AITA for refusing to hug my crying mother at a funeral?


Your issue is common amongst those with autism. People expect you to behave in a certain way and you don’t want to because you struggle with the behavior or you don’t understand why it’s expected. In this case, you’re mom was seeking comfort from you. You refused to give it and reacted to her negatively. There are arguments that support both positions.

As a person with autism, I realized that when someone expects you to behave in a certain way, you have two choices: you can make a choice based on your morals, or you can choose a pragmatic response. A moral response depends upon whether the action is right or wrong. The pragmatic response depend on the cost/benefit of the action.

In this situation, was hugging your mom right or wrong? It can be considered right because she appeared to need comforting. Now consider what would be best for you? A refusal wouldn’t fill her need and you would feel comfortable. If you gave her a hug, she would feel better but you’d be uncomfortable for a short time. In my life, I have learned that I should do what’s best for the other person and surrender my own comfort for a minute. I hate hugging too. But it wouldn’t be to difficult to stand like a post for a minute for her to hang off of me blubbering. This conflict in wants and needs created a bomb.

That being said, it seems that she hasn’t come to terms with your gender identity either. That was the spark that lit the bomb. She still thinks if you as her daughter and you feel disrespected for both your gender identity and autism.

Neither of you were fulfilling your needs. If you truly lover each other, you need to respect each other unconditionally. Mom needs to respect who you are. And you need to submit to a bit of occasional discomfort because your discomfort is minute and temporary to her need.

It took me decades to have my mother respect me and I feel lucky. But no matter what she still thinks of me as her “little boy.” She still doesn’t fully appreciate my ideas and opinions, but at least she doesn’t introduce me to her friends as her “little boy” anymore. It takes time and patience. Be consistant and be willing to compromise. Both of your lives will be happier for it.

/r/AmItheAsshole Thread