The first thing that needs to be said is that people, whether autistic or not, are all different. Whenever something in the articles refers to people with autism, it means many autistic people, and not all. Also, every positive trait in this series of articles has been put forward by multiple people with autism for inclusion. There is so much negative coverage of autism in the media that most autistic people want to see some representation of the positive aspects that it can bring to their lives.
Loyalty is a quality that many people with autism possess, and even pride themselves on. Even though they say that it is often hard to make friends, and form social relationships they do feel that once they have made friends they will be extremely loyal. Even though it might be harder for autistic people to express how they feel about their friends and family, there is much less likelihood of them going behind somebody`s back, or lying to them. It is not that autistic people will do anything they are told; it is just that because they struggle to make friends they have a lot less casual acquaintances, and most of the people they do know they consider to be good friends. This also extends to relationship with their family.
People with autism tend to be very open and honest, and are much less likely to try to manipulate a person or a situation to their own advantage. Again, this doesn’t mean everybody with autism is perfect, but there is often so much negativity around people with autism and their relationships with others – mainly dwelling on poor social skills or anxiety – that positive traits, like loyalty get forgotten about.
In their heads autistic people often have very set rules about how things should go, so often if they think something along the lines of `friends should always be loyal, and help each other` they will do this. Not just because they feel genuine affection towards the person, but also as a way of following the rules in their own mind – although this doesn’t mean that the loyalty is false, and simply based off instinct rather than affection. Sometimes it can lead to people with autism being taken advantage of, but loyalty is something that should always be prized in a friend. Many autistic people consider themselves to be very loyal to their friends and family, and would do anything it was possible for them to do to help those people.
Autism itself is a strange mix of negatives and positives, and in a way this loyalty is very similar. It means that even though autistic people might struggle to make friends, they can be incredibly good and loyal friends in the long-run. But there is also the possibility that it will leave people open to exploitation and manipulation. Overall though, loyalty is a positive trait in anybody – autistic or not – as are all the traits in this series. It is mentioned in relation to autism simply because of how many autistic people feel it is one of the most positive aspects of their personality.
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