How to Express Your Feelings when You're Autistic
Part 1Understanding Yourself
1Some autistic people have difficulty expressing their emotions, while others do it easily. This can sometimes be a matter of innate differences, and sometimes be the result of being treated badly by other people in the past. Do you feel confident in knowing that you're allowed to have your feelings? Did expressing yourself come easily to you as a child? Were you bullied or abused in the past? Did adults punish or criticize you when you expressed yourself as a kid?
2Around half of autistic people have alexithymia, a condition that impairs emotional understanding and recognition. If you have alexithymia, there's nothing "wrong" with you—you just experience things a little differently. People with alexithymia may... Not know how they're feeling Not know how other people are feeling Experience mostly physical signs related to emotions (like a headache when sad, or a stomachache when anxious) Struggle with talking about feelings
3If you have alexithymia, you may struggle to process and recognize your own emotions. Getting better practice with this can help you handle and express your feelings. Try asking yourself... What thoughts are running through my head? What emotion do these thoughts reflect? Am I feeling sensations in my body related to my feelings? What's my facial expression right now?
5When did this feeling start? Did something trigger it? Where did it come from?
6Feelings are a deeply personal thing, and you're allowed to feel them—even if your feelings are different from how other people might feel in a given situation.
Part 2Expressing Yourself in Private
1Try getting a journal, either a paper one or a digital one. Write about what's going on in your life, and how you're feeling about it.
2Try running, walking or stimming, or doing a brain teaser. Do anything you can to keep your brain sharp and ready.
3Stim harmlessly in a way that does not disrupt anybody nor hurt yourself and/or others.
4When you're stressed, try tucking yourself with a blanket or something warm and comfortable.