News: Posted April 25th, 2018 by Alina

^ 36 Comments to “Sorry…”

  1. Bagge Says:

    Good apology, and good saving the nickname in the last panel

    Posted April 25th, 2018 at 1:07 am
  2. Lorventus Says:

    As an Aspie, this totally scans.

    Posted April 25th, 2018 at 1:25 am
  3. Curt Adams Says:

    Quite a twist, Alina! Funny, touching, and educational, all at the same time!

    Posted April 25th, 2018 at 1:56 am
  4. AutobotDen Says:

    THIS. This is how you handle things with someone on the Spectrum. (Says the woman ON the Spectrum)

    Posted April 25th, 2018 at 2:06 am
  5. CG Hardy Says:

    I hope the sudden pity/niceness is just temporary and due to an overload of infodump. Cause suddenly being TOO careful and starting to treat Steven as something fragile would just make it really awkward for everyone. The situation is well written, just saying the sudden shift of the two roommates is too familiar.

    Posted April 25th, 2018 at 2:54 am
  6. Dainpdf Says:

    That’s sort of shitty, about our society. That it is so very common for people to only realize being mean is wrong when it happens to be a specific sort of mean (eg what they were making fun of someone for is [partly?] the result of an illness or accident).

    Posted April 25th, 2018 at 3:32 am
  7. Corundum Says:

    Hmm… I feel a little weird about this. I’m glad they apologized to him (it was definitely merited!) but it’s odd how quickly putting a Proper Noun to their friend made them do a complete 180. Like, you should be decent to acquaintances whether they have a diagnosed condition or not? You never know that the root of someone’s behavior is, and if you are not going to do the leg work of communicating with them about how it annoys you and how to find a compromise, then you don’t have any grounds to be mean about it.

    Posted April 25th, 2018 at 3:40 am
  8. Elio Says:

    I am a very straight guy and I don’t think I ever had romantic feelings for a man before, but Steve is hella lovable in this chapter of his. I can’t help but feel butterflies in my stomach and it is really weird because I don’t get like that. Ever.
    This is confusing, in more than one way. Congrats to Alina, I guess. Broadened my horizons, that is for sure.

    Posted April 25th, 2018 at 7:06 am
  9. Fnord Says:

    Corundum beat me to it. I would rather be known as “Weird Guy” than receive pity in a smarmy and condescending way; but that’s how most people react – as if I am a disabled orphan with only a few months to live.

    Posted April 25th, 2018 at 7:20 am
  10. Scytale Says:

    So it’s okay to make fun of someone, but if they have a condition, it becomes taboo?

    Posted April 25th, 2018 at 8:24 am
  11. Robin Bobcat Says:

    I am reliably informed that most folks on the spectrum have limited ability to detect sarcasm. And even when it isn’t directed at them specifically, they’ll see it as being mean.

    Posted April 25th, 2018 at 8:42 am
  12. Matthew B Says:

    I agree with Dainpdf:
    “That’s sort of shitty, about our society. That it is so very common for people to only realize being mean is wrong when it happens to be a specific sort of mean (eg what they were making fun of someone for is [partly?] the result of an illness or accident).”
    Everyone who has ever or will ever live exists on numerous spectrums intersecting in unique ways. Neurofunction, education, intelligence, experience, physical ability, etc. etc. etc.
    Everyone deserves respect. Unless they are intentionally rude or cruel (like Nazis, hate those guys).

    Posted April 25th, 2018 at 9:44 am
  13. SolitareLee Says:

    I agree with Corundum in that it’s so awkward when people 180 like this… but they COMPLETELY DO, ALL THE TIME. I cannot count the number of times people have been really cruel or even bullied me about a-spec-esque stuff I was doing, only to feel like shitheads about it when they found out I was autistic. Like, newsflash guys, you were being shitheads in the first place and it doesn’t actually matter that I’m autistic. If you only “forgive” behavior you find “annoying” because someone has an ~official excuse you believe in~, you’re still not a good person…

    That being said, I’m suuuuper glad these guys are learning that now. Next time they run into someone like Steven, I bet they’ll think twice about insulting them for their differences.

    Posted April 25th, 2018 at 11:14 am
  14. Thorfinntk Says:

    The question here, though, is whether it ever WAS mean. Most nick/pet names tend to be based on personal peculiarities of the person named, and while such names are mean, if meant to disparage that person or if resented by him/her, neither seem to have been the case here. It’s only learning that Steve is an aspie that make them feel it was mean.

