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Why autistic people need others to be reliable

Posted by: alisrowe, June 1, 2020

One of the traits I most admire and need is reliability. If I am to have any sort of meaningful relationship with someone then they must be reliable. The fundamental reason is that when a person is reliable, their actions are predictable. If their actions are predictable then my relationship with them is also going to be predictable. That means a larger proportion of my life will be predictable. When my life is predictable I feel much less anxious. My mental health is improved.

What do I mean when I talk about ‘reliability’? A reliable person is someone who:

Communicates clearly their plans
Does what they say they are going to do
Doesn’t tend to forget about what they said
Is organised in their mind
Is responsive
Is punctual
Doesn’t often change or cancel plans

These are all characteristics that many neurotypical people also appreciate and admire. However, I think a lot of autistic people will have a much, much greater “need” for this characteristic in others.

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