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Elsa Martinez says
It’s better not to ask: people can’t handle how you’re doing, nor would I be able to handle telling it “out loud”.
depression comix says
Sometimes being asked (even if you give an answer) can make you feel that yes you exist, and that you have feelings that matter. But yeah, very few can handle the truth in these cases.
Elsa Martinez says
I would probably think it’s out of sympathy and not because I have feelings that matter 😛 but I know what you mean, it’s still a nice thing to do for someone, you can’t blame people for trying to be nice.
Alicia Whitmire says
I know this feeling all too well
Pat Jackman says
How are you??
Dana Seilhan says
Yeah. Pretty much stopped asking.
Heather Bufkin says
Soooooo familiar. I’m happy to hear what’s been going on with you, I wouldn’t have asked otherwise. But is it really that hard to reciprocate when you’re done?
Steph Lessa says
When you are a nurturing person, that hurts double. You feel undervalued because most don’t care about you as you do about them, so you isolate and shut down, which makes you feel guilty since you love to care about others…it brings purpose. Story of my life.
Wow, exactly exactly yes.
Felis Dee says
Yes! This comic. So much!
Matthew Bowling says
I don’t like to talk about myself much so I always just that I’m not too bad and then I ask, as I was taught is customary and polite, them how they are doing.
I was taught that it is customary to reciprocate in polite society as well, but I often ask myself why I seem to be the only one who seems to have been taught this. Then I ask myself what reason could I possibly have to want to be around people who can’t even behave politely, let alone care for real.
Kimberly Brink - Castleberry says
Jose Bello says
Ouch, and then thats where id lock myself away in my bedroom the entire weekend. Too close to home
Nikki Weller says
No one even really cares when they actually do ask you though.
Esmerelda Bohème says
Totally get this. It’s hard to tell people, “Hey, don’t you want to know how I’M doing?”.
Honestly, it’s one thing I’m sort of glad that most people don’t ask me about. I do care about how my friends are doing, but I’d really rather not have to constantly lie about how I am if they ask me about it in return.
It’s conflicting. On one hand, I feel alone if I’m not asked, especially if I ask how they’re doing. On the other hand, it’s actually hard to say I’m not doing okay. So often I default to “I’m doing fine” because I’m scared… and I hate it.
Am I really the only one who gets furious at neurotypical people, depressed or not, forcing you to play this silly game where you have to ask them how they are?
So the poor guy so happy about his table and sharing his interest with you is awful for not following a dumb social script you set up for him without even telling him?
You want to say how you are, go out and say it. That’s what I do. That’s what table guy did. If people STILL don’t care, still don’t hear you and comfort you and try to work it out with you, then you got reason to complain. I have little patience or tolerance for neurotypical people who don’t communicate and then throw someone under the bus because of not following THEIR scripts, because they are clearly in the right and their way of functioning and interpreting things is the only one in the whole world.
And table building guy deserves a better friend than one who asks about his life and then doesn’t give a shit and silently judges him for talking about his special interest.
Yes, you are the only one.
In general, people who are depressed really have a hard time coming out with it. They are afraid of bringing the other person down, afraid of sounding selfish, afraid of judgement, etc. That’s part of the illness, and why we should make more of an attempt to ask people how they are. That’s the intent of this strip, to show depressed people wanting to be asked how they are so they know it’s safe to open up. If you want to maintain the right not to ask someone how they are, that’s up to you. As an autistic person, I’m not sure where you’re trying to go with the “neurotypical” stuff.
I spent my teenage years and early adulthood in a deep depression, not truly accepting I needed meds, and I cringe at awful things people tell me I did at the time and don’t even remember. I spent my childhood desperately trying to ask for help and support and being ignored so I’ll admit that the whole “outright refusing to be proactive about it” (even if I sucked at figuring out the right people to reach to/getting the message across) will always be alien to me. Not to say I didn’t wish I knew when friends need support, and don’t try to ask when I suspect something is not right; I do, because I want to help and want them to open up to me.
What I’ve also had more than my fair share of, is “friends” acting just like that girl did with table guy. The whole “you are self absorbed and I am judging you” because I don’t know you are not alright, I don’t know you need to talk, and I couldn’t possibly know because you refuse to tell me and act like it’s my fault for not reading your mind. The whole coming to talk to me asking about me, and then irking in response to actually getting an answer because apparently I was supposed to follow a script where I only tell you just enough to make you not feel ignored, but not more than is palatable for you.
I said “neurotypical” because they were invariably neurotypical friends who acted like this, like it’s my fault and I should have just *known* and *asked* and followed the protocol. The ones whom I needed to mask around. I don’t keep friends like that anymore.
We all really do see different things in the same piece of art, and for me that fourth panel look of pure disgust while pulling the phone speaker and wall-of-text chat away is an imagery I know all too well, from the other side.
A lot of people, including autistics like myself, faced a childhood of just blurting out stuff. Some of it relevant, some of it irrelevant Sometimes it was unintentionally hurtful. I got told to shut up a lot. A lot of autistics have trouble with social interactions, knowing when to say something, what is okay to say something… In order to navigate the social world, we try to deconstruct everything, try to understand the social script. We analyze the conversations of other people. We rehearse conversations before we have them. Because we know we’re no good at social interaction and our mistakes often have a negative effect on the other person.
We find that when we need help, we don’t know how to do it. We fall back on social scripts because it’s the only thing we know and we know from previous experience that blurting it out causes problems. So when we try to reach out, we hope that the social scripts we’ve deconstructed and the rehearsals work. And when they don’t, we feel a lot of frustration. It feels unfair that other people are so comfortable not following the social script when it’s our lifeline to talking to others.
When a social script goes out of control, we just shut down, unable to continue a conversation that we are lost in.
As the person who drew this, this is the perspective I have, but it’s interesting to see other people’s takes on this. I don’t think there’s a wrong take, all are important.
(p.s. I got so caught up in my own trauma triggers that I forgot to say this: your comic is amazing, it’s always so poignant and either deeply relatable or deeply haunting depending on where you are in your own healing process when reading it, and thank you so much for sharing it and your talent with the world <3 )