    Posted April 25th, 2018 at 3:22 pm
  15. DaveBro Says:

    Maybe it’s more shitty that many humans are too self-absorbed (or insulated by groupthink) to allow for another’s pain/peculiarity/behavior unless they have been the odd duck themselves.

    Posted April 25th, 2018 at 6:18 pm
  16. Angel Says:

    It only takes an Open Mouth in order to Insert your Foot. Steven while he has a Motormouth issue though tends to be rather tactful, from what I’ve read of his Textwalls.

    Posted April 25th, 2018 at 6:52 pm
  17. Cthulhu Says:

    Well they were never that mean, but them understanding that makes them feel guilty

    Posted April 25th, 2018 at 7:18 pm
  18. TheDarkTyger Says:

    Well, the difference is in whether the person being made fun of really has control over the thing they’re being made fun of for or not. It’s wrong either way, really, but worse if they can’t really help it…

    Posted April 25th, 2018 at 9:46 pm
  19. Corundum Says:

    Thorfinntk, I agree that most nicknames do come from peculiarities, and that that can be fine if it comes from a loving place (goodness knows I have a lot of nicknames for my friends like that!) However, I think it crosses a line into mean when they define him so competely by that peculiarity that they never even bother to learn his real name.

    Posted April 25th, 2018 at 11:09 pm
  20. Curt Adams Says:

    I always took “Talking guy” as a somewhat mean nickname, and obviously the characters (apart from Steven himself) did too. Steven has been presented in a very different light in this storyline as while he still doesn’t have a good grip on when he *shouldn’t* be talking about something because his audience isn’t interested, he has said a number of very perceptive and deep things, which is not something he’s shown much in the comic before. It could be, of course, that there are less deep insights to be had when discussing games than when discussing real life.

    Posted April 26th, 2018 at 12:35 am
  21. Fnord Says:

    @Skytale: When you said, “So it’s okay to make fun of someone, but if they have a condition, it becomes taboo”, you were spot-on. It seems that (for some people, anyway) making fun of someone “with a condition” is just one step removed from punching a blind man — he doesn’t see it coming, he doesn’t know where it came from, and he doesn’t know how to fight back. I guess some NTs see it as “unsportsmanlike”, while others take glee in attacking an easy target.

    Posted April 26th, 2018 at 7:15 am
  22. mostly harmless Says:

    the trouble is now they are gonna tiptoe around him and use kid gloves.
    People are who they are, Steven talks a lot, ‘talking guy’ is a perfect nickname. Sure there’s a biological/chemical reason that attributes to it, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t just treat him like a person. As in when you meet him:
    -“hi my name is Dan.”
    “hey, i’m Steven, but you can call me Talking Guy, everybody does :D.”
    -“Cool, why’s that?”,
    “i talk a lot (said in a longer fashion)”,
    -“lol, I can see that.”

    It’s like baby talking to kids. Kids whos parents baby talk (for too long) struggle verbally because they are not spoken to like an adult, the example they have is goo goo gaa gaa, pitchy voices, of course they are going to have trouble talking normally.
    Or speaking to a mute person, sure they can’t speak, but they can hear just fine, but unfamiliar people often talk slow to them.

    Doesn’t matter if someone has a label for how they behave or not, just be excellent to each other. Don’t help the butterfly out of the cocoon because it’s ‘nice’.

    really this is about the difference between “being good” to each other, rather than “being nice”

    Posted April 26th, 2018 at 10:58 am
  23. Just Here Says:

    As another Aspie (and I don’t mind the term) I can totally sympathize. Just freaking tell me when I’m being weird, and I’ll try to stop.

    Posted April 26th, 2018 at 4:38 pm
  24. Scia Says:

    Actually… I’m kind of glad that at least they *did* do a 180. I’m an aspie, myself, and I wish more people were willing to be considerate instead of… complain-y. -_-

    At least they *have* realized that they were in error. Who knows? Maybe they’ll even learn from this and try not to tease in general unless it’s friendly teasing and they’re certain that the person being teased is okay with it.

    Posted April 26th, 2018 at 11:40 pm
  25. Weatherheight Says:

    I for one have always liked Steven and his characters. Welcome in my game anytime.

    @ Curt Adams – Interesting insight. I always took it as Steven committing to the role-play and always staying in character, but that scans well too.

