4 words never to say to me

“Excuses are for losers.”

Unfortunately, those are my father’s favorite words.  And he loves to toss them around, even when inapplicable and inappropriate.

Not to mention wrong.

The statement itself is true, for many people, in many situations.  The problem is, for whom is it true, and in for which situations?  Who can say that with 100% certainty, with legitimate authority?  Who is qualified to delegate that authority, and who is qualified to assume it?

Thick questions.

When my father says this to me, is he implying that I’m a loser?  (It sure sounds–and feels–like it.)  What does that even mean?  What constitutes a “loser” in his book?

Please define that one for me, dear dad, so that I can stay on the sunny side of your line.

A loser, to me, is someone who conducts themselves poorly.  Such as being rude to someone or stealing from them or lying to them.  A loser is someone who doesn’t treat people with respect.  A loser blames others around them for their own character flaws without taking the correct amount of self-responsibility and ownership.  A loser refuses to be accountable for their own actions.  A loser is someone who has cultivated a spoiled entitlement mentality, feeling entitled to something they’ve never tried to earn.  A loser is someone who hurts people or animals, someone who drives while intoxicated, someone who steals, and so on.  In short, a loser is someone who knows they could do better, and knowingly, willingly under-delivers, or commits a wrongdoing even when they damn well know better.

I think that most reasonable people can agree with that.

However, someone who earns an honest living by genuinely trying to help others live better lives…is not a loser.  One who is giving their best, whatever that might be, at any given time, is not a loser.

Someone who conducts themselves with civility and kindness is not a loser.

Someone who says what they mean and means what they say is not a loser.

Someone who has been under stress and low self-esteem and gets bullied at every turn, for years, decades, and still finds the courage to get up and face the world every day, is not a loser.

Someone who is on the Asperger’s/autism spectrum and is thus attempting to survive and thrive in a world not compatibly encoded is definitely not a loser.

And what’s an “excuse”, anyway?

It seems that my father needs a little Vocabulary 101, including the introduction of a new concept into his world.

There are excuses, and there are legitimate, genuine, valid reasons.

A migraine headache (or any other pain or health issue, for that matter) is not an “excuse”; it’s a reason.

And then there are reasons that might not be easily expressed.  All my life I’ve been accused of making “excuses”, because I couldn’t do This or That, and that my feeble attempts to explain why fell flat and unacceptable on unsympathetic ears.  Ears that were attached to mouths that were quick to say that those insufficient attempts were “just an excuse”.

There are some tasks I might not have been able to carry out, simply because, at that moment, I couldn’t.  I didn’t always have the words to explain myself.  I didn’t have “excuses”; I had reasons.  I didn’t often know what they were, but they were my own, and they were legitimate.

An excuse, to me, is an untruth that gives someone permission to act in a way that is knowingly, willingly, below their abilities at any given moment.  A reason, on the other hand, is a valid explanation for why someone may be unable to act in a way that is below someone’s perception of that person’s abilities.

And unfortunately, when it comes to ascertaining the abilities of others, third parties (that is, anyone besides the person in question) don’t walk in that person’s shoes.  Therefore, my original thick questions stand: who is anyone to judge anyone else?  Someone might believe themselves to be certain of someone else’s capabilities, but how do they actually know?  And have outsiders ever stopped to think that what someone was capable of yesterday, they might not be able to deliver today?  (That happens, I think, to most people, and I have noticed that it seems to be an even stronger, more prominent theme among the Asperger’s/autistic community, myself definitely included.)

The truth is, they don’t.  No one can be 100% certain of someone’s capabilities except that person themselves.  Judgments of anyone other than oneself are products of our own perceptions, biases, and shaded lenses, and thus, they’re likely to be inaccurate from time to time.

Which brings me to the moral of the story: it’s probably best not to judge.  It’s human nature to do so, but the further one goes with it and the more liberties are taken, the greater the odds that the judge will look like an ass.  ❤

***

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68 Comments

  1. I have this issue with my direct supervisor. I wasn’t diagnosed officially until I started working at this school, and while I was going through the process of getting my official diagnosis, my supervisor was telling people that it wasn’t real and I was just making excuses. I’d completely cratered because the way my team decided their lessons, left me feeling rushed and unprepared. I always felt like I was having to alter my routine on the fly to meet their needs, which led me to have massive anxiety and panic attacks. But how do you explain to someone who doesn’t believe there’s anything “wrong” with you that the very way they structure their meetings is what is causing the problem? Now I’m on a different team, but it’s been a fight to get my supervisors to understand that when I take time off, it’s not just a play day for me. Even if there was no sign (to them) that I was about to crater.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Ugh I’m so sorry, dear friend! That really bites. Especially having to make changes on the fly like that! That would drive me up a tree. There are few things more frustrating than to be accused of making excuses when your challenges are real. I feel you, I really do 💞💐💞

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Preach it sister 🙌🙌 I especially like this part..

    “Someone who has been under stress and low self-esteem and gets bullied at every turn, for years, decades, and still finds the courage to get up and face the world every day, is not a loser.”

