Imagine you are about to make your first ever parachute jump!
To make the experience a bit more exciting, you haven’t been given any training and it won’t be a static line jump either.
- and you haven’t been given a reserve parachute!
Your only instructions are to pull the rip-cord handle after you are clear of the plane.
The plane is quite old and hasn’t had its mandatory annual maintenance check for 2 years.
You are flying through an electrical storm, it is raining and one of the engines seems to be cutting out.
The location of the jump is a little unusual, as it is a foreign country that is in the grips of a civil war.
You aren’t a soldier and you’ve never had military or survival training.
You haven’t been given any weapons, not even a parachute knife.
You have no food, no compass and no map.
This is how social situations often feel to me. Both the actual event and my anticipation of the event.
- Particularly with larger groups and especially where there are a lot of people that I don’t know
- But it’s nobody’s ‘fault’
I’m hard wired to collect and exchange information at a social gathering and if there are less than 100 people at the gathering, I am likely to be the only person with this agenda.
Everyone else is there to socialize.
Most of these people will become visibly tired, disinterested and uncomfortable if they engage with me in my fact finding and fact sharing quest.
This happens with very few exceptions, regardless of their level of intellect, because of their over-riding instinct for socializing.
This probably explains why I don’t really have any friends. The absence of social reciprocity due to my clinically impaired social intuition.
- So I keep my socializing to an absolute minimum.
My efforts at socializing are far more successful in a business setting, as this form of socializing provides monetary reward and ensures my survival.
- But even this form of socializing can be exhausting and often feels like much harder work than the intellectual effort needed to do my job!
Having Aspergers can also be quite unbalancing.
- We typically have above average intelligence but our social intuition is in the bottom percentile!
I am one of the very lucky ones, as my IQ has been measured in the top percentile.
- Despite this, there are still days when it feels like I am a hanging on by a finger nail
But it is what it is and I am still here, navigating the social minefield.