance myself from them. 

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8 hours ago, ChiliIrishHammock24 said:

I probably would have started with "Hey, can you guys cut out the racist and anti-semetic shit around me?". And if they say no, then drop em. But before that, I would give them a chance to see how much they want to be your friend. 

The "r word" is nails on a chalkboard to me. My closest friends know that I have special needs family members, but for those who don't know or don't realize, I ignore it until unless it become excessive, then I just say "Hey, not trying to sound uptight, but I really can't stand the R word. I have family members with special needs and it just bugs me to hear it. Do you mind just using something else instead when you're around me?" And if they say no, or say yes but continue to do it, then I just distance myself from them. 

Dude, I totally agree and understand, because I'm autistic. But I take the approach like some black people to the N word. It's really liberating to take back a word used for hate. Sometimes I use it, but only in a self deprecating way. As someone without an ID, but with autism it creates a whole different can of worms. Especially when you're a super smart person. I could go on forever.  That's why I struggled with how to do this. 

The hardest thing as an autistic adult without an ID is for someone to actually acknowledge that you're autistic without treating you like you have an ID. It's really complicated. You get too much credit for how functional you are and it creates unrealistic expectations from friends and family. I know it's going to take me forever to reach normal milestones of adulthood. 

I gave them multiple opportunities to cut it out and eventually I said enough. I still saw their racist shit on social media, and I asked if they could keep it in personal messages and they refused. Eventually, enough is enough. 

What actually prompted me to say enough is enough was their reaction on social media to the El Paso shooting. When your reaction is "how many were illegal" that crosses a line. 

Edited by Jack Parkman

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12 hours ago, Jack Parkman said:

I basically told them over Facebook in a PM. It has been eating at my conscience for years and it was very troubling to me. It got to the point where I felt like I was living a lie. The whole thing has become worse in the current political environment. 

I'm just a bit sad. I'm kinda mourning my loss. It was my choice, but it's still sad. It's going to be hard for a while, but I know that I'll be better off in the end. These were my two closest friends for the past decade. 

These were your best friends and you did it over a text? I know I am old school but if they were like family that doesn't seem right.

If you blindsided them as you say did they even know you were this close to ending the friendship completely?

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1 hour ago, GoGoWhiteSox1960 said:

These were your best friends and you did it over a text? I know I am old school but if they were like family that doesn't seem right.

If you blindsided them as you say did they even know you were this close to ending the friendship completely?

Yeah I agree.  Its not too late to tell them that you went about doing it the wrong way.  I know its sort of embarrassing to go back now, but they are your friends.  Get together with them and have a calm discussion about the reality of how that way of speaking makes you feel.  Like others said, if they really are friends worth having, they'll respect that.  If not, then you can just stopping hanging out with them.

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2 hours ago, Markbilliards said:

Yeah I agree.  Its not too late to tell them that you went about doing it the wrong way.  I know its sort of embarrassing to go back now, but they are your friends.  Get together with them and have a calm discussion about the reality of how that way of speaking makes you feel.  Like others said, if they really are friends worth having, they'll respect that.  If not, then you can just stopping hanging out with them.

No they're not friends worth having. I didn't want to do it in person because I felt that was more awkward. Their reaction to the whole they didn't even try to get me tonchange my mind, which was shocking. I was hoping to have a discussion about it first, but they didn't even go there. They just said fine, dont talk to me anymore. 

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34 minutes ago, Jack Parkman said:

No they're not friends worth having. I didn't want to do it in person because I felt that was more awkward. Their reaction to the whole they didn't even try to get me tonchange my mind, which was shocking. I was hoping to have a discussion about it first, but they didn't even go there. They just said fine, dont talk to me anymore. 

If they felt it was worth an in person conversation don't you think they could have felt completely disrespected by you doing it over text? That is a pretty deep conversation to have via messaging with 10 years of friendship.

It seems interesting they both reacted the same way though and you mentioned you weren't sure if you handled it the right way. I would imagine most people would be taken back quite a bit by a statement of friendship withdrawal out of the blue. That reaction almost gives me the idea that there was some frustration with the friendship from their perspective.