    Posted April 27th, 2018 at 12:25 am
  26. Joe Says:

    This whole point of this arc is how different is to know someone as a gaming buddy as opposed to living with her/him. I can totally understand they got along with Steven just fine as a player, but dreaded the actual living with him part.

    I get that they feel guilty about making fun of someone they found annoying, only to discover that said annoyance came from an actual syndrome, it’s like getting angry at someone for stealing something, only to discover said person has kleptomania – they cant help it.

    Posted April 27th, 2018 at 11:14 am
  27. 307020 Says:

    Honestly, this kind of pisses me off – for reasons a few people here have mentioned. It’s okay to be exclusionary, mocking jerks to people who are enthusiastic, chattery, and mentally quirky. But when they put a label on the behavior, it’s unconscionable?

    Stephen’s explanation is valuable. He’s telling them in advance about personality traits that might affect them, and offering potential responses they can use if they’re bothered. It’s polite and helpful as a disclaimer, the same as a new roommate going “btw, I snore super loud”, or “I can be overly huggy”, or “I have allergies and need people to not mix foodstuffs”. It’s possible they didn’t feel comfortable asking him to be quiet before, and now they know they can. Great!

    But the rest of it? They knew he talked a lot. If they were observant at all (coin toss), they probably had some idea about his sound sensitivity and distractability after living with him for weeks. The fact that there is a name for this type of mental profile doesn’t mean Stephen has changed.

    They’re not apologizing for being awful to him. They’re apologizing for being awful to “an Aspie”. It’s protection of their own self-images as Good People who don’t make fun of People With A Condition. If it were a “sorry, didn’t realize– I’ll definitely approach you if that’s bothering me”, that’d be one thing. But this overblown shock and distress doesn’t fill me with confidence that they’ve learned.

    Posted April 28th, 2018 at 8:12 am
  28. Ari Says:

    taking the ASD diagnosis out of the picture for just a moment, it’s normal for children to be curious about anyone who is different. parents tend to stifle it and that curiosity will go in the wrong direction when they mimic a peer.

    One way to stop behavior like this due to any condition, I repeat any condition, is to stop and explain or if you don’t know ask if it is okay for your child to ask questions. Many people who are ‘different’ are happy to explain things to a curious child so they don’t get the wrong impression.

    I’ve noticed over the past 20 years so many more people who are willing to go out in public with their oxygen, their halo vest, in their power wheelchair, with their prosthesis visible instead of hidden under clothes, not to mention those you can’t easily tell.

    Kudos to all

    Posted April 29th, 2018 at 2:26 pm
  29. 307020: Quite. I made a similar point two strips ago.

    If you need a label to treat someone nicely, your manners are sadly lacking.

    Posted April 29th, 2018 at 9:00 pm
  30. Saint_Sithney Says:

    See, this is a complicated issue. On one hand, yes, you shouldn’t be mean to people as a general rule, and you shouldn’t treat people with disabilities differently just because they’re disabled, there’s also the fact that sometimes the accommodations for disabilities are things that the abled wouldn’t know about.

    Steven’s behavior is frequently pretty rude by the average social rules. He talks over other people. He doesn’t show a lot of respect for the personal boundaries many people have. He monologues, rather than engages in conversation. Those are all things that can make other people feel offended, slighted, and angry. However, the fact that he doesn’t have the same ability to process what is generally considered rudeness does change things. It is no longer that he is self-centered, it’s that he needs a verbal reminder if he is over-talking or over-sharing, because he can’t read the cues that the other person thinks they are being very clear with.

    I had this problem with an ex-boyfriend. He constantly talked over me, to the point that I felt ignored and disrespected. I felt that he only cared about me as an audience for his monologues, and that made me check out. It became easier to understand once I realized he is on the autism spectrum, and he is not processing that I wanted our conversations to include give-and-take, and an opportunity for me to speak. We were talking past each other, because I didn’t realize his needs and he didn’t realize mine.

    Posted May 1st, 2018 at 9:05 am
  31. Annonymouse Says:

    @ Robin Bobcat – I can’t say I agree with you on the sarcasm observation.

    I have been called out for sarcasm, bad puns, knowing too much on almost any subject raised and such. Mind you this could be a learned behavior and I leave it to the experts in the field to make more impartial observations.

