The Ability to Relate to People as Persons

Just while I felt good about the interestingness of perspective taking, I came across this post* by Sam of Postcards from the edge of the Spectrum, which was inspired by below quote:

To refer to ADHD as inattention is to refer to Autism as hand flapping and speaking funny – they are the most obvious symptoms of a failure to develop the ability to relate to others as special objects, as human and that is what Autism really is underneath – the rest of it is just the most superficial set of symptoms.

ADHD expert Dr. Russell Barkley, quoted in #Autism A failure to recognize! by Sam of Postcards from the edge of the Spectrum.

Sam qualified Dr. Russell Barkley’s statement with the word “consistently”:

You will note that I have qualified the statement made by Dr. Russell Barkley with the word consistently because in my case there are times when I do relate very powerfully, immediately, instinctively and selflessly to others, as special objects, but these are the exceptions.

#Autism A failure to recognize!; Postcards from the edge of the Spectrum

So he modified Dr. Barkley’s original statement to “a failure to develop the ability to consistently relate to others as special objects, as human”…

That sentence resonates strongly with me. I came to think that perspective taking, relationships and theory of mind are sides of the same essential aspect of life: the social world; the “we”-ness that allows individuals to merge into social constellations. And I’m grasping a little bit more of why the social side of life tends to be so damn tricky.

I too can “relate very powerfully, immediately, instinctively and selflessly to others” (Sam’s words) … occasionally. Most of the time though, people are more like alien elements I’m trying to work my way around. I try hard to tolerate people and relate with them as well as I can, but it rarely feels natural to be in anyone’s company.

There was a long period of my life where a social life was off limits. I just could not grasp the elusive “social sphere” that people enter when they are together; and how they change depending on who they are with. I wanted to be social, but people were not meaningful, and I was not meaningful to them either, so I couldn’t really make friends.

The harder I tried to be social, the further I was from the mindset of the social people… because social people don’t try hard. They just are social and go with the flow. My flow tends to take me away from people instead.

I am much more socially empowered now, but I deal with people mainly by relying on my “best practice” scripts worked into my social repertoire over the course of my lifetime. I am proud (and surprised) that many of them work so well. I go through most of my everyday interactions using relationship skills and expressions I’ve merely copied from “best practice” examples of others, and that is actually not a bad idea.

But I need long recovery times in between interactions for any amount of socialising to be bearable and positive. Many social situations aren’t worth the effort and loss of energy, and often while I socialise, I long for the time it is over so I can do things I’d rather spend my time on.

Most of my personal priorities don’t require much if any direct interaction with people. Interactions with people, on the other hand, require intensive and relentless efforts to process, compromise, and tolerate interruptions; and constant readiness to suppress anger and confusion.

 
Interruptions

Did I mention how much I hate interruptions? I am not proud of this. My attitude to anyone who interrupt or may interrupt when I’m immersed in work that matters to me (for example a piece of writing) can best be described as hostile vigilance on the wedge of snapping, although I try to camouflage the hostility a bit.

It can quickly escalate till I resent every move, every walking-around me, every sound, every presence near me. I do everything I can to emit a “Do Not Come Near Me” vibe. I wear headphones with loud music and ear plugs under. I’m backed into a corner with my laptop. I don’t talk. If I do, I may say things like “I need some space”. “Please don’t talk to me”. “I just need to be by myself tonight”. “Please leave me alone”.

My hate of interruptions targets anyone, indifferently… Even the dearest, the one closest to me. I am not proud of it. I know relationships are invaluable. I know reciprocity is important. And I don’t want to be a total secluse like I once were (not all the time… I would like to have some of the isolation back though).

I don’t understand the need for frequent interaction. Socialising is not like breathing. Talking is not a necessity for survival. I feel like exploding and clearing a wide perimeter of solitude around me. I bite my fingers instead in response to every instance of intolerable restlessness, every intrusiveness, which are really just normal activities and contact attempts.