Edited by GoGoWhiteSox1960

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19 hours ago, Jack Parkman said:

I didn't feel like this belonged in the relationship thread, so I'll put it here. 

I just ended my relationship with my two best friends because I was tired of their behavior. I've known these guys for 10+ years. They treated me like family until the end. I said I thought they were awful because they constantly used anti-semitic and racist language in my presence. That's not who I am, and eventually I had enough of them throwing the N word around like candy and using the word "Jewish" to describe someone cheap. I felt that continuing to associate with these people was a poor reflection of my character and I felt like I had to be true to myself. I completely blindsided them with announcing my withdrawal. Am I an asshole or was it the right thing to do? 

I'm asking because I didn't know how to handle it and think I may have gone about it all wrong. 

If they used the N word and were calling people "Jewish" and you told them to cut it out you and they still did it, you absolutely did the right thing. You probably did the right thing even without warning them. I mean what animals are using the N word today and calling people Jewish for being cheap?? I mean I'm flabbergasted your friends would say the N word around you. It's animalistic behavior and uncalled for and you had to discard them as friends. I'm surprised they haven't been shot or attacked in public if they are saying it that much, surely somebody will hear them in public settings and attack them.

The question is what are you going to do when they apologize to you? You still can't hang around with them if that's how they feel deeply abut African Americans and people who are Jewish.

p.s. How old are these guys? If they are throwing around words like that, they need to knock it off. I remember when I was in college I had a friend who in a group pulled a "Flounder" in Animal House and tried to give me a nickname I didn't like or want. After they all got a good laugh I said immediately, "If you call me that again, I'm done with you and anybody who calls me that. I've got enough going on I'm not going to accept that name." They told me to calm down and never used that name again. I was prepared to change my social life and who I hung out with over that issue it pissed me off that much. At some point words matter and you did the right thing. I mean by using those words they ARE racists. Can't hang out with racists. Congrats to u.

Edited by greg775
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24 minutes ago, greg775 said:

If they used the N word and were calling people "Jewish" and you told them to cut it out you and they still did it, you absolutely did the right thing. You probably did the right thing even without warning them. I mean what animals are using the N word today and calling people Jewish for being cheap?? I mean I'm flabbergasted your friends would say the N word around you. It's animalistic behavior and uncalled for and you had to discard them as friends. I'm surprised they haven't been shot or attacked in public if they are saying it that much, surely somebody will hear them in public settings and attack them.

The question is what are you going to do when they apologize to you? You still can't hang around with them if that's how they feel deeply abut African Americans and people who are Jewish.

p.s. How old are these guys? If they are throwing around words like that, they need to knock it off. I remember when I was in college I had a friend who in a group pulled a "Flounder" in Animal House and tried to give me a nickname I didn't like or want. After they all got a good laugh I said immediately, "If you call me that again, I'm done with you and anybody who calls me that. I've got enough going on I'm not going to accept that name." They told me to calm down and never used that name again. I was prepared to change my social life and who I hung out with over that issue it pissed me off that much. At some point words matter and you did the right thing. I mean by using those words they ARE racists. Can't hang out with racists. Congrats to u.

Dude I'm honestly embarrassed that I didn't do it much earlier. They're in their late 20s. I believe that everyone has dignity and need to be treated accordingly. 

Edited by Jack Parkman
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21 minutes ago, greg775 said:

If they used the N word and were calling people "Jewish" and you told them to cut it out you and they still did it, you absolutely did the right thing. You probably did the right thing even without warning them. I mean what animals are using the N word today and calling people Jewish for being cheap?? I mean I'm flabbergasted your friends would say the N word around you. It's animalistic behavior and uncalled for and you had to discard them as friends. I'm surprised they haven't been shot or attacked in public if they are saying it that much, surely somebody will hear them in public settings and attack them.

