Disclaimer: these are based on my personal experiences involving many people for many years, and none of these happened just once or by one person.
NT stands for Neurotypical, i.e. not ASD (or ADHD).
If you are an NT, please consider rephrasing in the way an autistic person may better understand. If you are autistic, realize NTs often don’t mean what they say, AND it can change at any time.
This translator and the rest of this site contain copyrighted © information. Any reference or use should be properly cited and referenced.
|Neurotypical (NT) Says:||NT Could Mean:|
|Yes||Yes, No, Maybe|
|No||No, Yes, Maybe|
|maybe; I have no idea but want to end the conversion right now!; I need more information|
some other time
|later; quite likely is a polite (though dishonest) way to say “no”|
|I don’t know,|
I’m not sure
|I don’t know; I do know but am not telling you.|
|secret||only you are being told; you are the last to be told|
|You are: |
|I want to politely tell you that you are not cool enough to be around me other than absolutely necessary.|
This could be literally true, but wait to get more information, especially if this is offered with no context.
You are cute.
|You are acting stupidly, but I’m nice enough to make it not sound so mean.|
|I want to help you.||You are annoying me, and I’m so nice that I’m going to frame it in a way I look good.|
|Fix your problems!||I don’t understand ASD, don’t care about ASD, and you should act more like “normal” people.|
|What’s wrong with you?||I don’t understand ASD, don’t care about ASD, and you should act more like “normal” people.|
|You are a [good, great, nice, wonderful, etc. ] friend.||If you actually were my friend, you would already know it, and I’d not have to tell you (and you’d not have to ask!)|
This person actually is a friend, but you don’t trust them because of your past trauma with friends or some other reason this friend has made you afraid. Why are they saying this?
|Trust me.||You actually can trust me.|
I’ll say this just to win your trust, but I know you are naive and will believe me.
If I say this, maybe this annoying person will leave me alone.
Trust me . . . right at this moment. That doesn’t mean tomorrow! Ha!
|Everyone knows that you are . . .||I believe that you are . . . |
I’m just saying something for some reason . . .
It’s not fine, but I don’t want to explain it to you!
It’s not fine, but I’d rather explain to anyone but you!
|OK; it’s not OK, but I don’t want to explain it to you|
|I don’t want to hurt/upset you.||You are going to get hurt, but I don’t want you to think it’s my fault. |
I actually don’t want to hurt you, as hard as you may find that to believe.
Sorry, but I just can’t deal with you.
|Be patient.||Be patient so I can figure out a way to sneak away from someone as irritating as you.|
Be patient because I actually want to do something with you.
Be patient because it’s just a good thing to be patient.
|I love texting.||I hate every other possible way to communicate with you so much that I’m willing to say I love texting. You are not cool enough to be around me. |
Texting is my preferred way to communicate with everyone.
I understand your texts better than talking to you.
You are not quite so annoying over text.
|NT Says:||NT Means:|
|I’ll do my best.||It’s probably never going to happen; I will do my best – not your best.|
|I’m truly/very/really sorry.||I’m not sorry, but you’ll be less upset if I say that.|
I actually am sorry to some degree which there is no way for you to ever know.
|I understand how you feel.||I understand that I don’t want to put up with you any more.|
I do understand how you feel.
|I’m only trying to help.||Shut up and listen to me!|
I truly am trying to help you.
|Listen to me!||Stop being so annoying and do what I tell you!|
|You are unique/special/different.||Please find other friends.|
|Everyone likes/loves you.||You are annoying me . . . please bother someone else. |
There are some people who really do like you, even though you may not believe it. Oh, that does not mean they want to be your friend, just to be clear.
|I know you won’t like this . . .||I have no patience with you, so I’m going to tell you . . .|
|You are so creative!||Your interests don’t interest me.|
I have no clue what that is, and I think it’s stupid.
I have no clue what that is, and I think it’s brilliant.
You are creative, indeed.
|Wow!||OMG . . . so annoying.|
That was spectacular.
|How are you able to do that?||You have one cool skill, but that does not mean we can be friends.|
How can anyone do something so idiotic?
I don’t know how that is possible, but it’s neat to see someone do it.
|Sure||yes, reluctantly; |
no, go away
|not right now||most likely never|
|I can’t . . .||I don’t want to . . . |
I really am unable to do this.
|What don’t you understand?||OMG, please . . . didn’t you pick up on all my non-verbal clues!|
I’m happy to explain what is confusing.
|Stop asking questions!||You are one of the most annoying people I know.|
|You like to talk about . . .||I wish you would shut up about . . .|
|That’s cool.||Most likely it means they don’t like your action. Sometimes it means they like when other people act that way but not when you do! They could actually like it, but it’s unlikely.|
|I’m sure it will work out.||This is your clue to leave me alone so it will work out for me.|
|You are too sensitive!||I can’t help it if you don’t understand me, and I’m not taking time out of my day to explain it any more.|
|NT Says:||NT Means:|
|“Self-care” from a person who has a lot of struggles of their own.||I actually need a break. It’s not personal though I probably find you annoying.|
|“Self-care” from a person who is typically happy.|
(I may be jaded about “self-care” from some people.)
|I’m not willing to listen to your problems or spend time just being with you. I need to always be doing things and don’t have time to put up with your issues. I come before you, even though I don’t actually need help like you do.|
|“I’m hopeful that you . . .”||Most likely means, “I’m not hopeful, but I’m hopeful you will leave me alone . . . now!”|
|“I’m listening.”||I may or may not be listening.|
|“See a counselor!”||If you don’t have a counselor, it might be very good advice.|
If you do, and they know it, they probably don’t care, have the ability, or the time to help you.
Or, they could just be a compete jerk.
|” ____ really likes you.”||____ may like you or they may not. There is no way to tell or know why you are being told this. But, wait awhile, and you’ll probably get an answer, especially if you make the mistake of trying to show you appreciate the person who “likes” you. Note: people who don’t actually like you don’t like being treated like they do.|
|“I have enough help.”||It could mean they don’t need your help. Or, it could mean they don’t WANT your help.|
|“I assumed everyone was invited.”||Yeah . . . this one I got. It would be just as easy for someone to say, “I’m sorry I didn’t make sure you were invited.”|
“I’ll be friends . . . for now.”
|for as short of time as possible|
I don’t want to, but I will because I feel sorry for you.
I’m already thinking of my next plans.
I just need more time to figure out how to destroy you.
|“Yeah, yeah, I get it.”||I’d rather talk to anyone but you. |
Please leave now.
I basically hate you.
I get it, but am in a hurry to talk to five other people. Text me later . . . or never!
|“Bless your heart.”|
“Bless his/her/their heart.”
|“You/he/she/they can’t help it for being so stupid.”|