top of page

Flat Affect Ingenuity

One of the more noticeably autistic things about me that still flew under the radar for forty years is my flat affect and monotone voice. It's not that I'm not facially expressive in my own way, but it rarely conveys my actual emotion to others... which is frustrating when people are paying more attention to that than your words.

I've been thinking about how this has played into a lot of things in life, and I am starting to recognize that much of the invalidation I've experienced has been a result of this monotone, flat affect; a perceived aloofness, even by those who fully understand flat affect.

It often feels as though, no matter how vulnerable or authentic I am, it will be misinterpreted because of the way it comes across... and I can't change that.

And because I can struggle with verbal communication when my nervous system is triggered, part of unmasking for me is leaning into that and not further activating my nervous system by trying to voluntarily communicate in situations that aren't necessary. I'm finding that often these are scenarios for me where I know I won't be understood or I don't feel comfortable sharing the details of why I feel the way I do - which is my right. People will either understand and respect my need to reserve communication in no-win situations or they won't - but what I won't do is be pushed into things I'm not comfortable with like I have my entire life.

Stay regulated,



bottom of page