The question is what are you going to do when they apologize to you? You still can't hang around with them if that's how they feel deeply abut African Americans and people who are Jewish.

p.s. How old are these guys? If they are throwing around words like that, they need to knock it off. I remember when I was in college I had a friend who in a group pulled a "Flounder" in Animal House and tried to give me a nickname I didn't like or want. After they all got a good laugh I said immediately, "If you call me that again, I'm done with you and anybody who calls me that. I've got enough going on I'm not going to accept that name." They told me to calm down and never used that name again. I was prepared to change my social life and who I hung out with over that issue it pissed me off that much. At some point words matter and you did the right thing. I mean by using those words they ARE racists. Can't hang out with racists. Congrats to u.

I struggle to understand how he was friends with someone like that for 10 years and accepted it the entire time until now. What changed?

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3 hours ago, GoGoWhiteSox1960 said:

I struggle to understand how he was friends with someone like that for 10 years and accepted it the entire time until now. What changed?

I struggled with it the entire time. What changed is that I met these guys through a mutual friend, and because I'm autistic and they treated me well, I felt like punting them was  was really dangerous. It took me a while to build up enough confidence in making friends to do it. Also, when I met these guys they were 17 years old and we live in an area that is whiter than sour cream. I gave them a chance to grow out of it. I chalked it up to immaturity and lack of exposure to diversity. When they reached their mid 20s I was tired of it and was struggling for 2.5 years to decide to cut them off. I didn't have as much confidence to make new friends. I got really close multiple times, but now my confidence is there, my social skills are a lot better, and I think I can handle it now, which I didn't then. Also, I've probably matured myself over that time and I finally said enough. 

The complications that led me to wait so long were:

1. Lack of confidence in my own social ability

2. Their youth, immaturity and lack of exposure to diversity 

3. My own immaturity. I've made huge strides over the last 2 years or so. 

Edited by Jack Parkman

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15 minutes ago, Jack Parkman said:

I struggled with it the entire time. What changed is that I met these guys through a mutual friend, and because I'm autistic and they treated me well, I felt like punting them was  was really dangerous. It took me a while to build up enough confidence in making friends to do it. Also, when I met these guys they were 17 years old and we live in an area that is whiter than sour cream. I gave them a chance to grow out of it. I chalked it up to immaturity and lack of exposure to diversity. When they reached their mid 20s I was tired of it and was struggling for 2.5 years to decide to cut them off. I didn't have as much confidence to make new friends. I got really close multiple times, but now my confidence is there, my social skills are a lot better, and I think I can handle it now, which I didn't then. Also, I've probably matured myself over that time and I finally said enough. 

The complications that led me to wait so long were:

1. Lack of confidence in my own social ability

2. Their youth, immaturity and lack of exposure to diversity 

3. My own immaturity. I've made huge strides over the last 2 years or so. 

Only you can decide who to be friends with. I'm certain you enjoyed spending time with these individuals even though you disagreed with their behavior otherwise you would have stopped it a long time ago. 

At the end of the day you decided to be friends with them for 10 years and ended it childishly through a messaging system. Even with their behavior you need to man up and talk via call or in person. In time of despair sometimes you need to be the better person.

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1 hour ago, GoGoWhiteSox1960 said:

I struggle to understand how he was friends with someone like that for 10 years and accepted it the entire time until now. What changed?

Yeah it was also a bad word 10 years ago that's for sure.

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56 minutes ago, GoGoWhiteSox1960 said:

Even with their behavior you need to man up and talk via call or in person. In time of despair sometimes you need to be the better person.

Not really. It sounds like when he told them they didn't care. No need to talk in person. They are racists and upon being told off they said goodbye and didn't care about losing Jack's friendship at all.

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5 hours ago, GoGoWhiteSox1960 said:

I struggle to understand how he was friends with someone like that for 10 years and accepted it the entire time until now. What changed?

It was hard. I decided to look past it because I finally felt accepted by someone relatively close to my own age. I'm autistic, and have trouble making and keeping friends. I can be really grating and annoying. I didn't have enough confidence in myself to go out and find someone else. I was troubled, but was willing to look past it because I wanted some sort of social life. It's really easy for me to fall into the status quo and not shake things up. 