Overall, I do want to belong in the world, to contribute, and for that I need to connect. I try to keep my reclusive tendencies somewhat in check while I also try to avoid overload. But I just. Can’t. Stand. Interruptions.

 

yellow sign with alien. Text: The Zone. Work in progress. Do not disturb!

 

Eventually, bed time approaches and goes past. I’m too stressed to calm down any time soon, and hang on to my task like a bull dog. My husband keeps hanging around hoping I won’t stay up too late. But I stay up too late because I really, really, really need solitude. Like: “social” totally turned OFF. For each 10 minutes of extra interference, I need at least 3 more hours by myself to calm down… at least that is what it feels like.

Finally the house falls quiet. Staying awake at night is healing … but the healing process only begins after a good long period of solitude and making progress with my project. Each hour of calm, quiet, focussed solitude is a relief. The hostility slowly fades; calm focus gradually replaces vigilance.

The next morning I’m happy and ready to socialise, because my need for a sufficiently long period of uninterrupted focus has been satisfied. I have completed what I wanted. I just haven’t slept. Obviously, if I do this much then the daily routines & structures fall apart due to haphazard sleep patterns; which will likely lead to mood swings, poor health and falling work productivity (actual work, not personal projects). There really isn’t any easy solution; just trying to keep a tricky balance.

Keeping the social balance is like trying to find & maintain an elusive balance point on an ultra short tipping scale between social overload and social isolation; a brief habitable zone someway half way between two extreme worlds.

 


* He has since expanded his post to include some additional about aspects about disinterest and giftedness. My post responds to the part that relates directly to the quote by Dr. Russell Barkley

 

Illustrations from openclipart.com
Advertisements

19 thoughts on “The Ability to Relate to People as Persons

  1. Ashana M

    I can so relate to many of the things you are saying. I would add a bit of wisdom from what of my former students, “Everyone hates being interrupted.” I think the difference is actually not that you dislike interruption more than most people, but more things are interrupting for you. So many things others can just screen out and not notice make you lose your flow and you have to start all over again trying to find it.

    I get my solitude needs met in the morning. When I’m working and have to deal with people all day, I get up almost 2 hours before I need to deal with anyone, and 4 hours before I actually need to start work, so that I start the day from a baseline of being grounded and satisfied. It also meant that I needed to develop a habit of going to bed crazy early, but I got a lot more sleep than when I tried doing it the other way around. I spend that time in the morning doing things I like–writing or making art. Just something to consider trying.

    Like

    Reply
    1. Mados

      Thanks for your response. I am glad you can relate to it. And I am glad you say that “everybody hates interruptions”. To me it seems like most people are very tolerant to interruptions. I used to totally zone out the surroundings when focussed on something, especially when I was a kid, so I didn’t notice anything that happened around me when I didn’t want to be disturbed. I can still do it if I’m surrounded by unintrusive strangers who will definitely not approach me in any way and don’t care about me at all. However, once I anticipate interruptions then I get aggressively hypervigilant and can’t seem to filter anything out, because I feel I need to be ready to curb my anger about being interrupted at all times ~ be prepared to be interrupted, so I can’t concentrate…

      You are totally right what you say that I loose my flow and have to start the thinking process over, that is what drives me insane. It is like having all the concepts and sub-concepts hovering in the air in a complicated process of being connected and organised, and then an interruption makes them all fall on the floor in one big messy pile and I have to start over trying to sort them out.

      Morning routines: I actually do try to wake up early. (It doesn’t work well when going to bed late;-)
      I used to wake up around 5 am and have an hours run + swim in the rockpool + shower before talking to anyone when I worked in an office… I needed that every morning in order to survive the day:-) I still try to do some of the same, but not that early. Also, there is no rockpool, and my morning jogs now includes our 2 big, curious dogs. I love the dogs, and its is safer to run with dogs of course (that’s part of the point of having them), but it is like trying to run with a kindergarden…all about sniffing stuff and chewing grass and rolling on things, a very slow and interrupted process.

