April 2, 2010 at 8:30 am | Posted in Family, Mind, People, Society, Threats, Treatment | 5 Comments
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Read my lips.

Conversation can be so very difficult.

It’s especially upsetting when you try to participate fully and in good faith, only to fail utterly and incur the wrath of the other party.

Let’s say your partner informs you that their sibling’s cat is missing.

You ask if the sibling is upset.

Your partner becomes annoyed. Of course the sibling is upset!

This perplexes you, because six months ago, you heard the sibling tied their pet dog to their toddler’s tricycle because they didn’t have time to exercise either.

From this, you deduced the sibling didn’t much care for the dog.

By extrapolation, you surmised they weren’t fond of the cat either.

Your question, therefore, is logical.

Logical, perhaps. But your error lies elsewhere.

You perceived your partner’s news as an invitation to dialogue.

To participate fully and in good faith in this dialogue, you asked a question.

In reality, however, your partner merely wanted you to make the noises appropriate to such news under normal circumstances.

This is akin to small talk.

The dog, toddler and tricycle, however pertinent to your situational view, were irrelevant to the discussion.

Thus your deeper interest, though it sprang from a genuine place, was neither necessary nor welcome.

Your partner’s rebuff stings twice, because you:

  1. Were trying hard to converse like a normal person.
  2. Felt you were doing pretty well to recall the discussion of six months ago.

Alas, no dice. It just isn’t that simple.

This is one of the downsides of aspergers.

Your counsellor may say casual conversation can be learned.

But it certainly seems small talk is a big ask.


Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.


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  1. Thank you, Stephen. You could just about found a church with that creed! Could be good for tax purposes.

    Your kind words are a balm and your sage reflections a boon. It sure is good of you to lay them out in such glorious colour. Best regards indeed. AS. 🙂

  2. Hey AS. I have missed these last couple of posts. I thought I was subscribed, but perhaps not. Have just reloaded to that end. Perhaps my spam filter is catching your updates, but this is unlikely, as it catches little else.

    Anyway, I think your writing is bang on in this forum. You have a pure, wise and yet clearly and innocently confused voice, which is a blessing to experience. I do hope this turns into a book. It ought. Keep it up. Thanks and thanks again for this fine writing.

    • Hi, adamnrave; great to see you back! You’re now firmly subscribed and it makes me very happy. There’s no surer acid test in my blog.

      Thank you for your endless encouragement and support. I’ve unloaded a lot of baggage and now I write mainly when the hurt and sorrow get too great.

      I’m told these are excellent conditions for writing, so I’m pleased you’re seeing the result.

      A book would be wonderful. I’ll just keep quietly transmitting till some alien publisher catches my wave.

      Thanks again; you’ve made my morning. Best regards, AS. 🙂

  3. Clearly what is needed are converse trainers.

    • Ha! Very good, Terry! 🙂 Man, if there were such a product, they’d sell like crazy. Many thanks for your thought. P. 🙂

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