One of the things that happened is that I felt like I needed to talk like that in front of them in order to be accepted. That isn't who I am and it isn't what I want to be. I used to only let that happen in their presence. The thing that happened that made me tell them off is that I made some racist jokes in front of someone else. I did a lot of self reflection and soul searching and finally, I decided that I couldn't do that anymore. I was being fake and living a lie. I needed to be true to myself. I'd always been super uncomfortable around them, and even more uncomfortable saying those horrible things in their  presence just to fit in. I had enough. When I lost the ability to regulate my filter and the El Paso thing, ended up putting me over the edge. 

 

 

EDIT: after some time has passed, we're having a discussion about the whole thing. It's interesting, and I'm going to keep it private. We'll see what happens, if it's over or if we can patch things up. 

The big thing is that I've definitely answered the question in the thread title, and the answer is a resounding yes. 

Edited by Jack Parkman

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10 hours ago, Jack Parkman said:

EDIT: after some time has passed, we're having a discussion about the whole thing. It's interesting, and I'm going to keep it private. We'll see what happens, if it's over or if we can patch things up. 

The big thing is that I've definitely answered the question in the thread title, and the answer is a resounding yes. 

From what you've described so far, the answer is a resounding no (as in no, you are not a jerk), so I'm not sure as to how further conversation could have changed that? I respect that you want to keep it private but I struggle to see what possibly could have happened since that suddenly makes you the bad guy here 

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No you aren't a jerk. You actually did more than I would have by sending a message. I hate confrontations so I would have just kind of ghosted them until they went away.

 

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5 hours ago, Texsox said:

No you aren't a jerk. You actually did more than I would have by sending a message. I hate confrontations so I would have just kind of ghosted them until they went away.

 

I might let them back in but at the very least I hope I've sent them a warning shot. 

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On 8/8/2019 at 12:21 AM, Jack Parkman said:

I basically told them over Facebook in a PM. It has been eating at my conscience for years and it was very troubling to me. It got to the point where I felt like I was living a lie. The whole thing has become worse in the current political environment. 

I'm just a bit sad. I'm kinda mourning my loss. It was my choice, but it's still sad. It's going to be hard for a while, but I know that I'll be better off in the end. These were my two closest friends for the past decade. 

I don't think your base action was wrong, but I agree with most here in that you could have gone about it better. This merited a face-to-face conversation. Yeah, it'd be hard with or without autism, but it's what needed to be done.

I'm a social media hater. The only reason I still have any platform (which is Facebook) is because it's got oodles of pictures that I don't have anywhere else and am, for the moment, too lazy to save elsewhere (also, it did help us retrieve a piece of luggage we left in Ireland). Generally, it cheapens the human experience. One doesn't keep in touch with old friends by casually seeing their updates every once in a while, and you didn't do honor to your current relationships by tossing them away in a DM. Personal interaction would give the whole thing dignity and perhaps even achieve a different result. You say it'd have been more awkward, but perhaps if they saw your emotions in real time, it would have reached them better and even changed their ways. It's easy to laugh at and dehumanize words on a computer screen- there's just no gravitas at all.

Lastly, since you brought it up, the most "grating and annoying" thing you do is bragging about your intelligence. If you are a "super smart person", as you said at the beginning of this thread, then just go be a super smart person. No reminder necessary. If it's true, people will see it and will talk about it on their own. But telling everyone all the time shows a lack of confidence in yourself. So knock this particular trait off and consider it an easy way to look more confident and develop a bit more charisma. FWIW.

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38 minutes ago, The Sir said:

I don't think your base action was wrong, but I agree with most here in that you could have gone about it better. This merited a face-to-face conversation. Yeah, it'd be hard with or without autism, but it's what needed to be done.