      Mornings can’t really meet my daily need for solitude when I really need it anyway 😦 They don’t have enough hours, and can’t be extended because the day comes right after them. Unlike evenings, which can be extended into the night. Also, evening is my favourite time of day… and unfortunately my need for solitude is very high. Also, I am slow…

      You are very productive on your blog, and I have the feeling that you are a fast & efficient writer so I can imagine that you can easily finish what you want to complete in your morning hours and then go to bed early. I always have a million things I want to work on and complete, and am not eager to go to bed early. Although I do try to, and largely do adhere to my new evening routines most of the time, I just need these long stretches of solitude from time to time to calm down and complete things especially if I have been interrupted many times and am fuming…

      Ps. My apology for the last minute change: I decided that the post was about 2 related topics, not 1 topic, and better as 2 shorter posts with a link between. Apart from the split and the illustration in the top of this one (it looked a bit naked), there is no change. I hope it is not confusing:-)

      Like

      Reply
      1. Ashana M

        Ah, well, just an idea. It’s really that having the solitude first makes everything else easier, like eating dessert before your broccoli. You mind the broccoli less because you’re all happy still from the cake.

        I don’t know that I’m such a fast writer, but I do it all the time. I’m washing the dishes and putting sentences together in my head. I watch TV and am busy playing with an idea. I can’t sleep at night because I’m still busying working on a post. I don’t really ever stop, unless there’s someone else around and I have to talk to them.

        Like

        Reply
        1. Mados

          It’s really that having the solitude first makes everything else easier, like eating dessert before your broccoli. You mind the broccoli less because you’re all happy still from the cake.

          That is a good point!

          I also get ideas to things I want to write all the times… What is time consuming about writing is to organise the ideas in sentences that all fit together, it is a bit of a puzzle. I can have single sentences in my head which the thoughts are clustered around, and put them down in writing, but then all the other thoughts have to fit and get their own sentences too:-)

          That plus a tendency to make typos combined with compulsive editing and perfectionism.

          (Not that anything I do or make is in any way perfect… I just have to correct something if I have an idea how it could be a little better)

          Like

          Reply
        2. Mados

          Actually the speed of writing is not the issue now when I think about it. If I don’t write, then I do something else… I still need the same amount of solitude to not slowly fall into pieces of frustration…

          Like

          Reply
      2. ischemgeek

        Sorry for replying late to this, but, yes, I agree with you completely on the, “Relative to me, it seems everyone else is very tolerant of interruptions,” front – I dislike interruptions to such an extent that if I have to be interrupted on a regular interval, I won’t do anything that requires concentration until the thing that requires regular attention is finished, even if that means staying three or four hours late.

        To me, interruptions feel like throwing a wrench into the mental workings of my brain. Everything suddenly and jarringly screeches to a halt. Then, I have to shut everything down, fish out the wrench, and then reset everything to the new task. It’s jarring, time consuming, draining, and can be physically painful when repeated often enough because it will give me a raging headache.

        By contrast, others at my workplace can easily pick away at a report in between monitoring a reaction, and it doesn’t seem to bother them to nearly the extent that it bothers me.

        Like

        Reply
        1. Mados

          To me, interruptions feel like throwing a wrench into the mental workings of my brain. Everything suddenly and jarringly screeches to a halt. Then, I have to shut everything down, fish out the wrench, and then reset everything to the new task.

          I can so very relate to that… except for the raging headache.

          And also to avoiding tasks that require concentration when there is a risk of interruptions. I am not working in a workplace so “staying back” is not a thing, but otherwise I think I would too if I had concentration-intensive work tasks to do in a specific location…

          It applies very much to personal projects which I itch to work on but which I know will get me into high focus, high time consumption mode, so interruptions will be extremely frustrating and highly likely if I am not alone for a substantial amount of time. Solution: I don’t do anything interesting as long as I am not alone. Works tolerably in the short term (it just makes life uninteresting)… but in the long term, it is depressing and frustrating because I can’t move on with my inner queue of ideas.

