Nazanin Mandi as a life coach

You may be aware I am interested a little bit in the art of coaching. I find it fascinating how some coaches manage to survive and even trive with all the nonsense they say. I think that tells us more about their audience that about them but I’m not aware of any research in this area, which is a shame as it would help us, autistics, understand why some non autistic folks make the illogical decisions they make.

When I found out Nazanin Mandi, an US actress and a model, decided to become a certified life coach, I didn’t have much hope in her. I thought she’ll become one of those who tell their followers to ‘be like lions’. That means I used stereotyping, exactly like neurotypicals do!

Just to clarify, I know what people mean by ‘becoming like a lion’ – they want us to be confident and brave, but what it really means to me is ‘go and live in a jungle. Or a ZOO, if you’re scared’. And I then think, if someone cannot come up with a better metaphor than that, then can I actually learn anything from them? And I become disinterested, which is probably for the best.

With Nazanin I was positively surprised. I really like the video in the link, it has some really good insights (I don’t understand though why Instagram shows it in my feeds for like 18h now, but that’s not Nazanin’s fault, is it? It’s the algorithm!).

I will reflect on the last few sentences here: Be mindful of who you take advice from. Some people share from their open wounds, not their healed scars. Know the difference.

What that means is, some people think they have life experience to share and may be willing to pass it onto others while in fact they didn’t process the experience and didn’t learn from it. That would make a young autistic person especially vulnerable to make the same mistake the person giving advice is making.

The simplest example I can think of here are all those women – also non autistic women – who say ‘men only want one thing’. Possibly that is their experience because they never learned how to handle men. So that will be their advice to a young autistic female who want to improve their dating skills and find a partner: they will think she won’t cope and will want her to realise that ‘before it’s too late’.

We really need to be mindful of who we take advice from!

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