Social connections seem very complex and can be confusing for us Aspies. I show this a lot in my book, Unforgiving, Memoir of an Asperger Teen.
What we see as the truth in the moment is exactly what we tend to say. This can lead to regrets later when we have additional information or have had a chance to rethink our position.
And one bad experience can cause us to generalize in a negative way about similar situations in the future. We tend to withdraw. We are after all, far more comfortable in our own little world. Why would we even bother to venture out?
Because, Aspies, our mental, emotional and physical health is greatly improved when we’re positively connected to other human beings. When we have people, even just one person, that we can call a friend. When we have a co-worker who is happy to see us arrive at work.
How do we manage that? How do we cross that vast and terrifying chasm of not knowing how and get to the land of Oh, I get it!?
Fortunately for us, there are many books and videos on the subject. Here are two that I have recently discovered:
The first is titled The Unwritten Rules of Friendship and is written by two professionals, Natalie Madorsky Elman and Eileen Kennedy-Moore. The book contains very straight forward information and how-to’s. It’s extremely practical and easy to read.
To give you an example of the contents? There is a section on distinguishing between sincere and insincere compliments. Very handy for Aspies.
The second book deals with workplace situations, offering all kinds of cut and dried advice.
In her book I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This, Kate White, a former Cosmo editor-in-chief, not only gives examples of difficult office situations but tells explicitly how best to phrase responses.
While this book is written for women in the magazine industry, the advice applies to most workplace situations, to men as well as women.
White covers every aspect of the workplace including how to ace an interview.
Obviously neither of these books was written specifically for Aspies, but they are great aids for us nonetheless. I found Unwritten Rules of Friendship in a thrift shop but it was published in 2008, so it should still be available at your local library, and I checked and it is on Google books. Or you can download the ebook at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWZvvhRMlmI