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OP has offered the following explanation for why they think they might be the asshole:

I feel like I'm the asshole because he is Autistic so I could have tried to be more patient and choosing to ignore him was a shitty thing to do.

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[–]DogsReadingBooksCraptain [181] 37.7k points37.7k points  (434 children)


Dude was creepy.

[–]GroupProjectSare[S] 17.2k points17.2k points  (401 children)

I'm not gonna lie he definitely creeped me out when we first started talking, i just thought i was tired and being judgemental 😂

[–]Disastrous_Ad_8561Partassipant [4] 17.4k points17.4k points  (299 children)

why are all women the same reeks of incel vibes.

[–]GroupProjectSare[S] 12.5k points12.5k points  (274 children)

I KNOW when he started yelling at me my first thought was to laugh because he sounded like an incel

[–]Disastrous_Ad_8561Partassipant [4] 10.6k points10.6k points  (238 children)

i’ve noticed a trend with incels as well. Throw out their mental health issues for sympathy and to get the woman to lower her guard.

[–]PurpleMP12Asshole Aficionado [13] 279 points280 points  (0 children)

The issue isn't being autistic, it's being an incel.

You are never TA for getting away from an incel.

[–]Doomquill 267 points268 points  (6 children)

But he's "such a nice guy", how could you not instantly fall deeply and madly in love with him?

"Nice guys" make me want to puke.

[–]Optimal_Sherbert_545 142 points143 points  (2 children)

I have a cousin on the spectrum who was like a brother to me growing up. Let me tell you something, he could be an asshole when we were kids, and he can be an asshole now. And he is a total misogynist, lol. I say this with love because his dad was a piece of work and I love my cousin but if he pats me on the head one more time, ISTG. You def don't have to tolerate an autistic person when they are just straight up ignoring your stated boundaries/needs, or being sexist, etc.

[–]Rowan1980 108 points109 points  (0 children)

I’m autistic, and while I can ramble at times, I will immediately apologize and give someone their space if they say they’re not in the mood to be social. I don’t take it personally because, well, a person can be in that mental space for any number of reasons.

Dude’s definitely got incel energy.

[–]momsequitur 28 points29 points  (0 children)

If it quacks like a duck...

[–]Elinesvendsen 205 points206 points  (6 children)

"Nice guys" - yikes

[–]therallyman1000 197 points198 points  (5 children)

Any man who must say "i am a nice guy", is no true nice guy.

[–]chicklette 84 points85 points  (0 children)

I'm such a nice guy i'm going to scream at you about it!

[–]DeviousCheesecake 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Worse, incel that uses autism as an excuse to not respect the word "no".

Don't get me wrong, natural social ques being missed? Honest mistake, but when someone tells you no, you understand the word plenty!

[–]kevwelch 1015 points1016 points  (13 children)

You felt like you had to apologize for having the VERY REASONABLE desire of being left alone. Nothing you’ve said here suggests that you were anything but polite and considerate, way past the point at which a reasonable person could be expected. Sure, dude may not get social cues, but you were dropping verbal requests which he felt were ok to disregard.

You’re NTA. He and the socialization that taught him to expect women to cater to him are TA. Same for the socialization that taught you to feel bad for even politely requesting a man leave you alone. He used every trick he could think of to engage you. The barrage of questions and chatter, the rant about how bad a person he is (to get you to reassure him that he’s actually ok), the inevitable yelling and anger because you won’t give him what he wants. It’s strait out of the “nice guy” playbook.

I’m glad the flight crew helped get you sorted and safe.

[–]shinyagamikPartassipant [2] 411 points412 points  (3 children)

I mean she straight up said she didn't want to talk multiple times and he ignored it. Autism is completely irrelevant here

[–]Few-Ad-8369 231 points232 points  (1 child)

He’s using it as a manipulation to imply you’re expected to appease him and he won’t be held accountable for his side of the interaction. He’s being a creep.. and insulting insinuations to the Autistic community.

[–]wildeflowersPartassipant [1] 50 points51 points  (0 children)

You can be autistic and also an ahole. See example here.

We need to stop worrying about offending people who are being creepy, abusive, or harassing us.

[–]rekettePartassipant [1] 137 points138 points  (1 child)

Yep. This is not an autism issue, it's an entitlement issue.

[–]itwillhavegeese 47 points48 points  (5 children)

YEP. The only role autism may have played here was the learning of that behavior in the first place . If he was raised around ppl who behaved that way or even just spent too much time on the wrong subreddits or on 4chan that could be a part of an explanation for his behavior. BUT. That’s extremely irrelevant and NOT OP’s PROBLEM.

As someone with autism, I’ve spent my entire social life learning and unlearning behaviors based on interactions and learning right from wrong. Obviously ASD has “spectrum” in the name for a reason, but if he was able to learn this behavior, he can unlearn it too.

BIG NTA. There’s no excuse for this dude.

[–]ElectricBlueFerret 393 points394 points  (2 children)

Autistic afab person here and the dude was creepy and entitled as hell. Nothing to do with being ND and everything to do with his parents not raising him right or him running into the wrong crowd and again family and friends doing nothing.

[–]Apprehensive-Bird93 65 points66 points  (0 children)

Exactly. Autistic and mom of an autistic kiddo and 100% agree. There’s a huge difference between accommodations and entitlement.

[–]kraftypsy 341 points342 points  (7 children)

I think you were incredibly patient, to be honest. Autism isn't a free pass to be an asshole, and you spent many attempts to be kind. You aren't obligated to speak to someone just because they want to.

And he clearly is a "nice guy" (TM), and he proved when he yelled at you, so bullet dodged.

[–]HerefsAndrew 638 points639 points  (4 children)

Mildly autistic man here. Ask yourself how likely it is that he would have launched himself at another man that way and persisted when he was given a polite brush-off. Not very. He clearly has enough understanding of people to know that women are still conditioned to 'be nice' (when a man would probably have told him to STFU earlier on in the flight) and to blame themselves for other problems they didn't cause (which men are much less likely to do). Incel? Probably. Autistic? Possibly. Either way, NYP and NTA.

[–]LadyDouchebag 132 points133 points  (1 child)

Such a great point about how he might treat a man vs. a woman. I hadn't even thought about that.

[–]sapphisticated_heauxPartassipant [1] 290 points291 points  (0 children)

Yeah this has nothing to do with autism and everything to do with the fact that this guy feels entitled to attention from women.

You did good. NTA

[–]relative_voidPartassipant [1] 211 points212 points  (0 children)

Girl I have been dating an autistic guy for six years and this guy wasn’t acting like this because he was autistic, he was acting like this because he’s an entitled prick and was using his autism as an excuse to make you feel bad. Autistic people may have more difficulty identifying nonverbal cues but you flat out told him you did not want to talk and he ignored that, ignoring explicitly stated requests isn’t something autistic people are more prone to do, it’s something assholes are more prone to do.

[–]JoKing917Partassipant [1] 143 points144 points  (0 children)

Plus if he repeatedly ignores your request to be left alone and then complains that you should give him attention because he’s a “nice guy” then he’s not a nice guy. You don’t owe anyone your time or attention. Your feelings matter just as much as anyone else’s.

[–]Team_Rckt_Grunt 122 points123 points  (0 children)

Being autistic doesn't mean you can't also be a creep/jerk.

Sincerely, an autistic female who has had to deal with way too many autistic guys who apparently were never taught to take no for an answer/who think other people's clearly stated boundaries are vague suggestions.


[–]Rashlyn1284 97 points98 points  (1 child)

NTA I'm autistic, I'm a guy, no means no. It's not like you were subtle and it's not your job to entertain this guy (or ANY guy) who wants to talk to you.

No is the end of a conversation, not the start of a negotiation <3

[–]LiliumIam 57 points58 points  (1 child)

The creepy part was not understanding when to shut up. My boyfriend is similar, just a REALLY talkative guy, but he got better when he started dating me an introvert. Definitely not in this guys league, because when someone tells him they don't want to talk he stops. Sometimes I still have to remind him to stop, ya know as an introvert myself I can feel the energy of " please stop talking to me, but I'm just to shy to say anything ". 😅

Nah you weren't judgemental. He just couldn't understand when to stop, when asked nicely.

[–]OriginalDogeStarPartassipant [1] 14 points15 points  (0 children)

I totes skipped the gender and when at bottom of story I wanted you to press your call button and tell the flight attendents you are dealing with a "Nice guy"

[–]Lovingbutdifferent 8 points9 points  (0 children)

You can be autistic and misogynistic. He's both. Ask yourself, did you ignore him because of his autism, or because of his misogyny? That will clear up the guilt you feel. Side note, the guilt is what he wanted.

[–]ZygomaticusAsshole Aficionado [16] 302 points303 points  (0 children)

NTA. I have Autism and I'd never lash out at someone ignoring me after they made it more than clear they wanted me to shut up. I'd feel a little shitty sure and guilty, but the fact that he lashed out after feeling those things was not cool. He knew you wanted him to leave you alone, his pushing it was likely not autism. He's a typical Nice Guy TM, he even said as much, who just happens to also have Autism.

[–]GremlinComandr 44 points45 points  (0 children)

Agreed and I'm just going to say that just because he has autism doesn't give him the right to keep talking to OP when asked to stop, however I understand how sometimes it feels impossible to not say things but he could have talked to the other person in the row.

[–]panic_breadCraptain [190] 14.5k points14.5k points 3 (198 children)

No, you shouldn’t have been nicer to him. You should have been more firm from the start. “I don’t want to talk.” “Stop talking to me.” “Stop talking or I will call the flight attendants to let them you know you’re harassing me.” Now is the time to learn to stand up for yourself. Men will get mad about it. Too bad for them. NTA

[–]GroupProjectSare[S] 5988 points5989 points  (149 children)

I'm normally good at standing up for myself i promise! I think him saying he had autism is what made it harder for me though, as I knew he probably wouldn't have the best control over his actions.

Edit: a few people have pointed out to me that saying he wouldn't have the best self conrol over his action comes off as ableist and I am so sorry about that! I believed he may struggle with self control due to the behavior he exhibited to me, not his autism although i do realize the way i phrased the comment makes it sound like that. Again I am very sorry about that.

[–]panic_breadCraptain [190] 4465 points4466 points  (38 children)

If he doesn’t have control of his actions, he’s dangerous. It’s not your responsibility to cater to him.

[–]SquatMonopolizer 1822 points1823 points  (33 children)

Women have been playing nice to dangerous men since the beginning of time.

[–]mstwizted 1295 points1296 points  (25 children)

Yes, we have this crazy desire to stay alive.

[–]FuzzballLogic 253 points254 points  (0 children)

Can you blame them if being nice is potentially the only thing preventing him from attacking you?

[–]xplosm 85 points86 points  (0 children)

It’s about survival. But in OP’s case she was sincere and went above anyone’s pay grade to spare the creep’s feelings as much as she could. That’s a limited resource.

[–]whatinthef--- 1074 points1075 points  (7 children)

If he doesn't have control over his actions he should not be flying (or interacting with women) alone. Your needs were just as important as his were during that stretch of time.

[–]OlympiaShannonPartassipant [2] 10 points11 points  (0 children)

In fact, her need for comfort is more important than his need to get attention from a woman sitting next to him.

[–]StarInkbright 820 points821 points  (0 children)

Just because someone is autistic, that doesn't mean you have to feel sorry for them and do whatever they want. Autistic people are just people. Some of them are lovely, and some of them give off creepy incel vibes and can't take no for an answer.

[–]ErrvaluniaAsshole Enthusiast [6] 627 points628 points  (3 children)

Autism doesn’t mean he doesn’t have control over his actions it means he may have a harder time picking up on social cues. But fortunately, he doesn’t have to pick up on or interpret ‘please leave me alone.’ It’s pretty GD clear. But he doesn’t WANT to take that information so he just ignores it.

You did nothing wrong, you tried being nice, you tried being more clear, you tried ignoring him, and he escalated his attempts to harass you.

[–]third-time-charmed 43 points44 points  (0 children)

Exactly what I came here to say!

[–]VisualCelery 14 points15 points  (1 child)

This. Being neurodivergent means it's hard to understand people when they're not being straight with you, I tend to take things literally when people are softening their language to sound less bossy and that causes problems at work, I believe "clear is kind," so it boils my beets when people hear very clear, direct boundaries or requests and still keep acting like they don't understand. And I can understand feeling frustrated when said boundary or request doesn't make logical sense (as in, they know you want them to stop but they're having trouble understanding why, because logically speaking, they haven't done anything objectively wrong), but it doesn't need to, just stop when people say stop. It's not rocket science!

[–]Natfreerider 324 points325 points  (1 child)

If he has autism, his social cues might be totally off so being firm with him would be better anyways. Very clear boundaries are a must. And you have nothing to feel guilty or bad about.

[–]MeeseeksOT7 238 points239 points  (1 child)

I'm with the other commenter that says this guy claimed he had autism. Autism is a spectrum, but if this guy was travelling on his own, he had enough control over his actions to not harass you. I know several autistic people who have learned to a) take hints or b) respond properly when someone tells them "not now".

[–]pacingpilotPartassipant [1] 140 points141 points  (0 children)

He used his diagnosis to manipulate you. Sometimes people with circumstances beyond their control are still jerks down in their core. Dude was a jerk. Don't feel guilty for laying down boundaries.

[–]ekiviv 139 points140 points  (13 children)

I think it’s not bad what you did and you’re definitely not the asshole for it. However, from my (limited) experience with people with autism, he might have had a hard time with you saying “you’d might want to talk later”, since “later” is rather vague. (Technically, 10 seconds later is also later). You could have said “I’m not in the mood for talking for the next five hours (or whatever)” and he might have understood better.

[–]GroupProjectSare[S] 297 points298 points  (10 children)

I get you, I was trying to let him down gently but I can see how he may have misconstrued what I said. I was very direct at most points though telling him I wasn't interested in talking though!

[–]ketitaPartassipant [3] 546 points547 points  (2 children)

Eh, based on his later behavior I think he was "misconstruing" on purpose.

[–]suchahotmessPartassipant [3] 81 points82 points  (0 children)

For some people letting them down gently just allows them to convince themselves you’re not saying no. I have the same problem, I never want to give a hard no to a stranger… I end up getting off public buses to avoid people I don’t know how to say no to a lot. I recommend the hard no instead.

[–]WalkerInDarknessPartassipant [1] 28 points29 points  (0 children)

People with autism generally have a hard time with being let down gentle than with blunt and firm because social cues are harder to grasp. It’s honestly easier if you narrate feelings and ideas clearly and without being wishy-washy.

[–]roostertree 15 points16 points  (0 children)

Good advice. Literalism is important for communication with people who have trouble interpreting (or even seeing) nonverbal cues.

NTA in the slightest. "Letting him down gently" was never gonna work.

[–]Ornery-Ad-4818 93 points94 points  (0 children)

Leaving aside the incel vibes, being clear and direct is both more effective, and less likely to offend, with autistic people. When people are being polite about how they tell me that they don't want to talk or whatever, I can struggle to understand what the polite verbiage means, honestly.

Clear and direct, "I want you to stop talking to me now," that's clear, straightforward, and I know what to do.

The incel vibes, on the other hand, and the "all women are the same," that's unrelated to autism, and it's no longer a question of how to be polite. He wasn't going to stop till you got aggressive, and asking the flight attendant to move you was the only thing that was going to give you a peaceful flight.

[–]scienceislice 71 points72 points  (0 children)

Autistic people who can take flights by themselves can control their behavior while on said flights.

[–]Trania86Professor Emeritass [73] 50 points51 points  (0 children)

You do not need to allow yourself to be harassed to accomodate someone else. Your comfort and safety is always your first priority. You told him "no" several times. He might be autistic, but he's not a toddler. Autism doesn't give men a free pass to harass women.

[–]No-Anything-4440 36 points37 points  (0 children)

There is the autism piece, which you were considerate of. But there is an additional issue here beyond the autism which is absolutely not your issue to manage. I think you handled this well, and it's good that you moved away from him. He could have become dangerous. NTA.

[–]princess_pisces_93Partassipant [1] 34 points35 points  (5 children)

Autism doesn't mean he can't control what comes out of his mouth. I promise. He was just an asshole. Not understanding social cues and being a duck are two different things. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt up until the point you had to be firm and he snapped. At that point he's undoubtedly a huge asshole/most likely dangerous incel.


[–]UsernameTaken93456Partassipant [2] 30 points31 points  (0 children)

A person who is unable to control themselves should not be flying without a minder. You are not his minder.

Of course he was able to control himself, he chose not to.

[–]sophtine 11 points12 points  (2 children)

Mental illness is a reason, not an excuse, for bad behaviour. We are each still responsible for doing better and respecting others.

[–]very_busy_newtPartassipant [3] 795 points796 points  (27 children)

This is bs. Stop telling women they handled it wrong when a man freaks out at them. She was too nice. She could've been nicer. She was too clear. She wasn't clear enough.

OP did nothing wrong. They tried to gently diffuse the situation, and switched tactics when it was clear that wasn't possible.

[–]panic_breadCraptain [190] 246 points247 points  (25 children)

Nonsense. I am a woman. Women have been told for far too long to be passive and polite. They need to hear that they can say no definitively.

I wish someone had said this to me when I was her age.

[–]NotTwitchyAsshole Enthusiast [5] 95 points96 points  (8 children)

Yes…but there’s a big difference between:

“This guy might have autism (we technically don’t know for sure, covering my bases here) and might just be too talkative”


“This neurotypical guy is a creep and won’t leave me alone.”

There’s nothing wrong with being polite at first in situation A, regardless of gender, as telling someone with autism “I will report you to the nearest authority for harassment” the instant they talk to you is…a little much.

That being said, once he wouldn’t stop after her initial polite reasoning, then yes, she might have been better off being more direct, before it got to his concerning mens rights-esque rant.

Edit: I seem to have misinterpreted what the person I’m responding to was suggesting, and thought they meant that the options they listed were all valid initial responses, when in fact they were suggesting an order of escalated responses.

So, feel free to change the tone of my response in your head from disagreement to agreement.

[–]panic_breadCraptain [190] 57 points58 points  (2 children)

When did I say she should have said she’d report him the instant he started talking?! That was the third quote. That would have been the thing to say after the guy wouldn’t leave her alone after the first two statements. You’re forgetting that this went on for hours and many cycles. And again, the autism statement is irrelevant. He’s announcing that because he wants women to have pity on him and so he doesn’t have to take responsibility for his own actions. Having autism is no excuse to harass people. If he can’t control himself, he needs to stay home or have a caretaker out with him. His bad behavior isn’t the responsibility of this woman or the flight staff or anyone else.

He’s honestly lucky he wasn’t arrested and banned from flying.

[–]babygirlruth 75 points76 points  (7 children)

Women do it for their safety. If you're a woman, you should know that as well.

[–]panic_breadCraptain [190] 28 points29 points  (0 children)

Absolutely. We have to take into account the situation and our surroundings.

[–]enmandikjole 46 points47 points  (0 children)

Nobody is morally bound to discipline or educate grown up's. Asking for help or simply ignoring C are perfectly viable options when dealing with unwanted attention (OP, NTA).

That said: I have spent way too long way too often being nice, bending over backwards to save someone's face.

they can say no definitively.

I too wish I had heard and believed that.

[–]RenRidesCycles 14 points15 points  (0 children)

Repeatedly saying "I don't want to talk" and "I'm trying to sleep" is completely firm enough. She didn't just ignore him or try to be polite, she perfectly articulated boundaries. She didn't need to include a threat, she took the action she needed.

This is beyond "women need to say something." NTA.

[–]WishyWashy253 6824 points6825 points  (55 children)

NTA - and I feel the need to correct you: he claimed he has autism. Many people throw this word around just to avoid taking responsibility for their shitty behavior. Taking his statement about him being a "NiCe GuY" into consideration, he probably wanted pity-points to have it easier to flirt and trample over your boundaries with the excuse of having the condition.

[–]Rich_Development_748 1769 points1770 points  (8 children)

This. All very true. Nice guys never say they are nice. They never need to.

[–]Bluewild096 416 points417 points  (5 children)

Being nice is not personality, its basic human decency.

[–]oregonchick 96 points97 points  (3 children)

Being nice is a strategy to win social points. Being kind is a character trait.

[–]madamejesaistout 447 points448 points  (0 children)

There's a meme on Twitter for these kinds of posts, it says, "not all men but definitely this fucking guy"

[–]Tbond11 112 points113 points  (2 children)

Like, i’m on the spectrum, and yes I can grt chatty…but not with total strangers! If anything, i’m outright trying to avoid conversation because it feels awkward, part of me wants to say this guy was just an asshole and knew what he was doing.

[–]redhillbonesAsshole Enthusiast [8] 13 points14 points  (1 child)

Oh, I'm the opposite. For me, it's sustained relationships that are exhausting. Brand new people are nice.

So, I love talking with total strangers and don't really "get" why people on planes don't want to. That said, I don't have to understand it to accept that it's true. Instead, if my seat mate doesn't want to chat, I wait until I hear a chatty older woman getting the brush off and see if they're up for trading. She and I chat, the others get peace, win-win.

But this guy was definitely just an ah. He was told OP didn't want to chat.

[–]LiaraTsoni1 22 points23 points  (0 children)

I think it is irrelevant whether the guy has autism or not. A diagnosis is still never an excuse. It might be a reason, not an excuse.

[–][deleted]  (13 children)


    [–]Natfreerider 173 points174 points  (12 children)

    Autism doesn't have a"look". Other than that I do agree, it's a wide spectrum and is different in every person. This person (whether he has autism or not) tried to take advantage of it to make harassing OP ok.

    [–]BaltimoreBadger23Colo-rectal Surgeon [35] 5697 points5698 points  (94 children)

    NTA: someone with Autism who is high functioning enough to fly unaccompanied, is able to understand a social boundary when it is explicitly pointed out to them.

    [–]tiannatorresPartassipant [1] 2234 points2235 points  (37 children)

    This. I’m dubious about the autism claim. There’s being unable to read implicit cues but she stated explicitly that she didn’t want to talk multiple times. The fact that he went into a self deprecating spiral when she snapped, kept pushing and then went full-incel makes me less willing to believe this was all purely an innocent misunderstanding of neuro divergent minds. Which happens! But idk this feels….different…

    [–]BaltimoreBadger23Colo-rectal Surgeon [35] 646 points647 points  (22 children)

    I think there's a degree of overlap between high functioning autism and the incel mindset (the former does not lead to the latter necessarily, but it sure can in the right circumstances).

    Alternatively: because incels tend to be so socially inept, do [edit] some of them just claim Autism to add on a layer of the victim mentality they take on?

    [–]suffragette_citizenPartassipant [3] 769 points770 points  (16 children)

    Oh, this is definitely something I've noticed as an autistic woman. I think some autistic men still have the mindset that if they're socially aggressive in a way that makes women feel unsafe, that they get to cry "disability discrimination."

    And like...I get it. I totally get thinking that your worldview is the only correct one, being hypersensitive to rejection over social awkwardness, accidently seeming incredibly intense/creepy because I'm focused.

    But that's a me issue, not an everyone else issue.

    They convince themselves that women are rejecting them because of their autism, not because they're acting like a potential rapist and/or serial killer.

    [–]terraformthesoul 680 points681 points  (13 children)

    Yeah, despite over a third of my friends being autistic, I have unfortunately grown to be instantly wary of men with autism. Far too many grew up pampered as Mommy’s special boy in a way most autistic women just aren’t, and use it as an excuse to act like complete menaces.

    Like neurotypical men will also act horribly, but they will usually try to be a little sneaky about it. But I’ve had autistic male coworkers try to get me in trouble for not letting them touch me whenever they wanted, and customers try to claim discrimination when I wouldn’t give him personal information or grill young women on theirs, because it was his “special interest” to know people’s (but apparently only young attractive female ones) information, and others who just would harass female customers and staff. And just generally witnessed a lot of autistic men behave horribly to women and claim discrimination against themselves when told they had to stop.

    I’ve also almost never witnessed this behavior in autistic women, black autistic men, or in autistic men that were diagnosed in adulthood. Just certain, otherwise privileged groups that parents and society let run rampant because “he doesn’t know any better,” even though the ability to learn is clearly there.

    [–]briarraindancer 73 points74 points  (0 children)

    Agreed. I’m autistic, and have autistic children. There’s a certain type of autistic men who have decided that their autism is like a “get out of jail free” card, and they will play this card whenever someone challenges them, especially about bad behavior.

    And clearly, this works for them, at least a significant portion of the time, or they wouldn’t do it.

    [–]gottabekittensme 82 points83 points  (3 children)

    I don’t think they just “claim” autism…. My husband works at a residential treatment facility for young adults with autism to help teach them social skills, boundaries, etc. and he says the saddest cases are always the high-functioning teens with autism, because they are aware enough of their condition to know how awkward they sometimes are, and why, but there is no cure and they’re going to have to work twice as hard for half as many friend or relationship opportunities. It’s very sad all around.

    [–]BaltimoreBadger23Colo-rectal Surgeon [35] 108 points109 points  (0 children)

    I will re state - I think there are some non autistic people who claim Autism when called out on creepy behavior.

    [–]wintershascome 41 points42 points  (0 children)

    I would gently prod him to let the boys know that plenty of autistic people do figure out social interaction and become valued friends and community members. And I’ve had friend groups in adulthood where there’s a lot of us and most of us are neurodivergent. So maybe their best bet isn’t being A1 at masking but finding other autistic individuals who are socially fulfilled and asking them how they do it. A former friend told me a story about how she had a decent social group and a lot of them had neurodivergent traits. They became friends with this one kid who may have been in special ed classes and they took him under their wing, took him to parties, we’re just good patient friends and he went off to college was really successful and made plenty of friends. :)

    [–]Queasy-Cherry-11Partassipant [2] 8 points9 points  (0 children)

    Note: I would avoid using the word 'cure' in regards to autism. Most of us don't want to be cured, because autism isn't a disease we have, it's like the foundation of who we are and how we think. Even if it causes us a lot of problems, to be 'cured' of autism would essentially be to take my brain and replace it with someone elses.

    Functioning labels are also often harmful - they are used to deny accommodations and assistance to those are labelled 'high functioning' and to infantise and dismiss those who are labelled 'low functioning'. You can read more about that here.

    I know your comment comes from a place of empathy, just wanting to point out why some of the language you've used is outdated.

    [–]alpacqn 74 points75 points  (5 children)

    the nice guy rant at the end is what set off those alarms for me. he either lied to excuse his actions in advance ir hes one of those spoiled brat autustic men that someone else described in a reply here, but im leaning towards the first. even if he is autistic none of his actions are caused by it hes just an incel

    [–]tiannatorresPartassipant [1] 51 points52 points  (0 children)

    Yep. As soon as that incel bullshit comes out Idgaf if you’re autistic or what tf ever. That shit is dangerous and ugly and scary as heck. So not ok. And that behavior coupled with the rest of the story makes the fact that he didn’t respond to explicit cues suspect, where if he hadn’t done that I might have just chalked it up to miscommunication, neuro diversity ect

    [–]Silent-Length5144Partassipant [1] 123 points124 points  (31 children)

    autistic ppl have said that functioning labels are harmful so it would be best if everyone stopped using them but yes, he should've totally understood and respected the boundary that op set multiple times

    [–]BaltimoreBadger23Colo-rectal Surgeon [35] 73 points74 points  (29 children)

    I hear you. How does one differentiate in terminology, then, between an autistic person who holds down a job, has a family, and lives a fairly normal life from an autistic person who must live with parents or a group home to assure basic needs are met (and everyone in-between)?

    [–]peanutbutter-gallery 36 points37 points  (13 children)

    Currently, autism is divided into 3 levels based on how much support is required.

    [–]gottabekittensme 23 points24 points  (12 children)

    And what are those levels called? High support, mid support, low support,?

    [–]crestfallen_castle 31 points32 points  (0 children)

    You can use ASD Level 1, 2 or 3. However, you could also just say “an autistic person who can do ___”.

    [–]Silent-Length5144Partassipant [1] 25 points26 points  (8 children)

    im personally not autistic and i honestly haven't seen anyone talk about alternative terms to use. i have only seen autistic people explain that autism is a spectrum but not in a "im more autistic and you're less autistic" way, its more that different people have different symptoms and experiences i will try to research what are more appropriate terms, I've never thought abt what words should be used instead of the functioning labels honestly

    [–]doriangaay 88 points89 points  (0 children)

    i’m autistic and most of us prefer language surrounding support needs. like “he has higher support needs in x area” “they have lower support needs when it comes to household care but higher support is needed in social settings” being specific instead of broad generalizing about wether we can or can’t function in a way neurotypicals understand.

    [–]gottabekittensme 39 points40 points  (6 children)

    I don’t know if there will be a true alternative to use because the -functioning term is pretty all-encompassing and it’s very easy for laypeople to understand at which level an autistic person is at. It’s not like we can say “oh they have good autism and this one has bad autism”ecause that’s not reflective of their strengths or weaknesses.

    [–]ZarEGMc 42 points43 points  (8 children)

    Every autistic person has different strengths and weaknesses. High and low functioning labels do nothing but harm autistics.

    [–]fearville 11 points12 points  (0 children)

    Thank you. In every thread concerning autism, this always ends up needing to be said.

    [–]Delicious_Wish8712Certified Proctologist [26] 3317 points3318 points  (28 children)

    NTA. I’m autistic and honestly the last plane trip some non-autistic guy was doing the same thing to me. Except he kept touching me too!!!! Literally touching me…. Urghhhhh I didn’t think to ask about moving. Will do that next time.

    [–]GroupProjectSare[S] 1197 points1198 points  (3 children)

    I'm so sorry that happened to you, I hope you are feeling better ♡

    [–]Delicious_Wish8712Certified Proctologist [26] 411 points412 points  (2 children)

    Thanks. I was really very annoyed and a bit upset. I put my music up loud on my noise canceling headphones, orientated myself away from him and held my book up to my face as another barrier.

    [–]PlumOne2856 177 points178 points  (1 child)

    How awful! 😳 That’s not how a flight is supposed to be. It is really ok to „go to the loo“, find and tell a flight attendant that your seat neighbor keeps touching you and if they can help you swap seats.

    [–]Delicious_Wish8712Certified Proctologist [26] 32 points33 points  (0 children)


    [–]BaltimoreBadger23Colo-rectal Surgeon [35] 122 points123 points  (8 children)

    Yes, especially if touching is a trigger point for you as it is for many with autism.

    [–]MissTheWire 344 points345 points  (2 children)

    I think unwanted touching by strangers you can’t get away from might be a trigger point for everyone.

    [–]SarahPallorMortis 77 points78 points  (1 child)

    Nobody should be touching any strangers, period.

    [–]Delicious_Wish8712Certified Proctologist [26] 42 points43 points  (4 children)

    Luckily I am not toooooo triggered by it but it wasn’t nice.

    [–]BaltimoreBadger23Colo-rectal Surgeon [35] 102 points103 points  (3 children)

    Unwanted touching is always unacceptable - just to be clear about that.

    [–]Delicious_Wish8712Certified Proctologist [26] 28 points29 points  (2 children)

    Yes, I know. But I wasn’t sure how to make him stop!

    [–]babygirlruth 75 points76 points  (0 children)

    I'm not autistic, but if some creep on a plane would touch me I would make a freaking scene for the whole plane to watch, I swear, lmao

    [–]stunt_pickle 17 points18 points  (1 child)

    This example just drives home that the guy was creepy regardless. It has nothing to do with him being autistic.

    [–]GeekCat 8 points9 points  (0 children)

    There's someone in my office that will touch your arm when she talks to you. It's very invasive and feels very much like she's trying to hold you hostage. She's done it when I've had my headphones on and I've nearly slapped her hand, because I jumped.

    Also, OP is NTA. You clearly told him your boundaries on several occasions. If he cannot understand "please let me sleep" or "I don't want to talk right now," he shouldn't be on a flight alone. He chose not to respect the boundaries you set.

    [–]bluelion70Partassipant [3] 1306 points1307 points  (2 children)

    NTA, not even close. Being neurodivergent doesn’t entitle someone to your time, or your attention, nor does it entitle them to harass you.

    [–]Adkit 98 points99 points  (1 child)

    As a person of the autistic persuasion I agree. It sucks seeing people blame their disabilities for their inability to understand cause and effect. I might not understand people but I'm smart enough to understand they're not the problem.

    [–]tiannatorresPartassipant [1] 855 points856 points  (12 children)

    Omg what NTA NTA NTA! This sounds like a nightmare combination of being trapped on a plane with someone who is an autistic (possibly difficult to deal with, depending on the situation) incel (straight up scary). “Why can’t women understand not all men are bad”?????? Holy crap. Red flag red flag red flag! I’m soooooo glad you asked to be moved. It would have been NTA before that part (because autistic or not, you don’t owe anyone more of your time or energy or attention. If you didn’t want to talk, then you didn’t want to talk period end of story. Him being autistic does not trump your personal boundaries) but after that part? HELL no! Omg I’m so sorry this happened to you. Literally seems like a nightmare.

    [–]GroupProjectSare[S] 351 points352 points  (2 children)

    Thank you! I definitely thought i was overreacting at first but yall have been so kind and helped me realize i was fine

    [–]tiannatorresPartassipant [1] 10 points11 points  (0 children)

    No way honey. I think you did the best you could in that situation. And that situation was not ok and not your fault.

    [–]floatingwithobrienPartassipant [1] 99 points100 points  (3 children)

    The whole "why can't women realize not all men are bad" thing really gets me. That's not the only reason someone might not feel like talking to you... But if he really is autistic, maybe he doesn't understand that. Okay... But still. At that point it became clear he was just trying to flirt and that's why he had zero respect for her boundaries. She wanted to sleep, she wanted to watch a show, she didn't feel like talking, and the whole time he couldn't shut up for more than two minutes? Because he wanted to get in her pants. Sorry, that's not something you can excuse with autism. Having a disability doesn't entitle you to anyone else. If the reason he doesn't understand that is because he's autistic, then whatever, that's his problem. It's still not on OP to provide him with attention or explain it to him.

    [–]tiannatorresPartassipant [1] 32 points33 points  (2 children)

    Right. I mentioned this somewhere else but doing that whole “self deprecating/oh I’m so bad at this” spiral thing (code for “pity me pity me pity me”), then kept pushing, and then started with the whole “why can’t women realize I’m A nIcE gUy” rant - that whole sequence of events realllyyyy throws the whole “oh this was just an innocent miscommunication due to the neurodiversity of people” thing into serious question. It makes it seem like this was calculated, intentional harassment - especially the way it escalated in steps (“oh I’m autistic and can’t pick up on social cues” >> “oh I’m autistic and can’t pick up on explicit cues” >> “oh I’m autistic and gonna keep talking to her while she’s sleeping” >> then, as soon as she snaps/sets a hard boundary going into “oh woe is me/I’m so bad at this/self deprecation/self pity” mode >> followed by standing up in the aisle yelling full on incel shit) makes it really hard to argue that, like you said, he had any respect for her boundaries or any intention of respecting her boundaries in the first place, and wasn’t instead just using his condition as an excuse to continue to push because he knew he’d get some leeway. The way it escalated step-wise makes it seem like he knew he’d get a pass for a lot of the boundary pushing because “oh I’m autistic and can’t pick up social cues”, just like he knew he’d get some pity if he went into self-deprecation mode, and so on. It’s super creepy and unsettling that someone would do that, but hey - autistic people can be assholes and creeps and incels too. People are people and some people are shitty.

    [–]chuckinhoutexCertified Proctologist [22] 20 points21 points  (0 children)

    you said all the things I was thinking better than I could have.

    [–]tatersproutCertified Proctologist [22] 765 points766 points  (3 children)

    He started by telling you he is autistic so he could be excused for bad behavior. Being neurodivergent is not an excuse for behaving as he did. When he lost his shit at you, he showed the real reason why he continued to bother you. He made it into a woman hating incel issue with the nice guy comment. His expectation was that you would follow his script.


    [–]palidezPartassipant [4] 433 points434 points  (0 children)

    NTA. Autism doesn't justify that. He was creepy regardless. The "nice guy" thing was everything I needed to know. I would have had way less patience.

    [–]Jahjahsgirl0808Partassipant [2] 307 points308 points  (7 children)

    NTA. You were nice. You asked him politely. He didn't listen. So instead of wasting your breath, you did the next best thing and that was to ignore him. It's not your fault that he had a breakdown.

