Autistic Hostility

Morton Deutsch

E.L. Thorndike Professor and Director Emeritus of the International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution at Teachers College, Columbia University

Interviewed by Julian Portilla, 2003

This rough transcript provides a text alternative to audio. We apologize for occasional errors and unintelligible sections (which are marked with ???).

There are a number of such traps that I talk about, and some might be worth learning. One is autistic hostility. You think you've been hurt by the other, you're angry, you break off communication with the other, you don't talk about it with the other, you ignore the other. I have autistic hostility towards coffee. I don't know why, but as long as I can remember I have had an aversive reaction to thinking about it. I, as a result, never drink coffee. I avoid any taste of coffee, like coffee ice cream. I may be mistaken about coffee. Maybe I would like it. Maybe if I experienced it, if I had contact with coffee. If I had communicated, so to speak. If I allowed to coffee to communicate with me, it would change my attitude. That's one thing that happens sometimes in conflict. You maintain your hostility autistically, within yourself, without any necessary reactor.