          Ps. No need to apologise for “late” comments… There is no such thing. I love comments, and there is no deadline. Every post I have written is about something that interest me and which I would love to get more insight in by hearing others’ perspectives whenever available.

          Like

          Reply
  2. Pingback: Thanks | Mados

  3. musingsofanaspie

    Well, okay, here goes. I hope this isn’t too derailing and off topic. The quote really bugged me because of this part: “a failure to develop the ability to relate to others as special objects, as human and that is what Autism really is underneath”. I think this is a fundamental misunderstanding of what Autism is. I could be reading it too narrowly but it sounds to me that he’s saying that we are something other than human or that we lack the basic humanity that other people are just naturally born with and develop as a matter of course and that’s what autism is.

    More and more I’m starting to think that autism isn’t a fundamental communication disorder but a processing disorder (of sensory information, language and environmental data). The quote makes it sound like being unable to communicate is the fundamental deficit and everything else is symptoms but I think that having a neurological processing disorder is the fundamental deficit and the communication barriers we face are symptomatic of that. I’m fully cognizant that other people are humans, but the way I communicate is so basically different because the way I process information is so different and that can lead to misinterpretation of my communication style. It doesn’t mean I (or you) can’t relate to people, it means we relate differently.

    As a somewhat extreme example, I have a nephew who is intellectually, physically and developmentally disabled. The way he talks, acts and looks makes a lot of people uncomfortable. Long before I knew I was autistic, I always felt a special bond with him and wasn’t sure why (and it wasn’t be I pitied him or anything like that, I just liked spending time with him and he seemed to gravitate toward me). Recently I came to the conclusion that it’s because we share a similar communication style. I’m fine with him saying the same thing over and over to me, whereas other adults will eventually tell him to hush. When he’s echolalic, I play along, mimicking words, repeating things, finding humor in reversing and playing with word patterns. When he doesn’t want to communicate, I’m good with sitting beside him quietly doing my own thing while he just hangs out occasionally reminding me to drink the juice he’s insisted I should have or feeding me bits of the snack his mom brought us. I’m happy to lie on the floor with him, playing video games and communicating in hand gestures and grunts and laughs.

    I don’t approach it as an adult humoring a child (he’s in his 20s) the way a lot of other adults approach him. I just approach him as someone who I “get” in ways that I don’t get typical people. I guess what I’m trying to say is, a difficulty relating to others doesn’t necessarily have roots in my being objectively deficient at communicating. I can often communicate with my nephew and with other people who have a similar communication style (or who learn my communication style) in a very fluid shorthand way. Unfortunately for me, most other people having a very different default communication style. When our innate communication is different from the majority, it’s easy for us to get branded as “unable to relate” which feels unfair. It’s like saying that someone who doesn’t speak the same language as you must have something wrong with them because they can’t understand what you’re saying. But shouldn’t that go both ways?

    Ugh, this got really long and ranty. I’m resisting apologizing yet again. :-/

    Like

    Reply
    1. Mados

      There is absolutely no reason to apologise! I really appreciate your input very much! And I love long comments!

      And thanks for the lovely story with your nephew:-)

      The quote makes it sound like being unable to communicate is the fundamental deficit and everything else is symptoms but I think that having a neurological processing disorder is the fundamental deficit and the communication barriers we face are symptomatic of that.

      I like the way you think about this… it is smart to turn the pattern of causes & effects on its head rather than just accept one thing being THE cause of everything else out of inertia.

      I also think the whole mixed package of neurological processing difficulties & differences of autism should be considered a part of the causes for a person’s communication difficulties and that social acceptance is part of the whole social success VS failure equation. I too agree that these difficulties should not be confused with a lack of an ability to relate where the real issue is a different ability to relate… because that robs the person of the motivation to seek the ways he/she can relate.

      And I also agree that autism is too multilayered to be summarised as a single trait.

