Jump to content
Customer Service
Asperger Experts

The pain of not being heard

Danny Raede



Imagine this....

Dad comes home from work and tells little Johnny to take out the trash. So Johnny disappears for about 10 minutes and then says “I did it!’.

When the dad checks, the trash is literally just sitting outside the door. So dad gets frustrated. Meanwhile Johnny still thinks he fulfills his end, and this devolves into a fight.

The problem here is unclear expectations AHEAD of time about what “take out the trash” means.

In other words, if you are speaking German and I’m speaking French but we both think we’re speaking Italian, there is bound to be some arguments, frustrations and emotional big-ness simply because both parties don’t feel heard.

The fix to this is surprisingly easy: Establish a shared language, a set of shared values and shared expectations AHEAD of time, so that when these things come up, everyone knows what is expected and what the specific words actually mean to the family.

Here's what happened when I tried this with my own family:

For at least 13 years of my life, I have told (and sometimes pleaded with) my mom to stop suggesting things and giving me advice unless asked. And she kept suggesting things and giving me unsolicited advice.

It became a real point of contention, where I would hang up the phone on her, yell at her, etc. Overall, I would say we didn’t have that strong of a relationship. Then things began to shift.

2 months ago, I decided that I was going to work with my parents on the process we outline in our Foundations of Communication course.

So we literally sat on the phone for multiple hours and listed out the common words we use. Then we all came to a mutual agreement on what those words meant. Then we used that list of words to set common expectations as a family.

It was long and sometimes boring, but completely worth it.

Once we were done with that process, things began to shift. There was a lot more mutual respect whenever we’d talk on the phone. It was much more pleasant to be around them. I started to call them more often and talk in more detail.

So, we decided to plan our first vacation together in 4 years. I no longer yell at her, she no longer gives unsolicited advice. There is peace.

Here's my advice to you: Go through a similar process with your family. Sit down together and create a shared language. It'll take a few hours to do right, but it's a worthwhile investment of time that will pay of for years to come.

  • Like 9


Recommended Comments

  • AE Staff
Danny Raede


On 5/27/2021 at 11:07 AM, J Rowe said:

Where is your Foundations of Communication course?  

An old course that is no longer being offered.

Link to comment
Raymond Bankes

Posted (edited)

Unsolicited advice: (lol)

Hi Danny and Staff:

It would be nice to have the content from the old course on Foundations of Communication available in some form for new families that are just getting started similar to keeping DIDM content around and now offering that in a in person setting again etc.

The pain of not being heard has been a life-long issue for me. Many people do not feel heard and/or are not able to advocate for themselves to find out how to be heard or know that they have a voice.  Those of us--most on the spectrum--with traumatic pasts do not feel we have a voice or can be heard. This presents itself on a spectrum from yelling and screaming, to acting out (actions because we don't have words), to withdrawing into ourselves in silence, or self medicating (substances or behaviors) etc.


Ray Bankes--long time member and alumni of the 1st DIDM conference...  It was really helpful.

Edited by Raymond Bankes
Link to comment
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recent Product Reviews

    • Deep Into Defense Mode
      I purchased one of your programs a couple of years ago.  Very helpful advice/information. I  really
      By Guest Yolanda Flanagan,
    • The Accountability Plan
      I recommend every parent bundle this course, if your child is willing. I took this course in su
      By Janet Jones,
    • Breaking Free
      Breaking Free
      This is a good course for anyone interested in being less stressed in day to day life.   
      By Ryan Jones,
    • The Accountability Plan
      Thank you so much for the Accountability Plan course. I am really happy I signed up and it was a per
      By Susie Murray,
    • AE+ - Social & Support Club
      AE has completely changed my perspective. After receiving my son’s diagnosis, I wasn’t sure what our
      By Miranda Reynolds,
  • Create New...
1425 Broadway #26970
Seattle, WA 98122
Logo, Website & Content Copyright 2021 © Asperger Experts LLC | User Contributions Licensed Under Creative Commons