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19 June 2017 @ 08:47 am
I cannot vouch for this  
Translations from the Neurotypical
Elenbarathi: Abandon hopeelenbarathi on June 19th, 2017 05:55 pm (UTC)
Yes, bizarre but true; neurotypicals frequently ask questions that sound like straightforward requests for information when they're not actually interested in the information at all, as a social ploy to start a conversation.

Two of the most useful books I ever read in my life were How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie and Miss Manners' Guide To Excruciatingly Correct Behavior by Judith Martin. I found them in the library during my senior year of high school, and suddenly my social interaction with NTs got ever so much easier. Until I read them, I'd often been in the painfully-awkward situation where someone would ask me a question, and I'd answer it, and they'd ask me another question and I'd answer it, and they'd ask me another fucking question and I'd answer it, feeling all the while like I was under interrogation. I was brought up with the rule that personal questions are rude, and this rule (like so many others) had never been properly explained, so I basically didn't ask people anything at all about themselves, and I didn't understand why they were constantly being so rude to me.

Well, knock me over with a feather: the books explained that when people do that interrogation-thing, what they WANT is for me to ask them personal questions so they can talk about themselves. Woohoo! Freeeedom!!! Every time someone asks me a question, I'm entitled to ask one back - as leading and open-ended as I like - and the real beauty is, half the time I don't even have to answer their question before I do it, because they weren't really interested in my answer anyway. Now, of course, I can chat amiably all day long with whatever stranger is in the adjoining seat. By the time we part, they'll have told me their life story, and I'll have told them little or nothing about myself because I was so interested in what they had to say. It's perfect.

From where I stand, neurotypicality appears to be somewhere on the lower end of the sociopathy spectrum: people who feign interest in others in order to get something out of them (validation, relief from boredom, whatever.) Almost nothing they say can be taken at face value, because there's generally some weird hidden meaning - they lie like breathing, hardly even aware that they're doing it, and they never stop competing for social dominance with anyone who happens to be present. The incessant touching is part of that. Note that people will ask permission before touching one's purse or backpack, but they'll put their hands on one's own personal person like it was their right. (When people do that to my daughter, she hisses at them like a cat, which is quite an effective deterrent.)

Bottom line: it's possible to communicate with neurotypicals if one makes about a thousand allowances for their social deficits, and stands-down one's own discomfort at their egregious violations of one's boundaries. Most of them don't mean to be so shockingly rude; they just don't know any better.

Edited at 2017-06-19 05:56 pm (UTC)