    What else can I say but… MIC DROP🎤👊👏👏👏😍🎉🎊✨💫💥🍻⚡☄🔥🌠🌟

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I seriously loved it, many people just judge others lives as how easy it is, nobody can ever know what story someone has behind a smiling face, certainly excuses, permits, decisions, good, valid, illogical or logical I decide it and nobody else coz nobody knows what it is to be the person I am, this was certainly a great post👍

    Liked by 2 people

  4. When I was a young boy, my mother and father would tell me not to make excuses when I was in trouble. It has since caused me to simply remain quiet when challenged why I may or may not have done something.
    I now find it challenging when in a disagreement with someone to answer when they tell me I’m giving excusing when I’m trying to provide an explanation. When I feel threatened I just go quiet and try to ignore the situation.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I was taught by my pastor at church once that when we judge others we are pointing out a flaw in them that we actually have and don’t like about ourselves. That was eye opening to me. So if I find myself judging, I immediately turn and look back at myself. That was so eye opening to me. And, I loved everything you said in here!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Thank you for this post… I recently have been named “loser” by my own mother. Because “You’re working with your head and not with your hands, you’re a dreamer, you’re always reading and writing books.” 😉 Well, we would have nothing of our so called civilization if there haven’t been people how work with their heads and read and write a lot…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. getting up day after day, facing your demons head on, some day beating them down and some days being pummeled into the dirt by them but yet still getting up the very next day to face them square in the eyes again? … that’s not a Loser.. that’s a goddamm Warrior in anyone’s book.

    much love from across the pond from one warrior to another. Fight on!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Really liked the post, and as usual I agree with what you say. You need to accept people’s reasons why they can’t do things or find thing difficult. It can be tricky, though, to recognize what is a good reason and what is just an excuse, but I try to give people the benefit of the doubt.
    It can also be difficult to cut yourself some slack, particularly if you are only slowly discovering that you might be on the spectrum. Suddenly there is a good reason for not wanting to do certain things – but you’ve done them so far, so shouldn’t yo be able to continue to do them? Is what you feel a good reason, or is it just an excuse? Over the years I’ve become very good at sticking it out, sucking it up, ignoring discomfort and just powering through, because I never knew that there could be an alternative. It’s very difficult to persuade myself that maybe I shouldn’t have to.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my goodness yes! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼. I wish I could Like this comment repeatedly 👍🏼. You perfectly expressed exactly how it goes for me. Amazingly accurately. It’s eerie but in a really cool way 😊. Awesome comment, luv 💗🌷💗

      Liked by 1 person

  9. “Excuses are for losers” *invariably* has some very unpleasant ***ulterior motives/hidden sentiments*** behind its’ use – it, and related phrases, are most commonly uttered by ~ bullies as ***tools of domination***.

    Now – just *what* is an excuse? Is it not a plea for a fair comparison – something no ***bully*** ever wants, because it removes from them one of their most effective weapons? That implicit and unspoken “I am better / more competent/capable/ smarter than you – a morally-superior instance (of humanity)?” (and, in doing so, our bully condemns us to lesser-being status)

    Now – secondly – our bully does not want to accept the fact that it’s not possible, barring divine intervention, to extract a pint of ‘type o positive’ from a bunch of ***turnips*** (though, with work, seasoning, and added ingredients, one can make a passable stew…)

    If one lacks needed resources, one must not ***expect*** miracles – though if they do happen, one ***must*** give thanks (by recognizing just *what* has happened, and just *who* was likely to be involved in some way).

    Bullies abrogate this whole dynamic unto themselves, and by naming themselves – like cunning old ***Furry*** (not Fury – Furry. Not using Lewis Carrol this time) – as judge and jury, ***they name themselves as a substitute for deity, and usurp that individual’s *hard-earned* place.***

    As such, therefore, they lie; and autists, as a rule, wish no part or portions with *lies or liars*. “And you call *us* evil, Normies? At least we tend to tell the truth!”

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Addendum to the above: understand that, as autists, many – perhaps the vast majority of us – lack the needed social instincts to make ‘game-type excuses’ actually work.

    As one person put it – I read this somewhere – ‘social *skills* are ***manipulation*** skills; and in order to successfully manipulate another person, you must be able to discern their thought-processes ***in real time while engaged in distantly-related matters***.

    That means you must be able to do so ‘largely unconsciously’; which, to my understanding, borders on impossible for autists. (It may well ***be*** possible to ‘read’ Norms, and read them well; but at the least one must focus upon doing so *with conscious intent*. Oh, and one must be ‘on’, also. Forget doing so while exhausted, ill, or sleep-deprived.)

    Couple that **relative inability** with the tendency to simply ***not think of doing so*** – as if we are indeed wired toward honest behavior more than most – and ***our*** excuses are strongly likely to be the genuine variety.

    If we believe otherwise, then we most likely have ***internalized*** society’s naming us as ‘evil incarnate’ (scapegoating, so to make themselves look better via unfair comparisons and defined nastiness.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep! I also find that (painting with a broad brush here), generally speaking, the autistic profile tends to be more logical than the nonautistic profile, and there is just no logic in mind-games or head-screwing 😊💜

      Like

  11. It’s a phrase I hate too, up there with “there are people far worse off than you”….both are utterly dismissive and says “I dont care about how you are feeling”. Anyone who says them get struck off my list of people I want to associate with.

    Liked by 1 person

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