      Also, from my current point of view (as expressed in the “Thanks” post), the ability to relate is no longer my biggest social problem…

      However: the statement resonate with me in relation to my own past history, and also observations in a past job where I worked in an institution for mostly non-verbal autistic teenagers.

      As for myself, I feel that while processing factors have played a big factor in my isolation through most of my youth, the key factor was actually that I did not grasp the general concept of others’ perspectives, their personalities and feelings et.c. When I was a kid, this resulted in behaviours named selfish, spoiled, hysterical et.c and also sometimes violent and insensitive behaviour (in hindsight), but overall I still sort of “passed”. Underneath it all I did not see a connection between my behaviours and others’ feelings, or my feelings and their feelings, or their feelings across different points of time. Whatever people did was in that present moment only and had nothing to do with what had happened to them previously or underlying feelings and meanings – it did not occur to me. In hindsight, other kids my age were clearly focussed on the expected feelings of especially adult family members like their parents, forecasting how people would feel as a result of actions or things happening. I found that strange, but not particularly interesting, just something to be puzzled about for a brief moment and then go on as usual.

      I can see a clear connection between that mindset/world perception and my later failure to integrate as an adolescent and then young adult, and totally falling out of normal life (for a mixture of reasons not only the social one, but it is essential)

      It is different now. I can relate to others. I understand the whole concept of personalities and people having different perspectives, I know people’s behaviour now isn’t disconnected from their past and future behaviour, so their whole set of personality and associated behavioural repertoire form a coherent whole.

      I could also not relate properly with myself. Grasping others’ personalities seems to be also instrumental for grasping one’s own personality, by marking its boundaries. At least that is my suspicion.

      That is how the statement resonate with me personally, the memory of not having VS having the ability to relate, and the enormous difference it had made in social function. That doesn’t of course mean that it represents autism overall, but for me it does represent the “social error” – The social handicap-like condition that made most of my youth so miserable that a lot/most of the time I felt life was not worth living. And it is that “social error”, along with sensory problems, that made me consider aspergers as a possible explanation.

      In your interaction with your nephew, neither you nor your nephew lacks the ability to relate, you feel an intuitive bond… that is a beautiful kind of communication, it is irrelevant that the other adults don’t get it – they are just missing out because your nephew’s kind of communication falls outside their normal zone or comfort zone.

      When I worked with so called LF autistic teenagers in an institution, most recognised/bonded with their contact person, but few seemed to notice or like each other. They seemed to easily trigger adverse reactions in each other because they had different sensitivities, and while staff member could take an overall “non-self centred” approach, they could not. Eg. when one wanted to do X all the time and could not accept Z-like things to happen, and the other wanted to do C which interfered with X and liked to do Z-like moves and sounds, then they were obviously bothering each other, and that was likely to happen. Most of the time they seemed to just ignore each other though.

      Each section in the institution housed 3 kids (each living in 1 – 2 sound proof room/s with toilet & a front room with a glass wall to the common area). A shift involved being responsible for either 1 kid or 2 (some had to be 1:1, and some could be 1: 2). When walking with 2 kids, they would generally seem to ignore each other and each relate to the staff member only.

      In also worked as a “companion” (“ledsager” in Danish) for a 15 yo non-verbal autistic girl who lived at home. She was social, and had a strong social interest and ability to relate albeit no problem accepting strangers in the home (hence me- it was a casual part time job for me). She was considered unusual for autism on that point, but was otherwise very autistic in her behaviours… The person who did the introduction with me warned me that she had thrown a chair out of the window three times during the visitation meeting (they lived on 5th floor!) and was constantly flailing around. She was a lovely girl, generally very happy and capable, and very considerate. E.g. when I took her to the beach with the bus (part of my job) she was doing the ticketing and making sure I got on the bus and didn’t fall over the steps et.c, leading me by the hand (I wouldn’t have fallen or missed the bus… but cute;-)

      Her patents were lovely persons too and had an amazing understanding & acceptance of her, explaining her behaviours (like when she was rocking wildly in her chair & singing loud: “she is just getting into her day. She will come over to you when she is ready”).