I'm a social media hater. The only reason I still have any platform (which is Facebook) is because it's got oodles of pictures that I don't have anywhere else and am, for the moment, too lazy to save elsewhere (also, it did help us retrieve a piece of luggage we left in Ireland). Generally, it cheapens the human experience. One doesn't keep in touch with old friends by casually seeing their updates every once in a while, and you didn't do honor to your current relationships by tossing them away in a DM. Personal interaction would give the whole thing dignity and perhaps even achieve a different result. You say it'd have been more awkward, but perhaps if they saw your emotions in real time, it would have reached them better and even changed their ways. It's easy to laugh at and dehumanize words on a computer screen- there's just no gravitas at all.

Lastly, since you brought it up, the most "grating and annoying" thing you do is bragging about your intelligence. If you are a "super smart person", as you said at the beginning of this thread, then just go be a super smart person. No reminder necessary. If it's true, people will see it and will talk about it on their own. But telling everyone all the time shows a lack of confidence in yourself. So knock this particular trait off and consider it an easy way to look more confident and develop a bit more charisma. FWIW.

No, I do that because I don't fit the stereotype of an autistic individual. Most people think that autism=ID and I do that just to remind people that it isn't always true. Does it impair my functioning? Yeah, but not because I can't learn. I pick up stuff pretty quickly. My issues have to do with social skills and failure to grasp gray areas in life. I don't brag about my intelligence because I'm arrogant or anything like that. I let people know that I'm actually pretty damn smart but they'res other shit that makes me look worse than that. 

 

Imagine if humans were given ratings like sports players on madden video games. 

I'd have a 93 on "book smarts" and 20 or less in a lot of other areas. 

Edited by Jack Parkman

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2 minutes ago, Jack Parkman said:

No, I do that because I don't fit the stereotype of an autistic individual. Most people think that autism=ID and I do that just to remind people that it isn't always true. Does it impair my functioning? Yeah, but not because I can't learn. I pick up stuff pretty quickly. My issues have to do with social skills and failure to grasp gray areas in life. 

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’ve literally never thought that.

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13 hours ago, Jack Parkman said:

No, I do that because I don't fit the stereotype of an autistic individual. Most people think that autism=ID and I do that just to remind people that it isn't always true. Does it impair my functioning? Yeah, but not because I can't learn. I pick up stuff pretty quickly. My issues have to do with social skills and failure to grasp gray areas in life. I don't brag about my intelligence because I'm arrogant or anything like that. I let people know that I'm actually pretty damn smart but they'res other shit that makes me look worse than that. 

 

Imagine if humans were given ratings like sports players on madden video games. 

I'd have a 93 on "book smarts" and 20 or less in a lot of other areas. 

Jack, I had to jet earlier, which is why my response was so brief, but I'd like to come back to this for a moment.

I get why you think you need to tell people you're smart. The truth is, you really don't. There are plenty of places to show off intelligence, and showing is always better than telling. If some guy came up to you and told you he's super charming, is that going to mean much to you? No. An actual person with charm is just going to show you that charm, not tell you about it. Same with intellect. 

Another thing is that, when you do this for the reasons you do this, you're making (likely incorrect) assumptions about the people around you. I'm not a medical professional, nor is my wife, but we both know basic traits of autism. Furthermore, I don't think I've ever met anyone who thought autism comes with ID. I've certainly never had to correct anyone on the matter. 

So if you, in real life, casually mentioned to me how smart you are, I'd probably give you a weird look and ask why you're bringing that up, and when you gave your reason, I'd be put off by your unfounded assumption that I was ignorant of the topic. I'd probably be polite and not make a big show of it, but it would absolutely rub me the wrong way and I wouldn't be in any rush to have further interactions with you.

You're free to take my advice or leave it, but your own reflections on yourself are that you are "grating and annoying", and I guarantee that changing this one particular behavior would do nothing but shift that characterization in a positive direction for you.

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On 8/8/2019 at 8:41 AM, Jack Parkman said:

The hardest thing as an autistic adult without an ID is for someone to actually acknowledge that you're autistic without treating you like you have an ID.

I've seen you mention ID numerous times but I can't figure out exactly what you are talking about. At first I thought you were talking about an identification card like a driver's licenses or something but that's obviously not it.

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