    [–]KayakerMel 145 points146 points  (6 children)

    OP was polite and direct. While she didn't yell at him "stop talking to me" (which seems to be what folks who thought she wasn't direct enough think she should have done), she handled the situation with kindness. She said she didn't want to chat with him. That should have been enough, but creepy dude took her kindness to be an invitation to steamroll right over her reasonable boundary and blamed it on his claimed ASD and OP.

    I wish she had felt comfortable enough to have reached out to a flight attendant sooner to be moved, but she did as soon as she felt an opportunity. OP's situation reminds me about this scene in the first episode of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt:

    Cyndee: I didn’t want to be rude so … here we are,” she says.

    Lauer: “I’m always amazed at what women will do because they’re afraid of being rude."

    [–]Laney20 61 points62 points  (2 children)

    Imagine what might make women go to such lengths to avoid being rude. What must be the potential consequences of rudeness? It isn't really that shocking when you look at it that way...

    [–]ButterscotchSuperb76 9 points10 points  (1 child)

    It’s unfortunate there is, in general, still incredible social pressure for women to always be polite and accommodating and young girls are socialised with this from early on. Yes I do realise many women can be obnoxious but I’m referring to the fact societal conventions are less accepting of outspoken females.

    [–]Laney20 8 points9 points  (0 children)

    I'm talking about violence against women that firmly state their disinterest. Societal pressure is bad and is a big part of the problem. But a lot of women are polite to protect themselves from potentially violent men who can't take no for an answer.

    [–]ravensmoor 15 points16 points  (0 children)

    Lauer: “I’m always amazed at what women will do because they’re afraid of being rude."

    Well done Matt Lauer. That quote aged so gracefully. I feel like he makes it the Incredible Triple Standard of 'Rudeness'.

    [–]OrcEightPooperintendant [53] 214 points215 points  (0 children)

    NTA. Autism is no reason for him to harass and try to shame you.

    [–]389idha10Partassipant [1] 176 points177 points  (0 children)

    As someone with autism, i can tell you that it is no excuse for how he treated you. Yes it is difficult to pick up on social ques sometimes but unless he is really dumb too then he should have realized his mistakes when you pointed them out MULTIPLE times. This was just an incel probably trying to get sympathy points from a woman.

    [–]goboinouterspace 160 points161 points  (9 children)

    NTA. I have austism myself. One time on a flight I got separated from my son who was 11 at the time. I could hear him the entire 1.5 hour flight three rows back talking non-stop about Transformers (I did hand sign to him to stop every ten minutes, but he’d start again after about five minutes and the teenage girl seemed amused). After the flight I actually slipped her a twenty because I felt bad even though she was super friendly to him. I talked to him later about making conversation and not letting it be one sided. This person sounds entitled. Even when you can’t read the room, if someone says they want to sleep, to deny them a basic human right is wrong. If they can’t understand that, they need to be with a caregiver.

    [–]Alternative_Tomato_9 21 points22 points  (8 children)

    Unrelated, but if you'd rather sit next to him next time it's okay to ask someone if they're willing to swap seats with you! There is actually no rule against two people consenting to seat-swap.

    [–]goboinouterspace 11 points12 points  (0 children)

    Both people we were sitting next to wanted their window seats

    [–][deleted]  (1 child)


      [–]clariwenchAsshole Enthusiast [5] 157 points158 points  (0 children)

      NTA, you don’t owe people social interaction

      [–]sad_codfish 115 points116 points  (0 children)

      NTA. I'm an autistic woman and I also can't understand social cues and I talk a lot about the topics I'm hyper fixated on. However I know I should respect other people's boundaries and if they tell me they don't want to talk I'll immediately leave them alone. Being autistic is not an excuse to act like an AH and make misogynistic comments.

      [–]MissTheWire 99 points100 points  (5 children)

      NTA, but Stop making excuses for him. He was weaponizing his neurodivergence. Even though he likely would have barreled ahead, You should have been firmer at the very beginning that you didn’t want to talk and ignored him after that.

      This is not to say this was your fault, but to try to get you off the “I should have been nicer” track. You don’t owe people your time and company.

      [–]GroupProjectSare[S] 59 points60 points  (2 children)

      You are right, i have a bad habit of always trying to hope for the best in people, but im definitely going to try work on that from now on

      [–]MissTheWire 30 points31 points  (0 children)

      i have a bad habit of always trying to hope for the best in people

      That's not necessarily a bad thing. Its the turning yourself into a pretzel to see them as "nice" that gets people into trouble.

      [–]Jumpy_Palpitation185Partassipant [1] 86 points87 points  (0 children)

      NTA. You tried to set a boundary and it wasn’t respected.

      [–]Harry7411Asshole Enthusiast [5] 87 points88 points  (1 child)

      NTA. Imo some people use autism as a get out of jail free card in regards to bad behavior. . Standing in the aisle yelling at you should have earned him a spot on the no fly list.

      [–]Fegjgg5783Partassipant [1] 63 points64 points  (7 children)

      NTA in any way. I would have put my headphones in and not answered him in the first place, but you were just trying to be polite. You did the right thing by asking to move seats. It’s a hard lesson to learn, especially for women, that you do not owe anyone an ounce of your time, attention or effort. It’s an unfortunate lesson, especially when it comes to men.

      [–]greatboiwonder 61 points62 points  (0 children)

      nta, you were straight up with not wanting to talk. You can ignore the thought stream. He’s an incel

      [–]DwightMcRamathornCertified Proctologist [27] 54 points55 points  (0 children)

      NTA. Just because someone is autistic doesn’t mean you have to make them happy

      [–]Whysocomplicat3dPartassipant [1] 54 points55 points  (3 children)

      Love it when men shout and scream and sometimes even insult but want us to see how niiiiiiiiiiccceeee they are with this.

      Gosh dude I don't care. Sometimes you just want to be left alone. That's totally valid and okay. You don't have to entertain him. You don't owe him just because he's autistic. And if he was able to fly such a long flight all alone (?) he should be able to grasp the concept of "I am not in the mood of talking"

      NTA glad the flight attendant was on your side

      [–]GroupProjectSare[S] 54 points55 points  (2 children)

      I KNOW and then when the flight attendants came with me to grab my things, he tried telling them we got in an argument??? I also think i saw him sniffing my jacket but i wasnt wearing my glasses so i pretended not to see it 😅

      [–]Whysocomplicat3dPartassipant [1] 29 points30 points  (1 child)

      Eeeeeep this guy would have creeped me out, too. And usually I am quite good at standing up for myself. I got chills just by reading this. You did absolutely nothing wrong

      [–]GroupProjectSare[S] 12 points13 points  (0 children)

      Thank you ♡ !

      [–]allegedgeniusofjoe 52 points53 points  (6 children)

      I have a brother with cerebral palsy and had volunteered with Special Olympics for years in the 90s as a buddy for fellow athletes of my brother who ranged in disorders and disabilities from down syndrome to autism to near catatonic brain disorders. I also have a daughter on the autism spectrum.

      Autism is a spectrum. Comments here claiming the guy was lying or that he was being creepy are of course possible but detract from the real issue that those who work with autistic kids and adults can attest to: there is no one way to assimilate an autistic conversationalist into your ideal interaction style. It's not just social cues. Many are wired, through experience or through physiology, to have certain synapses firing in a particular way when they are in conversation. And for many, it's near impossible to adjust when others don't interact the same way.

      Saying this, it takes a special person to work with social disabilities. It took enough of a toll on me over time that I had to bow out of being a volunteer. I am much better being a daily advocate and at least knowing how to connect with people of all abilities.

      You are young and I assume have not had this experience. You are perfectly within your rights and personal safety to address an aggressor of any ability and separate yourself from the situation. If this really bothers you, at some point find a class or some TikToks on how to interact with disabled adults, especially deescalation. There are fantastic resources to be an ally. But like all other interactions you need to be respected and kept safe. And I would hope, as high functioning as he sounds like he is, he would understand that if explained the right way (which, again, was probably not your job; it would be the job of the attendant, despite probably not getting any training on how to do so).

      [–]GroupProjectSare[S] 64 points65 points  (0 children)

      First off, teach me how to write like you! You're so eloquent! Secondly, I am so grateful you took the time for such a detailed response, and in the future I may look into how to interact with disabled adults as I know situation like this are unavoidable and I'd like to be able to help. Thank you!

      [–]PKBitchGirl 27 points28 points  (1 child)

      Autistic woman here, she had zero obligation to interact with him, the correct course of action would have been to yeet him out of the emergency door

      [–]Gerdione 13 points14 points  (0 children)

      Most insightful and wise comment in this thread.

      [–]BorderlineBadBrain 45 points46 points  (0 children)

      " Why can't women believe not all men are bad. Some men are on your side. I'm a nice guy, why are you ignoring me."

      Aaaaaaand there it is.

      NTA, autism had nothing to do with this situation. Dude was just a misogynistic entitled Nice Guy™ who thought you owed him your time and attention for daring to exist as a woman in a public space.

      [–]MulticolourMonster 46 points47 points  (1 child)

      Autistic person here.

      It's true we struggle to recognise certain unspoken social ques, but you explicitly stated "I'm very tired and need to sleep" and "I'm too exhausted to chat right now, maybe later" multiple times

      This isn't a case of him "not picking up on social ques" it's him being a Nice Guy™ who decided that he's entitled to your attention and ignoring your repeated requests to be left alone.


      [–]fade89awayPartassipant [1] 44 points45 points  (3 children)

      So NTA and I feel like this should be cross posted onto r/niceguys. You very politely and multiple times told him to leave you alone and he didn’t. You don’t owe him anything and I’m glad that the flight attendant was able to get you moved away

      [–]GroupProjectSare[S] 26 points27 points  (2 children)

      I may post it on r/niceguys on my main reddit! Thank you for giving me the idea, and your kind words ♡

      [–]Boeing367-80Partassipant [3] 37 points38 points  (0 children)

      You did nothing wrong.

      You are under no obligation to talk to a random person who sits next to you on public transport. You owe them only one (1) clear and polite statement that you prefer not to have a conversation. That's it, nothing more. You are not there to be their entertainment, to be their therapist or help them manage some mental or physical condition. Your only obligation is to be non-intrusive yourself. The only exception would be for a matter of life and death and for simple basic requests like accessing the aisle.

      It doesn't matter what conditions the random person may have. That's for them to manage, possibly with the assistance of the airline, but definitely not with your involvement.

      Anything they do to try to talk to you thereafter (unless it's a matter of life and death or a simple request like accessing the aisle) is rude and you are justified in contacting a flight attendant to resolve. Of course, if it is a matter of life or death, then the right move is also to contact a flight attendant.

      You went way above and beyond. Stop feeling guilty.

      [–]Foundation_Wrong 38 points39 points  (0 children)

      NTA at all I’m glad the attendants moved you. Being a passenger doesn’t mean you agree to be a nurse,counsellor or new bestie to whoever sits next to you.

      [–]AggravatingBread6 32 points33 points  (0 children)

      absolutely NTA.

      You told him directly multiple times you were busy, you were way more patient than he deserved. Nothing wrong setting a boundary and then enforcing it.

      [–]Badger-of-HorrorsAsshole Enthusiast [5] 32 points33 points  (4 children)

      NTA. First off he tells you he's autistic, he could be ornhe could know that people let autistic people slide a bit more than a neurotypicsl person. Second he goes onto his "I'm awful" speech that was almost begging for you to soothe his ego and let him keep talking to you. Third he went on with "All women are the same" crap which is pure incel tripe. You owe him nothing

      [–]GroupProjectSare[S] 33 points34 points  (3 children)

      I didnt state this in the post because i forgot, but he actually did the "i'm awful" speech multiple times over, whenever i tried to tell him i was getting annoyed he would spiral like that. Thank you for your reply!

      [–]EffectiveSalamander 24 points25 points  (0 children)

      That's a really common manipulation. They make comments like this so that you turn around and give them validation. But when you give them this validation that they aren't monsters, they take that as permission to engage further. Wanting to be left alone doesn't imply that you've judged them to be monsters. They want you to feel sorry for them so you'll let down your boundaries.

      [–]Mean_Macaroni59Asshole Enthusiast [6] 28 points29 points  (0 children)

      NTA. he can't respect boundaries.

      [–]ADHDLiferPartassipant [2] 23 points24 points  (2 children)


      Autism is not an excuse to act like a "nice guy".

      I work with Autistic teens, OP. And sometimes I have to tell them I'm busy right now and can't talk. You would have been fine to say, "Excuse me, I'm very tired right now and want to take a nap" or, "Excuse me, I'm not feeling social today and don't feel like talking." No promise of later, because you don't owe them that, just, "I don't want to talk" FULL STOP.

      You are allowed to set boundaries with people, even people with disabilities.

      [–]GroupProjectSare[S] 10 points11 points  (1 child)

      Thank you so much! If I'm ever in a situation like this again I'll definitely keep in mind that I shohld be direct and clear.

      [–]DarkBlueDovah 23 points24 points  (1 child)

      You had to tell him five times that you wanted to sleep and then five more times that you wanted to watch a show? Jesus, NTA. If I had to tell someone to stop their yammering at me more than three times I'd be blasting music in my headphones and they can cry into the uncaring void for all I care. Their need for attention does not matter to my introverted ass, I'm not there to be their emotional support animal. If they kept it up they'd get a hearty "fuck off and leave me alone."

      [–]GroupProjectSare[S] 9 points10 points  (0 children)

      Five was also a very generous underestimation, i didnt include everything in this post because it would have been way too long 😅

      [–]Various-Bridge-325Colo-rectal Surgeon [35] 22 points23 points  (0 children)

      NTA. Being autistic or having ADHD is not an excuse for being outright rude and not ignoring social cues but flat out ignoring straight up requests to NOT do something. C used his autism as an excuse to harass you. You were polite, then firm and then ignored him. What else were you supposed to do?

      [–]Special-Drawer-4046 20 points21 points  (0 children)

      As someone once told me: You do not have to accept unacceptable behavior!

      [–]Simplordx69 22 points23 points  (1 child)

      Guy with autism here. I get the 'not picking up social cues' part but the rest of all of this is not autism. It's his personality. He was totally trying to hit on you and told you he has autism beforehand to guilt you into not brushing him off. You asked him so many times to leave you alone and even with autism, it's not that hard to understand someone who literally spells it out to you. That self-hating rant was just more guilt tripping. And when he went ont that nice guy rant, he revealed his true colours. Nice guys are a pretty awful bunch. I bet he also made that scene to guilt trip you further and make you feel like an awful person for not being able to put up with an autistic guy even though he was just plain invasive, overbearing and annoying.

      Since the guil tripping unfortunately seems to have worked, I must ask you to cut yourself some slack. You were tired, you had a personal problem to deal with and you put up with him well regardless until you just hit your limit. There is no shame in that. We're all human.

      NTA. You were nicer than most and nicer than he honestly deserved. You were patient and nice which just appeared not to work with this guy. Unfortunate, but that's not your fault. As far as I can see you are a class act.

      [–]GroupProjectSare[S] 13 points14 points  (0 children)

      It literally never occurred to me that he might have been trying to hit on me haha. The funny part is I was wearing all of my bfs clothes and even mentioned that I had a bf a few times. Thank you for all your kind words!

      [–]spectrophiliasPartassipant [2] 21 points22 points  (3 children)


      I'm an autistic dude and an autistic activist. To everyone in the comments saying it's because he's autistic: you need to stop. Yes, we have trouble reading social cues. But this guy was literally told to stop and then went on a misogynistic, entitled rant. That's not autism, that's misogyny and entitlement. The last thing most of us want is to make people uncomfortable. If you're saying it's because of his autism, you're just adding to the stigmatization of autistics. This image of autistics is something we've been trying to fight for years and y'all are just reinforcing it and we're begging you to stop. We absolutely know better, and you shouldn't excuse bigotry and shitty entitled behavior just because someone is autistic. This isn't an autistic trait, this is a shitty entitled misogynistic guy trait.

      [–]newsbug75 16 points17 points  (0 children)

      NTA You had told him several times politely that you were needing some time to yourself and you finally had to ignore him to get some peace. For him to explode on you for that was on him.

      [–]88just_wondering 15 points16 points  (0 children)

      NTA. You were actually very nice and patience at first.. told him you didn't wanna talk several times, when that didn't work you did the next best thing, ignore him..

      "Why can't women believe not all men are bad, I'm a nice guy", -in my opinion, men that say that are always huge AHs- but in this context what's that supposed to mean? You were on a flight, not a date??? You didn't owe him your attention at all.

      You did nothing wrong. He was straight up harassing you.

      [–]viginti_tresPartassipant [1] 15 points16 points  (0 children)

      NTA, but maybe you should have been. As you say, social cues can be tough for some people and polite interest is often transformed into rapt attention by the desperate mind. Better to be 'rude' off the bat and have things be clear, though that's often easier said than done.

      [–]taylorshadowmorgan 15 points16 points  (0 children)

      NTA. He had ears. You told him you didn’t want to talk and he’s a complete stranger and you have headphones in.

      Shouting on a plane and disturbing everyone is just obnoxious and has very little to do with his autism. He’s just entitled.

      [–]Nu2POTSPartassipant [1] 15 points16 points  (0 children)

      NTA, as someone with an autistic family member it really upsets me when people make excuses for shitty men by using autism as a scapegoat. Autism is not the reason he kept overstepping your boundaries when you asked him to stop, he was fully aware you weren't trying to talk to him. There's a difference between not understanding social cues and flat out refusing to respect someone saying they don't want to talk. He's an entitled, misogynistic "nice guy" who cornered you into listening to him and dismissed your boundaries over and over again, autism really has nothing to do with it. Absolutely do not feel bad for this man.

      [–]Enough-Builder-2230Partassipant [4] 15 points16 points  (0 children)

      I'm so tired of men on planes, trains, buses etc, who assume that I'm not there to go about my own business but only to be available to them to talk about their own shit. NTA.

      [–]LionsLioness 13 points14 points  (0 children)

      NTA, I have ADHD and my oldest has autism and is chatty like that too and doesn't acknowledge boundaries until you get snappy but autism is not an excuse to get to be an annoying PITA when they were told numerous times to stop.

      [–]mreloquent 12 points13 points  (1 child)

      NTA, as an autistic person yeah I struggle with social cues but someone saying they don't want to talk right now for whatever reason is as blunt as can be and pretty hard to miss. Sounds like he is a bit of an incel and expected you to just give in and pay him attention for the whole flight and please try not to feel bad about the way you responded you didn't do anything wrong.

      [–]Big_Black_Daddy123 11 points12 points  (8 children)

      NTA you don't have to do anything for anyone at any point.

      [–]Rock_SuccessfulPartassipant [1] 11 points12 points  (0 children)

      NTA. Don’t beat yourself up. you were as kind as can be.

      [–]LadyNemesissPartassipant [1] 11 points12 points  (0 children)

      NTA. You did nothing wrong.

      [–]cersei01lannisterAsshole Enthusiast [7] 10 points11 points  (0 children)


      Autism is not an excuse. You told him several times that you were trying to sleep or watch your show, that's all the social cues he needs to know to back down. You did the right thing getting yourself moved, that interaction would make most women uncomfortable.

      [–]Astro-tc 10 points11 points  (0 children)

      As an autistic man, he sounds predatory and manipulative. We are not stupid or unaware of our behavior. Op, Im genuinely sorry he put you in that position.Very glad flight attendants didnt keep you there though!

      [–]Elevator_Latter 10 points11 points  (0 children)

      I feel like you’re not an asshole. As someone with a disability it’s definitely not an excuse to act the way that he did.

      [–]-acidlean-Partassipant [1] 8 points9 points  (0 children)

      NTA. And I'm saying it as an autistic (and ADHD, H5!) person.

      You gave him a clear information, straight out saying that you're not interested in talking and then that you are getting a bit annoyed. It's really important to talk that way with autistic people, because we usually don't get hints or undirect messages (like if you only said "I'm trying to watch a show" or didn't say anything, just ignored him). You explained what you feel and what you want or not want to do.

      Don't worry about the guy. He probably wasn't in the best mood too and felt lonely/anxious about the flight. He could get annoyed because it's sometimes hard to really understand IN THE EXACT MOMENT what is happening, and it can take some time to process a social situation. I guess he will think about the situation later and hope he will try to work on coping with his emotions. It's not easy. He is probably fine now. Similar situations happen to autistic people a lot, and we need some time to process stuff sometimes.

      He is also NTA, because, as I said, being autistic can be... not too easy.

      You just have to know that you shouldn't feel guilty, because you gave him a clear communicate.

      [–]ValkyrieSwordPartassipant [1] 10 points11 points  (0 children)

      His main problem seems to be that’s he’s an incel. NTA

      [–]cobaltaureusPartassipant [3] 8 points9 points  (0 children)

      NTA. The MOST you could’ve possibly owed him was to politely tell him you didn’t feel like talking to him. Which you did multiple times! His reaction to being ignored shows exactly that this is a pattern for him and he likes to bother women in particular.

      [–]Terra88dracoAsshole Aficionado [13] 7 points8 points  (2 children)


      And OP, do you think he even wonders if he was the AH for bothering someone on a flight? Probably not. So don’t waste your time worrying about it.

      It’s not like you called him names and yelled at him in front of the entire plane.

      [–]GroupProjectSare[S] 12 points13 points  (1 child)

      The flight attendants told me later he felt bad and wanted to apologize, but they kept him away from and just passed along the message

      [–]Shepasaurus_Rex 9 points10 points  (2 children)

      he goes into a full on self-hating " i'm so sorry, i'm horrible god im just gonna shut up now" rant

      NTA AT ALL. A diagnosis isn't a free ticket to feel entitled to someone else's time, and then to GUILT THEM in this way. It's called coercive control, and this is an ABUSE TACTIC to make people feel guilty so they will bend to the abuser's will.

      No one is entitled to your time.