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Showing posts from April, 2014

Dealing with Awkward People

How difficult it is to deal with awkward people! Or at least, people who are predictably awkward but vary their behaviour so you don't see the warning signs until it is too late.

I find it very useful to have ways to behave in certain situations. We all learn it growing up, how to behave when x, y and z happens. And then, as an aspie, we tend to learn it again once we are fully grown and are forced to realise that x, y and z also become x.1, y.3 and z.10.

Learning and growing are a lifelong commitment for me and I feel very strongly about improving the way I deal with other people. I do try to avoid cringe-making or sorrowful situations, even if I don't always succeed. Learning is still vital, even if it sometimes feels never-ending!

So how does it happen that an awkward person or a tricky relationship can still surprise, even years after we have realised or admitted to ourselves that this is not an ideal situation?

I think it comes down to two main areas:

1. My own inability …

Aspies only see your ears...the handy reference tool

I would like to stand up and say that it doesn't matter what you look like to an aspie. When it comes to making a judgement, your appearance, in terms of attractiveness (or lack of) is less likely to matter to the aspie than other things. There, now that we're all feeling warm and fuzzy and ever so politically correct, I need to also say...

Appearance is everything to your aspie and you will be categorised by it in a way which rivals any enhanced computer profiler. The categorisation may have a random element, but to your aspie it makes perfect sense.

People are attractive and unattractive to aspies but they are liked, loved and loathed on the basis of a first impression. However, the after-effects are more lasting than for non-aspies who might be willing to let the facts filter into any future relationship.

The unforgiving aspie will not forget that you were grumpy when they first met you. They will assume, rightly or wrongly, that your grumpiness is a lasting quality, only …

An Aspie's Mini-Guide to Other People

I've put together a little guide on how to react in social minefields. It's by no means all inclusive but it might help you in the future. All learnt by the kind of experience which only seems funny after the event - or right in the middle of the event, if it's highly inappropriate to laugh.

The Elderly

When Aunt Agatha tells you about her bad knees/aching feet/dodgy hip this is not the time to explain the effect of extra weight on the aging body or to expand into an informational discourse on obesity in modern society.

a. Smile in what you hope is a sympathetic manner and make kind noises (remember they shouldn't be the same noises you make when the dog has hurt his foot).

b. Say how sorry you are and try massaging the affected part of her body. This has the advantage of helping people discover they have more mobility than they first thought.

c. Tell Aunt Agatha that thinking about physical ailments makes you physically sick, then run off to the bathroom and stay ther…

Aspies are Fools

April Fool's Day is an invention designed to make a certain portion of society feel like they should know better than to get out of bed in the morning. Once people pass an age when eating worms is fun, playing April Fool's tricks is more an exercise in willful cruelty than a lighthearted joke.

This April was no different, with 'funnies' going on all over the internet (and yes, some are funny) and lots of fake statuses on Facebook (no change there then). I was drawn in more by the statuses as it's natural to read them and think they're really what people are thinking and doing.

I expect it seems silly to the less gullible that I wouldn't automatically think of April Fool's when I was reading these things. I did. I reminded myself of the date before I logged on but forgot as soon as I was immersed.

It's very annoying as my first reaction is to believe the status, then the second reaction is to realise they're not being serious. My third reaction …