    The thing is that even with such learned behavior and “fitting in” the personal energy levels to do so are limited and that capacity must be exercised like any muscle in the body. RPGs were my mental weight room where a number of these social skills were developed and honed. Also a taste for salty foods and sugary drinks. Unfortunately such skills are at odds with a formal business office setting but fortunately not so much in a laboratory.

    NOTE: I was diagnosed very late in life. That may be due to the adults around me as I grew up that either had no time for it, or had much of a clue about such “quirks” at that period of time. I also have myself to blame for not looking in that direction untill much latter in life, only asking myself “why is everyone else able to have relationships so easily?”.

    Posted May 1st, 2018 at 9:59 am
  32. Thulcandran Says:

    I, like Steven, never realized “Talking Guy” was a mockery-nickname, which reminds me of the first several years of my childhood and adolescence when I learned to always be suspicious of friendship and compliments because there was an ~85% chance the person so doing was actually making fun of me.

    What the actual heck, gaming group, why would you be like this?

    Posted May 2nd, 2018 at 1:59 pm
  33. Roxxar Says:

    As an aspie myself… I don’t like this resolution. Steven is portrayed as a victim, but we aspies have to learn that our condition is not a reason to be assholes.

    In these years I have learnt that I should try not to annoy people talking about item creation in Star Ocean or how the Dragon Quest series began existing.

    Yeah, it’s hard but nothing impossible. Steven should also apologize for being too annoying, even when he was aware of his own condition. He wants his nickname mean he’s good at conversation… except that he is not. Not helping him realize it won’t help him at all, in fact, it will be detrimental to his social life.

    Posted May 2nd, 2018 at 7:31 pm
  34. Nathan Says:

    “why is everyone else able to have relationships so easily”

    O brother, i know that feeling. 32 now with zero friends :p. I fixed alot of things about my autism, but i just cant start a conversation. And because i am just like Steven with my talking, people just think i am tiresome. And a know it all, like i can help it that i remember 99% of all things i read or see :(.
    But the thing that bothers me the most is that i can not be a normal husband to my wife.

    Posted May 3rd, 2018 at 2:36 pm
  35. Jess Says:

    I’m of multiple opinions on this. On the one hand, I never saw ‘Talking Guy’ as a HATEFUL nickname, more like an exasperated one. Kind of an ‘oh no, WALL-O-TEXT incoming!’ And from their reactions, they weren’t meaning to be hateful about it either, but they realized that their nickname could be taken as harsher than they meant it to be, because it WAS addressing Steven as something related to his Spectrum Status, and hastily backpedaled to make sure they weren’t bullying him for something he couldn’t help. Like, oh, nicknaming someone young who has white hair ‘grandpa’, and then finding out they didn’t dye it, they actually went gray early.

    Steven shows a lot of personal insight here–he knows he can be annoying, especially when he’s excited, and wants to work on it, but he has difficulty realizing when he IS being annoying, so he’s openly giving people permission to tell him ‘chill out’. This is SO HELPFUL. Here’s the thing–as anyone prone to gushing about a favorite topic can tell you, sometimes you need someone to tell you to stop, but societal conventions teach us all that telling someone directly to stop talking is very rude. So to avoid being rude, most of us just kind of wince and silently endure, which is how everyone is shown generally reacting to Steven previous to this. Making low-level complaints or giving a not-entirely-complimentary nickname based on it? Maybe not NICE, per se, but not exactly harsh or mean. Should there be better communication? Probably, but until you are forced to spend excessive amounts of time with someone–say, by living together–generally speaking most people won’t make that extra effort. Notice that neither Steven nor the other guys thought to address the issue before now.

    I used to be very socially… awkward, I guess? Not like, socially anxious, so much as I had trouble talking when I was expected to, and STOPPING talking when I was expected to, and I didn’t always have a good grasp of ‘what is and is not appropriate public conversation’. I’ve gotten a lot better about it, and one of the things that helped was being able to tell people ‘I’ll talk the ears off of a brick wall once I get going, so if I get annoying, just tell me to shut up, okay?’

    Posted May 7th, 2018 at 2:39 am
  36. Jc Says:

    As another fellow aspie spectrum im loving the revelations that talking guy is on it too (sorry ive already forgotten his name) also appreciate the call that he only knows what works best for him, thats one thing i cant stand when someone says they know someone on the spectrum therefore they know me and how to work/treat me

    Posted May 7th, 2018 at 4:00 am