      I guess now the point is not very clear:-) A bit for and a bit against the statement… In summary, I think it is clear that autism also exist without the “failure to develop an ability to relate to others as persons” so that can’t be all it is about.

      I do however think that it is a typical central symptom of autism. It is the “Theory of Mind” deficiency rephrased. Theory of mind is essential for understanding that other have personalities = are persons = can be related to as persons. I think that is extremely important. Not grasping it is a very severe handicap and it does severely stuff up the ability to relate to people as persons… not just compilations of looks and sounds and and smells and words (stored separately), or moods & behaviours of the present moment not connected to other moments (= does not link together as a coherent personality across time).

      It is not about devaluation, reality can be like that and I think it is important to acknowledge it in order to help people develop from that disconnected state if that is where they are, because the world does not need to be so fragmented and unpredictable, and it is so much safer and more interesting when other peoples’ behaviours make reasonable sense.

      Like

      Reply
      1. Mados

        Now I feel the need to apologise for my long comment…..

        Also my apology for the fluctuations in layout. That is quite annoying. I am actually not doing anything, it seems that the customisations I have made to it a while ago (e.g. changed text size and colours and quote boxes et.c.) are applied only some of the time for the time being… Very annoying with the instability in looks, sorry on behalf of WordPress!

        Like

        Reply
        1. musingsofanaspie

          No need, I appreciate you being willing to discuss this in depth because it feels very important and like something I’m still working my way through. I didn’t notice any design glitches so either I’m oblivious or it’s randomly happening.

          Like

          Reply
      2. musingsofanaspie

        I think we agree about a lot and that’s why I was concerned about reading the quote too narrowly and getting hung up on parts of it when your post was more about your interpretation of it. But, onward.

        I definitely have great difficulties in relating to people. Like you, it took me well into adulthood to realize that other people have their own way of experiencing a shared situation and that their experience can be very different from mine. In fact, I think it was only after I started reading about autism that I truly started to understand this concept. Once I did, my relationships with people started to improve somewhat, although I am still quite impaired and probably always will be but I’ve made a lot of progress and feel like I relate well enough to get on with life in a generally satisfying way. There are bumps but they’re tolerable.

        The example you give of the teens that you worked with is really helpful (and I enjoyed hearing about your experiences – perhaps there’s a post in that? I especially liked your description of why they had trouble relating to each other). It’s definitely true that not all autistic people will or even want to relate to others (autistic or not) and that a shared perception style doesn’t necessarily mean shared communication ability or interaction. That’s a great point. On the other hand, it seems like you related well to the young people you worked with. I’m curious whether you think your own experiences or atypical communication style helped you in relating to them? Perhaps you were able to meet them 2/3 of the way, in a way that they weren’t equipped to meet each other?

        The main issue that I have with the quote is in the idea of an inability to relate being the core deficit rather than a symptom (and that part about seeing others as human makes me cringe). I think I completely agree with you on everything else. 🙂

        I’m glad we have a shared history so we can talk about these things in ways that don’t feel argumentative or harsh. Your detailed descriptions of how you’ve experienced relating with others over your lifetime really help me understand where you’re coming from and also what I’m overlooking or didn’t express clearly. Often I feel like when I comment I don’t always get the fully thought out version of my idea in the way that I do when I write, which involves many drafts and revisions to work out what I mean. So this ability to go back and forth a bit is good.

        Like

        Reply
        1. Mados

          Thank you very much for your replies! This topic keeps roaming my head, and there is also a new draft post on the way.

          When reading this:

          I definitely have great difficulties in relating to people. Like you, it took me well into adulthood to realize that other people have their own way of experiencing a shared situation and that their experience can be very different from mine. In fact, I think it was only after I started reading about autism that I truly started to understand this concept. Once I did, my relationships with people started to improve somewhat, although I am still quite impaired and probably always will be but I’ve made a lot of progress and feel like I relate well enough to get on with life in a generally satisfying way. There are bumps but they’re tolerable.

          and this:

          The main issue that I have with the quote is in the idea of an inability to relate being the core deficit rather than a symptom (and that part about seeing others as human makes me cringe).

          I see where you are coming from. The first quote is somewhat similar to my experience, and the reason the professor’s quotes resonated with me personally. The second is about how the structure of autism is perceived – as a concentric circle system having a core VS as a de-central “fruit salad” of symptoms. I think I do agree with that.

          Also, it is of course incorrect to say that hand flapping and speaking funny is a symptom of a failure to develop the ability to relate, because such behaviours spring from variety of sources including happiness, stress, coping with sensory stimuli in the surroundings, processing inner stimuli (excitement, thought streams et.c.). I think I understood it less literal that you did: I read it as a way to say that superficial behaviours that come across as strange and incompatible are not what a condition “is”. The underlying disconnect is what the condition “is”. But the underlying disconnect comprise of a variety of symptoms.

          The “relate to people as human” part does not make me cringe, because I can relate to that personally, for me it is just a factual thing. In my case, my social incompatibility stemmed from a real failure to develop the mental platform that is necessary to have any sort of real understanding of other people and how “social” works, although I looked normal and was able to talk with people et.c. (from the outset – except for the worst times). I see that as a failure to develop the ability to relate with others as persons/humans during the expected time – and failing all the time it was not there yet.

          And I reasoned that if it was the case with me, even though I overall seem normal and engage-able (people tend to like me when they meet me) but still “fell through” socially in all the usual contexts a person is supposed to integrate into, then that barrier would be so much higher for persons who are not able to “pass” at all; which is, not even looking normal and appearing normal in some contexts and some of the time.

          Being able to “pass” gives a major advantage socially compared to not being able to: it allows you to travel inside the “social zone”, like a researcher or tourist, and learn from what you observe. It enables you to try out behaviours and get feedback (although receiving feedback is an art-form in itself that has to be learned:-). Be counted in…

          When you can’t do that, when you are automatically totally excluded from the “social zone” (which consists of any sort of relationships including family and even pets) or has too little social understanding or too many neurological difficulties to process what you observe and draw social conclusions at all, then it is almost impossible to get to understand social dynamics & principles just enough to get by, and to develop the ability to relate with other people.

          I’m glad we have a shared history so we can talk about these things in ways that don’t feel argumentative or harsh. Your detailed descriptions of how you’ve experienced relating with others over your lifetime really help me understand where you’re coming from and also what I’m overlooking or didn’t express clearly. Often I feel like when I comment I don’t always get the fully thought out version of my idea in the way that I do when I write, which involves many drafts and revisions to work out what I mean. So this ability to go back and forth a bit is good.

          Thank you very much, and I agree. .

          Morning coffee break over – I have more to say to the other aspects of your comment, but will come back later…
          I hope you don’t mind the escalating length.

          Like

          Reply
  4. musingsofanaspie

    And about interruptions, I totally agree! I have been known to snap at my husband for interrupting me, regardless of how affectionately he does it. Sometimes he comes over and wants to be playful or flirty and my reaction comes across as downright mean because I’m so deeply engaged in what I’m doing. I always feel bad when that happens because my response must look so “out of the blue” to him.

    I’ve also noticed that I have a kind of reset switch that means most mornings, no matter what the day before was like, I wake up feeling refreshed and ready to face the world. It’s almost as if my tolerance for social contact is like an hourglass that I turn over each morning and then watch drain down as the day goes on.

    Like

    Reply
    1. Mados

      I can hear we are totally on the same page with interruptions!

      I have tried to train my husband to please not just start talking to me when I’m deeply absorbed in a task, but he says that I always am…

      I can also recognise the hourglass principle. I won’t say I ever feel “refreshed” in the morning (or anything with the word “fresh” in it ;-), but even when I worked in a full time job I hated, I usually woke up neutral and ready to face the new day, having left the prior day’s misery behind in the prior day:-)

      Like

      Reply

Say something!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s